Diary of a Surdiac

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: franco b On: Mon Dec 30, 2013 1:58 pm

If you cut some off the bottom of the hopper it will raise the coal bed but may
overflow the fire pot. You may have to raise the sides of that as well by adding heavy steel or furnace cement or some other refractory. With more coal there it will add burn time.
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: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: Lightning On: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:08 pm

Fantastic Joe q, I think the combination of all those mods will improve your results dramatically!
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Stove Size Mix

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: dcrane On: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:12 pm

looks like a winner! glad to see her functioning nicely :punk:
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

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Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: joeq On: Mon Dec 30, 2013 4:30 pm

a little pre-mature for too much optimism, but at least there are a few changes that have "potential". Time will tell. I'll keep everyone posted, and thanx again for the tips. Tomorrow afternoon, I'll be traveling, (again) for a day, so unfortunately I'm sure the stove will go out...again. Too bad too, cause a cold frt is moving in again, and I won't be able to enjoy the stove while I'm away. :(
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: joeq On: Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:44 pm

franco b wrote:If you cut some off the bottom of the hopper it will raise the coal bed but may
overflow the fire pot. You may have to raise the sides of that as well by adding heavy steel or furnace cement or some other refractory. With more coal there it will add burn time.


If I remove any franco, it'll only be about an inch. I don't think the bed will be much higher. And if you think about it, even tho the bed looks to be only so deep, the hopper is also full of coal, and is burning to a level up inside that you can't see. They're both connected. This is what allows me to get the stove running after extended periods of neglect. Most times, even tho the bed "appears" to be dead, when I riddle and poke the grates, fresh coal drops down from the hopper, and some of them are still "lively'. With a little finesse, these will start the burning all over again.
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: dcrane On: Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:28 pm

joeq wrote:
franco b wrote:If you cut some off the bottom of the hopper it will raise the coal bed but may
overflow the fire pot. You may have to raise the sides of that as well by adding heavy steel or furnace cement or some other refractory. With more coal there it will add burn time.


If I remove any franco, it'll only be about an inch. I don't think the bed will be much higher. And if you think about it, even tho the bed looks to be only so deep, the hopper is also full of coal, and is burning to a level up inside that you can't see. They're both connected. This is what allows me to get the stove running after extended periods of neglect. Most times, even tho the bed "appears" to be dead, when I riddle and poke the grates, fresh coal drops down from the hopper, and some of them are still "lively'. With a little finesse, these will start the burning all over again.


the coal inside the hopper is burning red? (about half way up?) :shock: :doh:
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: Vermonster On: Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:32 pm

I got out of bed at 5am. My stack temp was 100degrees. I could just see one red coal at the bottom of the lip of the hopper. I opened my pipe damper filled the hopper and started slicin' and dicin'. As soon as I started this I got good red coals falling out of my hopper. I cleaned it like I meant it and got as much ash out as I could. While I was slicin' I had the ash door closed and the glass door open. I opened the ash door and took a coat hanger and went to sticking it up in my coal bed through each slot in the grate. When I got done this I kept the ash door open and closed the glass door. The fire took a little bit to get going but I sat there and sipped a coffee. I got the fire going well, made sure the hopper was full, closed my pipe damper down and just cracked the round damper on the back of stove with the dial. I got home today at 5pm, Went downstairs and checked her out. Stack temp was a little under 100degrees, the hopper was half full and I could barely see one coal. I just did the same routine and she is up and running. The most I have left this alone since i started this ten days ago is 13hrs and I have always been able to save the fire. I tried something different last evening. I put a small clip on fan on the door that is left open to the basement at the top of the door. Instead of the heat escaping upstairs to the second floor I had the house @ 75degrees. My wife was complaining it was too warm! Never had that happen here in 17 years. Thats where Im at. Vermonster.
Vermonster
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 713 Rest in peace! Chubby Coal Stove
Coal Size/Type: anthracite nut coal
Other Heating: oil boiler

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: Vermonster On: Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:35 pm

Yesterday was a mild day. As of right now in Southern VT it's 28 degrees and dropping like a rock. Lets see how it goes tonight.
Vermonster
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 713 Rest in peace! Chubby Coal Stove
Coal Size/Type: anthracite nut coal
Other Heating: oil boiler

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: joeq On: Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:09 pm

dcrane wrote:the coal inside the hopper is burning red? (about half way up?) :shock: :doh:

No, I didn't say that Doc. (Jeesh) Just at the bottom, where the external coals meet.
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: joeq On: Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:15 pm

Vermonster wrote:I got out of bed at 5am. My stack temp was 100degrees. I could just see one red coal at the bottom of the lip of the hopper. I opened my pipe damper filled the hopper and started slicin' and dicin'. As soon as I started this I got good red coals falling out of my hopper. I cleaned it like I meant it and got as much ash out as I could. While I was slicin' I had the ash door closed and the glass door open. I opened the ash door and took a coat hanger and went to sticking it up in my coal bed through each slot in the grate. When I got done this I kept the ash door open and closed the glass door. The fire took a little bit to get going but I sat there and sipped a coffee. I got the fire going well, made sure the hopper was full, closed my pipe damper down and just cracked the round damper on the back of stove with the dial. I got home today at 5pm, Went downstairs and checked her out. Stack temp was a little under 100degrees, the hopper was half full and I could barely see one coal. I just did the same routine and she is up and running. The most I have left this alone since i started this ten days ago is 13hrs and I have always been able to save the fire. I tried something different last evening. I put a small clip on fan on the door that is left open to the basement at the top of the door. Instead of the heat escaping upstairs to the second floor I had the house @ 75degrees. My wife was complaining it was too warm! Never had that happen here in 17 years. Thats where Im at. Vermonster.

