Got my coal furnace! 1920 Holland Vaporaire

Re: Got my coal furnace! 1920 Holland Vaporaire

PostBy: Kev On: Thu May 16, 2013 7:17 pm

The doors all fit really well, I did a light test and there's only a hair's width gap in certain spots. They cut all the contacting surfaces at the factory to make them perfectly aligned and flat, but of course metal on metal wont be 100% airtight even with a perfectly flat contact area. But yep, all the doors make great contact with their frames, no warping.

Alright I won't worry about sealing the fire door then. Believe it or not, it wasn't designed with a draft control on the fire door. It is the first of these furnaces I've seen with no sliding draft control on the fire door. Just as you see it in the photos, an oval hole with a perforated metal heat baffle attached over it. Clearly as designed. So a set level of air intake I guess? Also, there's a concave dip in the back of the oval at the top creating a gap between the plate and the door. I'll take a picture of it.

I love the mica idea, that's what I'll do for that. Do I need to keep the plate though too? I read that they are there to absorb excess heat to protect the doors from any warping and allow safe expansion/contraction. I'm thinking I could compress the mica between the plate and the door. The only problem is I'll still have to really peer in the small holes to see anything. Unless you guys think I can get away with doing away with the plate and just going with a bracket/mica.

Both doors have a latching mechanism. I was not happy about the fire door handle, it isn't broken. :x Wouldn't have bothered me as much if it had been. Someone actually CUT the latching tab off of it, can you believe it? Was it really that wedged? If so though, why not just undo the nut holding the handle on? But yep, the saw cut is clear as day. No idea why people do these things. I am going to try to find a replacement handle or have a new tab welded on to it. Rockwood has it exactly right how it operates btw.

The ash door also latches, but it's a hook latch that the ash door tab just wedges into. You can see the frame with the latch on it above. But it latches nice and tight, same as the fire door would.

Yes, I must bring up the dreaded draft control (just read the old heated MPD thread) question. My chimney is 40' and has great strong draft all the time. So, barometric and an MPD? Or just a barometric? The heat exchanger pipe takeoff does have built-in holes for an MPD. And I was going to ask what the ideal reading on the manometer should be for this furnace. The pipe is 8" (if that helps), which is sized correctly for my chimney luckily. I like the idea of doing a permanent manometer mounted on the wall.

I love the clean out door too, a nice big 8" access to the heat exchanger for vacuuming. Really neat design thought there. The center hole is the bolt head for the cast iron heat absorption plate on the back of the clean out door. The tab with the hole would have been for additional draft control via the clean out. I only know this from the old catalogs showing the clean out door doing double duty as a clean out and additional draft door via chain control. Just pure weight keeps it closed.

Yep, that one tab had been overtightened completely tight to the adjoining tab, really unfortunate. There was a bunch of furnace cement missing there, so I think someone thought they'd just close the gap by doing that. :shock: The weight alone of the exchanger is enough to make it seal when it's properly cemented, as you say just light even pressure is needed with the bolts.

Thanks for the enthusiasm Doug, I'm pretty excited too! :D Not sure if anyone here on NEPA has taken one of these units on before now or not, but I'm guessing no? I'll be taking pictures all the way and bugging all of you with questions since I'm a newbie and have never burned coal before. All my knowledge I have now is from hours of reading all the fantastic information already here for a couple of years.

Franco, that's awesome! I never would have though of that. And I just found that the fire door frame has two knockouts for water lines in and out. And the firepot has a built in channel to accommodate them on the side. So I had found that it had a hot water coil option, but I never would have guessed the lines would have run to a small hot water tank inside.

Now on getting a good seal around the ash door, do I need to get a good seal around the smaller draft door in the ash door too?

One other question, when I build the cold air return box for the blower, can I run the first length of pipe off the heat exchanger through this for some heat reclamation as is done with modern forced air systems? Or is this a bad idea? Don't know if it would be safe or adversely affect stack temps.
Kev
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Holland #22 Special All-Cast

Re: Got my coal furnace! 1920 Holland Vaporaire

PostBy: franco b On: Thu May 16, 2013 8:29 pm

Kev wrote:Franco, that's awesome! I never would have though of that. And I just found that the fire door frame has two knockouts for water lines in and out. And the firepot has a built in channel to accommodate them on the side. So I had found that it had a hot water coil option, but I never would have guessed the lines would have run to a small hot water tank inside.

I was looking for holes into the furnace for hot water and not seeing them I did not go further. I seem to dimly remember not a hot water coil but a heavy iron casting, sort of star shaped but without sharp points that supplied hot water by gravity to the outside tank. In those days tanks were galvanized steel and the pipes were probably the same.

Holland furnace made a good product and had a large base of loyal customers that the company contacted and regularly serviced the furnaces.

