Hello from Western Illinois!

Hello from Western Illinois!

PostBy: Danno77 On: Fri Jan 28, 2011 12:31 pm

HI all. I live in Western Illinois and I am rebuilding an antique (ish) pot bellied stove. I was totally set on burning some wood in it. It's purpose is to heat my "barn" occassionally, and I think that either wood or coal would work just fine for what i need it to do.

I currently burn about 3 cords a year in a woodstove for supplemental heat in my home, so I'm no stranger to processing wood. I just think it would be kinda neat to burn some coal in it.

I have obtained a source for the coal, and it's fairly close to my house, but they seem to be apprehensive (but not unwilling) to work with a small-time guy like myself.

here's a neat resource I found for anybody else who lives in Illinois and is interested in coal resources and quality. http://www.commerce.state.il.us/NR/rdon ... utline.pdf

I had a brief conversation via emails with the local mine and this is a copy of that exchange.

Ms. Robertson,
I found your contact information from the following document issued by
the OCD: (no need to repost that)

I live in Hamilton, IL and wish to obtain some coal for burning (hobby
purposes, mainly) in my antique wood/coal stove. I get blank stares
and odd looks when I ask around aout a source for coal, so I hope you can
help me. I live very close to Industry, IL, which appears to be home
to Black Nugget, LLC.

Do you know of a source where I can buy small amounts at a time,
preferably under one ton per order?
Thanks in advance,
Dan

Daniel,
Our mine in Industry, IL is the North Grindstone mine and the contract
miner is Black Nugget, LLC. We do sell stoker coal from our North
Grindstone Mine to the public for $60.00 per ton plus 6.75% tax. We
don't care if you want .25 ton or 25 tons, we will sell it to you, but
we would prefer you come into the mine with a semi truck or some
bigger vehicle other than a pick up truck.

Please contact me in advance at the numbers below if you are
interested and I will give you some specifics for when you come into the mine.

Thank you, Jennifer

Jennifer,
Is the preference of vehicle because of the way it has to be loaded? I
ask because I understand it's hard to dump into the back of a pickup.

The only option I have available (at this time) is to pull a gravity
wagon with the Pickup truck. if it's just a loading method concern, then
this might solve that problem. I've attached a picture of a gravity
wagon (not mine) to make it a little more clear about what I'm talking
about. usually rated for 5+tons.

Otherwise, I'll look into sharing a load with someone, cost
effectiveness of loading a semi with 1 ton or less isn't very good.

thanks,
Dan

Daniel,

We can try the gravity wagon and if we have problems we might ask you
not to return with it. It will be loaded with a front end loader, so we
shouldn't have problems, at least I would hope not.

99.9% of our vehicles in and out of the mine are semis and we don't want
to have trouble with the public and a smaller trucks coming into the
mine. We don't want to have a liability issue if one of the semis sends
another vehicle off the road because the semi is taking his/her half
down the middle of the road.

If you decide to get coal from us, please just be careful and be aware
of the semi trucks.

Also, if you need directions to the mine, please let me know and I can
e-mail them to you.

Thanks, Jennifer


Does that sound weird to anyone but me? I guess they are just working with larger consumers or something? Is there any advice that you all can give me before I proceed? Maybe I should just forget it? When i look at the cost of it, it really starts to make me think. I'm gonna estimate that a ton of coal just about equals a cord of wood in BTU content, well I pay anywhere from 100-135 for a cord (ok, let me say that I WOULD pay that locally, if i didn't process my own wood) so this is a very good price when you look at it for $ per BTU, right? maybe i'm looking at it all wrong.

advice or suggestions? i'm totally out of my comfort zone right now, but I've been here before with Wood burning stoves, so I'm not overwhelmed (yet).
Danno77
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Quincy Stove Manufacturing Co.

Re: Hello from Western Illinois!

PostBy: europachris On: Fri Jan 28, 2011 12:50 pm

That sounds normal to me for the mine. When I picked up my load at the Knighthawk Coal Creek Paum mine I had to read over 3 pages of safety Do's and Don'ts, sign some stuff, and then get a little sticker with the date punched. If I go back within 12 months, I just show my sticker and I'm good to go. If past 12 months, I have to do the drill again. Homer was the gent that helped me weigh in and load up and he was rather apologetic at having me go through all of it, but it's mandated by the gov't (I don't know if it's OSHA, MSHA, or who). I told him it was absolutely no problem and it covers my butt as well as theirs and I'd much rather have to sign a form or two than not have access to the coal.

