Another Mass Crane 88

Another Mass Crane 88

PostBy: KingCoal918 On: Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:23 pm

Hey @JimD,

I've been firing an 88 picked up in Rockland about a year ago on Craig's List cheap. In addition to the good wisdom and assistance Doug Crane has provided, I can offer a few observations as well.

If you haven't seen it, try and get a copy of the “Coal Burner's Almanac” Crane published, and that came with each stove. I got mine with the stove. The serial number written on back matches the stove, and the warranty card was sent in. Doug, any paperwork on past owners? provenance is fun.

This is my experience since October last year in a 16' x 20' free-standing, moderately tight, well insulated workshop with what was an open, 9/12 pitch uninsulated loft. In the past 2 weeks I insulated the loft with R10 HDF in the rafter bays because of the insane ice dams and icicles the massive heat loss was generating earlier this winter. I gained about 15° in ambient temp in the shop; a substantive change. On those first few really cold days last month, the stove, cooking flat out, full pot, I was keeping the space at ~65° when tendered, and 55° in the morning (still with a heathy, glowing, banked bed) before the morning tending.

Granted it's been in the 30s and 40s and 50s (??) the past couple weeks, but the shop now sits at 75° with a 500° box, and even with the stove sitting at about 360° today, a 71° work space. The press is happy, and the ink is happy. That makes me happy. :D

But I digress. The stove is in a small room compared to what it's rated for which is 4-6 rooms if I recall. Net: your heating results will vary, but stove tending methodology might be pretty much the same.

I'm sure you've learned a lot in the past couple weeks. Here's what I've discovered, and learned, in the past few months, though this is subject to change now that the loft is tight;

1. because of the pot size, you're going to be cooking perhaps 30lbs of coal a day, and shoveling out a bit of ash you're needing to get rid of, maybe 50lbs a week? Lose the ash pan and get a good solid iron shovel if you haven't already got one, and a small 5 gallon steel garbage can with lid. Carefully lay your ash in the can brought close and tilted at 45°. Like tilting a beer glass pouring a draught, it keeps the head down. :cheers:

Shaking down once a day, you'll fill that bucket in three to four days. Keep near, and wear a particulate mask when doing this. You've probably noticed, fly ash is micro fine, and prone to float everywhere. Follow up your ash dumps with a pass with a vac. There's no avoiding the dust unless maybe you have a proper ash vac that can safely eat hot ash (does that even exist? dunno.) Transfer the cold steel pail of ash when full to a full size garbage can, preferably out of the house. I line mine with contractor bag and set that out with the garbage. Under 50lbs of fireplace ash is fully legit according with the city.

2. You probably won't shake down more than once a day. The pot on the 88 is a big one and will burn for 12 hours or longer without fussing. I go out to the shop every morning first thing (with caffeine in hand). There's always a nice orange glowing bed. The bank will have dropped about 2" over the course of the night, and when I shake it down, the bed will drop another 8 - 10" until there's 6" of burning hot coal from having the ash door open and getting air back flowing.

You've probably figured out when you shake, using the tool DC supplied, put the pin in the dump grate handle from the bottom, and shake vigorously from side to side, swiveling the grate, then pause, and shuffle the dump in and out. Do it until you see the glow of coals, but before they begin dropping through the grate.

I've never seen the bed just drop in the center, unless you've just been shuffling the dump in and out? If you're swiveling back and forth, maybe you have a lot of fused wall hangers? As DC mentioned, (with a cold stove of course) carefully knock any fused materials from the pot walls. Seems like they're probably clinkers; must be molten blobs of iron that weld to the pot wall and which will rip a chunk of pot cement out if gone at too aggressively.

3. Once you've shaken the stove down, and it's cooking good, leave the ash door open and toss a few shovel-fulls to the BACK of the pot. Make a sloping bank, but leave the front of the pot with open orange coals, and flames flickering.

