Diary of a Surdiac

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: joeq On: Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:31 am

Lightning wrote:Hey Joe! Did you try some graphite lube where the two parts are making contact?

I like those easy fixes Lee. I'll give it a try. Never thought of it. My concern for greasing that area was the heat, but you're right, dry graphite could work. I'll let you know.

michaelanthony wrote:joep As you stated, an antique stove would fit your location real nice and I can think of a couple others as well, just ask and I will add my $.02. You are centrally located in the heart of New England and much closer to PA. than many so have fun shopping. The antique market seems to have ticked up a couple notches over the last year but spring and summer is always a good time to pick up a diamond in the rough. I am glad you found your squeek, sometimes the little things bug the crap out of me. Your family must be proud of the work you put in this winter, we are!


Thanx Mike, and you're right also. I'ld love to find another stove someday, even if I'll need to modify my wall thimble, due to the severely low mounting of the stove pipe outlet of the Surdiac. I haven't heard yet of any antique stoves that will fit my application directly, but I'll keep hunting.
Hope all are enjoying your stoves while they "idle" during our warm-up spell. I believe another 'bout of ole man winter is still waiting around the corner, to justify a little more, coal warmth.
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: Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:49 pm

(Picture at bottom)
And so concludes another winter season, and figured I'ld get this update in for my last post. It's always satisfying to end on a good note, and this year isn't any different. I learned some-more of the temperaments and antics of my stove, and can honestly say it performed well after some adjustments and modifications that this site educated me towards.
To sum up my experiences, my usual heart-ache was with the minimal burn-times. It had seemed that a lot of the time, the stove wouldn't go more than 6 hrs before clogging and dieing. When I say "dieing", I don't mean having to restart the stove from scratch, but picking up from the previous nite with a coal bed so weak it "appeared" to be out.
So I performed some sealing of the grate edges to prevent secondary air from affecting the burn, and opened up the fins in the grates to allow more air to enter under the coal bed, and even added a baro-damper, which appeared to help the most. Towards the end of the season, I was able to increase my burn-times to about 8 hrs when the stove was running on a medium heat, and making more ash. This last month, since the weather has warmed up, it seems on "very" low, I can get it to go much more. Maybe as much as 14-15 hrs W/O tending. However, running this low, the stove is producing minimal heat, (barely 200*). I learned that when I turn the thermostatic knob down to 1/2 or .5, and set the baro-damper to slow the draft from - .04 down to -.01 or .02, it'll just keep on going. I've literally had it set this low for 3 days, in the hopes of it going out,and the hopper is finally M/T, and down to the coal bed. "But It's still burning"! We're talking less than $2 a day worth of coal. And all those worried mornings of "thinking" the fire was almost out, in reality, was still burning up in the hopper. I learned it doesn't take too much time to re-ignite it into a hot and healthy fire to keep us warm the rest of the day.
All in all, this little Surdiac finally paid itself off this winter admirably. It kept our little house, (1500 sq/ft 2 story farmhouse) about 70-75* when the OATs were in the teens and 20s, and saved me at least 1 maybe 2 fill-ups of the dreaded oil tank. it wouldn't bother me a bit to use it in the next few heating seasons, 'specially if OPEC still has their way. So to all on this site that participated in my thread, I thank you for your opinions. And to all you Surdiac owners, keep the faith, and have a good summer. I'll leave you with a final picture of my stove, fighting for it's last ounce of breath. :(
Image
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: confedsailor On: Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:36 am

I wish I had been following this thread during the winter. I went round and round myself trying to get the knack for the little waffles and beer stove. I started the season with Blashak pea. It was a good bit more ash than the susquehanna I had been burning the prior year. Then on a lark I tried a bit of nut Blashak. It was like a totally different stove, the bigger size really let him breathe, but it was the way the coal burned to fine powder that really made me happy.

Beyond the fuel aspects, the stove stayed on a set schedule 0640, top off hopper, poke down, set dial to 1.5-2. 1400 check hopper, poke down, dial up to 3-4. 1800 check hopper, poke down whether it needs it or not. 2200 check hopper, good and thorough poking. set to 0-.5 for nighttime hold. next morning stove would still have fire in the pot, not just up in the hopper.

Don't despair, worst come to worst, apply verbal lubricant, just remember you have to cuss at machinery in its native tongue. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_profanity There are some Flemish gems in there that will work
confedsailor
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac 513
Coal Size/Type: stuck with cruddy clinker claus pea coal.
Other Heating: Oil Fired 1950"s American Standard Arcoliner 132K BTU

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Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: joeq On: Tue Aug 12, 2014 6:15 am

Tried nut coal in mine. Just clogged the hopper. wouldn't drop.
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: confedsailor On: Tue Aug 12, 2014 6:23 am

I remember you mentioned it. I did have the occasional problems with the nut, but what was far more frustrating was the roulette wheel of bagged Blashak. I'd rather stick to Susquehanna pea from Fleming's feed over in Preston. My hopper is also on its way out. I figure 2 more heating seasons in it.
confedsailor
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac 513
Coal Size/Type: stuck with cruddy clinker claus pea coal.
Other Heating: Oil Fired 1950"s American Standard Arcoliner 132K BTU

