Diary of a Surdiac

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: MarkV On: Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:26 pm

Joe, homemade tools are the best, aren't they? Gives you a real sense of satisfaction to improve on the factory stuff.

Your tools #2 and #5 look nearly identical to the tools provided with the old F-B stoves. I still have a couple of the long, flat-bladed pokers and use them to poke the corners in my DS 1500 firebox. There were no poking tools included with the DS stove.

The thing about those F-B combo grate shaker/ash pan hooks was, the bent hook on the grate shaker end was very soft metal, and would always wear through in 2-3 years. They weren't cheap to replace, either. IIRC, back in the late 80s they cost 10-12 bucks.

My Dad also had F-B stoves, and made his own hook tool for shaking and pulling the ash pan out, pictured below. He took an old broom handle, cut about 7" off the end, cross-cut the cut end with 90* hand jigsaw kerfs, then screwed in a heavy threaded hook available at any hardware store for a little over a dollar. A cheap hose clamp finished the job, tightening the wood against the hook so it wouldn't unscrew itself.

I got my first F-B stove in 1984 when we built our house. Dad made me the tool in the picture around 1987 when my first factory tool gave out. I hope Mom was done with that broom! :lol: Used it for the next 25 years or so, replacing the hooks every 3-4 years, and I think I replaced the hose clamp once. Don't have much use for it anymore with the DS.

When I bought my replacement hooks, I had the guy at the hardware store cut off the last 1/2" or so of the hook with a bolt cutter, so it was easier to get into and out of the shaker holes.

Dad passed away in 2000, but I still think of him every time I see that tool hanging by my stove.

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Homemade shaker tool, c 1987 - Thanks, Dad!!!
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MarkV
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine DS-1500WH
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak bulk nut

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: joeq On: Wed Jan 01, 2014 7:22 am

Hey Mark, that tool looks like Captain Hooks right hand. :D (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
Sometimes it pays to be a little inventive, don't it? I'm assuming the wood was able to endure the test of time, even tho it worked in such a severe environment. Good job, and glad to see you're able to keep it around for nostalgia sake.
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: Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:21 pm

2014. (Now I need to redo my timecards in work).
Burn time up date. Last nite went a full 8 hrs W/O any tending at all. But when I returned, the stove temp was down to 200*, and the coal bed was very weak. The draft was (as always) OK at about -.04.
After much scraping and cleaning, and fanning, was able to get her up and running in about 15-20 mins.
Got my stove pipe extension for the baro, and will have to build that in the future. Here's a shot of what I'm dealing with.
Image
Now , B4 I get into it, let me just say, some-one will comment on how the baro is placed. I just set it on top of the stove pipe, for size purposes only, and will be mounting it at 3 oclock, and not the 12 oclock position. ;)
Between the wall thimble and the 5-6" reducer, the stove pipe (where the MPD is), is only about 6" long. In order to fit the baro, the collar will necessitate another 3-4" to work. I still want to have the MPD in frt of the baro, but things will be a little cramped. I'll have to move the stove fwd on it's hearth a like amount. (I think it will still work, and maintain the required frt clearance to combustibles.)
Hopefully, mounting the baro will lower my draft from -.06, and allow a slower burn.
With all said and done at this point,I think what has attributed to my "slightly" improved burn time, is my technique for cleaning the ash. This is what I used to do, in the beginning. I would inspect the amount of glow through the grates, with the ash pan door open. (Which creates a stronger draft). Then I would...
1-slice grates "randomly" for about 1 minute.
2-Poke under "most" of the grating for approx. another min. or so.
3-Refill the hopper.
As I was doing this cleaning, ashes would be flaring all around the firebox. Through the advice of members on this site, I have learned a couple pertinent things. Don't clean with a strong draft, and do a better job of it. Also, don't clean them too often. At least with this stove, it's "imperative" to keep the system as ash free as possible. This is now how I clean this pig. !st, only do it after it's been running at least 4-5 hrs. (Be cautious with fly ash, if tending any sooner).
1-Open glass loading door. (To lessen draft, "AND", to poke at the coal bed). I now take my shovel, and riddling tool, poke, force, and break-up the dead and burning coals, to force more into the middle and away from the edges.
2-with glass door still slightly open,( and ash pan door still shut) begin riddling with an emphasis on "pulling" the ashes away from the rear of the grates, toward the middle section. The back skirting/liner, has breather holes down low, and in the past, I think I was jamming this with "crap". My scraping time isn't much longer, as someone above did mention, this tool is only "marginally" effective.
3-With my poking tool, I now spend more time, poking, grabbing, and shaking thru "all' the grates, till I'm satisfied as much ash I can retrieve has been dropped. (Then, close loading door)
4- I next M/T ash pan, which I believe the less in there, the better the breathing is. (Not proven yet)
5-Lastly, refill hopper, open MPD, and leave the ash pan door open, for 5-10 mins to get all the fresh coals hot, and the stove running again. After this, close the door, and the MPD.
If you think about it, when the stove a fresh and clean, and the burn times are at their max, why does it go away in time. Because the ash is restricting everywhere there wasn't any when new. I know this sounds basic to all you seasoned vets, but to me, it wasn't as clear till I lived it.
So there you have it. With a better breathing stove, through unrestricted grating, intake and exhaust settings adjusted correctly, maintain a proper draft, and a good quality coal, our stoves should perform to there maximum potential. I don't think I've derived it from mine yet, but much closer than last season. I apologize for this thread being drug out, but my intent is to give the novice (like me), some details into the specifics, so we can all gain some data into what will benefit us most into improved performance. To all that have already got there, congratulations. To the rest of us still plugging away, good luck. :)
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

