Hopefull Newbie

Hopefull Newbie

PostBy: jefflee1 On: Sun. Sep. 16, 2012 10:06 pm

I have been reading post here for about a week almost nonstop. This is my first post here.. I live in Eastern CT. I grew up burning wood in a less than air tight stove. Right now I have been burning wood in my Qudra-fire 5700 stove for the last 5 yrs. it has done well, but when it gets really cold here, below 0, I am feeding it every 3 - 4 hrs. My house is very old (1825) and very cut up. I bought a stove that I don't need to worry about electricity to use. I have a propane cooking stove, no electricity needed :)

Like some of you , once I start my stove I keep it going until spring. I have a job where I can stop home if I need to. My house has steam heat. I did put a new boiler in about 10 yrs ago. but with the price jump in oil a few yrs ago, I haven't bought any oil since. The money I would have paid to fill my oil tank once I used to buy a propane On-demand hot water heater for the house (which I love) .

So here in my dilemma, I am tired of doing wood, not that I am old , I am closer to 50 than 40, as it stands I have about 2 plus yrs worth of wood cut on my property. Most of it is seasoned, but I have to worry about it getting wet, Bugs, etc. (Most of you who have burned wood know what I mean).

I am going to presume that coal will give me longer burn times, with the same heat output, or even more. I don’t have to worry about coal rotting or getting wet .
As far as the ash, I have to shovel out my stove once a day anyway. so I think that will be a wash.

I am looking towards a hand fired stove, I don't want to worry about electricity to run my stove.

It sounds like I am trying to talk myself into this, but I am looking for some feedback from those of you who came from wood and now are burning coal. The good, bad and or the ugly..

Sorry for such a long first post
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood # 8
Coal Size/Type: Stove
Stove/Furnace Make: Glenwood
Stove/Furnace Model: #8 baseburner

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Re: Hopefull Newbie

PostBy: Rob R. On: Mon. Sep. 17, 2012 5:55 am

Hi Jeff, welcome to the forum. I grew up in a house that had a wood boiler, we burned a tractor trailer worth of logs each winter. The shop had a big stove that also burned a mountain of firewood...my brother and I got to stack most of it after we got home from school. Bugs, smoke, chimney fires, 2 am reloads...I am familiar with all the down sides of burning wood.

The first time I lit a coal fire in a stove I got for free, I decided that I was all done burning wood. Handling coal was a lot less work, less mess, but the two biggest advantages for me were not having to reload the stove in the middle of the night, and not worrying about a chimney fire. If you make the switch, I think you will be very happy.
Rob R.
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Hopefull Newbie

PostBy: lsayre On: Mon. Sep. 17, 2012 6:16 am

Coal is far less work, but it does generate appreciably more ash than wood.
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (13.5 KW)

Re: Hopefull Newbie

PostBy: freetown fred On: Mon. Sep. 17, 2012 6:43 am

Are you wanting to tie into existing radiators?? My house is 1780 vintage & also broken up--I use a HITZER 50-93 hand fired--radiant-- w/optional blower which I've used twice in 3 seasons--I have a ceiling fan which distributes heat when we hit those sub-O days--a few ceiling vents keep the house at a real even 72* useing 3 to 4 TON of NUT coal per season
freetown fred
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut

Re: Hopefull Newbie

PostBy: SteveZee On: Mon. Sep. 17, 2012 8:07 am

Hello Jeff and welcome to the forum. Many of us have (wood) backgrounds similar to yours. Myself, I grew up in western Mass and we heated with wood and had easily acquired hardwood all around us. I relocated to Maine some years ago to restore a 226 year old house on the coast. Like most of these New England places it was build with lots of add-ons through out the years. Up here in Maine everyone heats or suppliments with wood and or pellets these days. My supplemental heater was a Glenwood cookstove that has been with the house since the 1920's. It worked well but required small "kitchen" wood and "charging" it every couple of hours. I owned splitter and talked myself into thinking it was my "gym" routine. A couple years ago I was researching the idea of converting it to coal since these old cookstoves came both ways. That's when I found this site.
Long story short......I converted the cookstove and went from 2hr's to 8-10 hour tending times. I liked it so much that (after buying a brand new steam boiler) I got a second cylinder coal stove and installed that on the middle chimney of the 3 we have here. That cylinder stove only needed tending twice a day. I loved that and I loved the quality of the heat. No more up and down spikes of wood. Coal is solid constant heat that doesn't spike like wood. It's IMO less or the same as wood in regards to dirt but makes considerably more ash. Me, I use it to patch low spots in my dirt driveway. Works like a champ.
My one and only regret is that I didn't think of this years earlier! Last year I used maybe 50 gal of oil and that was because I was traveling and used the backup furnace. Also have a Jotul propane stove that maybe used a 100 gal tank (its on the far chimney) and is used in conjunction with the cookstove at the other end when I don't need the Glenwood Modern Oak 116 cylinder stove that is in the middle. I can mix and match ;) . Now that I've been yammering on for a full page here you can see that I'm a believer. You will be too.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Glenwood Modern Oak 116 & Glenwood 208 C Range

