vintage Riteway Model 37 teardown inspection

vintage Riteway Model 37 teardown inspection

PostBy: rustyrelics On: Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:33 pm

copped a Riteway M37. tore it down today. found some interesting stuff. this one was burned pretty hard. the bottom around the edges were full of nails. someone was burning scrap wood in it. also found quite a few pieces of partially burned coal, so they burned that too. louvers were installed upside down in anthracite coal burn mode, and they were blocked with coal ash. one brick retainer was broken in half on a short side, and 2 bricks cracked.
the thermostat and magnetic damper work perfectly. chain is intact. direct draft damper works perfect too. fire door is missing one bolt/nut, and the emblem is gone leaving 2 tiny holes. no front or rear exterior heat shields on this one.
now the real hard core coal addict stuff you never find out, until you tear one down. shining a very bright flashlight directly down into the combustion flue, from the direct draft outlet pipe area, and looking down at the bottom main draft inlet valve area, with thermostat set wide open, I could see a slit of light down inside the main draft control box. the main draft was leaking and directly exposed to the exhaust flue gas portion above it, through a little slit, most likely between the 2 firebricks that are angled to form the combustion flue at mid level in the firebox. doubtful its a design feature, most likely an overlooked quirk in the stove design that needs to be fixed.
not good. since when is main draft exposed to exhaust flue, when there is already secondary air holes drilled in that area, with a cover on them.
deduction is this stove was leaking main draft into the exhaust flue and probably didnt respond to the control valve very well. I'm going to remove the entire direct draft assembly next. the combustion flue will have to be sealed with furnace cement or gasketed.
just an fyi to those who own this stove or one of its modern clones or variants
ok heres the pics. to know how any stove works, take it apart and look at it first. this thing has a massive firebox. these stoves are a neat design. I like the removeable top. already thinking of modifying it, to make it a TOP LOADER like a cook stove or old oak stove.

top view with lid removed
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top view with raker grates turned view of firebox with top removed, showing one side bricks and louver removed
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Last edited by rustyrelics on Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Baseburners & Antiques: Scranton Stove Works base heater
Other Heating: Franklin wood stove

Re: vintage Riteway Model 37 teardown inspection

PostBy: rustyrelics On: Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:39 pm

broken firebricks, louver, broken brick retainer. more work for the welder. this one will be easy to weld.

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handful of old nails found in bottom of stove. some are the early tapered cut nails from very old homes 1900 era.

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Baseburners & Antiques: Scranton Stove Works base heater
Other Heating: Franklin wood stove

Re: vintage Riteway Model 37 teardown inspection

PostBy: rustyrelics On: Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:44 pm

direct draft exhaust flue open
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direct draft exhaust flue closed
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Baseburners & Antiques: Scranton Stove Works base heater
Other Heating: Franklin wood stove

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Re: vintage Riteway Model 37 teardown inspection

PostBy: rustyrelics On: Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:49 pm

inside view- upper direct draft exit, lower combustion flue exit

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view from firebox door, top sheetmetal shield is hinged and swings on 2 hooks, protects operator from firebox conditions when loading stove

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Baseburners & Antiques: Scranton Stove Works base heater
Other Heating: Franklin wood stove

Re: vintage Riteway Model 37 teardown inspection

PostBy: rustyrelics On: Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:53 pm

lower ash door open, pan removed, shows raker knobs. the raker handle and poker were not included.

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large ash pan

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Baseburners & Antiques: Scranton Stove Works base heater
Other Heating: Franklin wood stove

Re: vintage Riteway Model 37 teardown inspection

PostBy: rustyrelics On: Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:00 pm

thermostat control closed, held by bottom magnet, chain set to slight tension at closed per manual.

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thermostat valve open

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inside view under thermostat

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Baseburners & Antiques: Scranton Stove Works base heater
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Re: vintage Riteway Model 37 teardown inspection

PostBy: KingCoal On: Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:03 pm

yep that one was ridden hard and put up wet ALOT.

you need to see if you can find a front side air shield. it functions as an air wash / circulator plate. if it had been on the stove the front side wall wouldn't have warped out. there is also a heat shield for the bottom of the stove is it still there, it's a serious air wash feature to protect the stove bottom AND anything under it.

FWIW, the louvers upside down are TOTALLY incorrect and not a sign of coal burning mode. when properly positioned they force more air in under the front of the fire bed and help it burn evenly. the only reason i can see for them being upside down is that who ever was letting that stove RAGE on scrap wood thought that it would provide more over fire air. it actually shows they knew very little about the stove and how it was designed to work.

i'm glad you found the holes in the flue wall behind the shield. those are for adding oxygen to burn up creosote and coal volitiles.
if you load that stove to the top of the bricks all the way across and use the by pass damper as the exit it will pump C.O. out those holes like a shower head. :shock:
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: DSM 1400, Riteway # 37, Comforter Stove Works
Coal Size/Type: Nut Anth.
Other Heating: none
Stove/Furnace Model: 2013 1400 Circulator

Re: vintage Riteway Model 37 teardown inspection

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

interesting part. lower main draft valve open. square outer opening, shows round inside opening into bottom of stove. when I shined a bright flashlight downward from the direct draft baffle area, I could see a tiny slit of light down in the bottom here, that seemed like it was coming from between the 2 slanted firebricks that form the combustion flue outlet at mid-stove level.

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tomorrow I'm going to take the combustion flue port and direct draft port apart, and see why. I'm guessing that the only thing sealing the middle combustion flue exit, from the lower main draft valve area, is those angled firebricks, its not an airtight seal. if so that will be sealed with cement before re-assembly

a unique mod to these stoves would be a top loading lid design. I'm thinking bolt on a 1/4 steel top plate, with a 2 big round lids like a cook stove had. pour on the coal from the top. why shovel when you can pour, let gravity do the work.
Last edited by rustyrelics on Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Baseburners & Antiques: Scranton Stove Works base heater
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Re: vintage Riteway Model 37 teardown inspection

PostBy: rustyrelics On: Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:15 pm

one more. fixed combustion flue secondary air bleeds, under the side cover, one screw removed to swivel cover down. these are located half way between the mid-level combustion flue exit, and the upper direct draft exit, but all 3 empty into the same combustion flue area by design. unfortunately the bottom main draft valve inlet was also leaking into the combustion flue. or, perhaps some flue gas was leaking into the main draft and being sucked under the fire mixing with the fresh air. would depend on what side was pulling harder at the time

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Baseburners & Antiques: Scranton Stove Works base heater
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Re: vintage Riteway Model 37 teardown inspection

PostBy: rustyrelics On: Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:32 pm

KingCoal wrote:FWIW, the louvers upside down are TOTALLY incorrect and not a sign of coal burning mode. when properly positioned they force more air in under the front of the fire bed and help it burn evenly. the only reason i can see for them being upside down is that who ever was letting that stove RAGE on scrap wood thought that it would provide more over fire air. it actually shows they knew very little about the stove and how it was designed to work. :shock:



thanks for the tips on the air wash plates. doubtful if I'd find them anywhere without buying another complete stove. on the louver issue, I read the manual. it states to cover the louvers with coal, to block them, and force more air under the fire. it conflicts with information others have posted, but that's what it says.

go to this link, scroll down to SECTION 11 titled "burning coal model 37 only". this section 11 continues on the next page, the 4th paragraph down, here's what it says:

http://nepacrossroads.com/download/file.php?id=30588

"it may be helpful in burning coal to fill the firebox only to the top of the firebrick, being careful to cover the two draft louvers, one to the front and one to the back, thus forcing combustion air through the grates"

that sounds to me like they are saying, block the louvers with coal, pull all the draft from under the grates

I know the stove will burn using the top direct draft outlet. it will basically be an airtight stove at that point, with fixed secondary air bleeds on the combustion flue. a good mod if burned that way, would be drill the fire door with fixed above fire air bleeds- or better yet put an adjustable secondary draft knob on the fire door.

but then it wouldn't really be a Riteway model 37 anymore.... :D

someone else on the "busy busy" thread stated the draft louvers were really only for wood or bituminous. that seems like a LOT of above fire air to be pulling from the primary draft valve control. draft would tend to take the path of least resistance and go around the fire, leaving a lazy fire with a lot of above fire secondary air. we'll be doing some heavy duty experimenting with this stove. it will be fun !
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Baseburners & Antiques: Scranton Stove Works base heater
Other Heating: Franklin wood stove

Re: vintage Riteway Model 37 teardown inspection

PostBy: rustyrelics On: Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:38 pm

here's that other post on the "busy busy" thread that goes along with the logic in the owners manual. I'm of the same mindset as the first poster here, given an easier path to follow, the main draft air will bypass the coal fire and go around and over it, rather than under and through it. the whole system seems to be more of a wood burning system, rather than a coal system. more above fire air than below fire air for anthracite usually leads to firing problems, and it going out, or being lazy. will see when we fire it up. we can try the louvers in both directions.

Re: Busy busy busy
By: McGiever On: Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:56 pm

McGiever wrote:
As was mentioned...same dimensions as a brick...to take ones place in the stove and channel air from below up to top of fire. SO its gonna give your primary combustion air a path to bypass the coal bed? Hows that gonna pan out later in the burn when ash starts to block air going up thru the grates? Seems it would be much better to have independent control of primary and secondary air.. Am I missing something?
Actually, it is a Soft Coal/Wood device...and as you have concluded, not so much of a Hard Coal device.
The Riteways also employed a downdraft exhaust outlet which played a part with the Louvers and gave a secondary burn at low exit point. You would need to study this arrangement to grasp the whole process.
rustyrelics
 
Baseburners & Antiques: Scranton Stove Works base heater
Other Heating: Franklin wood stove

Re: vintage Riteway Model 37 teardown inspection

PostBy: rustyrelics On: Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:48 pm

on a related note- I called Harman today to inquire about their SF250. the tech who took the call happens to own one. His Dad bought it in 1990 and handed it down to him. he said the stove is "generational" and built like a tank, meaning it can be handed down for a long time to descendants, that's how sturdy its built. in the past 23 years all he did was re-brick it once a few years ago. it burns in a 3000 square foot basement and keeps it 80 degrees. he fires it with the main ash door draft knob open 1/2 its total travel ! thats a lot of main draft.

anyway the reason I called was this- why does an SF250 have TWO fire door draft knobs, but only ONE ash pan draft knob ? one of the few stoves ever built that way. he didnt know. I told him, ask an engineer. he said ok and put me on hold. he got back in 1 minute, and said this:

the SF250 was originally designed as a dual fuel stove, wood or coal. the bottom draft knob was for coal, the 2 top draft knobs were for wood. wood burns from top down. coal from bottom up. he said he NEVER uses the above fire draft knobs in his SF250, ever, and for all he cared they could be welded shut closed. he runs the fire door knobs closed and burns coal using the bottom ash door draft control. he also said SF250 has fixed window vents in it, for secondary air, so the fire door draft knobs are redundant.

the SF250 was designed in 1980's. since then EPA has OUTLAWED it for burning wood, it can be sold legally as a coal burner only. the fire door draft knobs remain as a throwback to when it was a wood burner too, they just never changed the design, and left them there. for now.

interesting stuff.

and that led me to also believe, on this Riteway 37, all this above fire air for a coal fire, may not be really needed. some would be nice to burn off methane, but the size of those louver vents is huge.
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Baseburners & Antiques: Scranton Stove Works base heater
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Re: vintage Riteway Model 37 teardown inspection

PostBy: rustyrelics On: Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:11 pm

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Re: vintage Riteway Model 37 teardown inspection

PostBy: KingCoal On: Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:08 pm

in all the time i used the riteway i only raked the fire toward the flue once, it doesn't like it at all.

i also used the grates so that when i shook them they flipped ash IN toward the center bar, it doesn't like to go out toward the sides, if you have incomplete burn those chunks will jamb it up at the sides.

i used the louvers in the down position and "covered" with coal 'cause i kept it up to the top of the fire brick any way.

the louvers really help with secondary air even though the over fire draft has to pull the it back to the surface of the fire.

you seem to have coal and fire experience enough and handy too, you should find a way to get along with it. :idea:
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: DSM 1400, Riteway # 37, Comforter Stove Works
Coal Size/Type: Nut Anth.
Other Heating: none
Stove/Furnace Model: 2013 1400 Circulator

Re: vintage Riteway Model 37 teardown inspection

PostBy: rustyrelics On: Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:38 pm

thanks for the tips KC, much appreciated. the Riteway is a good test mule for some tweaks and mods, tuning it for anthracite coal only. taking what you said first hand, a secondary air adjust knob in the flue, instead of drilled holes, would be one mod-making that flue air inlet fully adjustable. another would be solid firebrick all around the box, carefully sealed with furnace cement on the seams, making all intake air enter from under the grates. a fire door adjustable secondary above fire air control could be another mod. dispensing with the mid level combustion flue exit, and using the upper direct draft flue, is another idea.
I fired a similar box type stove for 4 years back in the 1990's. it had one high exhaust on the side, sheetmetal vented case, and hinged top. it heated well on cold days, but was a little too hot on warmer winter days in the 40's.
the more I look at this Riteway, it appears to be designed primarily for wood burning with high efficiency and long burn times, with coal burning as an afterthought. theres a lot to be said for a big firebox capacity, brute heating power and btu's. that firebox filled with coal and cooking is going to throw some serious big time heat.
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Other Heating: Franklin wood stove

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