WV Bit vs. PA Blaschak Anthracite in a WM stove

WV Bit vs. PA Blaschak Anthracite in a WM stove

PostBy: Smokeyja On: Sun Dec 25, 2011 7:26 am

The Warm Morning stove, designed to burn Bituminous coal. This may be the case but I find it to burn anthracite better.
Below is a short comparison of my experience of burning PA Blaschak Anthracite for the past month and switching to WV bituminous for an evening, overnight and a day:

*This is only my opinion and with another stove there may be different results. In no way shape or form is this information used to credit or discredit any company or the coal that it sells.


Blaschak Anthracite Pros:

- Cleaner to handle
- Cleaner to burn (no smoke)
- Easier to control (not temperamental)
- Reasonable price
- Requires no Barometric Damper to burn
- will burn overnight with no worries on a 12 hour schedule, easy
- Zero smell
- Can be stored indoors or outdoors without building anything for it. It is packed in Polyurethane bags 40lbs/bag
- Does not require much attention

Blaschak Anthracite Cons

- Harder to light
- Longer times for the coal to fire up to temperature from first fire
- a lot of ash
- clumps in the ash
- Must drive 2 hours to pick it up and can only haul 2400lbs at a time (this applies to me personally)

WV Bituminous Coal Pros

- Fast start up time
- easy to light
- lower flue pipe temps but higher stove temps evenly spread once the volatiles have burned off
- Can be delivered to me locally, sometimes even the same day (this applies to me personally)
- Very low ash
- Higher BTU's

WV Bituminous Coal Cons

- Dirty to handle
- smells bad while burning off volatiles
- produces grayish black smoke
- should be used with a baro unless you plan on sitting by it all day, for fear of over fire
- Temperamental and hard to wrangle a steady temperature for a while, while the volatiles burn off
- Must build a coal bin or shed if wanting to keep more than a few bags or by bulk (bulk is the only sensible option to buy at $.15/lbs vs. $5/20lbs bag.)
- Requires a fair amount of attention

If I left something out I will add it later but this is what I have found so far.

Here is how the two compare price wise:

PA Blaschak Anthracite - $6.75/40lbs bag (price breaks offered by the ton)
- Prices are from WoodStoves Unlimited Culpeper VA. http://www.woodstovesunlimited.com/

WV Bituminous Coal - $5.00/20lbs Bag $0.15/lbs Bulk (price breaks offered by the ton)
- Prices are from Martin Farms New Kent VA.
http://www.martincoal.com
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
Smokeyja
 
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood #6 baseheater
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Nut

Re: WV Bit vs. PA Blaschak Anthracite in a WM stove

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:00 am

Perhaps you are comparing what many consider to be the Cadillac of anthracite vs. a bituminous that may not also be considered to be at the Cadillac level. Is your bit coal from a good quality Eastern Kentucky source?
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Stockton Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (13 KW)

Re: WV Bit vs. PA Blaschak Anthracite in a WM stove

PostBy: Smokeyja On: Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:14 am

lsayre wrote:Perhaps you are comparing what many consider to be the Cadillac of anthracite vs. a bituminous that may not also be considered to be at the Cadillac level. Is your bit coal from a good quality Eastern Kentucky source?


Well WV stands for West Virginia, so no.

here is a few specs on it:
13,131 BTU / lb
8.64% Ash
.77% Sulf (low value)

It's stove bituminous BTW. My biggest complaint is having to wait for the Volatiles to burn off before I can set the stove. It is very sensitive and wants to burn ultra hot with the slightest adjustment of a damper. It heats well and puts off more BTU's, faster, just like most good WV coals typically do. The reason I say that is my father gave me a book on steam regarding everything to do with producing steam and power and it has everything you want to know about coal, including specs on the regions the coal comes from. Now the supplier of this West Virginia coal wouldn't give me the mine he gets it from but It does seem like good coal. The major pro to this stuff is the very very low ash! I am amazed at the little bit of ash it produces.

This wasn't meant to be a comparison of the best vs. the best. I was just comparing one suppliers coal to another regarding my experience and grumbles lol
Smokeyja
 
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood #6 baseheater
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Nut

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Re: WV Bit vs. PA Blaschak Anthracite in a WM stove

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:38 am

The WV bit specs appear to be pretty good. Does it swell up a lot and/or form loads of clinkers?
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Stockton Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (13 KW)

Re: WV Bit vs. PA Blaschak Anthracite in a WM stove

PostBy: Smokeyja On: Sun Dec 25, 2011 10:18 am

lsayre wrote:The WV bit specs appear to be pretty good. Does it swell up a lot and form loads of clinkers?


It "melts" together a little bit but I haven't come across any clinkers yet. I poke at it and it all seems to break apart easy. I finally think I have a hold of it pretty well. Now that it has all burned off the volatiles and full to the top it burns really well and slow. If I could get over the smoke and the smell when adding new coal, it would be perfect for burning if I had a Baro. And I can tell the difference in more BTUs/lbs of this bit vs. the anthracite. I am going to finish out the next bag throughout tonight into tomorrow. In reality I probably would get more heat for my buck with this Bit, but I'll have to deal with a few negatives. Maybe I'll mix the two ... I still am going to buy a load of this bit for blacksmithing. This same coal is delivered to quite a few smiths.

Some of the control issues may also be to my lack of long term experience.
Smokeyja
 
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood #6 baseheater
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Nut

Re: WV Bit vs. PA Blaschak Anthracite in a WM stove

PostBy: rockwood On: Sun Dec 25, 2011 1:20 pm

Is this the size soft coal you're using?
Coal Photo Competition
If so, then I think that's most of the problem. Small sized bituminous coal can be burned in a hand fired stove but it will be harder to control and I find the burn times to be shorter. With larger coal, the volatile matter will distill more slowly instead of all at once resulting in more even heat output though the burn cycle. If that is the average size this particular dealer has, then I would look for a supplier that sells larger average sizes and give that a try.
rockwood
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Stokermatic coal furnace
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Rockwood Stoveworks Circulator
Baseburners & Antiques: Malleable/Monarch Range
Coal Size/Type: Soft coal: Lump and stoker (slack coal)

Re: WV Bit vs. PA Blaschak Anthracite in a WM stove

PostBy: Smokeyja On: Sun Dec 25, 2011 1:50 pm

rockwood wrote:Is this the size soft coal you're using?
Coal Photo Competition
If so, then I think that's most of the problem. Small sized bituminous coal can be burned in a hand fired stove but it will be harder to control and I find the burn times to be shorter. With larger coal, the volatile matter will distill more slowly instead of all at once resulting in more even heat output though the burn cycle. If that is the average size this particular dealer has, then I would look for a supplier that sells larger average sizes and give that a try.


That's anthracite stove coal in my hod. The bit is stove coal size as well but it's actually a little larger than what you see in the hod, with a few bricks in there. If I go any bigger I would only fit a few bricks in the little warm morning. I think part of my problem was feeding the fire too much bituminous too quick. I will start slower next time I start a bit fire. I have over 3000lbs of blaschak anthracite right now so in good for burning the nut and stove hard coal. I'll probably buy a load of this bituminous for all my smithing.
Smokeyja
 
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood #6 baseheater
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Nut

Re: WV Bit vs. PA Blaschak Anthracite in a WM stove

PostBy: fastcat On: Sun Dec 25, 2011 10:32 pm

Unless I am doing my math wrong ANT is cheaper than BIT by your figures. ANT $6.75 for 40# = $.17 and the Bit $5.00 for 20# = $.25
Ant no muss no fuss no smoke no smells. :D


Smokeyja wrote:The Warm Morning stove, designed to burn Bituminous coal. This may be the case but I find it to burn anthracite better.
Below is a short comparison of my experience of burning PA Blaschak Anthracite for the past month and switching to WV bituminous for an evening, overnight and a day:

*This is only my opinion and with another stove there may be different results. In no way shape or form is this information used to credit or discredit any company or the coal that it sells.


Blaschak Anthracite Pros:

- Cleaner to handle
- Cleaner to burn (no smoke)
- Easier to control (not temperamental)
- Reasonable price
- Requires no Barometric Damper to burn
- will burn overnight with no worries on a 12 hour schedule, easy
- Zero smell
- Can be stored indoors or outdoors without building anything for it. It is packed in Polyurethane bags 40lbs/bag
- Does not require much attention

Blaschak Anthracite Cons

- Harder to light
- Longer times for the coal to fire up to temperature from first fire
- a lot of ash
- clumps in the ash
- Must drive 2 hours to pick it up and can only haul 2400lbs at a time (this applies to me personally)

WV Bituminous Coal Pros

- Fast start up time
- easy to light
- lower flue pipe temps but higher stove temps evenly spread once the volatiles have burned off
- Can be delivered to me locally, sometimes even the same day (this applies to me personally)
- Very low ash
- Higher BTU's

WV Bituminous Coal Cons

- Dirty to handle
- smells bad while burning off volatiles
- produces grayish black smoke
- should be used with a baro unless you plan on sitting by it all day, for fear of over fire
- Temperamental and hard to wrangle a steady temperature for a while, while the volatiles burn off
- Must build a coal bin or shed if wanting to keep more than a few bags or by bulk (bulk is the only sensible option to buy at $.15/lbs vs. $5/20lbs bag.)
- Requires a fair amount of attention

If I left something out I will add it later but this is what I have found so far.

Here is how the two compare price wise:

PA Blaschak Anthracite - $6.75/40lbs bag (price breaks offered by the ton) - Prices are from WoodStoves Unlimited Culpeper VA. http://www.woodstovesunlimited.com/

WV Bituminous Coal - $5.00/20lbs Bag $0.15/lbs Bulk (price breaks offered by the ton)
- Prices are from Martin Farms New Kent VA.
http://www.martincoal.com
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
fastcat
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Nut/Stove Mix

Re: WV Bit vs. PA Blaschak Anthracite in a WM stove

PostBy: Smokeyja On: Sun Dec 25, 2011 11:25 pm

No, your math is correct fastcat. I think the supplier is charging to bag the stuff ? Bit doesn't normally come bagged from what I gather. It is slightly Cheaper if you buy bulk loose @$.15/lbs but not much cheaper. It does put out more BTUs/lbs though.
I'm happy with blaschak coal and their prices. Not to crazy about traveling 2 hours and only carrying 2400lbs but it is what it is. After I got a grasp on burning this bit coal, it did heat very well and had long burns , infant I'm still burning off the 40lbs that was put in, in between 1700 yesterday and 22:23 today. I need bituminous for smithing anyways but I am just wondering about some other cost options and bit coals. I really want to compare this WV stuff to the Kentucky long burn of I can get my hands on it.
Smokeyja
 
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood #6 baseheater
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Nut

Re: WV Bit vs. PA Blaschak Anthracite in a WM stove

PostBy: fastcat On: Mon Dec 26, 2011 2:06 am

I see Martin Farms sells in bulk so if you can find some place to keep it under cover I would imagin that the cost would be much cheaper. Kentucky coal is going to drive the price back up because of the hauling that would have to take place. Would the btu,s be any differant between the two? How much would you burn a year with the smithing and home heat? With Ant I burn 5 ton a year heating 2500 sq ft Oct 15 to May 1st here in upstate New York, just a little colder here than where you are I would think. Then again this year you might be colder because all the cold and snow is south, we are still in the mid to upper 30s low 40s for the end of Dec which is unheard of up here.
fastcat
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Nut/Stove Mix

Re: WV Bit vs. PA Blaschak Anthracite in a WM stove

PostBy: fastcat On: Mon Dec 26, 2011 2:07 am

I see Martin Farms sells in bulk so if you can find some place to keep it under cover I would imagin that the cost would be much cheaper. Kentucky coal is going to drive the price back up because of the hauling that would have to take place. Would the btu,s be any differant between the two? How much would you burn a year with the smithing and home heat? With Ant I burn 5 ton a year heating 2500 sq ft Oct 15 to May 1st here in upstate New York, just a little colder here than where you are I would think. Then again this year you might be colder because all the cold and snow is south, we are still in the mid to upper 30s low 40s for the end of Dec which is unheard of up here.
fastcat
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Nut/Stove Mix

Re: WV Bit vs. PA Blaschak Anthracite in a WM stove

PostBy: Smokeyja On: Mon Dec 26, 2011 3:07 am

We are warmer this year too. I hate to admit it but I think this bituminous does burn better in the stove after all. I stayed over my folks house all night and was worried that the stove would be close to going out. It was but I broke some glowing bit chunks with the poker, threw two small pieces of fat lighter, the ignoghted within seconds, threw the last 1/4 of the bag of bituminous and it lit right up, burning off the volatiles. I cannot do that with anthracite when it has gotten so low in the stove.
I guess I spoke too soon about thinking the anthracite burned better in this stove. Now I still stand behind all of the pros and cons but I have a better grasp on controlling the bituminous fire though.

I am heating 1286sq ft. , got some drafts here and there. I have 3.625 acres and I'm building a coal shed to hold bulk and my bagged stuff, on an old concrete foundation. If I buy a good amount he's already said we can work something out. Although I still wonder, of this WV bit burns well and is not the best, then this Kentucky long burn stuff should be amazing. I need to get my hands on some to try. It would be cool to be able to try out coal from every single mine in the US and report my findings, kind of like a consumer reports of coal. The Anthracite will serve me well for now. It's still cleaner and smells better compared to bit. I have thought about burning bit and ant mixed. Using the bit to get a good coal fire and topping it off with anthracite and when I need a quick pick me up, throw some more bit on the fire.
Smokeyja
 
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood #6 baseheater
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Nut

Re: WV Bit vs. PA Blaschak Anthracite in a WM stove

PostBy: SteveZee On: Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:51 am

If you look around the bituminous section you'll find allot of guys who swear by it. Berlin, the moderator is a great source of info on bit coals. Based on the test results posted by your supplier, that looks to be pretty good bit coal.I'm not sure that kentucky will be all that must better then that. You are just getting used to the real differnces between the two which are significant. As Rockwood stated, bigger is better with bit. The largest size you can fit through the door. It's a "bit" like wood (pun intended) ;)
SteveZee
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Glenwood Modern Oak 116 & Glenwood 208 C Range

Re: WV Bit vs. PA Blaschak Anthracite in a WM stove

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Dec 26, 2011 11:23 am

The cost of Bit coal at the mine/breakers is about half of Anthracite.
Most Anthraciteis $170 -$200 per ton,
Most Bit coal is less than $90/ton.

Transportation of coal is not cheap, but bagged anthracite is the most expensive way to buy it, and yet
your cost of Bit coal is higher??
Somebody is making a lot of money here, and it isn't the mine or breaker.

I'd look seriously into finding a different trucker/coal supplier. Unless you are willing to pay for the convenience he provides.

I used to go get a couple of dump trailers of coal each year, but have since just bought a semi trailer load, the transportation
costs were the same, if you count your time and wear and fuel on your truck and trailer.

5 years ago I could buy anthracite at the breaker for $130/ton, or Bit coal for $65/ton.

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

Re: WV Bit vs. PA Blaschak Anthracite in a WM stove

PostBy: Smokeyja On: Mon Dec 26, 2011 12:16 pm

LsFarm wrote:The cost of Bit coal at the mine/breakers is about half of Anthracite.
Most Anthraciteis $170 -$200 per ton,
Most Bit coal is less than $90/ton.

Transportation of coal is not cheap, but bagged anthracite is the most expensive way to buy it, and yet
your cost of Bit coal is higher??
Somebody is making a lot of money here, and it isn't the mine or breaker.

I'd look seriously into finding a different trucker/coal supplier. Unless you are willing to pay for the convenience he provides.

I used to go get a couple of dump trailers of coal each year, but have since just bought a semi trailer load, the transportation
costs were the same, if you count your time and wear and fuel on your truck and trailer.

5 years ago I could buy anthracite at the breaker for $130/ton, or Bit coal for $65/ton.

Greg L


The problem is the lowest amount of truck load I can get is like 22.5 tons and at this moment I can't front the cash for that type of load. I wouldn't mind a 5 ton drop or even a 10 ton drop at the moment. It's not a matter of convenience for more but a matter of practicality. Even though coal is trucked and trained through and to Richmond VA at a very high rate, you just can't get any of it. It's either going to the power plant, factories or to sit in Chesapeake/Hampton to be shipped to China. Who am I to them? Someone without a big enough wallet. So they ain't gonna stop for me ;)

I agree with you from what I've seen I just need to find a coal company with good coal that's willing to give a rats ass about Central VA coal burners. I applaud Martin Farms for being the only ones so far to offer any kind of coal service even of they are a bit high on the price list. They do have good lower sulfur bit though, so I take that into consideration. The customer service is pretty good as well. Preston from Martin farms said " if I bring you a load and you don't like how it burns, I'll give you all your money back and pick it back up." that's pretty cool if you ask me.

You know my little joke earlier about wanting to be the consumer reports of coal was kind of serious. Maybe I can get a few bags of coal from every coal co. I can and then try them out and compare. Then I can really see what is worth what. I have only had experience with 3 Different coals so far: old power plant bit nut coal from an old overturned train car, blaschak anthracite, and this WV Bit. maybe as more folks switch back to coal, the demand will rise in my area and prices and availability will become better .
Smokeyja
 
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood #6 baseheater
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Nut

Visit Hitzer Stoves