I'm Really Glad to Find This Place!: New Guy Intro.

I'm Really Glad to Find This Place!: New Guy Intro.

PostBy: Flathead Youngin' On: Wed. Nov. 29, 2006 10:37 pm

When I was a young kid, I always remember going to grandpa's house knowing that I had better dress lightly- he had a COAL STOVE!

Out on his back porch was HIS area. Old hot rod books, magazines maybe even some engine parts he was working on whilst it was cold outside.

One of the things I remember most about his coal stove (he's still alive today and just stopped using it about 3 years ago) was all the homemade tools hanging around it; pokers, shovels, etc. "Now stay away from this thing, it'll burn you!", he's always say. He made a point to tell me EVERY single time I came to visit and he didn't just mention it once, he hammered it home......always had to tell the story of my dad, as a young boy, putting his hands on the stove whilst it was running "full tilt."

But, THE thing I remember most, was sitting on his couch (3-4ft from the black behemoth) listening to stories about the depression, WWII and flathead Fords. THAT was the best kind of heat. It warmed your bones to their cores. So much so, that that durn thing would put you sleep. No kiddin'. Grandpa says, "Anyone that sits next to it, will just fade away. I just keep talking [he talks a LOT] and they just nod off. I watch their heads sink. I know they are gone when I ask them crazy questions and they don't reply or just move their head with agreement."

Yes, that's what I remember about grandpa's coal stove.

Fast forward to 2004. I built a 34X30 garage with a full loft upstairs. I'm a pack-rat by nature- I guess it comes from grandpa's influence and his experience from the depression- and I wanted to start building traditionally styled hot rods.

After getting my garage built, I soon realized that winter that kerosene heater wouldn't handle the building. A torpedo heater was too noisy and expensive to use. I don't have much land with a supply of wood; no where to store it, have to split it, etc., etc. Then, while having my usual late-night conversation with my grandpa, it hit me! "What about a coal stove," I thought?

I had never REALLY paid attention to grandpa's stove. What I knew about coal stoves was summed up in the first few paragraphs of this post. I showed grandpa some interest in the subject and off we were on a discussion about coal stoves, how to use them, how to run them, etc.

He expressed his distastes of many types of stoves. However, the one he like was his Buckeye- made right here in our home town some years back. The Buckeye Stove Foundry was the name of the place. The place is still there but they do other castings.

Now the big question, where in the world can I find a coal stove. Especially one like grandpa's? Well, just like the search for hot rod parts, off I went. Calling people- ole' guys in the hollars, putting out "feelers," chasing leads. By some strange change, one day, I was helping my neighbor's brother unload some stuff in his garage. As I sat my first load down and turned to get another, there sat a coal stove in the corner of the garage. It looked just like grandpa's. Just like it, except it seemed smaller. I thought my eyes were deceiving me because the stove was out of context. I asked about if it was for sale and he said, Yes, I'll take $75 for it." Of course I thought it was worth about $25. One leg had been broken off and repairs with bolts; and it just looked doggy. Anyway, I made a note of the # in my head. It was a Buckeye 137.

I called grandpa that night and the thing I remember him telling me about the $75 is, "It won't ever wear out and where else are you going to find one?" So, with great reservation, I bought it, brought it home and hooked it up for the winter of 05. I picked up some coal (which is quite a story within it's self) BTW, lump coal here is around $70 a ton- you pick it up.

Last winter, I truly learned how much I appreciate my little coal stove. It turns out that my Buckeye 137 is much smaller than my grandpa's Buckeye 135 (strange # system) but it has one BIG heart. This little coal stove made it possible for me to work on my hot rod all winter last year.

Attached you'll find a pic of my little 137 and my hot rod. As of last weekend, I upgraded the crappy through the wall pipe and blessed my little stove with all new Metalbestos pipe through my roof. I haven't yet fired it with this pipe, but it kind of feels like the first time I lit a match to the ole' boy. I often sit and think about when the last time someone lit a fire in it, and all the stories the have surrounded the little 137. Who bought it new, did they have a hard time affording it, where did it spend most of it's life, did it keep the little kids warm when they were asleep?

I know I've typed a lot, and I apologize. Nevertheless, as you can see, coal stoves have a deeper meaning than just heat to me.

