New Harmon Mark I owner

Re: New Harmon Mark I owner

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Sat Feb 23, 2008 8:15 pm

RePete wrote: My wife loves that the living room should stay cleaner now!! She spent three hours wiping black soot from the wood and plastic items in the stove area last week. Not fun... :D
Pete.. :)


Hi Pete,

You shouldn't have any "black soot" in the house with Anthracite Coal. When I shovel the coal into the scuttle from my coal bin in the cellar I stop and wet it with water from a spray bottle several times. That way there is no dust from filling the stove. Since to scuttle is next to the stove I do have to spray it again since it dries out quickly there. Also, make sure the blower is off during any shaking or filling of the stove. Careful removal of the ash will also cut down on the dust. I removed the cover on the blower motor intake and inserted a piece of AC filter over the mesh screen, it helps cut down on the dust as well. Since there was a wood stove with no blower in the spot where the Harman is now and since the blower outlets are deflected down towards the floor stirring up some dust is unavoidable. We have 2 dogs and 2 cats here so the blower does stir up some dust. My wife insists it's because of the coal she says it wasn't this way when we were burning wood, but there was no blower running. :bang:
Wood'nCoal
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert

Re: New Harmon Mark I owner

PostBy: Devil505 On: Sat Feb 23, 2008 8:58 pm

RePete wrote:I want to say thanks for every one that posted. I tried this yesterday and today. WOW, what a difference. I keep the round draft control at 3/4 turn. I fill the stove a few more times a day to top it off. That way I don't have to load so much coal in at once and have less of a chance for a gas explosion. When I loaded it before sometimes I would get that gas smell in the house. If I put too much in at once. I now shake it down a few more times. But still only have to empty the ash pan twice a day. Not as much ash either since I'm burning less coal. Temps on the stove are 250* and stove pipe temp of 100*. I'm using much less coal now. I put the blower on a timer and run it most of the day. My wife loves that the living room should stay cleaner now!! She spent three hours wiping black soot from the wood and plastic items in the stove area last week. Not fun... :D

Warm and toasty on the Cape
Pete.. :)


Glad things are getting better Pete! Not sure if I understand this though: " I fill the stove a few more times a day to top it off. That way I don't have to load so much coal in at once and have less of a chance for a gas explosion. When I loaded it before sometimes I would get that gas smell in the house. If I put too much in at once. I now shake it down a few more times."
You shouldn't have any gas explosions at all if you leave a little section of the fire uncovered to burn off volatils regardless of the amount of coal you are adding. You also should not have to be increasing the number of times you shake the stove down. Just the reverse since you are running the stove cooler than before.
If you are getting any gas smell, I recomend that you open the ash door until you get a nice strong draft running through the coal bed before you shake down or even add coal. Then, any gases should be drawn up the chimney & not back into the house.
Hang in there.....It'll take a little time to get things down pat, but it sounds like you are well on your way!
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: New Harmon Mark I owner

PostBy: RePete On: Sat Feb 23, 2008 9:26 pm

Ok, I've got to stop shaking it down more then twice a day (got it). My coal is bagged and wet but it does dry out fast when left in my bucket. That spray bottle Idea will surely help there. Now, I do leave a hole open for the blue flames to ignite the gases. But I have to remember to leave the door open and get it hot so the gases go up the chimney. I used to load a whole bucket in one shot before. That was a lot of crackling going on after I put it in. Well, off for more adventures in coal.

PS. That whole wife and black soot stuff that's a different story for another day..

Thanks Guys
Pete..
RePete
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harmon
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark I

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Re: New Harmon Mark I owner

PostBy: coalcracker On: Sat Dec 07, 2013 9:41 am

this is an old thread, but worth reviving.

I have a good deal of experience with the Harman I and Iron House Newcastle coal stoves.

you don't need a manual of baro flue pipe damper with a Harman I coal stove, it's internally baffled and will control the fire right down to a simmer at 3/8 turn open on the draft control. If you look inside the stove, in the top inside, there is only a 2" opening across the front of the upper roof, for exhaust smoke to exit. It's like having a manual flue pipe damper closed partially at all times. The smoke goes up, across the top, then DOWN, then out the back horizontally, then up the chimney. Very similar to an old baseheater, etc. system, that's why Harmans cost more and are so efficient. The draft air control on a Harman I is the most precise I've ever seen. It reminds me of the idle mixture screw on a carburetor. The sweet spot for a Harman I is 3/8 open for minimum low heat, and 3/4 turn open for maximum heat. This is assuming you have at least an 20' chimney or higher. You'll never use all the draft opening available on the knob. It turns open 6.5 turns but in the past 10 years, I've never had mine open more than 3/4 turn on the COLDEST days, when it was 30 below zero outside. At 3/4 turn it is really cranking. If you are burning it in the 1 turn open, perhaps you are burning it too hot. A good setting for average NEPA winter days is 1/2 turn open and just leave it there, it won't go out if fed coal.

1 bucket of coal a day, is not a lot, that's only 40 lbs. per day, or $4/day at current NEPA prices of $200/ton. That's only $120 a month and saving a ton of money compared to oil, gas, propane, heat pump. The nice thing about the coal stove is, it's cheaper and real heat. Electric, gas and propane heat are heat in name only, the floors in the house will still be cold.

On the subject of draft and dampers, I took the time to actually measure the draft opening on my Harman I where it spends most of its time at 1/2 turn open. The opening is .025" measured with a feeler gauge, all around the knob. The knob is about 3.75" wide. Doing some math, the circumference of the draft knob is 11.775" x the opening of .025" yields .3" square inches of draft opening, or 3/10 of a square inch- less draft intake area than the size of a POSTAGE STAMP when burning and heating my entire house. That's why the Harman I gets such great coal mileage, and many using that stove can heat all winter with only 2 tons. I've already managed to heat my home with only 1 ton during a mild winter in NEPA. The new airtight stoves don't use a lot of draft air. You don't need a flue pipe dampener, because there's not a lot of draft to dampen to begin with, when the stove is set up properly.

There is a tendency for newbies to over-draft and over-fire a coal stove, trying to get a blast of heat from it like a wood stove. Resist the temptation to fire it like a wood stove. Changes in coal stove draft must be done in increments - then wait until the stove gets up to that higher burning rate- and evaluate if that's hot enough. A newbie will tend to slam the draft wide open, it then over-fires, then slam the draft closed a half hour later, then it goes out because it used up all the coal inside.

Make small changes in draft and see how it burns. With any single knob-type draft, start at 1/2 turn open, from the complete closed position. Go from there.

You will be hard pressed to find a better free standing stove than a modern Harman. The door handles, hinges, latches, stove wall, legs, fan, etc. are all high quality and a lot better than most competing designs. To be quite honest I have never seen a better stove and have owned and fired many. I have many vintage stoves and the Harman I is built better, and operates better.

IMHO the new Harmans are better than the best tall standing vintage stoves such as the baseheaters. The downside of any stove with a huge firepot is, they eat a lot of coal. People that say they can put 4 bags of coal in their stove, 40 lbs. each, are spending more on coal heat than it would cost to heat with gas baseboard. The whole idea should be, use as little coal as possible, to get maximum heat, and burn the longest time.

When in doubt, buy a smaller stove, because small stoves burn less coal by design, and are inherently more efficient. The Harman I is a perfect place to start, and most likely will be the only stove you'll ever need. Ignore the claims of "bad service" with Harman, that is laughable, because with a Harman, you won't ever need any service. Mine hasn't needed so much as a nut or bolt in 12 years. All I've ever done was feed it coal, rake it down, and take out the ashes. Once a year I clean the pipe in the back, before starting it. I burn junk mail and old bills, bank statements, etc. in it throughout the year, so paper ashes builds up there. (a coal stove is a good paper shredder)

There's a tendency for neophytes and newbies who live outside the NEPA coal region, to complicate and mystify the idea of burning coal for heat. There's nothing mysterious about it, it's not rocket science. Just use trial/error and common sense, you'll be ok. If you have trouble controlling a stove such as over-firing, usually its leaking air from somewhere, and getting excess draft.

You mentioned a Newcastle stove, they are also a good stove, but not as well built as a Harman I. The Harman has bigger, stronger hinges, latches, stove panels, a stronger fan, better draft control, and a vastly better internal baffling system. Harman has auxiliary air inlets around the glass on the door, Newcastle does not. The baffle in a Newcastle is a simple piece of sheet metal set on 2 pins, and as designed is a bit too short to effectively slow down gas flow to the top flue pipe outlet. To get one to be more efficient, it needs a taller baffle installed, i.e. Newcastles need some tweaking to get them burning right, and a relative's Newcastle stove burns 2x what my Harman I burns in coal. Newcastles have a less precise slider draft control, and tend to leak draft air around the shaker control rod in the side of the stove, I had to make a special gasket to block air leaks there on a Newcastle. The Harman also has much better shaker grates. The round grates of the Newcastle tend to create clinkers, and the ash door must be opened to rake the Newcastle in both directions. The Harman I has a much beefier raking handle, and can be raked with the ash door closed.

Having said that, the Newcastle is a decent stove, just built simpler, and less expensive. A new Harman I today is $1850 plus tax/delivery. The used Newcastle we got for a relative, was only $250. We then had to buy stovepipe, front door seals, etc. but were still all in at about $350. So the Newcastle is a good low cost used alternative. Newcastles are no longer made new, they do rebuild them, Iron House of Cape Cod made Newcastle stoves, it was their own design, they now sell mostly wood stoves, but still make/sell parts for their old Newcastle line as well. If I found a decent Newcastle for $100 I'd buy it, but much over that I'd probably pass, because replacing the firebrick, seals, etc. in one is expensive.
coalcracker
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Standard sealed hot water boiler, hand fed
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark I Magnafire
Baseburners & Antiques: Lehigh Oak 18, Washington potbelly, Sears Roebuck parlor cabinet, PIttston 6 lid cook stove, vintage combo gas/coal cook stove 4 lid
Coal Size/Type: nut
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark I Magnafire

Re: New Harmon Mark I owner

PostBy: dcrane On: Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:24 am

gosh... where do i begin without people thinking im a total azz :cry:

lots of good info in previous post... lots of bad info too... an internal baffle is not to replace a MPD and a MPD is not simply to try and reduce draft (that your primary draft controls does so well as you point out), ill let someone else explain it better if they wish or ill be writing a book.

Baseburner effect by virtue of that internal baffle? :cry: ...NO... just NO! again...ill leave it to others to write the book if they wish :lol:

I will say Im glad your Harmon has held up nice we will never ever have to replace any parts ("Ever" is a long time and that sounds good to me) especially with a warranty like they have (if anyone is so inclined read all its sections with a fine tooth comb and you may get some laughs :fear:

when referring to a "sweet spot" on any stove it is very important to understand this changes for EVERY single install (the sweet spot FOR YOU is 3/8 a turn... sweet spot for another person could be 3 full turns).

OK... thats all... better guys? :oops:
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

Re: New Harmon Mark I owner

PostBy: Lightning On: Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:52 am

I admire your observations and willingness to share but I have a few objections ;)

coalcracker wrote:When in doubt, buy a smaller stove, because small stoves burn less coal by design, and are inherently more efficient.
A bigger stove will be more efficient at a lower burn than a smaller one at a higher burn.. #1 - The larger stove has more surface area for heat transfer.. #2 As you push the smaller stove harder to burn hotter, a higher percentage of that heat will escape out the chimney because of reason #1.

And what happens during those arctic blasts? You push the little stove past healthy limits and still may not be comfortable. My opinion, always buy a stove a little bigger than necessary, but don't go over board. . A good coal burner that has done his homework will be able to choke her down on warm days and not loose draft OR the fire.

coalcracker wrote:There's a tendency for neophytes and newbies who live outside the NEPA coal region, to complicate and mystify the idea of burning coal for heat. There's nothing mysterious about it, it's not rocket science. Just use trial/error and common sense, you'll be ok.
How do ya learn anything if you don't experiment... 8-)

I'd rather not get into a damper debate, I use both and get steady burns that only vary a few degrees thru up to 24 hour durations.
coalcracker wrote:Doing some math, the circumference of the draft knob is 11.775" x the opening of .025" yields .3" square inches of draft opening, or 3/10 of a square inch- less draft intake area than the size of a POSTAGE STAMP when burning and heating my entire house.
THis part is interesting, it doesn't take much to feed a coal fire. It varys with draft strength like Doug said.
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Stove Size Mix

Re: New Harmon Mark I owner

PostBy: Wiz On: Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:28 pm

gosh... where do i begin without people thinking im a total azz :cry:

OK... thats all... better guys? :oops:


To be honest, this was big improvement from your recent replies to a fellow Harman member. I was reluctant to even read thread at first. So Thanks for keeping it clean.
Wiz
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker Ka 6
Coal Size/Type: Casey Junk Coal :(

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