Sounds like you're catching up to it Vermin. When you're relighting, in tough situations, I've put a fan blowing into the opening for the ash pan, to help "supercharge" it. Will get it up and running quicker. And you are doing this with the MPD open, right? Once up and running, then you close it down.
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: Vermonster On: Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:21 pm

That is correct joeq. I keep the mpd open through this and once up and running I shut it down.
Vermonster
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 713 Rest in peace! Chubby Coal Stove
Coal Size/Type: anthracite nut coal
Other Heating: oil boiler

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: Vermonster On: Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:25 pm

I also tried mixing nut with pea and had issues with the nut working its way down the hopper. Since that experiment I have been using just Kimmel pea coal from Agway in Walpole,NH.
Vermonster
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 713 Rest in peace! Chubby Coal Stove
Coal Size/Type: anthracite nut coal
Other Heating: oil boiler

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: joeq On: Mon Dec 30, 2013 11:04 pm

I have access to Kimmel also, and will be giving it a try next month. I mostly see Blaschac everywhere around here, and may give it a retry, sometime after trying the Kimmel.
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: MarkV On: Tue Dec 31, 2013 1:02 am

Vermonster wrote:I got out of bed at 5am. My stack temp was 100degrees. I could just see one red coal at the bottom of the lip of the hopper. I opened my pipe damper filled the hopper and started slicin' and dicin'. As soon as I started this I got good red coals falling out of my hopper.


Same thing I found with my old Franco-Belge stove, essentially the same design as the Surdiac. My FB stoves liked a light shake every 4-6 hours. My stay-at-home wife shook the stove while I was at work, usually early afternoon. I shook early morning, late afternoon, and bedtime, and the stove kept tooling along pretty well. When my wife wasn't around, there was usually enough hot coal when I got home to shake down and get it going again with a short time of open ash door.

But, on days we were both gone longer than dinnertime, say when we took a day trip and didn't get home till 10 or 11 pm, I would come home and find the firebed completely burned to ash. But I could tell from the stack temp and the top of the stove there was still a bit of fire in there. Sure enough, as soon as I started shaking the grates, a bunch of dull red coals would fall from the hopper. I'd shake enough to get the coals down into the bed and exposed to draft, with a shallow layer of unburned coal on top (i.e. I could still see the glow from the coals). I'd open the ash door and the MPD, and wait about 15-20 minutes. The fire would be burning nicely by then, and I could complete the shaking, add coal, and close everything up.

With my chimney I found I didn't have enough draft to burn pea. Always burned out on me. As soon as I switched to nut I had fewer draft problems and total burnouts.

JoeQ, your mods look good! My only observation would be to keep an eye on those ported grates. As your grate openings got wider, the cast iron cross pieces got thinner. I know from having replaced many a F-B grate, thinner pieces burn through or fracture quicker. Especially since I was burning at the higher range of temps the stove was designed for--which I suspect you may be doing too, judging from that last pic. :D
MarkV
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine DS-1500WH
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak bulk nut

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: joeq On: Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:53 pm

Thanx for the incite MV. I really didn't thin out the grates too much, so I'm hoping they'll be OK. I've got a spare set just in case. Does sound like the same routine as mine, with your old FB. 'Cept I don't believe my coal fire will be salvageable after sitting around for more than 12 hrs. Maybe 10, on a good day.
Our temps dropped to the teens last nite, so B4 bed, I did a thorough cleaning and refill, and kicked the stove up a notch. I was up 6 hrs later, (temporarily), and the fire was still going, stove temp was still 400*, but there was a little more ash, around the edges, so I gave it a quick riddle and went back to bed.
4 hrs later, it had the same grey ashes around the perimeter, so I gave the stove a good scraping cleaning, and refill, and that's where I'm at today. The opened up grates make it easier to get my poking tool in there for cleaning the ash from the bottom. And they also seem to allow the fire to burn a tad hotter, But as for the clogging issue, i was hoping it would go longer, but am starting to think it's not that much different. Hopefully I'll have a change of thought as the week progresses. I did get a baro, and will install it in January sometime. My last ditch effort of getting these burn times longer.
As of right now, since I cleaned out the accumulated ash around my MPD, I can't get my draft any lower than -.06-07. That's with it slammed shut. With the baro installed, if I can get it down to manufactures rating of -.04, maybe it won't burn as hot, and produce less ash. I can get the draft lower, by turning the thermostat down below 1, but it also chokes the air off. I don't think that's a beneficial way of controlling the draft. Would rather do it from the exhaust side, not the intake.

Just thought I'ld post the pics of the tools I use for cleaning/operating this stove.
Image
From left to right, the 1st one is used for hooking the latch, and opening the hopper door. Along with the 2nd one. The 2nd one is also used for grabbing the hot ash pan, and opening the loading door.. The 3rd one is homemade, and helps poking the grates from below. It goes up higher than the 4th tool, which I believe is factory. The last one on the right, is used for riddling through the 3 port holes. It's not a good pic. I should've shown it laying flat. The blade has the same shape as an envelope opener. It is pretty rugged tho, and should last a while.
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

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