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: joeq On: Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:47 pm

For those of you that've changed glass on these 513 doors, I'm guessing it's easier laying on a workbench, than installed on the stove. But the hinge bolts are located behind all the tin, and is a pain to access. So I decided to do mine still hanging. My dilemma was not to drop any of the panes that I plan to reuse, while swapping out the dis-colored and damaged ones. I didn't take any pix of the dissy, but there's not too much to it. 4 screws holding the decorative face frame on (2 on the latch side and 2 on the hinge side). Hinge side is a pain, but can be caught with a thin blade screwdriver on an angle. (Hopefully your screws won't be froze in there.) Once removed, there are 4 retaining plates. 1 on the top and bottom, and 1 each on the sides. These screws can also be challenging, depending on age. Had 2 out of about 20 break off. Once the retainers are removed, each of the panes are slid in place with an asbestos u-shaped seal. I tried to slide each pane out the latch side, so as not to disturb the seal. Naturally, you need to be "extremely" careful when sliding these things out. It worked well, until I got close to the end. Then I had to secure the seal temporarily with masking tape, to hold everything in place.
this 1st pic is the old strips coming out. notice the dis-coloration. (one was broke.)
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It was easiest to remove these by tilting the tops to the left, then pulling the tops out toward me. Here they are layed out, and the tape holding the upper seal in.
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I soaked and srubbed the 10 old pieces I was re-using.
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And now, re-assy. I did have to reinstall the tape, to hold it all together.
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This is one of the the 4 retainers, holding the glass in.
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I highly recommend using some type of anti-seize on your screws to facilitate future dis-assy.
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These 2 screws for the face frame are a piece of cake. Installing the 2 on the hinge side? make sure you have a pound of patience, cause you'll need all of it. (But it is possible)
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And the finished product. World of difference.
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Now if only I can improve on that beat-up hopper. So the time frame, not including dissy, was a little over 3 hrs. That included chasing after tooling in the basement, and garage, and having to drill and tap the damaged hole. If you're more organized and proficient then me, maybe less than 2 hrs. Hope this helps some-one.
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: scalabro On: Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:52 pm

Nice job Joe.

That's good anti seize you have there, we use that at work too :)

Does secondary air come through the gaps between the panes?
scalabro
 
Baseburners & Antiques: Crawford 40, PP Stewart No. 14 in the works.
Coal Size/Type: Stove, Anthracite.
Other Heating: Oil fired, forced hot air.

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: joeq On: Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:49 pm

Thanx Scott. I'm not sure how secondary air influences pertain to those split panes. The manufacturer claims that 5% of the heat from this stove radiates thru those panes. I don't think that's much to brag about, if it is in fact true. I think more than that radiates from there, but not sure how much the slit panes affect that. If I have to do it all over, next time I'll try a single piece, and see how that goes. Hopefully I won't have to worry about it.
Have you fired your beast up yet, or waiting out the storm like me?
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: scalabro On: Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:59 pm

I've been lit for a few weeks now. Low and slow, about 250-300*

Windowstats open on warmer afternoons :mrgreen:
scalabro
 
Baseburners & Antiques: Crawford 40, PP Stewart No. 14 in the works.
Coal Size/Type: Stove, Anthracite.
Other Heating: Oil fired, forced hot air.

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: joeq On: Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:08 am

Peer pressure. It's an evil thing. I wanted to wait till after Thanksgiving for my initial fire-up. But noooo, because of all of you having "all" the fun, I decided to lite mine off, seeing I just picked up my 1st ton of Blaschack pea. Have a Surdiac tape from Myers Furniture that I reviewed for start-up tips, and was loaded for bear. Stove was sitting for a couple weeks, loaded with paper and wood, waiting for the match. The low temps the past nites were in the 20s, so I thought, lets go for it. I even taped it with my cam-corder for my own future reference. Kinda glad I did.
1st attempt, open MPD, light match and paper and we're off and running.....or so I hoped. (Not). Paper burned out, and here comes the smoke, into the house. :mad: (great, start setting up fans, and unplugging smoke detectors).
2nd attempt, a tad more successful, but not till lots of "re-learning, and remembering." Rather than bore you with details, let me just say these "2" important steps, that make all the difference.
1-put a small fan (mines one of those plastic dual window fans) blowing right into the open ash pan opening. (Fan only needs to be on low). This is to help supercharge the wood fire, and when adding small amounts of coal. It works wonders.
2-Open a door, or a window some. My house is a 2 story farm-house, about 1500sq/ft. My stove is located on the 1st floor, sort of like a foyer area. I thought it would be plenty to support combustion, but boy was I wrong. When the wood fire was burning, if I shut my front door, (to the house), the fire would almost "immediately" start to die. Can't believe how much effect it had on it. Once the stove was up and running on coal, it didn't need it anymore. It was up and running in about an hour, full of coal, and making heat. The vitals still needed some tuning, after the stove got heated up. Which is a nice segway into my next post.
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: Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:48 am

On start-up, my manometer was giving me some "crazy" readings. Sometimes it read on the other side of the zero, and 1 time it was reading as high as -.2! Not -.02, but .2. My draft "never" reads that high. never past -.08-9. Had a lot of heat/air going out the chimney. After everything settled down to normal, I went to bed about 11pm, and woke at 6 to a fire that still looked healthy. (Especially through the new glass.) Of course the heat exchanger temp was low, (200) but the fire still looked good. so I riddled, M/Td the pan, filled the hopper, and went to work. 6 hrs later the wife came home for lunch, and only did some quick riddling. 3 hrs later I came home, and did the tending. all looked good, but the stove temp was low. So I cranked up the thermostat form .5 to about 2, which is medium heat for my stove. Waited an hr, but still the temp wouldn't go up. Moved the thermometer around, which I lay on top of the heat-exchanger back of the stove, thinking maybe it's stuck. Later on, still no effect. My draft was low, so I decided to block off my baro-damper. Before that, I played with settings on the MPD, to no avail.
With the baro blocked off, the draft went from -.03 to -.07-8, but still no re-action from the fire or the temp. So I opened the ash pan door, which got the coals to burn brighter, but still the temp wouldn't go past 200.
it just didn't make sense. The fire was bright, the ash pan reflection was glowing, the draft was high, the house was warm, cause the stove was making heat, yet the heat exchanger temp refused to rise. even after I swapped my 2 thermometers to different locations. Finally I found the culprit. but 1st, here's some pix for your listening pleasure.
This is how bright the fire was.
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This is my draft reading. (Green arrow denotes the proper draft of -.04)
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And this is where my thermometer is located, and reading 200*
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And "why" was it only reading 200*? When I peeled it off the back of the stove, there was a tang on the bi-metallic spring that was contacting the metal ex-changer, not allowing it to read! Once I "tweaked" it back inside, and placed it back on the stove, it jumped up to 400*! Driving me crazy! Once again, tripped up by equipment failure. Yeah, I know, I can blame it on me, somehow, but just another lesson to learn when troubleshooting. Go for the easy fixes 1st, "B4" re-inventing the wheel. (Go figure)
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: stovepipemike On: Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:26 am

It appears as though your Dwyer may have have come out of level over the off season. If you shim up the low end ,it will change your reading. Every little thing matters when we fight the unknown. Mike
stovepipemike
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: KAA-2

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: joeq On: Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:57 am

LOL. You are very observant ole muffin breath. (Johnny Carson...the great Carnac :) ). I noticed that when I posted the photo, and wondered how long it would take some-one to pickup on that. Good job. I had a problem getting it to sit steady when it was shimed level, cause the hose kept pulling it over, so, (for now), I just adjusted the zero to it's current position, (for now), and will figure out a way to level it , probably today. But thanx for the heads up.
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: Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:24 pm

Well, here it is, full season 3, and it's all seeming to come together. This stove, and us, have finally gotten into an "acceptable" routine. The fears of the fire going out after a while, are no longer. The stove temps do go up and down a bit, but I'm assuming this is normal with "most" stoves? The Mrs. has been getting into it also, which helps. Basically, this is the norm. for me and my Surdiac.
Wake up at 6, R+R (rake and riddle), fill hopper, (usually less than 10lbs), check ash pan. (usually low).
Wife comes home for lunch at noon or so, sometimes will poke it, and top off the hopper. Sometimes not. No time.
But when she comes home at 3:30, she'll R+R, M/T ash pan, and top off hopper. When I come home at 4, don't really have to do much. But I'll poke at it thru the evening, just to play. But B4 bed, I'll give it the "full Nelson". R+R, refill hopper, M/T ash pan, and be done. Each tending takes less than 5 mins.
So far, because the oats have been "pleasant", (hi-20s to low 40s), the thermostats been on a lower setting. Been burning a little less than 40lbs a day. The house has been comfortable in the lower 70s, and the girls are getting too used to it. I remember when we were fine with the oil furnace thermostat set at 65*. Speaking of the oil, my tank is still at 1/2 way, and has been for most of the month. :)
We'll see what ole man winter has up his sleeve.
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: michaelanthony On: Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:18 pm

joeq wrote:LOL. You are very observant ole muffin breath. (Johnny Carson...the great Carnac :) ). I noticed that when I posted the photo, and wondered how long it would take some-one to pickup on that. Good job. I had a problem getting it to sit steady when it was shimed level, cause the hose kept pulling it over, so, (for now), I just adjusted the zero to it's current position, (for now), and will figure out a way to level it , probably today. But thanx for the heads up.

Hey joe the manometer has 2 holes through the body for mounting. :roll: Choose a plumb wall and put a picture frame around it :P
michaelanthony
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant 2310, gold marc box, vogelzang pot belly coat rack
Coal Size/Type: Pea, and a little nut
Other Heating: Very cold FHA oil furnace

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