Re: Hopefull Newbie

PostBy: jefflee1 On: Tue. Sep. 18, 2012 3:24 pm


As far as hooking into existing radiators , no, I have only heated my house with a wood stove the last 5 yrs. , a new coal stove will replace my existing stove. I am trying to lessen my dependency on electricity, hence this post in the hand fired forums. .

Thank you for all your reply's , now I have to go out and actually look at some stoves. At some point in time, I would love to find someone relatively close this winter and see how there stove works.
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood # 8
Coal Size/Type: Stove
Stove/Furnace Make: Glenwood
Stove/Furnace Model: #8 baseburner

Re: Hopefull Newbie

PostBy: ONEDOLLAR On: Tue. Sep. 18, 2012 3:50 pm


Like you I burned wood for years and years. Since I was a wee lad on the plains of Ok. Went to coal last year and I keep saying I should have done this 30 years ago. We still have a wood stove as well that does get some limited use.

You will LOVE making the switch to coal. Check Craigslist and you can find a good "handfired" unit for well under $300. I paid $100 for my little Chubby Jr and I LOVE IT. Heck I don't mind even paying for the coal, that is how much easier coal has made my life. So YES coal will give you just as much if not more heat and longer burn times as well. The longer burn means less "peaks and valleys" in temperature swings in the house PLUS you don't have to worry about waking up at 2:00 am to throw more wood in the stove so you don't freeze your ^%$# off when you wake up. I LOVE the fact that I can load my Jr up at 9 pm and when I wake up at 4:30 -5 am she is still pumping at 500 degrees.

Switch to coal.. Be like NIKE and JUST DO IT. You won't regret it and in fact I bet you will say you should have done this 30 years ago as well. I don't see any downside between coal and wood. Other than wood can be free if you look for it but coal can be free or dirt cheap as well. If I can be of any help just give me a shout via the PM function.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: 2014 Chubby Prototype
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Anthracite

Re: Hopefull Newbie

PostBy: fastcat On: Tue. Sep. 18, 2012 7:35 pm

How many sq ft are you heating? Did the wood stove you have now do the job for you? How many cord of wood do you burn a year? One full cord = 1 ton of coal, I used to burn 15 face cord a year and now burn just a little less than 5 ton heating 2400 sq ft. Do not get a stove that is to small, bigger is better with coal because you can turn it down to your desired temp and it will stay there for the next 12 hrs in the middle of winter or 24 to 36 hrs during spring and fall. I have 40 years behind me with wood and I have never been happier since I changed to coal. Hitzer and DS have stoves at 100 to 130,000 btus. hand fired, check out their web sites. Good luck and happy heating.
Just found a couple stoves on craigs list but they are in NY there was nothing in CT.
Here is the numbers for craigs list
Last edited by fastcat on Tue. Sep. 18, 2012 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Nut/Stove Mix

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Re: Hopefull Newbie

PostBy: whistlenut On: Tue. Sep. 18, 2012 7:52 pm

Hi Jeff. Not much to add to all the fine advise above, however be VERY careful about the hand fed you choose. Craigslist has dozens of 'European' stoves that I might suggest you stay away from as a 'newbie'.
If you go to the ' user control panel', and enable 'PM's (Private Messages) I will give you a heads up list to just walk away from.

I don't even mention wood burning...I was an 18 cord a year guy(full cords, not face cords...) and I can assure you that your journey will be EASIER from now on.
Uniform heat, long lasting, no creosote, actually nothing out the chimney...no smoke, no water vapor.....folks will think you've gone 'NUKIE". No damned bugs.....pre-seasoned for a 'few thousand years under extreme pressure'.......

Don't be surprised to find hand fed coal boilers listed also; they beat the hell out of trying to burn wood in a boiler. Keep your eyes and ears open to anything related to coal, or stoves. Many folks don't even know what they have for sale.
If you only want to jump to the stove level, Hitzer is a no brainer. DS Machine is fine, Harmon, Keystoker, Vermont Casting (Not Dutchcraft) Gilbrator, Craig, Russo....probably a dozen more. Look, ask here on the forum before you jump, could save you hundred of dollars and years of aggravation.

