Lighting nut coal

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: coldcoal On: Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:15 am

Rick 386 wrote:Coldcoal,

The agitator here. You know the guy who chimes in at the end......... :verycool:


You! You lousy sonofa &%^), just kiddin, how's it goin! :D

And you mentioned that in the morning you poked the fire trying to get new coal to light. That will not work as has been mentioned here before. In the morning most suggest to open the ash door to fire the stove and get it cooking. THEN you would do your shaking and poking. up through the grates. Then add more coal. Get that cranking and then adjust the spinner.


OH! :idea: Um, yeah, there's a lot of info and I got that dead wrong. I was opening to heat coals after shaking indeed. My apologies to those who said it, there's a lot of info I've read here and I'm easily con-fuzed :what: , this is a good factor to get right! Yes I really see what ya mean on getting spinner just right. The heat control sensitivity, and time heat takes to change, it's like controlling a whole new machine. Blimp like in its slow moving yet quite noticeable and determined ways.

Thanks for the encouragement, and keep on smokin' :smoke:
coldcoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harman
Stove/Furnace Model: 3 warped grated useless beast

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: coldcoal On: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:24 am

Ok, so in a word. "Impressive!"

750 AM, 13 1/2 hrs after fully loaded, 15 hrs after 1st coals lit at 1.5 turns. Look what was left pre-shakedown! :shock:
Image

Post shakedown
Image

and the last 8 pounds or so of coal, no problem flaming right up.
Image

So yeah, filling the beast to the top helps a lot! Now I can see maybe only using a bag a day too, maybe a little more, maybe a little less, but wow. If it behaves like this coal IS easier than wood, I mean I've done nothing to it in 1/2 a day, I almost feel guilty.
coldcoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harman
Stove/Furnace Model: 3 warped grated useless beast

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: Rick 386 On: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:42 am

coldcoal wrote:Ok, so in a word. "Impressive!"..............

So yeah, filling the beast to the top helps a lot! Now I can see maybe only using a bag a day too, maybe a little more, maybe a little less, but wow. If it behaves like this coal IS easier than wood, I mean I've done nothing to it in 1/2 a day, I almost feel guilty.



Ahhhhh, another wood burner converted !!!! :dancing:


The hardest part of converting from wood to coal is getting OUT of the habit of messing with it as you have found out. From what has been said, the WORST thing to do is poke around it in the morning until after cranking it up. And that is totally opposite of tending a wood fire. :whip: :bang:


Now go out and get some more bags of coal. And a CO detector. And a baro. And some new bricks. And..........

And finally a carton of smokes so you can sit by it and relax. :smoke: :shots:




Rick
Rick 386
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 260 heating both sides of twin farmhouse
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Hyfire II w/ coaltrol in garage
Coal Size/Type: Pea in AA 260, Rice in LL Hyfire II
Other Heating: Gas fired infared at work

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Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: titleist1 On: Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:08 am

Looks much better, but the dead coal around the edges indicates too much draft and not enough coal there at the initial loading to me, although I know you were limited with the amount of coal you had last night. That firebox will eat a lot of coal at the initial loading just to get it full, then you are only adding what you burned through so it won't take nearly as much. When you do add more coal, try to leave an area that still has glowing coals or flame so that it will burn off the volatiles from the new coal to prevent a puffback (mini explosion of coal gases).

We keep talking about really loading up the firebox so here is a pic of how loaded mine was from this morning's tending. I had it filled up similarly last night around 8 and ran all night at about 1-1/4 turns. My daughter had a sleep over in the living room and I wanted to make sure it stayed warm enough for them, 73* this morning which is about 5* warmer than normal for us overnight. It took about 40 lbs this morning after shaking down.

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With it getting warmer today and tonight, I'll keep the spinner at about 1/2 - 3/4 turn to maintain that temp. I expect to not touch it until about 10 tonight and it will probably take around 25 lbs then.

