Coal Chubby

Re: Coal Chubby

PostBy: rberq On: Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:22 pm

Fiziksgeek wrote:Now that our youngest is no longer a baby, just turned 3, we really want to encourage the kids to play in the basement, so we adults can get some peace and quiet!
1. Does this sound like a reasonable plan?

Sure. A 3-year-old should be fine down there with a fire where you can't hear him. :o
rberq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1300
Coal Size/Type: Nut -- Kimmel/Blaschak/Reading
Other Heating: Oil hot water radiators, propane

Re: Coal Chubby

PostBy: Eb426 On: Sat Aug 16, 2014 6:56 am

i do not have first hand knowledge of your type of install as my chubby is a top vent. but i do have 2 years of experience now with my chubby and a skeptical wife. she is also a bit of a tree hugger who thinks coal is terrible for the environment. our chubby is located in our living room in a 2200 square foot 150 year old stone house. it heats our entire 1st floor about 1400 square feet with no problem. the first winter there was a bit of a learning curve for me with burning coal. and the most complaining from the wife. mostly due to my own mistakes handling the ash and creating to much dust. i took the time to show her how clean the coal fire burned and how there was almost never any smoke coming from the chimney. how we were supporting workers and families who live only an hour from us and not sending our money to the middle east for oil. i showed her all the math and figuring i did and how we were saving thousands of dollars in oil costs. how anthracite is not your typical polluting coal. but the biggest selling point for her was the warmth. there is no comparison to the heat that coal produces. i sometimes burn wood in my chubby and even at the same stove temperature with wood or coal its different. that coal heat feels thicker. it seems to radiate through your body. my daughter who is 7 loves the chubby. she cried last spring when i finally let the fire go out. i think i shed a tear too. last winter around here was brutal. i burned about 5 tons of coal over about 7 months running my chubby very hard at times to keep this old house warm. but still for the most part only had to tend to the stove twice a day. i personally remove my chubby in the spring out to the garage and replace all gaskets including the top gasket. wire brush everything clean and polish her up before bringing her back in the house. i painted it this year after talking to larry trainer when i was buying parts from him. and i must say it looks incredible. larry is an awesome guy to deal with. the one thing i recommend is where you have the tee at the bottom of your chimney is to keep an eye on the accumulation of fly ash. my vent pipe goes horizontally into my chimney with no clean out. i had to shut down the stove to clean out fly ash a few times last winter. i now close my manual pipe damper to try to limit how much ash goes into my chimney when i shake her down. but i am also changing my piping to include a tee with a cap i can remove so i can just stick a shop vac in and clean it out. i just called my coal supplier yesterday and am getting excited to fire her back up. bring on the winter! i wish you the best of luck with your chubby. you will love that stove and the warmth of burning coal.
Eb426
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby
Coal Size/Type: Nut anthracite
Other Heating: Oil

Re: Coal Chubby

PostBy: tcalo On: Sun Aug 17, 2014 4:29 pm

Welcome my friend.

I've been burning in a Chubby for the past 5 years. When we purchased our house it had one of Larry's original rear vent stoves in it. It was a nightmare to shake down. I had to open the lower ash door to get to the shaker arm on the grate. You could imagine, ash everywhere. We traded it in for a top vent about 2 years ago. New shaker system is a huge improvement. We're heating a 1200 sq ft ranch with ease. When the temps hit the lower teens the the oil burner kicks one to help out, but it's extremely rare in my area. I burned 4 tons last season. Once I get new windows and tighten up the insulation I'm hoping to drop that number! I couldn't imagine heating our house with any other fuel. I love coal, enough said.

After earning my stripes with the Chubby I've found some problems areas to watch for.
- I've had trouble with warped grates. I've followed all the do's and don'ts, just bad luck maybe! I believe I may have been over shaking the stove allowing too many hot coals to sit of the grate. I started leaving a small layer of ash on the bottom of the fire to help insulated the grates, time will tell.
- Mica getting pretty sooty from burning (well seasoned) wood. I stopped burning wood, problem solved... :D .
- I've had a problem installing my barometric damper. I have a fields control RC which has a male end so it requires a tee with a horizontal female end. Most tees I've seen have a female on the top and males on the bottom and horizontal section. Took a lot of digging before I found a tee that would work with the baro I have.
- Lastly, the shaker nipple. Mine seems to be wearing out pretty bad from the shaker rod. This allows combustion air in around the shaker handle making it tough to idle the stove back on warm days. I'm in the process of fabricating a fix. I'll post pictures when finished. I welded a 3" nipple onto the existing nipple and screwed a cap on the end of it. I drilled a 3/8" hole in the cap to fit the new shaker rod. I bent a 90 on one end of a 3/8" rod and threaded the other end. I welded a barrel nut on the threaded end. The 90 hooks onto the grate and a new threaded shaker rod screws into the barrel nut. I fabricated a spring handle on the outer part of the shaker rod so I could grip it during shaking. There are 2 reasons I made the shaker rod into 2 pieces. One is if the cap wears out mid season I won't need to shut the stove down to change it out. I simply unscrew the shaker rod, replace the cap and screw the shaker handle back onto the barrel nut. The second is the bent shaker rod from Larry simply won't fit through the longer nipple I added, so it needed to be 2 pieces. Hopefully it works good, guess we'll find out this season.

One more note. I burned my stove with and without the metal pot ring. I find a slightly better burn without the ring in, but the ash pan doesn't catch all of the ash. This makes for more shoveling of ash from the bottom of the stove. With the ring in it creates a slightly smaller grate area forcing most of the ash to fall in the pan, less clean up. I use the pot ring. I found it to be a hassle shoveling out ash from the bottom of the stove every other day.

Best of luck.
tcalo
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby Coal Stove
Coal Size/Type: Nut Anthracite

Visit Hitzer Stoves

Re: Coal Chubby

PostBy: Fiziksgeek On: Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:37 am

rberq wrote:
Fiziksgeek wrote:Now that our youngest is no longer a baby, just turned 3, we really want to encourage the kids to play in the basement, so we adults can get some peace and quiet!
1. Does this sound like a reasonable plan?

Sure. A 3-year-old should be fine down there with a fire where you can't hear him. :o


The best part of being a member of an online forum is getting useful infromation from people with experience and knowledge.

The worst part is receiving receiving judgemental backhanded comments from people who know almost nothing about me, my family, or my house, etc.

There's one everywhere. Thanks for identifying yourself so early on. No reply necessary.
Fiziksgeek
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Coal Chubby
Other Heating: Jotul Rockland insert

Re: Coal Chubby

PostBy: Fiziksgeek On: Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:54 am

Thanks for the response.

I've been trying to figure out how much coal to buy. I am only looking to keep the basement warm, which is ~1000 sqft, but in reality, the mechanical/workshop area is closed off, reducing the needed heating area to 600-700 sqft. I was thinking 2 tons. Maybe starting it up around Thanksgiving and burning until it warms up, or I run out of coal.

What happens when the grate is warped? Can't shake it?

I don't much care if the mica gets smoked up, but I do not plan on burning any wood, except to start the fire, which will hopefully only happen a few times each year. I have ~5-6 cords of 18-24 month seasoned hardwood mix out back ready to go for my insert.

Thanks for the heads up on the barometric damper, mine is due in today.

Not sure I want to address any sentence that includes the words "Shaker nipple" :lol:

I'm not sure if I have a pot ring or not...maybe it would be obvious if I were looking at the stove.

tcalo wrote:Welcome my friend.

. We're heating a 1200 sq ft ranch with ease. . I burned 4 tons last season.

- I've had trouble with warped grates. .

- Mica getting pretty sooty from burning (well seasoned) wood. I stopped burning wood, problem solved... :D .

- I've had a problem installing my barometric damper. I have a fields control RC which has a male end so it requires a tee with a horizontal female end.
.
- Lastly, the shaker nipple. Mine seems to be wearing out pretty bad from the shaker rod. This allows combustion air in around the shaker handle making it tough to idle the stove back on warm days.

One more note. I burned my stove with and without the metal pot ring.
Fiziksgeek
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Coal Chubby
Other Heating: Jotul Rockland insert

Re: Coal Chubby

PostBy: titleist1 On: Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:12 am

Fiziksgeek wrote:Not sure I want to address any sentence that includes the words "Shaker nipple" :lol:


Don't act all innocent on us......you are the one with the coal chubby!! :P
titleist1
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Mag Stoker (old style) one in basement, one in workshop
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III on standby for long power outages
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite; Nut/Anthracite

Re: Coal Chubby

PostBy: tcalo On: Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:28 am

Fiziksgeek wrote:What happens when the grate is warped? Can't shake it?

If the grate cracks then you won't be able to move it because it will swell up from the heat. This happened to me and I needed a pry bar to get the grate out! If it warps then the outer edge of the grate will rub on the support tabs on the pot making it difficult to shake, but not impossible. If this happens you can get a little more life out of the grate by placing a 1.5" washer on the center pin. This will lift the grate off of the support tabs. Check out this link, I posted pics of my grate. Chubby warped grate

Fiziksgeek wrote:Not sure I want to address any sentence that includes the words "Shaker nipple" :lol:

:lol:

Fiziksgeek wrote:I'm not sure if I have a pot ring or not...maybe it would be obvious if I were looking at the stove.

Here's a link to another cracked grate. It shows the ring I mentioned. Chubby fire grate question.
tcalo
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby Coal Stove
Coal Size/Type: Nut Anthracite

Re: Coal Chubby

PostBy: rberq On: Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:31 pm

rberq wrote:
Fiziksgeek wrote:Now that our youngest is no longer a baby, just turned 3, we really want to encourage the kids to play in the basement, so we adults can get some peace and quiet!
1. Does this sound like a reasonable plan?

Sure. A 3-year-old should be fine down there with a fire where you can't hear him. :o

... judgemental backhanded comments ...


Sorry if I offended. Of course you didn’t mean it quite that way, it just jumped out as a funny juxtaposition. My wife doesn’t much care for my sense of humor either. :(

Fiziksgeek wrote:I do not plan on burning any wood, except to start the fire

Not even then. If you want to do it the easy way, use standard or match-light charcoal. I prefer the standard with a little kindling because of the smell of the match-light.
rberq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1300
Coal Size/Type: Nut -- Kimmel/Blaschak/Reading
Other Heating: Oil hot water radiators, propane

Re: Coal Chubby

PostBy: Lightning On: Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:17 pm

Don't feel bad rberq.. The way it's worded we can only assume he knows better :)

I second the charcoal.. I use the woody like Cowboy charcoal. Squirt a little lighter fluid on a 3 inch layer, give it 15 minutes to get burning then start layering coal on.. easy squeezey....
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Stove Size Mix

Re: Coal Chubby

PostBy: Sunny Boy On: Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:51 pm

Lightning wrote:Don't feel bad rberq.. The way it's worded we can only assume he knows better :)

I second the charcoal.. I use the woody like Cowboy charcoal. Squirt a little lighter fluid on a 3 inch layer, give it 15 minutes to get burning then start layering coal on.. easy squeezey....



And, after years of using sticks and small branches to light my range, I third this - charcoal and lighter fluid. Then there's no need to clean the mica windows and especially, no wood creosote layer needing to be cleaned out of the flues after many lightings. Just one end of heating season fly ash vacuuming is all that's needed.

BTW, we don't want you to get the wrong impression. I know it's sometimes hard to believe, :shock: but, rberg is one of the good guys here. :D

Paul
Last edited by Sunny Boy on Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Sunny Boy
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Anthracite Industrial, domestic hot water heater
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood range 208, # 6 base heater, 2 Modern Oak 118.
Coal Size/Type: Nuts !
Other Heating: Oil &electric plenum furnace

Re: Coal Chubby

PostBy: Eb426 On: Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:52 pm

i'll fourth the charcoal for starting the coal fire. a few pieces of news paper. a couple inches of charcoal. about 10 minutes and start adding coal. way faster and easier than using wood.
Eb426
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby
Coal Size/Type: Nut anthracite
Other Heating: Oil

Re: Coal Chubby

PostBy: Fiziksgeek On: Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:21 am

Sorry if I overreacted yesterday....I generally don't like to Joke with my children's safety. That's why I am here in the first place. I want to get the stove up and running, safely! My own safety is fair game though!

Back to the story. Got my Field Controls damper and dwyer monameter yesterday. Opened the box, looked at it, closed the box. Distracted by other projects. Replacing a piece of rotted trim around the garage door turned into reframing the garage door, new sheathing, new siding, etc.

I am going to go ahead and assume that I'll get the stove plumbed in one of these days and want to order coal before the cold gets here. I'm likely to order 2 pallets (2.4 ton total) of bagged Blaschak. Look like its $310/ton from a couple differnt suppliers.

What size do people recommend for the Chubby? Look like nut is the most popular...? I could order each pallet a different size to mix....?
Fiziksgeek
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Coal Chubby
Other Heating: Jotul Rockland insert

Re: Coal Chubby

PostBy: Lightning On: Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:45 am

Different sized coal responds to change differently.. The easier it is for primary combustion air to move up thru the coal bed, the easier it is to make it burn hotter.. The smaller coal, like pea sized for example, is easier to idle down to a low slow long burn if a high heat output isn't needed.. The larger coal, like stove size, is easier to rev up for a high heat output but shorter burn time. The nut size coal which is between pea and stove size, is a midrange of both attributes.. It can be idled down pretty good for a cooler burn but then be revved up too for a hotter burn. It depends on the appliance and the size of the space you need to heat too.. It may take a little experimentation to see what size fits your needs best. I would think nut size would be just right since you primarily are looking to heat just the basement with it.

Its important to keep in mind that heat output is mainly driven by the amount of primary combustion air the coal is given for any size that you burn. Always fill to coal bed area completely at each shake down and use the primary combustion air control to manage heat output.
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Stove Size Mix

Re: Coal Chubby

PostBy: Fiziksgeek On: Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:00 am

Ideally, I would go out and buy a few bags of the different sizes and experiment before comitting to a larger order. Unfortunately, I don't really have the time to fool around..I mean experiment... as much as I woudl like. Sounds like nut is the way to go...and we'll reasses for the following winter...
Fiziksgeek
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Coal Chubby
Other Heating: Jotul Rockland insert

Re: Coal Chubby

PostBy: ONEDOLLAR On: Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:15 am

Fizisgeek

The Regular Chubby was built to burn NUT size coal and that size will serve you well. When you have some time down the road it doesn't hurt to play around a bit with different sizes. Pea though can tend to fall through the grate. Just an FYI
ONEDOLLAR
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: 2014 Chubby Prototype
Baseburners & Antiques: Crawford #2 Base Heater
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Anthracite

Visit Hitzer Stoves