HI ALL: I'm Brian, and we live in Hunt NY (Town of Portage), which is near the bottom of Letchworth State Park in Livingston County.
3 years ago I bought a Franco-Belge stove for the living room as I thought it was stunning in appearance. It was a terrible stove until I found that it needed a Barometric tee device. (Thanks to this forum). Once I put that into the exhaust, it became an absolutely wonderful stove. Just last week (June 2011) I bought a second Franco-Belge that is absolutely identical to the first. It will soon be hooked up in the kitchen. Being a gravity stove, it is absolutely quiet, and the automatic thermostat is a bonus.
I had an Alaska 'Kodiak' rice coal stoker. I found it noisy and inefficient. The new Franco-Belge replaces it. These Franco-Belge with the porcelain finish are getting hard to find. I searched for months before I found this one.
I also purchased a 1930's Norge kitchen stove with both a coal burner side and a propane side. I purchased it only 2 weeks ago so it us yet to be hooked up. However it is in nearly new condition as we removed it from an apartment in Rochester where it had been installed since new, but the owner lived elsewhere. The coal top is chrome or Nickel plated. Has one of those stylized top lights popular back then. Only missing the salt and pepper shakers.
We have been thinking of purchasing a Godin coal stove for heating the basement to be used on rare occasions, mostly when the outside temps drop below zero. Any thoughts on that would be appreciated. Wanted a stove that was smaller and lighter. than the Franco-Belge.
Essentially I want my home to be self sufficient in the winter, if the electric goes out, which it often does, we can still cook and heat. The house is nearly 3,000 sq ft, built in the early 1800's and still not overly tight despite my last few years of efforts at sealing it up.
My city friends think I'm nutz for using coal. We don't have natural gas. However when they visit during the winter, they all comment on the comfort of the heat throughout the house. As soon as the budget allows, I'll buy a 25 ton truckload of coal to ensure a long term supply. Have room in the basement for that. Any recommendations on which mine is closest for delivery?
OH: When I first moved here and decided to use coal, I bought two blue vinyl watering tanks, about 300 gallons and about 30" high by 8' across to store the coal. They each hold about 2.5 - 3 ton. Bought them through the local Agway dealer. They do not crack from abuse, even in the winter. They are going to be phased out of coal storage, but will go to other farm uses soon. If you are looking for an outdoor storage solution, they are very handy, Cost about $300 each as I recall. Other sizes and shapes are available. Agway also has a nice metal grain scoop that works great for coal, and is under $20. Very durable.
Any suggestions on an auger for bringing the pea coal up from the basement?
Any suggestions on a coal chute door to replace the old window in the basement stone wall?