Just lit up Buckwheat in the AA130 for the season

Just lit up Buckwheat in the AA130 for the season

PostBy: mikeandgerry On: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:02 am

The fire is lit. Hopefully, one match, Freddy! :)

Burning buckwheat this season for the first time. It's not the optimal fuel for the Axeman Anderson 130-M, but it is rated for it. I went by the book. I knocked out the 7/16" sight door knock-out plug to allow more air-over-fire to burn off the greater amounts of volatiles that build up from that size coal. I did start the fire on a bed of last year's ash, as recommended, for better initial air flow and to prevent volatiles in the buckwheat from building up in the lower fuel bed. I removed the barometric damper entirely from the stove pipe connection with the chimney. In reviewing the Axeman literature, the barometric damper, type M, is to be used only if there are conditions of frequent high draft causing overtemp issues. I don't have those issues so I took it out entirely and made sure that the stove vent pipe is very secure and well sealed. Hopefully, all this will keep the whole situation from producing the "boom, boom da BOOM, BOOM, BOOM" that Freddy from Maine experienced when starting up from scratch. Though Freddy had a highly ingenious way of engineering a solution to the problem, I think I can sidestep the problem having learned from his experiences.

I will keep all you Axeman Anderson Anthratube enthusiasts posted. So far, so good. Knock on wood. :!:
mikeandgerry
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman-Anderson Anthratube 130-M

Re: Just lit up Buckwheat in the AA130 for the season

PostBy: Rob R. On: Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:31 pm

Nice to see you back on the forum.

Is the buck any quieter in the auger?
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Just lit up Buckwheat in the AA130 for the season

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:18 pm

I have run a few tons of nut through my 260. Running straight nut will have problems filling the screw as it doesn't settle like the smaller stuff. Mixing it with smaller sizes at about 50% or better and it will feed fine. Whatever you can feed the beast, it will eat it.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: Just lit up Buckwheat in the AA130 for the season

PostBy: mikeandgerry On: Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:13 am

Hi Rob, good to be back.

Yes, as a matter of fact the buck is a lot quieter than the pea in the auger. But for me it didn't matter much as you couldn't hear it very well anyway from the rest of the house. The faint trickle we could hear is gone which upsets my wife who finds it to be a "comfort sound" now that we are in our sixth season of coal heating (and no regrets).

I am also reporting that I haven't experienced any bad issues with the buck.

The unit may also be quieter because I did give the grate bearings a cleaning and a greasing this year as well as removed the baro and really sealed up the stove pipe run. The tight stove pipe vent has increased the draw through the sight port. The port door stays closed better. Before it had a tendency to open at the end of a stoking cycle. Now it has the knock out removed for the buck and still stays closed better than before. I am curious to see if I get overtemps with high winds without the baro. I have the protection of a large tree between my chimney and the wind. We'll see if it helps.

Any idea if I should adjust the ashing lever for buck? So far so good but there is little demand right now so it's hard to tell. The buck should burn to ash faster, right? So, the ash removal shouldn't be slowed. Since I have the grate moving one to two clicks on the gear wheel each cam rotation, I think it will be ok.
mikeandgerry
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman-Anderson Anthratube 130-M

Re: Just lit up Buckwheat in the AA130 for the season

PostBy: mikeandgerry On: Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:26 am

Good to know about the nut, coaledsweat. Once in a while people want to give it away when they clean out basements. I did throw some in the mix the first year from a guy who wanted to get rid of a couple of buckets from his cellar. I worried about it clogging the tube for days! It didn't. I thought I just got lucky. Glad to hear you have been doing it regularly. I will look for more freebies to toss in the bin!

I have a buddy who mixes the pea with buck which he says works well too. He has an AHS 130. I believe that he had a hard time a year or two ago getting pea because he wasn't a regular at the PA coal yards but was trying to truck and sell in NYS so he was showing up often in the Scranton PA area. They didn't want to give him the quantities of pea he needed but were happy to sell buck to him at a slight discount. He mixed it to try to stretch his pea supply and gave away a few bags to get his customers to test it in their stokers. I guess it worked out for him.

He brought me straight buck this year because he has a lot of it stockpiled and gave me a break so he didn't have to truck it. I was worried at first but he assured me it worked well for him. In my case, the reduced output won't be an issue as I don't use anywhere near the capacity of the AA130.
mikeandgerry
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman-Anderson Anthratube 130-M

Re: Just lit up Buckwheat in the AA130 for the season

PostBy: mozz On: Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:45 am

mikeandgerry wrote: The tight stove pipe vent has increased the draw through the sight port. The port door stays closed better. Before it had a tendency to open at the end of a stoking cycle. Now it has the knock out removed for the buck and still stays closed better than before.


The port door should be swinging freely open. 1/4" to 3/8". Have you measured the draft? It seems you have too much and are probably loosing heat up the chimney.
mozz
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 1982 AA-130 Steam

Re: Just lit up Buckwheat in the AA130 for the season

PostBy: mikeandgerry On: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:48 am

It's hanging freely....so to speak, Mozz! Especially so as I age. Oops, changed subject, sorry Richard.

...the sight port door, that is, except when the fan is running (stoking). I guess I didn't make it clear. And, the more I think about it, the smaller spaces between the buckwheat is the reason for the better close on the sight door when the unit is stoking, not the tighter seal on the vent pipe. (Man, you guys don't miss a trick!)

As for the draft...I have never measured it. But, I suspect it's quite normal. I know I am not losing too much heat as I can put my hand on the vent pipe when the unit is not stoking. The fire isn't cooking all the time. It will go out in a few hours without any stoking. The sight port door has never even quivered under the natural draft of the chimney.
mikeandgerry
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman-Anderson Anthratube 130-M

Re: Just lit up Buckwheat in the AA130 for the season

PostBy: Rob R. On: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:16 pm

mikeandgerry wrote:Any idea if I should adjust the ashing lever for buck? So far so good but there is little demand right now so it's hard to tell. The buck should burn to ash faster, right? So, the ash removal shouldn't be slowed. Since I have the grate moving one to two clicks on the gear wheel each cam rotation, I think it will be ok.


I think the characteristics of the coal probably make more difference on the ashing than if it is buck or pea. Sounds like it is doing fine the way it is. What does AA recommend for a setting on the ashing gear?
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Just lit up Buckwheat in the AA130 for the season

PostBy: whistlenut On: Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:27 am

The buck/pea combo will work fine. Straight buck is a very manageable fire, also. All the rigs I use or service use a two click cycle on ashing. My coal is very well sized so we'll all know on May 1st just how well it worked...... Glad Mike and Jerry are back and I hope you guys had an enjoyable summer. I might take a peek at the manometer some day, even if it is just to have a known point to reference from. Before Larry JUMPS on you guys, just tell him you have a HUGE TeePee, and it is hard to calculate with the damned flap opening so often.......and there is no hole for the probe anyway..... :idea: :idea: :idea:
whistlenut
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA130's,260's, AHS130&260's,EFM900,GJ&VanWert
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Franks Boiler,Itasca415,NYer130,Van Wert
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Yellow Flame
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska-4,Keystoker-2,
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Alaska,Gibraltor,Keystone,Vc Vigilant 2
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Van Wert, NYer's, Ford,Jensen.
Coal Size/Type: Rice,Buck,Pea,Nut&Stove
Other Heating: Oil HWBB

Re: Just lit up Buckwheat in the AA130 for the season

PostBy: Rob R. On: Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:29 am

Mike, any idea where the buck came from?
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Just lit up Buckwheat in the AA130 for the season

PostBy: mikeandgerry On: Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:43 pm

The buck came from the Hazelton shaft according to my dealer. It burns great, no problems.

The Axeman manual says nothing about ashing settings for buckwheat. That's why I was asking. Then again, it doesn't say much about them at all! My understanding is the ashing rate controls the potential size of the fire. One has to match the rate of ashing to the demand for heat. However, stoking controls the actual burn rate. My thinking was that if buck reduced output, then ashing should be set to build a slightly larger fire to compensate. However, the output differences are probably minimal but I don't really know the difference of buck vs pea in an AA130. I suspect that a longer stoker run time when needed will also compensate and probably no adjustment to ashing is needed.

The Axeman manual only calls for a range of appropriate standard draft manometer readings as would be normal for a "good" chimney. I have had a couple of trade oil burner guys look at my set up just because they were interested in the coal boiler. None of them were itching to slap a manometer on it. I asked one guy if he would come and get a reading on it for me. He said "why? are you having problems?" I said "no". He said "then why do you want me to make a call for that?" I said "cuz I wanna know the natural draft but I don't want to buy another tool that I will use once." He said "the chimney is 21' tall, one year old, clean, solid terminates above the roof peak, capped, there are no hills or solid obstructions around it, and it was custom built sized to fit the boiler, what problems could it have?" I said, "ahhhhhhhhh, yeah, you're right! Let's not fix anything that's not broken!"
mikeandgerry
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman-Anderson Anthratube 130-M

Re: Just lit up Buckwheat in the AA130 for the season

PostBy: Rob R. On: Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:19 am

I think you will be very happy with the switch. I recently started burning some coal from the Hazelton area, the ashes are a fluffy white with no clinkers.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Visit Lehigh Anthracite