Those open flames will keep you from having a “puff-back”. That's where the bed, with flames smothered by fresh coal, starts liberating volatiles (methane? hydrogen?) from the fresh coal. This builds up an atmosphere of volatile gases above the bed in the combustion chamber, and when the first flame does lick up, the gases ignite.
:blowup:
The net will be fly ash blown out any available pipe crack, or a flue pipe blown off, and cinders blown out your stove damper. I had it happen while kneeling next to the stove. Momentarily alarming to say the least.

Let the bed get cooking good with the firebox door tight and the ash door open for a few minutes after banking in fresh coal. When you close it, set your damper to 2 turns open as that new coal gets fired up. In a half hour, with the bed going well, open the firebox door again and pull the now cooking bank forward. Add a couple more shovelfuls to make a bank at the back again, and start to get your bed depth built back up. Then damp it back. In a few hours, you might tend it. Pull the orange bank forward, and toss another scoop to the back. Repeat as necessary.

4. On coldest days (and no manometer to back me up) I set the MPD about 45°. I just don't feel comfortable closing it without any clear reading on draft. warmer days MPD is wide open to keep stack flow.

I set the stove damper overnight to 3/4 -1 turn open to idle it over night. when I'm working, it's about 1 1/2 turns open with MPD 45° closed.

There ya go. A few notes from the field on the elusive Crane 88.

Like most who run hand fed, I love the stove, the warmth it provides, and the ritual of keeping the coal burning.
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a scuttle and a solid shovel
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1/2 pot - 71° shop
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nominal normal stove damper
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~350°
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mask. protect yourself.
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KingCoal918
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane Coal Cooker Model 88
Coal Size/Type: stove and nut

Re: Another Mass Crane 88

PostBy: dcrane On: Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:16 am

Great stuff coal king! its nice to see such a primo 88 nearby ;) (where do you get your Reading Coal and how much do you pay?)
Do you have a MPD installed (you should).
Your shake technique is different than most but clearly its working for you and I love that you gave your input so descriptively (this is exactly what this forum is all about). I assume you have a Nut Grate in that stove as a Pea Grate would not easily be able use your method.
A tip to avoid fly ash coming out the lower door when shaking is to open the bottom door for 2 min and open MPD with it to allow for a stronger draft build up prior to the shake (this will help pull the fly ash up towards the flu and not out into the shop), this tip holds true for all manual coal stoves... the heat also helps loosen any "toughies" near the grate.
Love the shop! I have a friend burning an 88 in his uninsulated 25x25 garage (a loaner from me)... and it keeps him toasty, takes up little space but he also is noticing next year he needs to insulate the rafters because of the HUGE ice skating puddleleft in front of his garage door after a snow fall toothy
I assume those are NOT paint cans behind the stove :shock: ... my friend is a mechanic so im always freeked about the volatiles near the stove... I guess i took my blue collar off years ago and my polly purebread brain gets scared now :lol:

Thank you so much for your post neighbor!
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

Re: Another Mass Crane 88

PostBy: Hambden Bob On: Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:29 am

Thanx for that Blast from the Past,KC918 ! I'm sure you made Doug Crane's Day ! Impressive Post with Damned Fine Pics! Enjoy !! :dancing:
Hambden Bob
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman 1998 Magnum Stoker
Coal Size/Type: Rice-A-Roni !

Re: Another Mass Crane 88

PostBy: michaelanthony On: Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:22 am

Thanks Kingcoal918, that was a nice narrative to enjoy with my coffee. Poor doug's head won't fit in your shop :lol: I bet your a one man army in Jamaica Plain haven't been there since the early 80's.
That's a nice setup and based on all the reading I have been doing on the Crane 44 and the rare 88 these are a solid heater and I hope to come across one because I have the bug and those of us that hoard coal stoves (I only have 3), will some day reap the benefits of our collection. :) I am envious of anyone who can go to work with out leaving there home and watch the oil man drive by. Stay warm friend.
Mike.
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

Re: Another Mass Crane 88

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:28 am

Those stoves really are built like tanks! Doug, are you considering making these again?

One of these with an 18" (inside the firebricks) diameter fire-pot would sell me.
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (if I ever get it fixed)

Re: Another Mass Crane 88

PostBy: JimD On: Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:25 pm

King Coal, thanks for the very descriptive tips ! So far I love the stove and only had trouble one day getting it back up and running, it just was too warm out and once it cooled outside the draft actually got it going again on its own. :)
Shaking is one time a day for me and mostly a side to side motion.... The ash hasn't been too bad as I tend to do what Doug Crane says and open her up for about 10 minutes before I do.

I am thinking the ash pan IS a pain in the ass lol..

I put my ash in a metal 2 gallon bucket and when cool it goes back into a reading coal bag and into the trash.

I love this stove. Works like a champ and in 19 days has saved me appx 200 in fuel when I calculate out what I used in coal vs what I would have used in Oil....

Plus where does my coal come from?..... Good ole USA!

Win win !!!
JimD
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Rare Crane Coal Cooker # 88. And pot bellied coal stove
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut coal

Re: Another Mass Crane 88

PostBy: dcrane On: Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:37 pm

lsayre wrote:Those stoves really are built like tanks! Doug, are you considering making these again?

One of these with an 18" (inside the firebricks) diameter fire-pot would sell me.


I would not have the ability or money to attempt producing, marketing and selling them... I was just a dumb kid brought up in the world of stoves, stove companies and coal from the age of 2 toothy
It requires a leader, a mindset of a small business owner, the credit or funds to start... I would certainly give my blessing to the right person who is more equipped than I to try...
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

Re: Another Mass Crane 88

PostBy: KingCoal918 On: Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:58 pm

Thanks guys, I'm a life log DIYer, and prone to self-sufficiency despite being in the city. The shop has been a great adventure and lots of work, but is basically complete, so now it's just a few more sheets of insulation, and I'm back to focussing on production, (and stoking the stove).

Since it's tough to make a living doing traditional hot metal letterpress, it means I head to Allston 3 days a week to do some IT management, and guy friday work for an old friend at a web design firm I was a founding member of 15 years ago for a small paycheck. That allows me to work in the shop 4-days a week. Keeps me sane. I don't think at 50 yo that I can go back to a full time day job. Well, unless the paycheck was fat like it once was. But I do it all for love not money, so enough to get by is enough. Plus my girl friend teaches elementary school art, so that helps… lol.

What's on the shelves behind the stove pipe? 1lb cans of letterpress ink. Stack temp as we know is low, so the ink stays warm, not hot, and knifes out of the can like butter. A nice warm shop keeps the 2000lb antique Chandler & Price platen press running smooth as well. The steel reinforced, vapor barriered, and insulated slab keeps from leeching away the heat.

Doug, I'd still be keen on getting a stainless ring from you if that's something you have around. I tried mudding the bottom of the firebrick at grate level with sodium silicate stove cement, but despite wetting the refractory cement, and letting it slowly dry for a couple days last month during another warm spell, it has already partly broken away, or vitrified and sagged. I have a new plan to try it again this summer using a more thought-out method.
KingCoal918
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane Coal Cooker Model 88
Coal Size/Type: stove and nut

Re: Another Mass Crane 88

PostBy: freetown fred On: Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:10 pm

Nice KC--ya need to put some polish on them thar boots in that pix-- :clap: toothy
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix

Re: Another Mass Crane 88

PostBy: KingCoal918 On: Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:43 pm

freetown fred wrote:Nice KC--ya need to put some polish on them thar boots in that pix-- :clap: toothy


aww dang, yeah I know… looking kinda shabby huh?
KingCoal918
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane Coal Cooker Model 88
Coal Size/Type: stove and nut

Re: Another Mass Crane 88

PostBy: freetown fred On: Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:52 pm

You're a good candidate for Freetown except the soles are still on yours ;)
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix

Re: Another Mass Crane 88

PostBy: dcrane On: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:01 pm

freetown fred wrote:You're a good candidate for Freetown except the soles are still on yours ;)


Thats where Freds Duct Tape comes into play ;)
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

Re: Another Mass Crane 88

PostBy: freetown fred On: Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:48 pm

You betcha :)
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix