joeq wrote:I can see a heat issue with an electric motor being mounted in close proximity to the stove.(I'ld still like to see a photo of the mechanism invented by your fathers friend MarkV).
Wish I had pix, Joe, but this was around 1979 or 1980. I'd just gotten married and moved into an apartment a few blocks away from Mom and Dad's place when he installed his Franco-Belge, and it was shortly after that when he saw this other guy's rig. I didn't build my house until 1984, so I wasn't interested enough in coal stoves at that point to tag along. I do remember that Dad said the motor was mounted pretty close to the bottom of the stove, with the linkage on top of the motor shaft, so that might have reduced the ambient heat a bit.
joeq wrote:As for the nut coal in my hopper, woke up to yet another morning with the hopper clogged. I unfortunately ended up with just a few bags left in my supply 2 nites ago, and a couple bags were nut, not pea. So I mixed the remaining nut with the pea, just to use it up, (ratio about 25% nut and 75% pea), and it still clogged. Fortunately, there were enuff glowing embers, that the new bed, when knocked down from the hopper, were able to relite without starting from scratch.
Joe, your Surdiac appears nearly identical in design to my old Franco-Belge. Is your hopper all one piece, or is there some way of adjusting the hopper opening for larger coal?
On the F-B, the front lower hopper bar rested on a bracket at either side. The brackets had slots that let you raise or lower the hopper bar. When I got my first F-B, they recommended pea coal, but I couldn't burn pea because my chimney didn't draft well. I switched to nut in season 2, and the dealer told me to be sure I moved the hopper bar to the highest of the three slots. This both raised the lower edge of the bar, and moved it farther away from the rear hopper plate, so the larger coal would feed better.
I still would find my hopper would clog a bit at one place or another with nut, but never so badly that no coal dropped. When that happened, usually a poke or two through the filler door, down into the clogged area, loosened things up.