At some point, whether by the management of Holland furnace or by someone who bought the name, the good name of Holland and their valuable customer list was taken advantage of by unscrupulous parties. Service men would enter the house to service the furnace. Instead of service they would dismantle the furnace and claim to the home owner that the furnace was unsafe and needed expensive repairs or replacement. If the owner refused they just left the furnace in pieces and left. Eventually there were enough complaints to government agencies plus reporting the practice in newspapers and trade publications that Holland Furnace could not keep going. Their good name was destroyed.
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: Got my coal furnace! 1920 Holland Vaporaire

PostBy: Kev On: Mon May 20, 2013 5:27 pm

Franco,

The holes are under the fire door handle in the pictures and were capped off with bolts and fender washers with furnace cement between the washers. Because of the handle they really aren't that visible.

That is very interesting, I wish I had some documentation to show how all the accessories went together and what was available. I did know about everything being galvanized back in the day.

I have been reading what I can find on Holland, and have read what you just relayed. It's amazing that they would have sabotaged their company in that way. Crazy to think they would actually go in and dismantle a working furnace. But yes, until that point they had an incredible presence in the furnace market and were renowned for their quality and service.

I would like to get the book that was written on the company. http://books.google.com/books/about/Hol ... TiAAAAMAAJ

I have had no replies so far from the sources I contacted, which is rather frustrating. I sent a PM to *GRATE GUY* and a message via his Heather Furnace website but have not heard back.

I also contacted this new Holland Furnace outfit, which apparently is servicing all makes and models made by the original company. http://hollandfurnace.com/holland-coal-furnace-parts/ My grate is shown there in the foreground of the picture. They made some large models! The grates in the background are massive. Again, have not heard anything back yet.

Google isn't helping unfortunately, I've been doing plenty of digging online to no avail. Come across plenty of HVAC industry posts talking about how they're ripping these out all the time by busting them up, depressing reading. Such a waste.

Anyway, for what it's worth here are a few more current pictures-
Image
Fire door frame, clearly showing the knockouts for the water lines. I opened them a bit, they hadn't really been punched out, it appeared that rusting had opened the thin knockout metal. So I'm not sure if they actually had water hooked to this furnace, but then why would the hot water tank stand be with it. Hard to know.

Image
Image
Here's how the fire door back looks and how the plate goes on.

Image
Have most of the parts blacked. When everything is done I'll bring it outside and fire it up to burn the smoke off.

Image
The cut handle.

Image
How the shaker controls go together.

Image
The painted ash pit casting. Went with the Rustoleum High-Temp for this section for extra rust protection since it's close to the floor. The inside has been disk sanded and will get a nice coat of WD-40. The tiered tray in the top of the ash casting was for built in humidification, This being the "Vaporaire" part of the furnace. There is a small spout that enters the ash door frame for filling it with water. The removable Vaporaire door opens on to the tray for viewing the water.

Image
The broken heat exchanger tab. I looked everywhere for the other missing piece when we picked the furnace up but couldn't find it, so the lip will have to be re-fabricated in some way.
Kev
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Holland #22 Special All-Cast

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Re: Got my coal furnace! 1920 Holland Vaporaire

PostBy: franco b On: Mon May 20, 2013 5:58 pm

You see how robustly these things were made. That cut door latch may have been done to relieve puff backs. Instead of blowing down the smoke pipe the door would open.

Many of our great companies went down the tube when the founding people retired. Sometimes they just tried to ride on what they had and not keep up with changing times.

It's nice that in a way you are able to commune with a previous generation as you refurbish what they made. Kind of an extra benefit and preserves the value of the work they did.
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: Got my coal furnace! 1920 Holland Vaporaire

PostBy: international86 On: Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:53 pm

I wouldn't worry about sealing either the feed or ash pit doors any more than they are right now, unless there isn't reasonably good contact between the door and surface against which it closes. Originally, there were two dampers--draft and check. The check damper was mounted on the smoke pipe just beyond where it connected to the furnace. When the draft door was closed, the check was open, and vice-versa. The check damper kept the draft from going up through the grates when the desired indoor temperature had been reached. When more heat was desired, the draft damper opened, and the check closed, forcing the draft up through the grates and coal. The other small air inlets in the feed door are for burning off coal gas produced when adding a fresh charge of coal. I don't know if your furnace came with the check damper, but you can accomplish basically the same thing by using a draft regulator. Either method will keep draft where it needs to be, and a tight seal on feed or ash pit doors won't mean much. I hand fired a 1942 International Heater boiler for several years before it sprang several bad leaks, and never had to worry about a tight seal on the doors. One thing to remember, if you decide to hand fire your furnace, be sure to use full-size smoke pipe. A hand-fired coal fire (with no artificial or induced draft) needs a strong draft, and the size pipe is crucial to this.
international86
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker A-80

Re: Got my coal furnace! 1920 Holland Vaporaire

PostBy: Kev On: Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:31 pm

Thank you for the input on the doors, I was wondering if it would matter since they were designed that way originally. Obviously if I went the stoker router it would be different and everything would have to be sealed off. That's great though, I'll leave them as is. They do make great contact with the frame. The holes make perfect sense now, yep, so the gases burn off safely and don't flare up.

I knew about the draft and check damper, both were linked to a chain hooked to a lever upstairs to shift between the Check, Closed and Draft. Pic of one for anyone interested:
Image

What I would like to do is have the draft door thermostatically controlled, and a barometric damper on the pipe, which I assume is what you mean saying to use a draft regulator. I know the Heather furnace outfit has one they use on their units, being a small motor and gearbox with a lever hooked via chain to the draft door. It's the only one I can find, hopefully they'll let me order one. But no, my furnace did not come with the check damper.

The smoke pipe outlet is sized exactly right for the flue, 8". So using full size pipe won't be an issue. The chimney is approximately 35', and draws very well all year.

I don't have any updates to post, just wanted to check in and see if there was anything new. I haven't heard back from any of the places I contacted via e-mail, Heather Furnace being one of them, so when I have the money to get the parts I'm going to have to call. I still need the parts I mentioned in my earlier posts.
Kev
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Holland #22 Special All-Cast

Re: Got my coal furnace! 1920 Holland Vaporaire

PostBy: dcrane On: Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:40 am

I don't know about you guys...but I cant wait to see this beast fired up :punk:
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

Re: Got my coal furnace! 1920 Holland Vaporaire

PostBy: Kev On: Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:46 pm

I was hoping by this winter I'd have it up and running. The main thing is I still have to finish rebuilding the area where it's going. I am also still rebuilding the ductwork for the air distribution. I have to re-pour the concrete slab where the furnace will go, and the first floor area above where the furnace room is had to be pulled out, so that needs to go back in too. I also need to have the chimney cleaned, inspected and capped. I know there is at least one small hole in the clay liner and it is full of dead birds and who knows what else because they never put a cap on it. A lot needs to be done before I can even begin to install the furnace. With things going the way they are right now, it would take a miracle to get this in by winter. Work is (I do historic restoration and general renovation work) terrible right now, no one is doing anything, at least in the area I'm in. Just small jobs here and there.
Kev
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Holland #22 Special All-Cast

Re: Got my coal furnace! 1920 Holland Vaporaire

PostBy: dcrane On: Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:14 pm

check the similarities here
http://boston.craigslist.org/sob/for/3872369697.html
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

Re: Got my coal furnace! 1920 Holland Vaporaire

PostBy: Kev On: Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:02 am

Nice find Doug, yes, many many companies made gravity furnaces. That's a great restoration. They're using it without the heat jacket, as basically a huge wood stove. Here is another one in action on YouTube, also restored but without the heat jacket - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OW0hZEi17bM
Kev
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Holland #22 Special All-Cast

Re: Got my coal furnace! 1920 Holland Vaporaire

PostBy: franco b On: Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:16 am

I am surprised that it has a duplex grate. I have never seen that in this type of stove.
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: Got my coal furnace! 1920 Holland Vaporaire

PostBy: dcrane On: Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:33 am

Kev wrote:Nice find Doug, yes, many many companies made gravity furnaces. That's a great restoration. They're using it without the heat jacket, as basically a huge wood stove. Here is another one in action on YouTube, also restored but without the heat jacket - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OW0hZEi17bM


Whow... did you catch a glimpse of that parlor stove in the corner at the very end of the vid :shock: wonder what that is :P
and :wtf: are all the people their.... red neck convention about what?
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

Re: Got my coal furnace! 1920 Holland Vaporaire

PostBy: McGiever On: Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:07 am

Kev wrote:Nice find Doug, yes, many many companies made gravity furnaces. That's a great restoration. They're using it without the heat jacket, as basically a huge wood stove. Here is another one in action on YouTube, also restored but without the heat jacket - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OW0hZEi17bM


Came across this video also,it shows a time lapse of assembly if you watch, about 5 mins. into video. :)


McGiever
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: HARMAN MAGNUM
Hand Fed Coal Stove: RADIANT HOME AIR BLAST
Baseburners & Antiques: OUR GLENWOOD 111 BASEBURNER "1908"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE, NUT-STOVE / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Hydro Heat /Mega Tek

Re: Got my coal furnace! 1920 Holland Vaporaire

PostBy: Kev On: Thu Jul 11, 2013 5:47 pm

I'm actually pretty jealous of that Richardson and Boynton unit, that is just mint, with all of the parts, even the jacket and only minor rust. Wish mine had been in that condition, but I can't complain, I'm still happy with it and it will be worth the extra work in the end.

dcrane wrote:Whow... did you catch a glimpse of that parlor stove in the corner at the very end of the vid :shock: wonder what that is :P
and :wtf: are all the people their.... red neck convention about what?


I hadn't seen the parlor stove, I went back and watched it again, that's a nice stove! I bet someone here could identify it. I was thinking the same thing about the gathering, no idea what they were hanging out for, but that's a full blown redneck convention for sure.
Kev
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Holland #22 Special All-Cast

Re: Got my coal furnace! 1920 Holland Vaporaire

PostBy: freetown fred On: Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:23 pm

Come on yuppies, apparently, none of you have ever seen a full blown redneck convention-- :clap: toothy
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix

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