I pulled up in a 6x12 U-haul utility trailer and they had no problem loading it using a VERY large front loader. The bucket was wider than the trailer was long :shock: but he only missed a little. :P 3500 pounds was about 2/3 bucket full.

There are VERY few mines that will (or can) deal with the public. Knighthawk's other mines don't even have people at the scales - it's all electronic and remote controlled from miles away - just one semi after another.

I'll have to check out this one you mention - it's a lot closer to me than Knighthawk - and maybe try a small load as a comparison.

Chris
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Re: Hello from Western Illinois!

PostBy: coal berner On: Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:08 pm

europachris wrote:That sounds normal to me for the mine. When I picked up my load at the Knighthawk Coal Creek Paum mine I had to read over 3 pages of safety Do's and Don'ts, sign some stuff, and then get a little sticker with the date punched. If I go back within 12 months, I just show my sticker and I'm good to go. If past 12 months, I have to do the drill again. Homer was the gent that helped me weigh in and load up and he was rather apologetic at having me go through all of it, but it's mandated by the gov't (I don't know if it's OSHA, MSHA, or who). I told him it was absolutely no problem and it covers my butt as well as theirs and I'd much rather have to sign a form or two than not have access to the coal.

I pulled up in a 6x12 U-haul utility trailer and they had no problem loading it using a VERY large front loader. The bucket was wider than the trailer was long :shock: but he only missed a little. :P 3500 pounds was about 2/3 bucket full.

There are VERY few mines that will (or can) deal with the public. Knighthawk's other mines don't even have people at the scales - it's all electronic and remote controlled from miles away - just one semi after another.

I'll have to check out this one you mention - it's a lot closer to me than Knighthawk - and maybe try a small load as a comparison.

Chris

Chris it would be MSHA that controls mining in the USA also most states also have a D.E.P. department that also as their own set of Rules & Regs that the mines have to follow and between both departments neither one has the same set of rules & regs to follow . Typical Government don't know what the right & left hand is doing not enough communication between the two Fed. or State.

http://www.msha.gov/
coal berner
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1986 Electric Furnace Man 520 DF
Stove/Furnace Make: Electric Furnace Man
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520


Re: Hello from Western Illinois!

PostBy: Freddy On: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:52 pm

If I were in your shoes I'd see if I could get my hands on some anthracite. It comes in 40 and 50 pound bags. Blaschak is a good name. Find a friend that is traveling by pickup truck from Northeast Pennsylvania to you & talk them into bringing as many bags as they can fit. Just a thought! Or.... plan a vacation & bring it back yourself!
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: Hello from Western Illinois!

PostBy: Berlin On: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:56 pm

I say go for it, they just don't want some fool to come in there and hold up production, cause harm to themselves or others, cause problems with the professional drivers etc. If you go just pay attention and don't do anything stupid, that's all they're worried about, i'm sure that if everything goes smoothly they'll be fine with you coming back again and again. As far as the loader thing, this isn't uncommon, they don't want to damage your pickup's paint etc. because likely all they have is a VERY large loader, not a "bobcat" etc. that will be able to load a pickup without spilling coal everywhere. you'll have no problem with your trailer getting loaded, I say go for it!
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: Hello from Western Illinois!

PostBy: europachris On: Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:03 pm

Freddy wrote:If I were in your shoes I'd see if I could get my hands on some anthracite. It comes in 40 and 50 pound bags. Blaschak is a good name. Find a friend that is traveling by pickup truck from Northeast Pennsylvania to you & talk them into bringing as many bags as they can fit. Just a thought! Or.... plan a vacation & bring it back yourself!


I was burning Blaschak before I made "The Big Switch" - I can get it locally. I love my stove shop - the owner is the nicest guy (Brad at Advanced Chimney Systems), but the price has just kept going up and up - 4 years ago it was $6/bag , then $6.50, $7.00, and now $7.50. I could justify it when natural gas was $1.30/therm, but now I'm paying $0.45/therm and burning anthracite is throwing money out the flue. Sh!t, I'm paying more to heat with $80/ton coal right now than I would with my gas furnace! But just wait .... I'll be the last one laughing when gas goes through the roof again (and it will).
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Re: Hello from Western Illinois!

PostBy: Danno77 On: Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:08 pm

europachris wrote:I'll have to check out this one you mention - it's a lot closer to me than Knighthawk - and maybe try a small load as a comparison.

Chris

Well, that settles it then. You head over there and work all the kinks out of the system for the small guys and I'll be by with a trailer after you have them "trained"...lol. A guy can dream, right?

Also, if you look at that document I linked to, it kinda indicates that all of the Bituminous in IL ranks about the same for AFT and consistently above about 1890... like pretty consistently around the 2000 range. Is that decent?
Danno77
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Quincy Stove Manufacturing Co.

Re: Hello from Western Illinois!

PostBy: Berlin On: Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:20 pm

It's ok, if you burn the fuel too hot, it WILL clinker. I don't want to give the impression that Illinois coal crap, it's not, it's high volitile low ignition temp and typical low coke button make it perfect for stoker use. If you can get it in larger sizes (the bigger the better) it can be good hand-firing coal -sooty yes- but, it's low coke button, low ignition temp, and high volitile nature makes it easy to start a fire, and, once you get the hang of it, it's pretty easy to burn. I've burned many tons of it when I lived in missouri.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: Hello from Western Illinois!

PostBy: catpowrd On: Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:58 am

I might be interested in heading there myself with a semi next fall. I like the price and it is the closest to me in WI, about 350 miles according to the computer. Does anyone have contact info and exact location?
catpowrd
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Royall
Stove/Furnace Model: 5250

Re: Hello from Western Illinois!

PostBy: Sting On: Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:41 am

Yes -- that's a lot closer to Wisconsin
Sting
 
Other Heating: OBSO Lennox Pulse "Air Scorcher" burning NG

Re: Hello from Western Illinois!

PostBy: europachris On: Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:06 am

catpowrd wrote:I might be interested in heading there myself with a semi next fall. I like the price and it is the closest to me in WI, about 350 miles according to the computer. Does anyone have contact info and exact location?


Ms. Jennifer Robertson, Customer Service Manager
Tri-County Coal LLC/Capitol Sales
Phone: 217-698-3380
Email: jrobertson@Springfieldcoal.com

It looks like the mine is here: North Grindstone Mine

The coal is being mined out of the Colchester seam and is a rank C bituminous. A little higher volatile content than the Southern Ill. coals and quite a bit higher moisture - 17 to 19%, so the heating value is less. But at $20 less per ton and half the distance away for me, it ends up being a much better deal. It will probably be a better stoker coal due to lower FSI and higher ash - it will form less coke and clinker better.
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Re: Hello from Western Illinois!

PostBy: Sting On: Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:47 am

you know -- now we are talking about a 6 hour round trip for me!

Image
Sting
 
Other Heating: OBSO Lennox Pulse "Air Scorcher" burning NG

Re: Hello from Western Illinois!

PostBy: europachris On: Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:37 pm

Sting wrote:you know -- now we are talking about a 6 hour round trip for me!


Yep - same here. As soon as I finish up my current load I need to design an area that will hold 4 or 5 tons at once and then go pick up a load for next winter.
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Re: Hello from Western Illinois!

PostBy: Sting On: Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:44 pm

I don't know why I am anguishing about this any further

If a cost per them of NG is about a buck -- by the time I get 10 ton on my yard Ill have 100 to 120 a ton invested - with my new reduced load that's about 100 bucks in the worst month savings

hummmmm -- there is that word "Savings"

now think about that - what is is going to cost to produce that "Savings"


yup -- I am back to conservation over conversion

but I bet I still vacillate occasionally
Image
Sting
 
Other Heating: OBSO Lennox Pulse "Air Scorcher" burning NG

Re: Hello from Western Illinois!

PostBy: Danno77 On: Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:54 pm

She gave me a different office number than the one listed above: (217)793-7443. I imagine both will work.
Danno77
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Quincy Stove Manufacturing Co.