What is up with this 04:07 morning post? JB, the nights are for sleeping....no matter how great a time we all had at the Meet and Greet. Absolutely terrific to meet some of the guys who we only know from the forum, and especially nice of Steve to host at his fabulous machine shop. Great conversations, lots of knowledge shared, and damned nice folks to be around.
It was especially nice to see some wives and kids looking over the new boiler Jim has brought to market, and asking real world questions......other than is is dusty or dirty?
As other fuels escalate in price, coal seems to be steady AND we all like the fact that the money and jobs stay right here in our own country.
As many of you know, the forum members 'names' don't reveal the real character of the members, and I for one am really glad to get to know the jobs and lives folks bring to the table when the discussion surpasses coal burning. It was a chilly morning, however with the new boiler running and providing heat through a Modine.....and the radiant heat from the unit......and the viewable flame from dual stokers, it was quite comfortable. Built in CO detector (with active shutdown), constant draft monitoring, compact package....even though it weighs in at 700 lbs plus. This unit is quiet...so quiet that all you hear is the Modine fan when it calls for heat. You won't be losing any skin when it is time to clean, service or replace any parts, Jim thought about that first. He has worked with his hands long enough to know that a little thought about the 'next guy' saves lots of unpleasantness.
It is unfortunate, but the cameras all stayed in our vehicles, for no particular reason.....well, it is Mass and it is perhaps the one freedom you have that isn't regulated or taxed......yet.
Hand-feds, stokers.....boilers.....and not one SOB mistook BOILER for a FURNACE! I keep thinking about the Jeff Foxworthy Show: 'R U Smarter than a First Grader...special Mass Edition!'. The kids there already knew a boiler from a furnace, a stoker from a hand-fed....stove, nut,pea, buck, rice...where in PA it comes from and some history about our Industrial Revolution. As I sometimes say: "If the father is an idiot, the mother is an idiot, there is more than a reasonable chance that the kids will be idiots also!" For once, the kids were bright, friendly and knowledgeable. That says a great deal about whom they live with. Great job moms and dads!! Nuff said.....
It is great to step out of your vehicle and people you have never even met shake you hand and are instant friends. This is a family each of us enjoy, and a hobby we love. For all of you who thought Smitty was a real lush, will be surprised to know he is a very hard working guy who is your best friend. He blends with everyone.....well, not so much if you drive a Prius with an "Obama '08'" bumper sticker. Steve (Mr Precision) is a very talented guy who happens to be in the machine business. JB is the kilowatt king...no flies there either. You can't 'bullship'(politically correct)any of these guys. Coalpile is a very bright guy who , for now, chooses to stay on the sidelines, but has a wealth of info to share. Jim, his son-in-law, and grandson are excellent folks to demonstrate their equipment. They are 'hands on' guys, not some 'suit' late for a t-off.
No 'snake oil', just the facts, and their take on a coal stoker boiler. Folks from the trades..... not from the fraternity party.
For any who care, the boiler (22 vertical tubes. 2" diameter with turbulators) is made right in Schuylkill Haven by the same quality processes used for generations. In the thirty gallon range.....No foreign stuff here. ASME and Underwriter certified already. 170K if you need it, or 85 if you are in a seasonal transition. A 120K for the average home as a single stoker.
Buy it, plumb up a feed and return, check for leaks, fire it and clean out the ash when necessary.
Tube cleaning is as simple as removing a few bolts, removing a cover, brush it down, and back in business in ten minutes. Durable? 1/4" steel, what do you think?
The weather turned to crap about 20 miles from home and there were all sorts of spin-out wrecks on the snow covered icy roads, so the last 20 miles turned out to be a 'park the car', and 'help out travelers'. Why is it always on a hill, at the narrowest point with two TT units jack-knifed. We kept hearing the metal 'knashing', but no serious injuries, but some happy tow-truck operators, body shops....and rental car places.
I'd really like to meet more folks from PA and surrounding areas down at your meet and greet, so maybe next time.
I'll see if I can get more info on Jim's boiler posted ASAP. Smitty says that the current pic's posted at the USPS are adequate, and no new ones will be posted. He may go 'underground' if he has to.....