First Fire

Re: First Fire

PostBy: Joe in NH On: Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:05 pm

The best indicator to me that my start up fire is hot, building in intensity and that I can continue to add coal is the snapping and popping of the fresh coal when added. I have a tendency to try to start my coal fires with too little kindling and pieces of small wood. I can tell pretty early when there is not enough heat being generated because there are only a few lazy blue dancers and very little noise when a layer of fresh coal is added. I will occasionally try to get things going again with some more wood kindling on top of the lazy coal fire but more often I will dump the unsuccessful start and use more wood to get a good hot fire started before adding any coal. I have also used charcoal which works well. Keep at it. We all started with our first fire. Joe
Joe in NH
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Trident SF 260 Boiler

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Re: First Fire

PostBy: braindead On: Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:35 pm

Mine set off the smokes the first time too--and the next few times that I got it really hot. I would go ahead and fill it up. Then close down the air a bit, and you should be fine. (I rarely have the air open more than 1/8 of an inch, but I'm only heating 1000 sq.ft.)
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Kodiak

Re: First Fire

PostBy: Paperboy On: Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:42 pm

Hey Hotrod:

That installation on the hearth looks great. Was noticing the inverted angle iron under the feet. Did you have to cut the stove legs to get that clearance under the top edge of the fireplace opening?

Sounds like you are making good progress getting your fire to keep burning. I learned after a couple times to make sure the whole grate area is covered with kindling wood, or charcoal, so all the draft comes from underneath when you add the coal. don't be afraid to let your kindling fire burn a while and get the chimney and stove temperature up before adding coal. I've had more success by having patience than by trying to hurry the process along.

The curing paint smell sometimes will set off a smoke alarm, but it will not last too long, or at least mine didn't.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Alaska Kodiak; Atlanta Homesteader
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska; Atlanta
Stove/Furnace Model: Kodiak; Homesteader

Re: First Fire

PostBy: hotrodzz68 On: Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:05 pm

Thanks, the surface got up to about 550 575 and the house got real smokey , threw open the windows for a while and closed off the vents its better now and the temp came down to 450, what surface temp do you shoot for? It looks as if it doesn't take much vent at all to keep it going, I was just worried about the smoke, I obviously didn't get it hot enough outside.

Ya paperboy, I cut two of the three inches off the legs, and then had to shim the front up a bit to level it , the levelers were in the rear anyway.
the hearth pad I made myself, Its made out of one of those low cost 4x4 black sheet metal pads, laid out my pattern on the black pad and cut the shape out, then rolled the edge of the excess under and I use that to boarder the hearth pad.

I'll have to post a picture so you can see what I'm talking about.

thanks, john
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: '08 Kodiak

Re: First Fire

PostBy: NewtocoalinNY On: Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:46 pm

Sorry. A little late to this conversation. I've used lump charcoal to start my fires. Crimpled up newspaper with some lump charcoal on top and, once that gets going, slowly add your coal. Works everytime. Also - my stove was new this year. I had to "season" it with several small fires before letting it go, and it did leave an odor at first. Good luck!
Stove/Furnace Make: Saey
Stove/Furnace Model: Hanover I

Re: First Fire

PostBy: hotrodzz68 On: Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:56 pm

Here is a pic of the home made pad, kind of blurry but you get the idea. With it in place it actually exceeds the floor protection requirements.

PS it stopped smoking for the most part, cruisin at about 450.
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Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: '08 Kodiak

Re: First Fire

PostBy: braindead On: Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:57 pm

Hotrod, I've never measured my stove temp so I'm no help there. I just go by the temperature in the house. If it drops below 68 I give it a hair more air, and if it goes above 70 I close it a bit. If its supposed to get very cold at night I'll give it a little more air before I go to bed (I hate to wake up cold in the morning) and I'll back it down again when I leave for work. I suppose I should get a thermometer anyway.

Sounds like you have it burning well. I shake it down in the morning, and after shaking the coal level usually drops to near the bottom of the hopper. So I dump in a kitty litter bucket of coal and its good till evening.
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Kodiak

Re: First Fire

PostBy: Cap On: Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:23 pm

Hotrod, keep in mind, your first fire will be your hottest. As ash builds up in the days ahead, the fire will not burn as hot. You can never shake 100% of the ash into the pan. Maybe 80%. The ash displaces what would otherwise be fresh coal for burning.
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Harman SF 250, domestic hot water loop, heat accumulator

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Re: First Fire

PostBy: hotrodzz68 On: Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:29 pm

Thanks to everyone for your help, I was able to get through the first night with out any mishaps and alarms.
The heat feels great and the furnace only came on once :D
I'm going to enjoy sitting by it tonight after I finish running the snowblower :mad:

I'm sure I'll have some more questions as I go, but I'm sure I've got the lighting and loading down pretty well :cheers:

After reading this forum since september, it'll be nice to get back to the swimming pool forum soon ;)

thanks again
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: '08 Kodiak

Re: First Fire

PostBy: grizzly2 On: Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:16 pm

My stove stunk prety bad for one day. Traces of smell for at least a week. Smelled it again when the stove temp reached a new high later on. I think the last traces of smell left after about a month. The stove smell is pungent and can make your eyes sting. Exhaust smells sulphery if at all. Watch the CO2 detector regularly, Open a window or two as needed to bring in fresh air. The smell should largely go away in a couple days. ;)
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 30 - 95
Coal Size/Type: pea and nut/ anthracite
Other Heating: Jotul #3 wood stove in garage. Oil backup in house. Electric backup in house.

Re: First Fire

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:31 pm

Lump Charcoal and gel firestarter.
Quick and easy.
never goes bad only need it once a year!
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove