Homemade Ash Vacuum System

Homemade Ash Vacuum System

PostBy: CoaLen On: Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:39 pm

I've built an ash vacuum system for this coal burning season and I thought I'd share some photos with you all.
First, let me state this is not my idea. The concept was developed by one of our NE Ohio coal burners and implemented by McKoker last season. I saw his in action and it worked well with rice coal.
Here's what we did:
Build a 48" airtight cube. We used 5/8" plywood for this. Plywood is fastened to a 2x4 or 2x2 frame, is screwed together and edges sealed with waterproof silicone caulk. Mount a Toro "Ultra Blower Vac model 51599" to the top of the cube using the vacuum attachment as the base. Seal the connection with caulk. Install the suction hose through the side near the top, seal the connection with caulk. We used "Windtrax # 2-15-GRAY Smooth-Bor" vacuum hose, 2" ID, very flexible and kink resistant. Drill a 2 3/8" hole through the rim joist and route hose into basement. Seal pass-through with caulk. Install a duplex GFI receptacle outside house. Wire power through on/off switch mounted in the basement near the hose entry. Connect an extension cord from the outlet to the blower. Cover with a plastic container turned upsidedown to protect it from the elements. Provide openings for the electrical cord and the blower tube to pass through.
To use vacuum:
Let your ashes cool for a day after taking them out of the stoker furnace/stove. Carry them to where you have the vacuum hose (if necessary). Flip the switch and vacuum them away. What's happening outside the house is the vacuum motor is sucking everything into the box. The ash and all the light material is being dispersed in a large white cloud. All the heavier material is falling into the box.
Next spring I'll have a project opening the box and cleaning it out, but I'll use my front end loader to help me with that.
Here's a couple of photos:
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Vacuum box installed
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Coal Vacuum7.jpg
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Toro Ultra vacuum/blower
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Last edited by CoaLen on Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
CoaLen
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Coal Size/Type: rice

Re: Homemade Ash Vacuum System

PostBy: ceccil On: Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:50 pm

If you get a chance, can you post a video of your vac in operation? I'd like to see how big a cloud is generated while operating.

Jeff
ceccil
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Mark III

Re: Homemade Ash Vacuum System

PostBy: CoaLen On: Wed Oct 14, 2009 7:04 pm

Once I get the furnace going (should be soon) I'll ask my daughter to shoot a video of the ash being vacuumed and the cloud that comes out. Thanks for the suggestion.
-Len
CoaLen
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Coal Size/Type: rice


Re: Homemade Ash Vacuum System

PostBy: Scottscoaled On: Wed Oct 14, 2009 7:21 pm

I was thinking of doing the same thing only using a metal 55 gallon drum with a sealable top. Changing the drums when full and using a "sock" filter I saw while researching the vacumn. The filter cuts down on the cloud and are inexpensive. ;)
Scottscoaled
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520x3, 700 Van Wert 800
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: EFM 150, Keystoker 150
Coal Size/Type: Lots of buck

Re: Homemade Ash Vacuum System

PostBy: Bratkinson On: Wed Oct 14, 2009 7:30 pm

ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT!!!!!!

I think I found a use for my 10 year old useless Toro electric leaf blower that doesn't do well with 7 maples, 1 oak and 4 pines on my small 100x125 lot! I use it to blow grass clippings off the driveway, once in a blue moon.
Bratkinson
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing III

Re: Homemade Ash Vacuum System

PostBy: KLook On: Wed Oct 14, 2009 7:46 pm

I have been thinking about a system with an old Craftsman shop vac. It would use a 55 gallon drum also. At least I know it will work after seeing your system. Now I just need to find time!!

Kevin
KLook
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF 3000
Coal Size/Type: rice, bagged, Blaschak
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman (Back In Maine)
Stove/Furnace Model: VF 3000

Re: Homemade Ash Vacuum System

PostBy: Sting On: Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:02 pm

Is it just me ???

Or does anyone else think storing ash -- even day old ash in a plywood box is just a bit dicey!
Sting
 
Other Heating: BurnHAM=NG-gas

Re: Homemade Ash Vacuum System

PostBy: coal berner On: Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:07 pm

stokerscot wrote:I was thinking of doing the same thing only using a metal 55 gallon drum with a sealable top. Changing the drums when full and using a "sock" filter I saw while researching the vacumn. The filter cuts down on the cloud and are inexpensive. ;)

Use your old pantyhose or knee highs for a filter I mean your wifes old pantyhose/ knee highs :oops:
coal berner
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1986 Electric Furnace Man 520 DF
Stove/Furnace Make: Electric Furnace Man
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

Re: Homemade Ash Vacuum System

PostBy: rberq On: Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:25 pm

coal berner wrote:Use your old pantyhose or knee highs for a filter

Puleeeze! Neighborhood decorum must be maintained!

Sting wrote:does anyone else think storing ash -- even day old ash in a plywood box is just a bit dicey!

Yeah, I like the 55-gallon steel drum better.
I wonder how close the leaf blower can come to imploding a steel drum, or the plywood box? Our little Kenmore canister vac produces about 5 pounds per square inch suction (estimated by observing that it will just barely pick up a 5 pound box of sugar). That's 5 X 144 = 720 pounds per square foot, or 11,520 pounds on each side of the 48-inch cube. Of course that is mitigated by the opening that lets the ash in.
CoaLen, try blocking off the inlet, and tell us what happens. Not making fun of you, honest. I just want to know....
rberq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1300
Coal Size/Type: Nut -- Kimmel/Blaschak/Reading
Other Heating: Oil hot water radiators, propane

Re: Homemade Ash Vacuum System

PostBy: CoaLen On: Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:48 pm

The suction does draw down the top of the box. With the motor running full speed and inlet blocked I see about 1/2" deflection in the center. The sides are stiffened by braces I ran across the box internally and don't show any movement (photo attached).
-Len
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Vacuum box showing internal bracing
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CoaLen
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Coal Size/Type: rice

Re: Homemade Ash Vacuum System

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:50 pm

It seems like a good idea, let us know how it works.
Wood'nCoal
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert

Re: Homemade Ash Vacuum System

PostBy: coal berner On: Wed Oct 14, 2009 9:10 pm

rberq wrote:
coal berner wrote:Use your old pantyhose or knee highs for a filter

Puleeeze! Neighborhood decorum must be maintained!

Sting wrote:does anyone else think storing ash -- even day old ash in a plywood box is just a bit dicey!

Yeah, I like the 55-gallon steel drum better.
I wonder how close the leaf blower can come to imploding a steel drum, or the plywood box? Our little Kenmore canister vac produces about 5 pounds per square inch suction (estimated by observing that it will just barely pick up a 5 pound box of sugar). That's 5 X 144 = 720 pounds per square foot, or 11,520 pounds on each side of the 48-inch cube. Of course that is mitigated by the opening that lets the ash in.
CoaLen, try blocking off the inlet, and tell us what happens. Not making fun of you, honest. I just want to know....

Stokerscott lives in the sticks no Neigborhood decorum concerns there
coal berner
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1986 Electric Furnace Man 520 DF
Stove/Furnace Make: Electric Furnace Man
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

Re: Homemade Ash Vacuum System

PostBy: Scottscoaled On: Thu Oct 15, 2009 8:37 pm

Nawwwwwww, I don't live in the sticks, But your special friend Wonebignut does :lol:
Scottscoaled
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520x3, 700 Van Wert 800
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: EFM 150, Keystoker 150
Coal Size/Type: Lots of buck

Re: Homemade Ash Vacuum System

PostBy: Freddy On: Fri Oct 16, 2009 5:43 am

I like the basic idea...but what do you do with a box of ashes once it's full? It'll weigh 700 pounds!
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: Homemade Ash Vacuum System

PostBy: CoaLen On: Fri Oct 16, 2009 6:40 am

Freddy,
The blower tends to separate and expel the airborn ash from the unburned coal, bone, ect. during the vacuum process. I'm left with mostly the heavy stuff. Next spring I'll open the box and shovel the contents into my front end loader and take it back into the field behind us. I've got some ground hog holes to fill in. Who knows; 50 years from now maybe someone will start strip mining the "coal field" they discovered in Ohio.
-Len
CoaLen
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Coal Size/Type: rice