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Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: Vermonster On: Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:58 pm

Its all good joeq. I have learned alot about my stove from this thread. One thing for sure is that it is paramount that you get as much ash out a possible. I also poke it through the ash bed and let it breathe. Once you get it all cleaned of ash and fill the hopper and close it down and let it run for lets say an hour what is your stack temp? With the mpd closed right up and the damper on the stove just cracked enough so you can see daylight around it I run about 250 degrees. Do you close the damper on the stove itself right up? Tell me what you think. Thanks
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: warminmn On: Wed Jan 01, 2014 5:18 pm

#4. Emptying the ash pan so it breathes better. TRUE!

You never want your ash to get close to the grate or especially to touch the grate. If the ash pan is full, the grate can warp. it should be easier to slice since you widened the slots.

The 3 complaints I have about my nestor martin/surdiac stove is the small ash pan, I wish it had a shaker like a hitzer, and the high priced parts. The front of my hopper is going to be burned out in 2 or 3 years and just the front half is over $200. Ive thought many times of getting a Hitzer to replace my Nestor just for those reasons. I have no complaints about my Chubby Jr though. It fit my situation perfectly.
warminmn
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby Junior, Efel Nestor Martin
Coal Size/Type: nut and stove anthracite. Soft coal
Other Heating: wood

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: Vermonster On: Wed Jan 01, 2014 5:54 pm

My next stove will have a shaker system. Would be so much easier.
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: Wed Jan 01, 2014 6:52 pm

Vermonster wrote: Once you get it all cleaned of ash and fill the hopper and close it down and let it run for lets say an hour what is your stack temp? With the mpd closed right up and the damper on the stove just cracked enough so you can see daylight around it I run about 250 degrees. Do you close the damper on the stove itself right up? Tell me what you think. Thanks