:idea: :shock: :) :roll: 8-)
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA130's,260's, AHS130&260's,EFM900,GJ & V-Wert
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Franks,Itasca 415,Jensen, NYer 130,Van Wert
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Alaska, EFM, Keystoker, Yellow Flame
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska, Keystoker-2,Leisure Line
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Alaska, Gibraltar, Keystone,Vc Vigilant 2
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Ford, Jensen, NYer, Van Wert,
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwoods
Coal Size/Type: Barley, Buck, Rice ,Nut, Stove
Other Heating: Oil HWBB

Re: Hopefull Newbie

PostBy: Richard S. On: Tue. Sep. 18, 2012 8:40 pm

jefflee1 wrote:Fred

As far as hooking into existing radiators , no, I have only heated my house with a wood stove the last 5 yrs. , a new coal stove will replace my existing stove. I am trying to lessen my dependency on electricity, hence this post in the hand fired forums. .

EFM has a hand fired wood/coal boiler available:

The efm WCB-24 hand fired wood/coal boiler

Richard S.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Hopefull Newbie

PostBy: Freddy On: Wed. Sep. 19, 2012 5:01 am

I'm coming in late so will keep it short. Welcome to the forum! For sure, after a bit of a learning phase, coal will make your life easier, and more comfy. With care, coal can be as clean or cleaner than wood. With no care you can make as big a mess as you like! You do need to make a method & ritual to get rid of the ash, and coal does make way more ash than wood, some worse than others. That being said, taking out the ashes is no worse than one arm load of wood. So, fourteen armloads of wood in each day, or one "armload" of ash out each day.... your choice. I haven't burned too much coal in a hand fed, but just enough to see and understand. Coal differs from wood in one major respect. If you put in too much wood you either get too much heat, or a stinky creosote mess. If you add "too much" coal, all you get it a longer burn time. With a hand fed coal stove you can get over 24 hours of nice steady heat in the Spring & Fall. When coal "smolders" it is not a bad thing.
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: Hopefull Newbie

PostBy: jefflee1 On: Tue. Sep. 25, 2012 5:43 pm

Thanks, to all that have responded.

I am looking for just a heat source. My "basement" if you want to call it that, is just big enough for my furnace and my water pump. It is stone with lots of holes and when it rains hard lots of water. (2 sub-pumps). Hence no boilers.

My house is only 1700 sqft. But like I said before very cut up, and non efficient.

My wood stove now is one of the largest ones out there, per manufactures spec's around 70,00 btu's. it does good, except when the temp drops to below 0, then I am feeding it every 3-4 hrs. I normally go thru 6-7 full cord of wood a year. Once I start my stove, it pretty much is running until March, April, or May whenever it is warm enough.

My Pm's should be working.

Anyway, lots to still learn.

I have another question, New vs Old stoves, I like the looks of the Base heaters, ie Glenwood. , are the new coal stoves that much better than the old base heaters?

And/or can someone direct me to a few threads on the difference between new and old stoves.

Once again Thanks

Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood # 8
Coal Size/Type: Stove
Stove/Furnace Make: Glenwood
Stove/Furnace Model: #8 baseburner

Re: Hopefull Newbie

PostBy: Vangellis On: Tue. Sep. 25, 2012 7:00 pm

Hi Jeff.

Late to the party also, but here was my thread on my return to coal. I'm about 14 months shy of 60, plus since this post I have been
diagnosed with osteoarthritis, (wear and tear), so as they say, "I'm getting to old for this crap". :P I'll still do a little firewooding for start up
and fill in the shoulder months, but coal is just so much easier. Living in the heart of Anthracite country doesn't hurt either. :)

Re-discovering Coal

Hand Fed Coal Stove: Olix Air Flo
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Stove/Furnace Model: Hudson Wood/Coal Burning

Re: Hopefull Newbie

PostBy: SteveZee On: Tue. Sep. 25, 2012 7:35 pm

Jeff, Check your PM .
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Glenwood Modern Oak 116 & Glenwood 208 C Range

Re: Hopefull Newbie

PostBy: wsherrick On: Wed. Sep. 26, 2012 1:11 am

About your question concerning New Stoves, versus, Old Stoves. Stoves made around the Turn Of The Century represent the high point of coal stove development. Base Heaters were the result of much effort and research money spent to produce the ultimate Coal Stove. Base Heaters are the most efficient stoves ever made to this day.

To find out about Glenwoods just type, "Glenwood," up in the little search box which is in the upper right hand corner of the page. There you can read about all of us who have these stoves.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Glenwood Base Heater, Crawford Base Heater
Baseburners & Antiques: Crawford Base Heater, Glenwood, Stanley Argand
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut, Stove Size

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