You are very close on the river ID, it is the North East river at the head of the bay, the Susky is the next river over, about 5 minutes away. There are 5 rivers that come into the bay up here and its hard to tell sometimes where one ends and the next starts and where the bay officially starts.
titleist1
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Mag Stoker (old style) one in basement, one in workshop
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III on standby for long power outages
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite; Nut/Anthracite

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: coldcoal On: Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:25 am

Rick 386 wrote:
Ahhhhh, another wood burner converted !!!! :dancing:


The hardest part of converting from wood to coal is getting OUT of the habit of messing with it as you have found out. From what has been said, the WORST thing to do is poke around it in the morning until after cranking it up. And that is totally opposite of tending a wood fire.


Yes that makes a difference indeed, great timely point ya made last night, thanks!

titleist1 wrote:Looks much better, but the dead coal around the edges indicates too much draft and not enough coal there at the initial loading to me, although I know you were limited with the amount of coal you had last night.


Man, here I thought it was great! It was filled to the top, took 70 pounds to do it, so I can fit no more. The thing about those coals though is they were ash, not solid inside like other times, poked right through, so they were spent.

You guys rock, :band: and have a happy new year's eve!
coldcoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harman
Stove/Furnace Model: 3 warped grated useless beast

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: Poconoeagle On: Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:41 am

Same to you! I see you are starting to learn the properties of coal!!

once you pass the learning stage and develop the routine to keep a full hot bed of coals going, it dosnt take much to realize that

wood is good.......to start COAL fires!!! you have a great stove there. she needs 20 bucks of bricks. a fields control "RC" type baro

or better yet a "M" type baro. A Dwyer II model 25 manometer.... 5 bucks of rope gaskets a few screws in the pipe connections

A CO detector ( this hasnt been mentioned enough so until a pic is shown im sure it will be repeated! ) 8-)


and then a nice Eathan Allan rocking chair!! ( for emergency heat!)
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actually EA dont make chairs anymore this is a New River for 325...
Poconoeagle
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Buckwalter & Co. , EFM520
Stove/Furnace Model: No. 28 Glenwood 1880, Alaska

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: Ashcat On: Fri Dec 31, 2010 2:09 pm

Coldcoal, you may have already figured this out, but if you try to conserve on the amount of coal you add during loading, you end up not only more frustrated, but with higher coal costs! This is because of the large numbers of incompletely-burned nuggets that you end up throwing away. I know cost is your main consideration --and with wood at only $175 per cord for you--rightly so. However, given your ability to tolerate some cold in your house (as suggested by your posts), if you decide to continue the coal experiment you may end up surprised at how close you can come with cost of coal compared to your current (wood) costs.

I say this because of my own experience, with a largish firebox (20 inches square), trying to heat about 4000 sq ft. If I crank up the stove temp (for me, 450*-550*) for 24 hours straight, I burn 70-80 lbs. However, if it's warmer out and I am content with 300* stove temp for 24 hours straight, I burn closer to 35 lbs per day. In other words, at low temps (300*) the stove seems to be very efficient and uses very little coal. For me with an insert (no baro), it's only when I push to get much more heat out of the stove, that I really utilize alot of coal. That constant output of heat, even at low stove temps, compared to wood where there is more unevenness of output over time and where every 4-6 (?) hours you are losing room heat by opening the fill door to load more wood, etc, may work well for you at little added cost.

Whatever you choose to burn going forward--firewood, coal, or furniture-- using your convection fan would help alot with heat output and house comfort. Maybe electricity costs are the issue here, too, but they don't consume a great deal of power. My stove has two 100 cfm fans each utilizing 46 watts.
Ashcat
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 983
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Blaschak

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: coldcoal On: Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:37 pm

Thanks Pocono, and I'm workin' on it all!

Ashcat, thanks for the numbers and your experience on consumption. Yes I am now seeing only putting 1/2 a box in doesn't conserve, quite the inverse.

