harman ST8-VF8 stocker stove

Re: harman ST8-VF8 stocker stove

PostBy: jeepers64 On: Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:19 pm

Horace/Mcgiever another question for You. you keep mentioning the "blowers ,fans and fins they seem to be working fine in that they are working. What am I missing? is their more besides vacuuming , blowing and oiling them that has to be done? Also how many oil ports are there? I count two. am I missing any?
jeepers64
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: harman ST8-VF8 coal stoker stove

Re: harman ST8-VF8 stocker stove

PostBy: Horace On: Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:14 pm

Jeepers:

I was going from the manual when I said that it had to come out from inside the unit. When I realized I had never pulled mine out, I thought maybe I should try it. YOU CAN PULL THE PUSH BLOCK OUT FROM THE REAR! Pretty easily, actually. I hope I didn't cause you to try to do it the other way.

I'm glad that I tried it because mine was nearly jammed, too. I had all sorts of crud built up underneath it and, while it would move, it was putting a heck of a strain on the feed motor. To get to the push block from the back, I had to pull off the hopper (two bolts), then the feed motor (three bolts) then unscrew the push rod (may have done that first), then take off the flapper gate thing that has the oval hoop on it (two bolts per side.) I thought that there might be a lip or something that the push block was getting caught on, but it turned out that it was the coal/fines/sludge build-up that McGiever mentioned earlier. It took a lot of pounding and leverage to get it out, but I finally got it. If you get yours out, a word to the wise, it's a heck of a lot heavier than it looks. The build up looked a lot like either rust or pieces of coal but, once I got it down to the metal, I could really tell the difference.

Then, it was a hammer and big screwdriver to chisel all the crap off both the block and the area where it rides. When I put it back in, it was smooth as silk. Prior to cleaning, I couldn't move it by hand; now I can move it with just a few fingers.

There's a "U" shaped indent on the underside of the block. The closed part of the "U" (the bottom of the U) goes toward the front.

I really do apologize if I lead you astray with my earlier advice. From what you describe, I think that this is a great place to start. I'm not sure if a bent feed rod would cause what you are describing since the feed motor and the gate-pusher-thing are not clamped to one another. The feed rod should just unscrew so you can check it.

Hope all this helps. Please let us know how you're making out. I'm wondering if you live anywhere close to me or anyone else who has a stove like this. I'm happy to come take a look at it if you do.
Horace
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman ST8-VF8 / Frankenstove

Re: harman ST8-VF8 stocker stove

PostBy: Horace On: Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:17 pm

jeepers64 wrote:Horace/Mcgiever another question for You. you keep mentioning the "blowers ,fans and fins they seem to be working fine in that they are working. What am I missing? is their more besides vacuuming , blowing and oiling them that has to be done? Also how many oil ports are there? I count two. am I missing any?

Sounds like you got it. I still have the original blowers and feed motor, so they do last a long time. Also, someone mentioned digging the crud out of the fins of the blowers. If that stuff has been in there a while, it's pretty hard to get out. A piece of wire, or a small wire brush will make pretty short work of it.
Horace
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman ST8-VF8 / Frankenstove

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Re: harman ST8-VF8 stocker stove

PostBy: jeepers64 On: Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:46 pm

Horace: thanks for getting back to me on the push block removal sure makes it a lots easier to digest. I wasn't looking forward to ripping into the inside of the stove. I won't be attempting any repairs until next week but you have filled me with a wealth of knowledge about this stove. I won't be shooting blind. Based on what you told me about what you found in your push block I can only imagine what i'm in for. Hopefully that's where my problem lies. I will get back to you after I get it apart. thanks again. Oh, I'm located in Old Forge ,Pa. Just outside Scranton.
jeepers64
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: harman ST8-VF8 coal stoker stove

Re: harman ST8-VF8 stocker stove

PostBy: Carbon12 On: Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:48 pm

You have some good pizza there in Old Forge!
Carbon12
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
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Other Heating: Heat Pump/Forced Hot Air Oil Furnace

Re: harman ST8-VF8 stocker stove

PostBy: jeepers64 On: Mon Dec 30, 2013 1:19 pm

the best, Pizza capital of the world.
jeepers64
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: harman ST8-VF8 coal stoker stove

Re: harman ST8-VF8 stocker stove

PostBy: Horace On: Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:30 pm

jeepers64 wrote:Horace: thanks for getting back to me on the push block removal sure makes it a lots easier to digest. I wasn't looking forward to ripping into the inside of the stove. I won't be attempting any repairs until next week but you have filled me with a wealth of knowledge about this stove. I won't be shooting blind. Based on what you told me about what you found in your push block I can only imagine what i'm in for. Hopefully that's where my problem lies. I will get back to you after I get it apart. thanks again. Oh, I'm located in Old Forge ,Pa. Just outside Scranton.


My pleasure. I hope that this helps to get you going. I'm very glad that I did tear out the block and clean under it. The stove seems to be running better because of it.

Once you get it running, we'll work on getting it dialed in.
Horace
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman ST8-VF8 / Frankenstove

Re: harman ST8-VF8 stocker stove

PostBy: jeepers64 On: Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:57 pm

tomorrow is the day we take it apart and see what were up against. I'm hoping that's my problem. thanks again for all the support. will let you know how we make out after the "surgery".
jeepers64
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: harman ST8-VF8 coal stoker stove

Re: harman ST8-VF8 stocker stove

PostBy: jeepers64 On: Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:43 pm

ok guys I'm back. today we took my ST8-VF8 stoker stove apart hoping to fix the coal feeding problem. didn't have any problems removing the hopper, motor and pushrod to get to the pusher block. It had to be persuaded to come completely out. Well there was some rust and crushed coal underneath, there was some pitting on the base, the pusher block was somewhat crusted. we filed, sanded and vacuumed everything out, also blew out the motors which by the way work fine. we put the block back in and noticed a very loose fit. (top, bottom and sides). Far from a snug fit. We reassembled the unit and ran it without coal to check the mechanics working. The push block ran easily back and forth, to easy, real loose on the sides and up and down motion. put some coal in front of the push block and appeared to work ok. Filled the grate and lit a fire. the coal caught readily and was soon a beautiful sight as the fire spread. Then the ugly part! the fire burned towards the back, the coal would not come up the grate and push the fire forward or push the burned ash off. Same old problems! It won't feed coal. you can hear the coal could be heard grinding but no forward movement. Observation: Is it possible that this is not the proper block, perhaps been replaced? It is a flat aluminum rectangle block. No grooves, just flat block. I'm lost, my good old Pittston hand fired stove in the corner is looking awfully good. It was a little more work but trouble free and dependable. :( What the ? Needless to say "I'm frustrated". Any new ideas?
jeepers64
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: harman ST8-VF8 coal stoker stove

Re: harman ST8-VF8 stocker stove

PostBy: jeepers64 On: Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:02 pm

Horace, another observation. I just reread our past conversations and you explaining your push block. You said yours was heavy and had an indented "U" on the bottom front of the block. Mine is aluminum without any markings. cant tell top from bottom, just a hole for the feed rod. Is yours aluminum or steel? I have a feeling mine is a "redo" that someone had machined. If that is the case where can I purchase a new original one?
jeepers64
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: harman ST8-VF8 coal stoker stove

Re: harman ST8-VF8 stocker stove

PostBy: Horace On: Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:55 am

Darn it! I thought that that would get it.

After cleaning under and around my block, it fit in much better - it moves very smoothly, but I wouldn't describe it as loose by any stretch of the imagination. I had to pound the living hell out of lever to get it out, so there was a lot of crap around mine. It is pitted and a bit rusty. If I had to guess, I would say that it's steel, but I'll honestly say that I'm not sure that I could tell the difference.

As far as I know, there's no where to buy parts for these stoves. I'm wondering of your block is original, but the "U" that I (poorly) described is worn off. The "U" on mine is raised, and I would guess that the point of it is to allow the fines to fall underneath it, then sweep them into the fines tray. The bottom, closed part of the "U" goes toward the front, and the legs are on the sides of the block. I wish that I had taken pictures of it. I would pull it apart again to get some, but it's 15* here and going down.

Even if yours is loose and some coal is getting under it, I can't comprehend why it still won't feed something up onto the grate. When the feed motor is running and the block is moving, how far back and forth does the block travel? What's the RPM of the feed motor? When the stove is empty and without a fire, does it appear that there's a smooth, open path for the coal to follow from the push block to the grate? I wonder if the coal is getting underneath the block (or beside it) and jamming it. Is the block loose enough that you could slip a thin sheet of steel underneath or on top of the block to "tighten" it? That's probably not a permanent solution, but might give us an idea of where to go next. After you started the fire and put coal in the hopper, did the block continue to move even as it was making the grinding noises?

I would pull off the hopper, run the feed motor and pour just a bit of coal in at a time to see what happens when it's trying to feed. Don't worry about lighting it, yet, just see what's happening through the stoking process. If the coal is jamming underneath, you could CAREFULLY press down on the top/front of the block to see if that stops the grinding noises.

I was hoping that we'd start talking about timers and T-stats because the stove was running. I wish that I lived closer to you because I would be happy to pay a visit if I did. We'll get this!
Horace
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman ST8-VF8 / Frankenstove

Re: harman ST8-VF8 stocker stove

PostBy: jeepers64 On: Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:57 pm

Horace, or anyone else who would like to chime in. Here is my latest update in response to questions by Horace. Cleaned under and sides of push block, wasn't to bad real loose and sloppy. no rust but I think that's because the block is definitely aluminum not steel. cleaned and buffed block on wire wheel to a shine. description of your block makes sense. the "U" to push the fines into the fines tray keep the underside clean thus eliminating coal and fines from building up. mine has no raised "U" to keep it clean causing build up and causing the grinding of coal getting trapped underneath. although the block moves easily back and forth to a maximum distance up to3/4 of an inch depending on the adjustment lever, it is sloppy and loose with a lot of side and up and down motion. we did run it without the hopper on. we filled the grate by hand and dumped in a bit at a time in front of the push block. it pushed the coal fine until at began to compact in front of the push block and up on to the grate. the coal would compact and churn under the pressure of the push block, it just won't push it up onto the fire grate. tried holding down pressure no change, grinding coal noise and coal just churned in front of the block. I really believe this is not the proper feed block for this unit and the steel version with the underside "U" and side legs are instrumental to clean the fines and eliminate build up. again my block does not have those and I'm convinced this is my problem.
jeepers64
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: harman ST8-VF8 coal stoker stove

Re: harman ST8-VF8 stocker stove

PostBy: McGiever On: Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:57 pm

Stock pusher is in fact aluminum.
Yours I doubt is stock.
May want to polish the coal's runway/path for less resistance and crunching. :)
McGiever
 
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Re: harman ST8-VF8 stocker stove

PostBy: jeepers64 On: Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:57 pm

Hum! I did clean and sand in front of the push block but didn't concentrate on the fire box chute. I'll give it a try meanwhile I put my good old reliable hand fired Pittston coal stove on line. I'm falling behind on my projects playing around with this stove, may think about putting it up for sale to someone with a little more knowledge about stocker stoves then I possess. I will get back to you guys again and thanks for the input
jeepers64
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: harman ST8-VF8 coal stoker stove

Re: harman ST8-VF8 stocker stove

PostBy: Horace On: Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:49 pm

Jeepers:
Haven't forgotten about you. Just wondering if you've had a chance to tinker with the stove any more. I'm still completely at a loss on this one. Even with all the play, if the block is moving, I thought it would still push coal up on to the grate. I wonder what the path from the block up to the grate looks like on mine. I should have taken more pictures. I'm wondering if the coal can't get up there for some reason.

Let us know how you're making out, or if you've decided to just give up on it.
Horace
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman ST8-VF8 / Frankenstove

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