Coal Bin Project (the entire file this time!)

Coal Bin Project (the entire file this time!)

PostBy: Beeman On: Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:41 am

I have been heating my home for several years with wood and a Quadrafire stove. This has worked well, but I tired of cutting, splitting, stacking, and moving wood to keep the heat coming. My brother, Ashcat on this forum, has been using coal with great success. I decided this past summer to make the switch and was easily able to sell my Quadrafire online.

First step was planning coal storage. I ruled out bagged coal in favor of bulk delivery, but I had no workable basement coal bin option. I considered an outside bin close to the garage and planned to build the bin myself, but a friend said "always build a shed twice as big as you need" and I soon saw that a larger shed could serve multiple purposes. I settled on an off-site manufactured 10' X 20' shed with one end planned for coal storage and the other to store my beekeeping equipment. I had the shed built with a coal delivery door installed high on one end and floor joists on 8" centers for added support. I prepared the site in conjunction with local authorities and used several tons of crushed stone to form a base. The shed was finally delivered via truck and placed on the site. So far so good.
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Next up was the issue of actually building the bin inside the shed. I framed out an interior wall to subdivide the length of the shed and cordon off the bin area under the coal delivery door. I covered interior sides of the bin with OSB subflooring material–strong enough and inexpensive. Ashcat had a great idea for preventing the sides of the bin from bowing from the 5 tons of coal I planned to store–he suggested drilling small holes through all the studs surrounding the bin and threading them with steel cable. Great idea. Before installing the OSB, I drilled the holes 3' up from the floor and threaded them with 3/16" steel cable with ends held together by double cable clamps. The photo shows the joining of the ends and the extra cable–I did not feel like cutting it–trailing down on the right side of the photo.
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I initially planned on 35 c.f. of space for each ton of nut coal stored, but I eventually worked with 50 c.f. to allow extra capacity and in case my calculations were off. I installed a 45 degree angle section of floor along the long wall opposite my coal unloading area. This angled section went up 3 feet on the wall and extended out 3 feet from the wall toward the center area of the bin. The thought was to allow gravity to move the coal toward the unloading area. Lacking an engineering degree, I did not do the same on the end walls.
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I used perforated angle iron stock from Home Depot to make tracks for sliding door panels to use in unloading the coal. This worked out well and the panels were held in place on the inside with long pieces of scrap OSB–strong enough for the job and readily available. The reinforcing steel cable discussed above runs across the coal access door, but on the inside of the door mechanics and not interfering in any way. When the bin is nearly empty, one can step over the cable to enter the bin.
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With coal delivery scheduled, I worked diligently to complete the bin and finished it just hours prior to the 6:30 AM delivery time. I was excited to see the coal truck the next morning, but soon was monumentally disappointed when the truck tires became stuck in soft ground following several days of rain. That small incline up to the shed became an impossible journey given the spongy ground and morning dew. Scrap pieces of OSB were thrown under the tires, but to no avail. I felt badly for the driver, who had to take the coal back to his coalyard.
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About two weeks later and following several days of dry weather, the coal truck returned and had no difficulty backing up next to the shed and delivering the coal. Calculations for the capacity of the bin proved correct and the bin can probably handle 6 total tons of coal if necessary. Resolution for the future–schedule coal deliveries during the dog days of August when the ground is usually very dry (and prices low!).
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Last edited by Richard S. on Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fixed image tags
Beeman
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 503
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503

Re: Coal Bin Project (the entire file this time!)

PostBy: WNY On: Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:01 pm

Very nice job!

There is a thread for Coal bin pics...
COAL BIN Pics
WNY
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon

Re: Coal Bin Project (the entire file this time!)

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Wed Oct 21, 2009 3:52 pm

WNY wrote:Very nice job!

There is a thread for Coal bin pics...
COAL BIN Pics

I'll move it there before the boss catches up with us. ;) :)
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea


Re: Coal Bin Project (the entire file this time!)

PostBy: Beeman On: Wed Oct 21, 2009 6:51 pm

Thanks for the feedback and for moving the post to the appropriate area. I have alittle wood to burn and then on to coal!
Beeman
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 503
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503

Re: Coal Bin Project (the entire file this time!)

PostBy: 009to090 On: Wed Oct 21, 2009 7:02 pm

Nice coal-bin, Beeman, I want to do what you did, with a new pole-barn, then setup a remote boiler to feed directly off the pile of coal.... Ahhhh, maybe one of these days... sigh....
How did your lawn fair, from the delivery truck? Looks like it was a little wet/muddy.
009to090
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520 HighBoy
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: DVC-500 x 2
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Rice

Re: Coal Bin Project (the entire file this time!)

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Wed Oct 21, 2009 7:11 pm

DVC500 at last wrote:Ahhhh, maybe one of these days... sigh....
If he gets to the bottom of that bin by spring, he can rent it out over the summer as a vacation cottage and save the rent to buy a pole barn, win win. :lol:
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: Coal Bin Project (the entire file this time!)

PostBy: Ashcat On: Wed Oct 21, 2009 7:59 pm

Well done, bro!
Ashcat
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 983
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Blaschak

Re: Coal Bin Project (the entire file this time!)

PostBy: Beeman On: Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:58 am

Thanks for comments. The yard does have some ruts from stone delivery (13 tons plus weight of truck), shed delivery, and coal delivery. Winter freezing and thawing should help even it out.
Beeman
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 503
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503