Yes the steadiness of the heat does make a difference over wood, I've noticed this already. You don't need the stove screaming once it's warmed all levels of the house. With wood I would basically know it was time to reload by the chill. Then there was the ''planning the logs'' for bedtime aspect. Often you stay up longer than ya might want to to let embers cool before night load, or burning a log really fast to create enough embers, etc. Coal is a breeze in that way comparatively.

Titleist, ok so that picture is a big help, here's why and maybe where some over firing comes into play for me. I see no red at all there, or space with flames coming up so I'm now confused. I read here by our fellow folks to do a layer at a time in filling and make sure u leave fire coming through. Now they might have meant from scratch fire, but I'm still doing this always. This makes for at least a 1 hour process with the ash door open as the layers slowly build, and a fiery finale once fully loaded. Your pic negates all this, looks like you put 5 inches on top of red instead of slow building. So there's that.

Next did you leave ash open for 15 mins to let some of that get red, or just let 5 inches of fresh cook on top at 1/2 or 3/4 of a turn? I expect no responses tonight, of course, but please when ya can.

Enjoy the holiday!
coldcoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harman
Stove/Furnace Model: 3 warped grated useless beast

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: Chuck_Steak On: Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:48 pm

The fact that you "can" let your stove go for 12-15 hours, doesn't mean you "haff" to..

During the day, If home, I'll often give the shaker a couple of raps, and throw on a shovel
or two. The temp hardly goes down at all, and you keep your desired bed going.
Of course, like titlest mentioned, with warmer temps, and you want to crank it down,
obviously you don't use as much fuel.
But for instance, if you are running your stove around 500-600, after about 12 hours
if you give it a hard shake, you are going to end up with a fairly shallow bed of good red hot coals,
but it will indeed take some time to get a full bed back up to speed.
Without using the ash door and "foil" as a supercharger..

On the subject of shaking and ashes, I usually open the ash door for a minute or two,
to get the draft up there... then, I generally close the door, and vent, and give it a few vigorous shakes.
Then I just bareky crack the ash door open. If the flame inside does nothing, you still need more shaking.
I do it until when I crack the door just a tad, the fire instantly comes alive very briskly. Then I close the door,
and leave the vent closed for 3-4 minutes. This really cuts down on the ash that gets airborn in your house.
I do not shake until I see rich glowing orange in the ash pan...
I think the fire (my fire) runs better with some ash, but like I said, when you crack the door, the flame
should just jump to life.. and when you shut it, it calms down.
I know that may not be how a lot of people do it, but that is how I do it..
Everyone needs to find their own "happy space"...

Dan
Chuck_Steak
 
Coal Size/Type: mostly nut, sometimes stove, Santa brand
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark III

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: gerard On: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:59 pm

freetown fred wrote:gerard,are you talking face cord--I never heard of that till I came to NY--a cord is 4x4x8--not this sissy Ny face cord which breaks down to 1/3 of a grown up cord :lol:

guilty as charged. Yes, I'm talking 10 face cords which was how my wood man sells it. $55/face cord
gerard
 
Stove/Furnace Make: yukon dual fuel
Stove/Furnace Model: husky

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: gerard On: Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:08 pm

franco b wrote:Your quote about barometric dampers is by someone who obviously does not understand either wood or coal burning.

Barometric dampers are not recommended for wood because of the danger of runaway chimney fires in the event of creosote buildup.

They are recommended for manually adjusted air intake coal stoves since it is the only way to get uniform draft reliably. Without uniform draft a given air intake setting can have very different results in a burn, making any conclusions suspect. There are those though who from experience have become so attuned to the behavior of a fire and make timely adjustments that they get along fine without one. Best to have one though.

Your fire is going out because it is not getting enough air except under conditions of high stack temperatures where draft is so strong that the excess air is enough to keep the coal going. As soon as you throttle it down it goes out.

Air is going around the coal bed and not through it. I would suspect that it is going behind all those loose bricks, or the glass is leaking so badly that it is killing draft through the coal bed.


I'm with franco B. Coal needs all the air to come from under the bed. If your glass seals are leaking, it's sucking in air that SHOULD be going under the coal bed and reducing your draft. If you don't seal up everything except from where the combustion air is SUPPOSED to enter, you will continue to have problems.
gerard
 
Stove/Furnace Make: yukon dual fuel
Stove/Furnace Model: husky

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: Ashcat On: Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:13 pm

coldcoal wrote:Titleist, ok so that picture is a big help, here's why and maybe where some over firing comes into play for me. I see no red at all there, or space with flames coming up so I'm now confused. I read here by our fellow folks to do a layer at a time in filling and make sure u leave fire coming through. Now they might have meant from scratch fire, but I'm still doing this always. This makes for at least a 1 hour process with the ash door open as the layers slowly build, and a fiery finale once fully loaded. Your pic negates all this, looks like you put 5 inches on top of red instead of slow building. So there's that.

Coalbed (notice how I changed your handle :) ), I think you may be confusing two different reasons to layer. Layering is especially important as you're trying to build a healthy coalbed, but is less critical once you have established a good bed. A healthy coalbed, in my opinion, is one where, even after shakedown, you still have at least several inches of healthy red coals throughout the entire firebox, not just in the center. At that point, you can load as many inches of fresh coal on as you'd like. You won't smother the fire--remember, the coalbed really burns from below, where the fresh air from the ashpan door/vents enters the stove and first meets the coalbed, not from the top. As long as you give it plenty of air, it doesn't matter how many inches of new coal are piled on top of the burn zone, that fire will eventually spread all the way to the top coals. Another way to say this is that your stove can still produce good heat even with many inches of green coal still on the top of the coalbed.

So, why do some people still layer upon reloading, even with a healthy coalbed? And why do others say to just leave some red coals uncovered while reloading until the new coal starts to burn? There is no discepancy here--just different styles/techniques/habits. The purpose of layering a reload, or of maintaining a small patch of active fire uncovered with fresh coal, both have the same purpose: to prevent the collection, and subsequent explosion, of volatile coal gases being released from the new coal as it is heated. This is known as a puffback and is to be avoided if possible--if it happens, you will be changing your underwear, but the cat will beat you to your bedroom and will be under the bed. The cat will go nowhere near the stove, and possibly remain completely hidden from view, for a week or more. Both techniques-- layering during reload and maintaining an area of open fire on reload--prevent the sudden coming-together of all the necessary and sufficient conditions for an explosion: an enclosed or concentrated collection of flammable gas, oxygen, and ignition. Preventing any of the three condtions prevents the explosion (although obviously it defeats the purpose to completely prevent ignition, since the object is to get the coal to burn).

Since he filled up completely at once and didn't layer or leave open an area of active fire, Titleist's technique of filling the stove completely sets up some of the "right" pre-conditions for a puffback. However, he likely does something else in his technique to prevent actual explosions. This might involve a very high drafting chimney and leaving a manual damper open that prevents accumulation/concentration of volatile gases; or maybe he leaves the fill door open or an over-the-fire vent open to burn the gases as they are released. The point is that his technique works for him in his setup; but the general rule about layering reloads, or maintaining a small area of active fire, is a good one to minimize puffback risk. I generally load full except for a 3-4 inch diameter open area, and fill that area when I have flames in most of the firebox. Enough oxygen comes thru that opening to ensure that the volatile gases can burn as they are released. In addition, there is a constant source of ignition, rather than the sudden emergence of one.

Whatever your technique with reloading, you will find something that will be effectively free of puffback risk that won't take an hour of your time to accomplish. Most people's stove tending time here is probably about 10 minutes twice daily, as is mine.

