lowfog01 wrote:Boy, you've been busy. How many BTUs do you think you'll get out of the stove? How much coal can it hold? It certainly looks like it will do the job for you. Lisa
BTU's? Not a clue. More than four adults and one tween need for showers, dishes, and laundry (on warm). It takes a long time to heat up 77 gallons but I have to let it go out now and then so it doesn't overheat. No one match club for me. I have streamlined the relight. I don't empty it. I shake it down till I get to the partially burned coal that is alway on top of the ash. It is a lot harder to break up through the rocking grates so you can tell by the feel it is time to stop. I put it about 4 to 5 sheets of newspaper on top of what is leftover, kindling, a few chunks of hardwood. I light that off with a propane torch. Once I'm sure it is going to go I put about 3 or 4 hand fulls of coal on, before the newspaper is even fully burning. Careful not to put on too much because I want it to roar. Leave it alone for at least 15 minutes. I almost alway have dancing ladies. Then I will layer coal in to build up the fire. Once I get it where I want it depending on the water temp, whether I'm going to be home, going to bed whatever, I close the manual damper and air and it will run low for many hours. I try to keep it between 110 and 140 but I don't have it down to a science yet. More like guestimating. I think it starts easier leaving the partially burned coal in place.
I think it will hold about twenty pounds but I never put that much in at once.
The mini boiler was a yard sale leftover I picked up about 5 years ago. When I inquired about it it's owner told to just take it away. Free is good. The indirect was $275 used on Craigslist and it came with controls, brass fittings and a 60 watt circulator. I had to drive 4 hours round trip to get it. Many of the parts and pieces where salvaged off old oil boilers but I had to buy a few bits here and there to get it all together. I don't keep good records. If you figure in gasoline and assorted parts I might have another $200 invested in the project.