Run of Mine Coal, What Should I Do to It?

PostBy: stipton On: Tue Aug 28, 2007 2:57 pm

.75 cents for a 1 1/4" split, 4 1/2" x 9 1/2" just uptown. Now if I can get out of the office to go pick up a couple of dozen. :wink:

Thanks coaledsweat!


PostBy: stipton On: Tue Aug 28, 2007 3:13 pm

Just got off the phone with my ceramics guy and he is hooking me up with some 14" x 14" x 3/4" plates for just being his buddy. Gotta love buddies. I will mess around with fitting it in the firebox and post some more pics later on.

I better do some work now.


PostBy: coaledsweat On: Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:54 pm

That stuff is probably better @ that thickness because of your grates. They may crack over time but as long as everything stays in place they should be fine even with cracks. Just change them if they start to fall apart. The firebrick at the front and rear of my boiler get changed every other year as they get banged around by the grates.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

PostBy: stipton On: Wed Aug 29, 2007 3:18 pm

Picked up the 14"x14" plates today, I think they just might to the trick. I will play with them this evening. High quality grade silica, fired at 2,500 degrees (I think that is what he said).

Hey Greg, I saw on another post where you recommended to another member about getting a fine tooth pitchfork to sift out the fines. I found this at Tractor Supply. Metal head and wood handle for $30. I bet that will do a good job.

Take care.


PostBy: LsFarm On: Wed Aug 29, 2007 5:56 pm

Yep, that would do a very good job, Just keep the fines [sand-like coal] in a separate pile, and you can either use the paper bag trick I described, or shovel it in on one end or one side if the fire, just don't cover the whole fire, it will block all airflow and smothe the fire.

An ocasional bag full or shovel full will burn OK, but will stick together into a lump and require a whack with a poker or garden hoe to break it up into smaller chunks to burn well.

Greg L

I think you will find that buying the sized coal is easier than sifting the 'run-of-the-mine' stuff. But.. you may find it works fine in your stove, it was a lot of extra work for mine.

Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Sifting Coal

PostBy: Dan McCartney On: Thu Aug 30, 2007 4:20 pm


Whatever LSFarm says, you can take as Gospel. He knows just about everything there is to know about burning coal and all the apparatuses that goes with it. His mechanical and technical experience is vast, and he is always willing to share. He has helped me on more occasions than I can recall. I do have some experience with similar coal as you have acquired; from softball to sand size, and plenty of stones mixed in. I can't complain because it was free, but I quickly found that the gravel jammed my rocking grates and the sandy coal would make a molten, gooey blanket and smother the fire. I now sift it. I sift it through half inch screens dry, and then drop the whole sifter in a tub of water and sift it again. This gets it very clean, and also exposes the stones so they can be picked out. Sounds like a lot of work, but my young sons and I actually enjoy it. We have built larger sifters and have our process more stream lined for this season. Good Luck. Dan in Toledo.
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Dan McCartney
Stove/Furnace Make: Lopi stove and old ARCO Boiler

PostBy: LsFarm On: Fri Aug 31, 2007 9:29 pm

Thank you Dan, those are very kind comments, but I must dispute them some. I pay close attention to what is going on during my coal burning experiences and share my mistakes and my wins with everyone who might benefit from my experiences.

I certainly don't know everything about burning coal, but I have because of several mistakes or errors in judgement burnt some really nasty bituminous, some good bituminous, mixed in some anthracite and also some wood. I've burnt hand loaded fires, and two types of stoker fires, soon a third type of stoker boiler.

Through all my experiments I've bounced my ideas off many other members on this forum, and have learned a great deal from sharing ideas and experiences. This forum is a wealth of knowledge, I and a few other forum members are good at helping others, just as I was helped when I first tried burning coal.

What I am is very willing to try to explain as clearly and completely as possible what to do or not to do. Sometimes this makes for some pretty long posts and lots of editing. And of course some constructive critisism from forum members as well.

I'm still going through a long learning cycle, this fall and winter with yet another different boiler that will hopefully cut my coal consumption in half.

Dan I'm pretty sure you could contribute a lot to the bituminous discussion, now that you have your stove tuned in very well. And once the Arcola boiler is up and running we all want to hear how it does and what it takes to get it to burn well. We all benefit from sharing.

Thanks, Greg L.

Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Only thing I'll ad...

PostBy: drujinin On: Mon Sep 17, 2007 9:20 pm

is that you said its an outside wood boiler, then you mention a 2 year or 3 year plan. I assume you mean 'Warranty". When a plate cracks and it starts leaking and you call them to come and fix it under warranty, DON"T tell them you burn coal in it as it may void the warranty under the excuses of acidic corrosion and concentrated heat. Not only will you be mad that they won't fix it for free, but your good wife will be twice as mad because the warranty not being honored and she will be cold!
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hearth-Mate Series 2480
Coal Size/Type: Nut