Vermin, if you look at my last photo, with the baro sitting on my black pipe, you'll have an idea of where my thermometer is. The one on my pipe, is directly under the "temporarily" placed baro. There's also one on top of my heat exchanger, which is nothing more than the beginning of my stove pipe.
Usually I'm running the MPD closed or just cracked. B4 I cleaned the crud out from around my MPD valve, I could get my draft down to nothing, or set it to -.04, where the "theys" say it's suppose to run. But after cleaning the accumulated ash out from around it, the draft won't go below -.06-07, even with it slammed shut. I say this because I'm sure it must effect the stack temp.
Now for the temps. I try to keep my thermometer on the heat exchanger, between 400-500*, depending on outside temps. The thermo on the black pipe usually runs about 100* less. Most times it reads around 300*, but has gone up or down depending. Naturally when the coal bed is dying, it'll be dropping, but has the positioning of the MPD made a difference in stack temps? Can't say I've noticed that yet. My thermometer on the pipe is sitting "directly" on top of the valve. So it's not reading what's in frt, or behind, but right at the valving area. Is this relevant? Can't say for sure. I will repeat what I've stated B4. When I didn't have the MPD and no manometer, I was sending mucho heat up the chimney, and the excessive drafting, (that I didn't recognize W/O the manometer) was causing lots of heating of the coal bed, meaning I was burning more fuel, in turn, making more ash. Now with the MPD, I can slow things down. The intake damper on the stove wasn't enuff to do what it needed.

warminmn wrote: The front of my hopper is going to be burned out in 2 or 3 years and just the front half is over $200.


The Surdiac is the same way warmin. Myers furniture carries mine for about the same, and the one in mine is deteriorating quickly.(AS seen in my photos.). The "theys" say this happens because they get overheated. What is "overheated"? At times my hopper was so low, no fresh coal was inside to transfer the heat. If the stove burns normally for over 4-5 hrs, the hopper is going to get low anyway. Even if I can get my burn times up to 10 hrs, I'm sure the hopper will be very low. Very tough to have your cake, and eat it too.
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: Wed Jan 01, 2014 7:41 pm

My surdiac also has slight warping on the front hopper.
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: Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:07 pm

I bought this 2nd stove about a yr and a 1/2 ago, just for the parts. I believe the owner was a member here, but maybe I'm mistaking. I bought it specifically for parts such as the hopper, heat exchanger, grates, and other usable components. The hopper was much more distorted than the one I've got now. The heat exchanger was almost as rusty as mine was. (Till I mig welded it). The glass panes on the door were toast. But it did have some usable pieces, just not as much as I was hoping for. The best component I got, was the factory riddling tool. It was almost worth what I paid for the whole stove. After I stripped the stove into pieces, what to do with the basic box and tin shielding? I should've offered it to people on this forum, but didn't think anyone would be interested. So they went to the scrap metal dealer. This is what it looked like when I brought it home. Not sure how many are left, but I'm sure the heard is thinning out. I know what you baseburners are saying. "GOOD". :lol:

Image
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: Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:19 pm

Figured I'ld share a few pics, cause everyone loves 'em. I spoke above about testing the temp in frt of the glass, and I tried it again today. I was a little disappointed yesterday to find it was only barely 350*.
Today the temps outside are lower, and the stove is up a notch. temps outside are around 10*, so the thermostat is set at 2. This morning, with the thermometer hanging a couple inches in frt of the glass, it immediately jumped to 500*! The heat exchanger was a normal 400*, and the stove pipe read 350.All this with the MPD closed, and the draft about -.06-07. Can you make out the reading on this gauge? Maybe not, but it's pointing in the 2 oclock position
Image

Being that the temps were low single digits last nite, the stove had a tough time keeping up. It'll maintain 70* for 4-5 hrs, but as the stove cools down, so does the house. And in this weather, very quickly. My house thermostat, (mercury Honeywell), was set to 62*, and the furnace was running when I got up. The coal bed was still burning OK, but the heat exchanger temp was down to 200*. with a little "R+R", (riddling and raking), the stove came back to life in about 15 mins. It's definitely saving me oil. My 275 oil tank is still almost 7/8ths full, when usually this time of year, it'ld be below 1/2.
And I finished assembling the new pipe, with the baro and MPD. Will install it next time the stove goes down. Unfortunately, because it's 3 1/2" longer, I'll have to slide my stove fwd a like amount. Designed and built the whole hearth with the intent of everything being centered. It also gives me the required clearances. when I slide it fwd, the frt clearance will be a touch compromised, but more importantly, cosmetically, it won't be balanced. and little stuff like that kinda bugs me.
here's a pic of the pipe drying the heat paint, and epoxy.
Image
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: Lightning On: Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:22 pm

Sounds like the improvements are helping.