Happy New Year!
Ashcat
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 983
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Blaschak

The thre stages of coal burning

PostBy: eelhc On: Fri Dec 31, 2010 11:29 pm

The Apprentice... what else should I be doing? What else should I be doing? what else should I be doing?
The Journeyman.... Let's not do squat for a while.
The Master... what else can I get away with NOT doing?

less is more...
eelhc
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman Magnum Stoker

Re: The thre stages of coal burning

PostBy: Poconoeagle On: Fri Dec 31, 2010 11:33 pm

eelhc wrote:The Apprentice... what else should I be doing? What else should I be doing? what else should I be doing?
The Journeyman.... Let's not do squat for a while.
The Master... what else can I get away with NOT doing?

less is more...




:D thats mint! ( as smitty would say :) )
Poconoeagle
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Buckwalter & Co. , EFM520
Stove/Furnace Model: No. 28 Glenwood 1880, Alaska

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: titleist1 On: Sat Jan 01, 2011 12:12 am

coldcoal wrote:
Titleist, ok so that picture is a big help, here's why and maybe where some over firing comes into play for me. I see no red at all there, or space with flames coming up so I'm now confused. I read here by our fellow folks to do a layer at a time in filling and make sure u leave fire coming through. Now they might have meant from scratch fire, but I'm still doing this always. This makes for at least a 1 hour process with the ash door open as the layers slowly build, and a fiery finale once fully loaded. Your pic negates all this, looks like you put 5 inches on top of red instead of slow building. So there's that.

Next did you leave ash open for 15 mins to let some of that get red, or just let 5 inches of fresh cook on top at 1/2 or 3/4 of a turn? I expect no responses tonight, of course, but please when ya can.

Enjoy the holiday!


The pic was only meant to show how full the firebox is after I filled it - since we kept telling you to "fill 'er up!" I thought it would be helpful to see a full firebox. I can see how looking at that snapshot in time would cause a question or two with all the other info being pumped your way. Also, the flash on the camera washed out the red coals you could see through the black coal that has just been loaded. Here now is the rest of the story.....or the full sequence from the beginning. This is what works for me, it is not the definitive method, you will find what works best for you...that is a great thing about getting so many replies you can see what works for others and sample them to see what will work best in your setup.

First thing I did was start the coffee pot!
Then I went downstairs and I opened the ash pan door,
took the full ash pan that had been sitting next to the stove all night cooling out behind the garage and dumped it, (approx 3 minute round trip)
came back in and opened the spinner knob all the way and closed the ash pan door (Lisa previously pointed out the dust that happens if you don't do this)
shook down the stove until I saw a good amount of embers dropping
the coal left in the stove is burning brightly and was about 1/2 way up the firebrick - opened up the ash door once again
I filled it to the top of the brick in the back and sloped forward - then I took the pic
pulled the new coal away from covering the burning coal in front right corner, exposing bright red coals there
closed the loading door and set the kitchen timer for 7 minutes - leaving the ash door open
went upstairs and got cup of coffee...ate a donut....plugged camera into laptop and downloaded pic...kitchen timer dinged...
went back down and closed the spinner knob to about 2/3 turn and closed the ash door.
There were blue flames dancing across the entire coal bed at that point. Maybe 15 minutes total from when I first opened the ash door give or take a couple.

I watched for a few minutes to make sure the blue flames kept going. If they hadn't I would have opened the loading door carefully to get some over fire air to re-ignite them and see if they would stay. If they wouldn't stay I would open the ash door for another 4 or 5 minutes to see if I could get the blue flames to stick around a while. That is personal preference to control the mini explosions. I then covered over the exposed red coals with another small shovel of coal. When I was done I could see blue flames with a hint of the red coals peeking through the new coal on top.

As mentioned, layering more often with less coal than I did today will lessen the temp swings that occur from dumping a large amount of coal in the firebox. That is just another way to do it and I do that sometimes if I know I will be around all day to tend it. With the spent coal on the outer edges that you have you may need to layer a little to get the fire caught effectively before dumping a big load of coal in there, I don't know for sure.
Last edited by titleist1 on Sat Jan 01, 2011 12:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
titleist1
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Mag Stoker (old style) one in basement, one in workshop
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III on standby for long power outages
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite; Nut/Anthracite

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