Lastly, sorry she looks rough but the ole' boy just got used last winter.......this year he'll get a fresh coat of paint!
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Last edited by Flathead Youngin' on Wed. Nov. 29, 2006 10:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Flathead Youngin'

Re: I'm Really Glad to Find This Place!: New Guy Intro.

PostBy: Flathead Youngin' On: Wed. Nov. 29, 2006 10:39 pm

sorry I left some unfinished thoughts, etc.....my little 2 year old girl and my wife are sick...
Flathead Youngin'

Re: I'm Really Glad to Find This Place!: New Guy Intro.

PostBy: Gary in Pennsylvania On: Wed. Nov. 29, 2006 11:18 pm

Flathead Youngin' wrote:.....my little 2 year old girl and my wife are sick...

Very sorry to hear your girls are ill. I've got 4 young 'uns age 19months-7yrs old.....they're everything to me!

I relly appreciate you sharing your memories though. I didn't grow up with coal, but I'm hooked on it now along with the tales, the history, the lore, etc...

I really dig your stove too!
Gary in Pennsylvania

Re: I'm Really Glad to Find This Place!: New Guy Intro.

PostBy: Mound City On: Thu. Nov. 30, 2006 3:28 am

I too am sorry to hear your family is ill.

I wanted to say that I very much enjoyed your post. Your story reminded me of the stories my grandparents used to tell me. Welcome to the forum, feel free to ask any questions you wish. We'll give it our best shot to help.

Mound City
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Home Made
Coal Size/Type: Bituminous Stoker Coal

Re: I'm Really Glad to Find This Place!: New Guy Intro.

PostBy: Townsend On: Thu. Nov. 30, 2006 12:16 pm


Really enjoyed your boyhood story!

Thanks for the good read and welcome to the forum.

I'm new myself and its nice to get all the help and comradely.

Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Coal Size/Type: Pea / Buck

Re: I'm Really Glad to Find This Place!: New Guy Intro.

PostBy: Flathead Youngin' On: Thu. Nov. 30, 2006 4:19 pm

hey, thanks for the warm welcome and concern about my family...

kind of funny- grandpa isn't up with the times and just lives simple. he knows about the hot rod sites I frequent; learning, sharing stories etc. he really got a kick out of knowing that people will take time to join a website to talk about coal stoves. he really thinks it's cool and said, "well, we may learn something......."

gary, funny you'd post that, I had an auto search on ebay for about a year and never say an ole' buckeye on there.........right after I posted this thread, I did another search for one but came up empty.....

i've never seen one like that- I guess I've really only seen two....mine and my grandpa's......he always told me to buy the top loader like mine and his....claims it's much easier to put coal in.....i guess you'd have to sort of throw it in from the front....

BTW, he corrected me and said his is a 134.....i was thinking it was a 135......we talked about burning coal until about 11:30 last night.....hahaha

i'd like to know more about these draft meters, where to get them, how much, do they stay in the chimney or the door...

also, where can I find a flu temp guage? i'll start looking on ebay....
Flathead Youngin'

Re: I'm Really Glad to Find This Place!: New Guy Intro.

PostBy: Cap On: Sat. Dec. 02, 2006 11:25 am

Hey Flathead--

I enjoyed your story! Your Grandpa was real slick. My family grew up in the neighborhoods of North Philly where I am sure plenty of folks used coal 40 years ago but I was never exposed to it. My first exposure to a coal stove was at an old hunting cabin in Schuylkill County, PA near Tower City. It was a kitchen stove type. I never would have imagined I would find so must interest in a freestanding hand fired stove of my own some day.
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Harman SF 250, domestic hot water loop, heat accumulator

Re: I'm Really Glad to Find This Place!: New Guy Intro.

PostBy: bugize On: Sat. Dec. 02, 2006 12:12 pm

:shock: hey flathead thanks for the story,actually made my eyes water.I too grew up around my grand dads,although we didnt burn coal it was wood we heated with,but they worked in the woods,along with my dad and then eventually me. I too loved the stories they would tell and I would try to soak up all the knowledge they was passing on to me.they have passed on now and I do miss them,more so my dads dad,the practical,down to earth,first hand knowledge is ir replacable.even if you don't heat your shop with that stove,your grand pop will always be there helping you with your project because of it.so,like you said yourself,your getting more than heat from that stove,your getting a warmth that even below zero temps cannot chill.welcome to the forom,i hope your family gets well soon,enjoy the remaining time with gramp...and thanks again!
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark3