How to light a Godin

How to light a Godin

PostBy: vermontgodin On: Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:46 pm

How do I get a Petit Godin to light?
This my second attempt at trying to use this stove. I tried twenty years ago and eventually gave up thinking that the problem might have been insufficient draft. I was running it into a chimney with a 12 x 12 flue that also had an oil burner(switched off) connected to it. I've now moved it to Vermont, am running it into an 8 inch clay thimble that enters a clay flue of approximately 10 x 10 inches. The primary use of the flue is stack for an Elm woodstove that is heating much of the houes. The entry point for the Elm is 4 feet lower than that for the Godin and on the other side of the chimney.

The coal I tried this week was bagged coal from twenty years ago that has sat in the cellar. It is the consistency of well crushed stone and slightly larger thana raisen. I've tried laying a bed of coal at maybe 3/4 inch height and the lighting a wood fire above. That didn't work so I tried lighting a wood fire and then dropping some coal on top of the red embers. Nothing has worked so far. I'm wondering if I should use larger size coal and that the small size is blocking good airflow or could it be that I am missing some critical piece such as a baffle or whatever.

I read on the Forum how easy these things are to light, but in my case the godin will not ignite the coal.
vermontgodin
 
Stove/Furnace Make: petit godin
Stove/Furnace Model: petit

Re: How to light a Godin

PostBy: freetown fred On: Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:53 pm

Not an expert, but common sense tells me you are headed in the right direction coal size wise. I beleive most use nut/stove size in your set up. Pix of your stove innards would be real helpful as far as a possible missing part. By the way, welcome to the FORUM my friend. There are other Godin users that I'm sure will chime in.
Last edited by freetown fred on Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix

Re: How to light a Godin

PostBy: Rob R. On: Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:12 pm

vermontgodin wrote:It is the consistency of well crushed stone and slightly larger thana raisen.


That sounds like rice or buckwheat size coal, both of which are too small to burn properly in your stove. Get some pea or nut size coal from your local dealer and try again. You were on the right track, a healthy wood fire is a good way to start.

Where do you live in VT?
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

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Re: How to light a Godin

PostBy: vermontgodin On: Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:52 pm

To: Rob R and Freetown Fred, Thanks for the quick response. I'll pick up some nut size coal and give it another try next week. We're in Morgan.
vermontgodin
 
Stove/Furnace Make: petit godin
Stove/Furnace Model: petit

Re: How to light a Godin

PostBy: KaptJaq On: Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:00 pm

The Godin manuals suggest pea size if you have a strong draft and nut size if you have a weaker draft. Rice and buckwheat will block the air flow and fall through the shaker grate. Are all the grates in place and intact? Can you post a picture looking down from the fill door and in from the ash door? There are some pictures of mine in this thread: now I got my Godin

What type pipe do you have from the stove to the thimble? How long is it? How strong is your draft? Will it pull the flame of a match into the stove with the ash door open and no fire in the stove?

I usually start mine with some wads of newspaper on the bottom, a layer of small to medium kindling splits on top of that, then about 5 to 10 pounds of nut on top of the kindling. I'll light the paper and leave the ash door open a crack. The kindling gets the coal burning pretty quickly. Once the coal is started I close the ash door and open the primary air spinner a few turns. I'll add about 5 to 10 pounds every 20 minutes or so until I have the load at the level I want. After that I slowly adjust the spinner down to get the burn level I need.

What is the model number of your Godin? 3720? 3730? There should be a plate on the bottom back of the cylinder with the model number. It is also cast on the inside of the top ornamental cover.

KaptJaq
KaptJaq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Godin 3721 Le Grand Rond
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Nut

Re: How to light a Godin

PostBy: franco b On: Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:46 pm

Use nut size. The front grate allows the combustion air to bypass the coal rather than going up through the bed of burning coal. This limits the draft until you get coal loaded above that front grate. Once you do, it will burn fine.
franco b
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: V ermont Castings 2310, Franco Belge 262
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Modern Oak 114
Coal Size/Type: nut and pea

Re: How to light a Godin

PostBy: carlherrnstein On: Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:02 am

You might try to build a thick bed 4"-6" of wood coals then lay 1"-2" on coal on top of this bed. I bet you are burning anthracite cause bituminous catches fire easy iv done it with cardboard before.
carlherrnstein
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: combustioneer model 77B
Coal Size/Type: pea stoker/Ohio bituminous

Re: How to light a Godin

PostBy: vermontgodin On: Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:25 am

This is a really active forum. You're all being so helpful, but at the moment I'm in CT and won't be in Vermont wrestling with the Godin until the end of next week. I'll be buying a bag of nut size coal and I'll try some of the recommendations. The draft does seem adequate when I apply a match to light newspaper, and a fire of wood kindling seems to be easy enough to start. I'll get the model # off the plate that I have seen there and enter it in a subsequent session. One question I do have concerns the shaker push/pull lever; it has worn a groove below the dime sized hole that the knob seems to have been sized for. As a result the dime sized hole is open and I can't get the knob to park itself in that hole. Due to the difficulty I was having lighting the coal, I tried plugging that dime sized hole with a wadded paper towel to see if it made a difference. It didn't. Again, thanks to everyone for all the information. I'll try the suggestions next week.
vermontgodin
 
Stove/Furnace Make: petit godin
Stove/Furnace Model: petit

Re: How to light a Godin

PostBy: nortcan On: Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:46 pm

Hi vermontgodin and welcome on the forum.
Having some photos showing you stove, the insallation and the shaker hole...could help for better answers.
I found a very efficient and simple method to start a fire in my Golden. I place some newspaper on the grate then 2 or 3 slices of eco-logs or you can take small hard wood pieces, then add some charcoal balls around and a couple handful of nut anthracite over that. Open the ash pit door and air control fully wide and lit the paper... When you get the fire going well, start to put some anthracite over the fire, just about one inch at the time. repeat one more time, take your time for these operations. Wait untill you get the blue flames then fill the stove to the top of the fire bricks liner. After about 5 minutes, clode the ash pit door and adjust the air damper to the wanted heat output.
Many other methods can do the job. Take the one you like and keep it.
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nortcan
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Stuart,Peterson/ Grander
Stove/Furnace Model: Sunnyside/ Golden Bride

Re: How to light a Godin

PostBy: ringer19547 On: Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:27 pm

Hello there vtgodin.

I have a Godin 3721 and use charcoal to start it. Put dozen or so self lighting briquettes in a pile towards the front of the stove, open the front door a crack, light, wait for a good draft (you'll hear it), cover with coal from above and your off to the races. Wait about 20 minutes and gradually add more coal. Don't add to much coal initially or you'll loose the fire and wait for the first bit of coal to start burning before you gradually add more. If you use more briquettes the process is much faster; if you use fewer you just have to nurse the fire along forever. Close the front door before too much coal catches to avoid over firing.

If you use wood, use a good hard wood. I've tried using scrap 2x4's and it didn't go so well.

I use nut coal and recently got a load of big nut from a different mine, it seems there are different nut sizes, which burns very well. Go figure. Here I am in PA near the mines burning junk coal when the good stuff is just down the road.
ringer19547
 
Stove/Furnace Make: godin
Stove/Furnace Model: 3721

Re: How to light a Godin

PostBy: vermontgodin On: Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:49 pm

Success comes to he who waits ... and more importantly to he who pays attention to the Godin Forum members and follows their learned instuctions. All of you have been so kind to stick with me on this quest. I purchased a bag of nut size anthracite(recognition herewith paid to the member who said anthracite is harder to light but it's what they had in the store) and tried several times Saturday evening and Sunday without success. Just about ready to quit and put the Godin away for another twenty years, I gave it one last chance on Monday by shoveling a 1/4 pail full of red embers from the woodstove, carried the pail to the Godin without triggering the smoke alarm, and dumped them in. I had first placed several chunks of anthracite on the grate. I added maybe a cup of nut coal and after 20-30 minutes Once I had a confirmed coal fire going and the air source set at about 1/3 open, I added some additional coal. SUCCESS. Thanks to all.
vermontgodin
 
Stove/Furnace Make: petit godin
Stove/Furnace Model: petit

Re: How to light a Godin

PostBy: KaptJaq On: Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:37 pm

Hi Vermont,

Rather than carry hot embers across the house you can do what Nortcan suggested above; light a small charcoal fire first then add your nut coal on top. I prefer the newspaper/kindling/coal technique myself as also described in a prior message. Thing is with anthracite coal you should only have to light it once a visit. That stove will easily get 12 hour burns once it is started and is easy to reload when lit.

Enjoy the warmth.

KaptJaq
KaptJaq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Godin 3721 Le Grand Rond
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Nut

Re: How to light a Godin

PostBy: roostersgodin3730 On: Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:56 am

I'm new to the forum and a newbie with trying coal (anthracite) in my Godin Model 3730. Before trying to light my first fire (tonight), I thoroughly read everyone's posts plus several other search results on Google about lighting hand-fed wood/coal stoves.

I started the lighting process at 8:30 and FINALLY about 11:30, I felt confident that my efforts were successful, and I filled up the stove. It might have gone faster, but I didn't warm up the flue and wondered if that caused the startup to go slower, and next time, I'm going to make sure I do that. I used match-light charcoal (cheap generic/store brand). It's a very easy way to get the process going quickly so appreciated that tip. I put about 6-8 briquettes on the grate, then about 5 chunks of coal (nut sized), and a couple of pieces of scrap cedar (it burns easily).

The coal hadn't lit when the charcoal stopped flaming, so I tossed in pieces of fire starter logs. The cedar was about gone, but no coal was lit, so I added 2 small pieces of firewood. I still couldn't decide if the coal was lit so tossed in 2 pieces of charcoal twice more and added about 5 chunks of coal each time I added charcoal. The charcoal gets blue flames & couldn't tell if the coal was lit, so I added another piece of fire starter log to keep the fire hot, and when it caught fire, I added 5 more pieces of coal. Approximately a half hour later, I added a small wood log and about 10-15 pieces of coal, because I was pretty sure the coal was lit when I could see a continuous orange glow at the bottom of the bed of charcoal and coal; I kept expecting to see a lot of dancing blue flames on the coal but didn't really see that. After getting blue flames in each 1-2" layer of coal, which I did for at least 4 layers, I took the leap and filled the stove to the top of the fire bricks.

I'm surprised how slow the process is to start coal compared to wood, but I think I probably didn't have a good enough bed of hot embers from the charcoal and wood before I began adding small amounts of additional coal. It didn't feel like the stove could radiate much heat for close to an hour, but once I started hearing a low roar from air drawing through the flue, within 15 minutes, there's lots of heat radiating from the stove. It took about 20-30 minutes for me to start hearing the roaring sound, so it pays to be patient and not give up. I just slowly lifted the lid to see if everything looked OK, and to my delight, there are lots of dancing blue flames and the flame is drawing through the flue!!!! Yahoooo!!!! I'm turning down the air control to about 1/3 open and just hope it's still burning in the morning so I only have to add coal without having to start from scratch.

I've been afraid to go to bed until I feel it's operating well and not getting too hot. I work days and am hoping it's safe to fill the stove in the mornings before I leave for work so the house isn't freezing when I get home and that my evenings aren't going to be spent re-starting the fire. Can someone please tell me if it's safe to let it burn during the day? I figure if it'll burn 12 hours, as someone already posted, then it should be ok.

Another question is if it's okay to combine both wood and coal together to burn all the time. I wasn't able to find a source for bag (much less loose) coal in the Knoxville, TN area. Fortunately, my neighbor picked me up five 50-lb bags in a town 1-1/2 hours away between Atlanta and my home (I think the town was Blairsvile?) Since it's so far away and will be hard for me to get more, I'm hoping I can burn both together in the evenings and on weekends when I can tend the stove.

Thanks to everyone for posting info about Godin stoves. I got my stove about 15 years ago from a neighbor and don't have the manual, so don't know what I'd have done without your forum. My husband passed away this year, and he always taught me how to do everything, so it's great that all of you help us new folks out. By the way, the stove is going great now and putting out lots of heat. I'm SO happy! :0)
roostersgodin3730
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Godin
Stove/Furnace Model: 3730

Re: How to light a Godin

PostBy: roostersgodin3730 On: Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:31 am

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Lid and sides are glowing red
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One more quick post. I'm glad I was afraid to go to bed until I was sure the stove was stable, because when i turned off the lights to go to bed, I noticed that the lid on the stove was glowing red. I quickly closed the air control down all the way, and the stove is slowly cooling down. I've had hot wood fires in it before, but coal obviously burns a LOT hotter! I've never seen the lid glow. Even the sides have a slight glow. SCARY!!!! Looks like I'll be up a while longer...not that I'd be able to sleep until I stop hearing the flue pipe making popping noises. I'm amazed that as hot as this little stove got that it didn't blow up! Lessons learned: Don't leave the air control open all the way when you know the coal's burning well. As someone else wrote, it takes a while (30 minutes) for the stove to reach the desired output after making an air control adjustment.

Another question - should I not fill the stove almost to the top of the fire bricks so the heat is so close to the lid, or was it more likely that it got too hot from too much air?
roostersgodin3730
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Godin
Stove/Furnace Model: 3730

Re: How to light a Godin

PostBy: kweis On: Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:27 pm

I think you have way too much draft coming through the coal bed. It's way too hot. Nothing should be glowing like that I don't think. The draft control probably should be no more than probaly 1/8" open for cruzing thorough the night. Others in way in. I'm no Goding expert by any means. Look thorugh previous threads and videos of controling the fire on this site. Thres great expert information & advise here.
kweis
 
Stove/Furnace Make: wittigsthal
Stove/Furnace Model: ?

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