There is a coal stove in our garage that my dad would use every winter to keep our garage heated, as we have water pipes in the garage and an apartment on top of it. It's been there longer than I've been alive (Im 25). My dad got sick around 2006-2007-2008, and no longer had the energy to get the thing going every winter, so he just bought a kerosene heater to run near the pipes when it got super cold out. It stays above freezing in there until it's about 20*, then we need the heater. As he got weaker, he schooled me in the use of the kerosene heater, but I never got a lot of info on the coal heater, since he stopped using it when I was too young to care. (If only I knew back then what I know now).
Well, my dad passed away in 2011, and I never got any education on the coal stove. It's been sitting unused since, we'll say, 2006 for discussion's sake. I remember very little about what he did every year to start it up besides a lot of cursing!
He would usually start the coal burning with magnesium I think. It has two fans... one is an air feed, and one is exhaust. Im pretty sure it's an automatic feed on the coal, because either him or he would have my brother or I go out now and then to dump a 5 gallon bucket filled with coal into the hopper, and then it was good... just had to empty the ash bin.
Im getting really sick of this kerosene heater, though. Going out every 3 days or so to fill up the 5 gallon can for 20 bucks, having to mess with it before work and before bed. Screwing with the wick, it gets smelly sometimes, worrying about CO, all for mediocre amounts of heat. I want to see if I can get this coal burner up and running again. Once it was running, as long as the power didnt go out, it ran all winter without issues, and kept the garage toasty
My main concerns are having it leak carbon monoxide. My brother and his dog live in the apartment upstairs. I know there are gaskets and seams that need to be sealed. The other main concern is one I vaguely remember my dad mentioning when I asked him why he didnt use it. He said a piece fell from the inside, and he was concerned that the fire might spread backwards into the hopper... Im pretty sure that's what he said.
Im fairly handy, I do a lot of car work, and he taught me a lot of skills, but I have no idea about any part of this stove. It's not something I want to play the trial and error game with. Who would I talk to or have come look at it? I also need help identifying the make and model, what features it may have... and if anyone could point out concerns to check out, that would be great too, thanks.