Iron Fireman / Bitumenous tools?

Iron Fireman / Bitumenous tools?

PostBy: djackman On: Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:27 pm

Helped clean out an old house last week and came across some coal-related stuff, mabye someone can identify

Several "grabber" type tools, any relation to the Iron Fireman book that was on the wall next to the boiler? There were a few "mini-hoe"'s like the hook bar in the pic also.

Stoker (if there was one) is long gone. :mad: Boiler is a W-M #77 in hydronic trim. No grates to be found, believe me I looked

Is the green wrench next to the Iron Fireman book for the stoker? I've seen plenty of anthracite leftovers around here but never bit. coal.
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djackman
 
Stove/Furnace Make: 1980 vintage Tarm
Stove/Furnace Model: FT22 (aka 202) installed!

Re: Iron Fireman / Bitumenous tools?

PostBy: rockwood On: Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:10 am

We had an old "clinker grabber" very much like the one at the bottom of photo #1. It was about 6 feet long as I remember. My grandparents had one about 3' in length that opened and closed like a T-rex mouth (for a lack of a better way to describe it) and you would pull a trigger mechanism to operate it instead of a twisting/turning motion.
Cool find! :)
rockwood
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Stokermatic coal furnace
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Rockwood Stoveworks Circulator
Baseburners & Antiques: Malleable/Monarch Range
Coal Size/Type: Soft coal: Lump and stoker (slack coal)

Re: Iron Fireman / Bitumenous tools?

PostBy: Sting On: Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:11 am

top picture - I have the top three tools - two I have here - the larger fork I keep at the fire fit for moving chunks

The large end of the wrench is for the stoker drive - so you can turn the feed screw by hand; and the square drives are for the jam nuts on the inspection caps.

I don't have a book.

You would turn off the combustion air -- use the solid tool with the hook to pull up clinker chunks or bust em to size so you could then reach in with the fork and extract them to a cool down pile near and on the floor. I remember they smoked in the basement for a while till cool
Sting
 
Other Heating: BurnHAM=NG-gas


Re: Iron Fireman / Bitumenous tools?

PostBy: LsFarm On: Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:22 am

Hello djackman, those are 'clinker tongs', like giant salad tongs :shock: :D With Bituminous stokers, the coal is supposed to clinker, making it easier to remove the ashes.. well that really didn't make a lot of sense, I'll try to explain.

The Bituminous stokers don't have an ash pan. The stoker's firepot is slid into the boiler/furnace through the unit's [removed] ashpan doorway, the firepot centered in the burn chamber [grates removed] then refractory cement is poured around the firepot, making a solid surface between the firpot and the walls of the burn chamber. As the coal is pushed up into the firepot, it burns and clinkers, heat-welds together, making big clinkers that fall off to the sides onto the shelf of refractory cement.. The daily or sometimes every 3-4 hour job is to open the door and using the clinker tongs, remove the accumulated fused ash. Then if needed use the hoe and poker to clean up the refractory shelf so more clinkers can accumulate.

Bituminous coal costs 1/4-1/3 of what anthracite costs, and back in the 1930's and 40's when the Iron Fireman and other underfeed Bituminous stokers were popular, Bituminous was very cheap. These stokers were designed and for a while were able to hold off the switch-over to 'cheap and easy' oil burners for the home heating systems.. but eventually oil won out.

I own two of these Iron Fireman stoker units, and have been searching ebay for years trying to find one of the owners manuals that you have.. Can I ask you to please make a photo copy of it for me? I'll reimburse all costs..

Please check your PM's.

Greg L.


I'm going to move this to the Bituminous forum.
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: Iron Fireman / Bitumenous tools?

PostBy: 009to090 On: Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:23 am

Sting wrote:... you could then reach in with the fork and extract them to a cool down pile near and on the floor. I remember they smoked in the basement for a while till cool


Yeah-boy! The CO detectors would have been screaming back then, huh? :sick: :sick: :sick:
009to090
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520 HighBoy
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: DVC-500 x 2
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Rice

Re: Iron Fireman / Bitumenous tools?

PostBy: LsFarm On: Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:33 am

Yeah, the wonderful smell of sulphur, hell-fire and brimstone, in everyones house !! :lol: :D :shock:

On my stoker unit, which is a smallish one, [Sting's stoker is about 3x-4x the capacity], the hex end of the wrench is for removing the cap over the shear-pin /drive end of the auger. The end of my auger is square, so the square holes in the wrench would be for backing up the auger to clear rocks from the tube, and for assisting in clearing the tube for summer clean-up.

The manual will have some info on setting the air controls, these units have some fairly sophisticated air flappers, with pressure feedback tubes, that I don't understand how to set..

A really neat find !!

Greg L
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: Iron Fireman / Bitumenous tools?

PostBy: LsFarm On: Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:36 am

Here is the hex-shaped cover over the shear pin mechanism on my Iron Fireman: It is just below the brass name plate on the transmission/gearbox. This cover is very much like a grease cap over the front wheel bearings on an automobile.

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LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: Iron Fireman / Bitumenous tools?

PostBy: djackman On: Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:40 am

Thanks for all the info.

I'll scan the book and post in the next few days.
djackman
 
Stove/Furnace Make: 1980 vintage Tarm
Stove/Furnace Model: FT22 (aka 202) installed!

Re: Iron Fireman / Bitumenous tools?

PostBy: Sting On: Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:06 pm

LsFarm wrote:the hex end of the wrench is for removing the cap over the shear-pin /drive end of the auger. The end of my auger is square, so the square holes in the wrench would be for backing up the auger to clear rocks from the tube, and for assisting in clearing the tube for summer clean-up.


Ahhhhh :? :? :? that's right -- old timers syndrome :mad:

I think there are still a couple of them flat wrench's on nails - hanging around the place == But yours is nice an clean
Sting
 
Other Heating: BurnHAM=NG-gas

Re: Iron Fireman / Bitumenous tools?

PostBy: djackman On: Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:43 pm

Here's the copyright 1937 manual scanned and PDF'd.

The last page is 14, no rear cover was present so I'm not sure if it is missing anything.
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djackman
 
Stove/Furnace Make: 1980 vintage Tarm
Stove/Furnace Model: FT22 (aka 202) installed!

Re: Iron Fireman / Bitumenous tools?

PostBy: rockwood On: Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:10 pm

Thanks for posting that manual. Interesting to read the adjusting air supply/chimney draft section.
rockwood
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Stokermatic coal furnace
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Rockwood Stoveworks Circulator
Baseburners & Antiques: Malleable/Monarch Range
Coal Size/Type: Soft coal: Lump and stoker (slack coal)

Re: Iron Fireman / Bitumenous tools?

PostBy: duck On: Sat Mar 28, 2009 9:37 pm

Glad I stumbled on the series of posts related to the iron fireman, when I was a really young a neighbor of my grandfather had one of these in his cellar. My grandfather hand stoked his furnace and also the gas and coal kitchen range. Clearly remember the robot pictured on the users manual that hung by the furnace at the neighbors house. I wasn't to keen about getting to close to the unit because of the noise, now I understand it was from a blower and feed system. This is really interesting and if someone doesn't mind maybe answer a few questions, I did read the scanned manual posted.
What type of regulation controlled the feed and air rate, I know the unit had to run all the time to maintain the fire?
There was a wheel barrow next to the iron fireman with coal in it I now assume this must have been used to fill a hopper, how big was the hopper, can't even remember?
Were iron fireman's for hot air or steam?

Thanks curious in CT.
duck
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 30 95
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer E-Z Flo 30-95

Re: Iron Fireman / Bitumenous tools?

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sun Mar 29, 2009 7:50 pm

duck wrote:Were iron fireman's for hot air or steam?


Hot air, hot water or steam, whatever it was installed in IIRC.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: Iron Fireman / Bitumenous tools?

PostBy: LsFarm On: Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:49 pm

The Iron Fireman was a stoker unit made to replace the shaker grates and hand feeding in a hand fired boiler, [water or steam] or furnace [hot air]. As described above, the unit was slid into the boiler through the ashpan door, then cemented in place.

With the refractory cement sealing the combustion chamber, the natural draft of the chimney would pull air through the fire, the burn pot, and the stationary fan when the unit was not running, this kept the fire alive between calls for heat. The units had a timer set to run at least once an hour or more often depending on the draft, the burn qualities of the Bit. coal and the time of year.

When the boiler called for heat, the unit ran, with the combustion fan on the extended motor shaft, the worm-drive and auger feed off of the three-step belt drive.. my unit will run at 30#, 20# or 10# per hour feed.. the unit will feed and run untill the call for heat is satisfied or the water/steam temp limits reached. This is similar to or identical to a modern coal stoker boiler/furnace.

Below are photos of the Iron Fireman wrench 'in use'. Thanks Bob !!

Greg L
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The wrench is MUCH cleaner than the stoker's gearbox !!
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The drive end of the gearbox, the shear-pin is just behind the wrench, it is a 5/16" steel pin, with a circular wire retainer. Very heavy duty.
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LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland