Coal Bins?

Coal Bins?

PostBy: Guest On: Tue Oct 18, 2005 8:56 pm

Does anyone have some pictures of coal bins that they can post? I just want a reference before i start building one. Im thinking of one that can hold 1 to 3 tons. I would like to put it under a raised deck about 4 foot high which is against the house. Is it bad to have the coal stored close to the house? Is this a fire hazard?

Thanks
Steve
Guest
 

PostBy: Richard S. On: Tue Oct 18, 2005 10:13 pm

For three tons it's pretty simple, get yourself 4 sheets of plywood. Use one for the floor, two for the sides, and cut the other one in half for the other two sides. 8x4x4 can fit about 3 ton.

Take one of your 4x4 sheets and cut that into 1x4 sheets. Make stops that the 1x4 can be placed against from inside the bin. The coal will hold them in place until you empty it. Remove each 1x4 as you use the coal, this will give you easy access to the bin instead of reaching over the top all the time.

You will of course have to reinforce the walls and floor somehow, either with 2x4's or by some other means.

I've been meaning to get some pictures and diagrams for bins but just haven't had the time.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

PostBy: Guest On: Wed Oct 19, 2005 2:08 pm

The Administrator has it right. Two additional things I would do would be to treat the plywood with some kind of deck sealer to protect it against the elements. Most importantly, seal the laminated edges with same to prevent wicking up of water and delamination. My bins have stood up well. Secondly, the easiest thing to prevent bulging of the bins is to drill two sets of holes 1 foot and 3 feet off the ground in each of the lateral (long side) of the plywood and thread it with ~ 4.4 foot threaded rod (1/2"). Put a thick fender washer on each side and screw them down from either side of the two pieces of plywood (total of 4 nuts needed). This will give enough support to prevent bulging out from the weight of the coal within. Additionally, cut a door about 2 feet above the ground and use a piano hinge and barrel bolts to secure it to dump the coal. This takes a little experience to dump coal in the barrel or hod, but you can save some work reaching over, save the last 500lbs or so where you will have to scoop it out yourself.
Guest
 


PostBy: Richard S. On: Thu Oct 20, 2005 3:44 am

Anonymous wrote: Secondly, the easiest thing to prevent bulging of the bins is to drill two sets of holes 1 foot and 3 feet off the ground in each of the lateral (long side) of the plywood and thread it with ~ 4.4 foot threaded rod (1/2"). Put a thick fender washer on each side and screw them down from either side of the two pieces of plywood (total of 4 nuts needed). This will give enough support to prevent bulging out from the weight of the coal within.


That's a good idea too, you could use eyebolts and a cable to accomplish the same thing. Even eyebolts and cheap set of ratchet straps. Ratchet straps may even be a better idea because they can easily be removed.

Three things I did forget to mention, first is leave access to the top of the bin if you put a roof on it, whether you put the roof on hinges or make it completely removable. Even if only half of it is accessible or has a small opening in the top. This applies to any bin, easy access to the highest point of the bin makes my job very easy. I can put coal nearly anywhere but I can't put it through walls. :wink: How you set your bin up can mean the difference between 10 minutes or an hour, I have even refused future service to customers unless they were going to modify their setup simply because they made it too hard. I don't mind working but I'm not going to kill myself to make a delivery.

The second is if your going to do any reinforcing the bottom is the best place to do it. In the "short" 15 years that I have been doing this every bin that I have seen break has broken on the bottom.

Third is any reinforcing such as 2x4's should go on the outside of the bin, so you should have your 2x4 | plywood | place where the coal goes. Sounds simple but I've seen many customers place the plywood on the outside it. This works fine for a while but eventually wherever the screws or nails are in the plywood rots or weakens and it eventually breaks.

If built properly a plywood bin could last 20 years or longer, easily. Build it with treated lumber and it will probably outlast the stove. If you intend on burning coal for a long time don't skimp, you'll be glad you didn't in the future.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

PostBy: George/ NJ On: Mon Oct 31, 2005 11:48 am

I built mine with a sloped shed roof. The bottom third is hinged across the middle & roofed with ice shield which bends easy at the hinges. While full it is easy to unload off the top, there is also a door on the side for later.

I used to drive a concrete mixer truck, so I was familure with the force that liquid concrete has while being poured & contained in a form. That said, I made sure to reinforce my bin with some 2x10s & rachet straps over them...I'm glad that I did, cause even with that, there was some bulging.

The long bolts and / or eye & wire is an excellent idea, I'll add that for next year.
George/ NJ