1940s-50s Locke Stove Company 400C “Warm Mornings”, hand fired.
Big firebox, 16 inches front to back, 18 inches wide, 20 inches top to bottom.
In basement, tied into hot air plenum on existing forced hot air gas furnace.
Block with clay inserts. Half inside, half outside. Height is good, goes just past the second floor roof. No chimney cap. Manual damper, but a manometer to watch the true draft.
Chestnut anthracite that burns into a red ash. (last 1 ton I burnt was chestnut, white ash)
We just had one of the warmest Decembers ever, Dec 2006. Looking at 7 day forecast we should see highs in 40s and even 50s for most all of the week, with lows in the upper 30s and 40s. I want to burn slow, but without burning out my fire … and need help.
I'm trying to learn my coal burner, it’s my first season. I can get plenty of heat off it and get an easy 8-10 hour burn from it, as long as I load it up. My routine lately has been 1 coal pail in the morning (about 20 lbs), half (10 lbs) when I come home from work, and 1 coal pail before bed. That keeps my firebox at a decent level which is important because when I run the firebox just enough, it will go out on me. Every few days I’ll load it up more trying to build the base back up.
I've been keeping track of how much I've burned and don't like that I burnt around 1500 lb last month, probably a more. That’s about 50 pounds a day.
This isn’t a horrible amount of coal, but my house gets too hot. 74 most of the day today. I don’t want to waste my fuel. I have my damper closed, still pulling -0.03 draft though its holes. I achieved the low draft by opening the secondary air open in the feed door, regularly it runs -0.05. Ash door air is closed, and heat spring is on “low”. This is the first time I had the secondary air open, and I noticed I ashed over the coal on top of the fire, so I don’t think I’ll try that again.
I’ve heard you can run pea coal to slow the air down. I’ve also seen people like Greg LS putting extra fire brick in their firebox to make it smaller. I’ve even heard you can put ashes on top of the fire.
Does anyone have any good tricks for this spring-like weather?