Lighting nut coal

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: gerard On: Sun Dec 26, 2010 6:07 pm

Think of it as a nuclear reaction that needs a critical mass to keep going. If the temp drops below that critical point, it goes out. Not sure how deep your beds is but nut likes a deep bed. My method has been to line the bottom of the grate with 2-3 inches of coal. Start a wood fire on top of that (old scrap 2x4 works great) and as the wood fire gets going, slowly add coal on top. I keep my ash door open while starting because you want thengs burning hot and fast. A couple of 2x4's usualy have enough mass to get things going before they burn up. A single bigger log in the middle won't hurt either. Once you see red coal you can keep adding coal to the max level. I keep the ash door open until I see the whole bed starting to catch, then I close it and go away until spring. Takes me about 15-25 minutes.
gerard
 
Stove/Furnace Make: yukon dual fuel
Stove/Furnace Model: husky

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: SMITTY On: Sun Dec 26, 2010 7:00 pm

I think 10 lbs. might be too much for the first layer. I only toss about 4 shovelfulls on for the first layer ... and it's a small shovel.
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: Poconoeagle On: Sun Dec 26, 2010 7:13 pm

hmm my coal hod holds bout 30 # of nut and 1/3 of that just covers the grates in the kodiak currently burning ;)

try the cowboy or fatwood method coldcoal
Poconoeagle
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Buckwalter & Co. , EFM520
Stove/Furnace Model: No. 28 Glenwood 1880, Alaska

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Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: coldcoal On: Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:12 pm

Poconoeagle wrote:
coal like thick! deep! the air rushes around each nugget up , up, up, thru the layers thus drawing vital oxygen thru the thick deep bed.....



makes sense...

SMITTY wrote:I think 10 lbs. might be too much for the first layer. I only toss about 4 shovelfulls on for the first layer ... and it's a small shovel.


makes sense too, so which is it? I would think just a layer, and 10 pounds btw is one layer in this big ol stove, and let it cook and add to it like pocono said. This indeed goes against the 'deep' idea. I mean It has never lit for me yet so I don't know if one lit piece even lights another, but I would assume there's some spreading. All I got was red glow soon out, white crust around cooled coal later, cracks in half easily.

So, just to fill ya in on my angst here, this all happened as I decided to buy bulk wood. That is to say since I like to use an axe and chop (great workout) I bought 3 foot stumps, a cords worth, cheap! All rotten, crumbled to the blow, nothing burns. He vanished since, no calls back, after saying he would be here 4 days ago to replace. Since then I have been living on downed trees and rotten wood and radiators. THEN, since it is a coal stove, I decided to get risky even without a carbon detector and try it. The rest you have seen today, lol, and all because the years first snow storm is here. Well I can tell ya this, radiators don't cool this snow covered house! I never had the stove off in my years here to see this, now I see this, and it's bone chilling! (wood windows)

So now I need the forum pyro/scientist. With no cowboy coal, good hardwood, torch, or kingsford... what would you do?!?

Thermite would burn a hole right thru the bottom of the stove, and I have no shavings to make it anyway, so something less intense perhaps. Mix sawdust, wax, tobasco sauce... c'mon, there must be something!
coldcoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harman
Stove/Furnace Model: 3 warped grated useless beast

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: Richard S. On: Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:20 pm

When you get to this point you should stack it on:

Image

You're not going to smother it, it may take a long time for it to start burning once you stack it in there but you have to have patience.

coldcoal wrote: The difference this time is I'm not stirring anything .


You never stir coal when trying to light it, don't even look at it funny. ;)

My firebricks are almost to the top of stove, taller than the front door, so 3 inches or so?


You want to get as much as you can n there within reason, obviously you don;t want to stack it up against the glass. Look at the picture smitty posted:

Image



coldcoal wrote:I have no CO detector, probably saved my life since it didn't light! (Another plus of wood)


Wood gives off CO too, anything that burns give off CO including natural gas and oil. The specific issue with coal is it produces fly ash and this will settle on any horizontal surfaces like in the flue pipe and the bottom of the chimney. This has to be cleaned out, how often depends but most people go the entire season... others have to do it once a month.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: Richard S. On: Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:24 pm

coldcoal wrote:
makes sense too, so which is it?


You need a thinner layer to start, once it's lit or reloading fill it to max.


THEN, since it is a coal stove, I decided to get risky even without a carbon detector and try it.


There is no particular CO risk with coal with proper maintenance cleaning the fly ash out, matter of fact it's the safest fuel you can use bar none. It doesn't explode, it doesn't easily burn and it most certainly isn;t going to cause a chimney fire like wood.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: labman On: Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:29 pm

These guys on here helped me get past this stage. I use cowboy charcoal with some lighter fluid. 5 min. and add some coal. works every time
labman
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: harman mk II
Stove/Furnace Make: harman
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Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: SMITTY On: Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:33 pm

Just to clarify -- I didn't mean to imply that Poconoeagle is doing it wrong .... he's a vet burner and has been on here for a long time. What I should have said was ... you can try layering LESS on each time to see if that works. Whether that's 3 lbs. or 30 lbs. you need to find what works for you. Every stove & every chimney is different, so what works for one may not work for another.

Without charcoal and just wood, the only thing I can recommend is get that wood fire rip snorting hot ... and burn enough of it so that you have several inches of hot coals on the grates. Don't try to throw coal on while the wood is flaming -- better to wait until it's burned down to solid red coals, THEN put layers of coal on.
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: coldcoal On: Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:36 pm

Richard S. wrote:When you get to this point you should stack it on:

Image

You're not going to smother it,


I added more there, a layer with spaces, not a stack. BUT this was too weak a fire anyway due to what I'm burning. I know what you have to do. You need a wood fire that is self sustaining. I.e. ash door can be closed, like you''re just using it to heat, as it keeps the stove above 350 steadily. Then you sneak in the coals and open ash door and get the caught in the inferno. Then I can see thick stacking working, or any layering. Making that wood fire with downed softwood is the issue, so I have to chop up a piece of furniture or something for that, no spare 2x4's around.

Where this differs from what I read on E-how, and even here in some cases, is it's is a far cry from "use kindling to start a fire, that can be sticks, newspapers, cardboard". In fact it should say "Start raging grand hardwood fire full steam, add coal once sustaining for 20 minutes, open ash door". That's the reality here. My kingsford attempt was the best, but I didn't have enough for a whole layer, and yeah like wood I stirred it to make it spread. I did see 2 blue flames then though.
coldcoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harman
Stove/Furnace Model: 3 warped grated useless beast

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: PC 12-47E On: Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:39 pm

coldcoal wrote:Smitty, yeah I had kingsford in there, it lit! But would not light the coals, so not so easy. I think a propane torch might do it, but that's about it. Just as well, I have no CO detector, probably saved my life since it didn't light! (Another plus of wood)


Many forum members have presented you with several ways to get your coal stove up and heating your house...........
1) Its not going to start with several handfuls of wet sticks from the back yard.
2) Give the propane torch a try.....but I have gone down that road..... :? :(
PC 12-47E
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Estate Heatrola, Jotul 507

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: coldcoal On: Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:41 pm

SMITTY wrote:
Without charcoal and just wood, the only thing I can recommend is get that wood fire rip snorting hot ... and burn enough of it so that you have several inches of hot coals on the grates. Don't try to throw coal on while the wood is flaming -- better to wait until it's burned down to solid red coals, THEN put layers of coal on.


Yes agreed, you should see the 20 foot branches I broke up to make that last fire though, but yes I see that as the next step in the morning worse case. Softwood doesn't ember right though, you have a small window of hot embers even with a stove full, I think that's the biggest issue. I'm looking more into what's around in the house to burn at this point. Something must be axe-able.

8-)
coldcoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harman
Stove/Furnace Model: 3 warped grated useless beast

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: titleist1 On: Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:47 pm

I'm wondering if your gasket around the loading door is letting in too much air above the fire and that is what is killing the coal fire. Wood wouldn't care about that over fire air, but coal certainly would.

And by the way, you have a Mark series Harman stove, I didn't see where anyone else had mentioned that. If you have 3 grates it is a Mark III, if two grates either a Mark I or II. There should be a UL plate on the rear of the stove with that info on it.
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: Poconoeagle On: Sun Dec 26, 2010 9:13 pm

chairs! the legs of chairs burn good!! ya dont use them while your standing by the stove shivering ! and then the table legs! they burn good too cause eventually ya end up on the floor in a fetal position and it much easier to get to the sugar bowl on the table if its at floor level! :D

just kidding but at least you got to see a blue lady or two! that enough to keep going.!

you will succeed for sure. maybe a neighbor has some charcoal???? :shock: 8-)
Poconoeagle
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Buckwalter & Co. , EFM520
Stove/Furnace Model: No. 28 Glenwood 1880, Alaska

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: Hambden Bob On: Sun Dec 26, 2010 9:26 pm

Oh My God.....Pocono,you are the Wild-Man ! But,really,there's got to be hardwood scrap in the garage,the barn,the basement,hell,check the attic. Check your outlet pipe into the thimble of the chimney,check the draft control on the door,is the chimney clear? Do you have a bernzomatic torch? Is your coal Wet/Frozen? Are you half frozen? Just what is going on there? Stay with us,and we'll stay with you ! :o
Hambden Bob
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman 1998 Magnum Stoker
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Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: titleist1 On: Sun Dec 26, 2010 9:30 pm

The heck with the table and chair legs....I'd start with the Christmas tree!! :) :)
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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