Fantastic :D
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut Size / White Ash

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: joeq On: Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:51 pm

You got that right, Lee ole buddy. Almost there, to have it perfected. This is my thoughts for the Baro/damper, that's been taught to me by you members.
For the most part, when operating my stove with the new assy, in the cold, I'll keep the MPD shut to retain heat, and the baro will reduce/maintain my "super-draft" to the manufacturers recommendations of -.04. When starting a new fire, or rekindling a weak one, I'll open up the MPD to get everything refired. then close it back down. In the warmer weather, say highs in the 40* range, I can also open the MPD, to reduce the heat output of the stove. Does this sound like a logical theory, or am I missing something?
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: Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:08 pm

And the saga continues. After a week of burning, from above mods, and me trying to be careful during ash cleaning, ( trying not to get the ash flying around the fire pit), I was a little lacking in my bedtime cleaning ritual last nite. 5 hrs later, I awoke to the weakest fire I've seen in a while. I gave it some "minor" tending, but wasn't too concerned. Todays temp was to be close to 45 or so (?), I wasn't too upset, if the fire were to go out. (Which it did.) Because my mods only "slightly" improved my burn-times, I was anxious to get my baro/mpd assy in place.
after reviewing a DVD I purchased last year, explaining some tips of theory/operations, and maintenance of our stoves, I pulled mine apart, (AGAIN), for a thorough cleaning, a couple "restoration refreshers", and the install of the baro assy. It also has me questioning the placement of the MPD, relative to the baro. I'm going to post this question in a new thread, cause I'm not sure how many people care about reading the antics of this thread.
!st thing was to move this beast fwd, to change out my rear pipe. here it is in place.
Image
Image
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: NHFarmer On: Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:27 pm

joeq, looks like a very nice install. What are you using for a manometer? We do not have a manual damper as I really didn't think it would add to the burn time or output, now I am rethinking the idea. One other question, I emptied out the ash barrel today and I noticed several smaller pieces of what look like unburned coal. We are using pea coal and I am wondering if some of the smaller pieces are falling through the grate.
NHFarmer
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac 616B
Baseburners & Antiques: 1909 Empire Crawford cook stove
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite-Pea coal
Other Heating: Tarm wood fired boiler

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: joeq On: Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:36 pm

Next issue, after pulling it apart, and cleaning, was to put a little effort into straightening out the hopper. After just a few seasons of abuse, (from me), the mouth of this thing is seriously distorting. People say this happens from overfiring, but I'm not sure what that is to this stove...yet. The opening, I'm guessing, has been restricted maybe 25%. So I pulled out a few metal working tools, and "ported" this opening, "kinda" back towards it's original shape. This reduced the wall thickness somewhat, and not sure what effect the heat will have on it, but it's all trial and error right now. I'm just procrastinating the inevitable replacement. ($$$) these are a few B4 and after pics.
Image
And after.
Image
Of course you're viewing this hopper upside-down.
Now that I've got it all back together, our warm stint is only suppose to last a day or so, B4 winter returns, so because I'm the impatient type, I've decided to get her fired up again. Been fighting it for almost 2 hours. Is it because the temps outside are above freezing? For now, I've got the MPD wide open, and the baro door covered with foil. My draft is at -04, and the thing isn't really running yet. Just added another shovel full, which is bringing the coal almost to the bottom of the hopper. blue flames are dancing, and once she gets to temp, I'll start playing with the baro door adjustment. Currently the weight is at .04, but I'm sure my manometer will have something else to say about that. wish me/us luck. :)
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

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