Converting from wood

Converting from wood

PostBy: gordonb999 On: Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:06 am

I have to say that this is the best site that I have ever visited on the web so far. Thanks to everyone for the information. I have been trying to convert a wood stove to coal without much luck so far. My stove is an All Nighter big moe made in Glastonbury ct and completely air tight, probably one of the best wood stoves that anyone could want, Not pretty but in the basement and heat 1800 sq ft for thirty years burning five to seven cord a year. MY wood supply is gone. I have done some mods to the stove and actually had a fire going yesterday for a couple of hours but it would not last. If I have to render the stove useless in its present state then I will probably just buy a coal stove and set them up side by side. There seams to be a lot of knowledge on this site and I would greatly apreciate any info on this subject. I am retired and have the ability to do most anything for myself and have in the past. From what I have seen so far the coal stoves have to be connected to some form of electricity to run blowers and such and this is definately not for me. If the power goes out I want heat in the house and the ability to cook even it the basement has five inches of water in it. thanks to everyone
gordonb999
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Moe

Re: Converting from wood

PostBy: Devil505 On: Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:15 am

gordonb999 wrote:I have to say that this is the best site that I have ever visited on the web so far. Thanks to everyone for the information. I have been trying to convert a wood stove to coal without much luck so far. My stove is an All Nighter big moe made in Glastonbury ct and completely air tight, probably one of the best wood stoves that anyone could want, Not pretty but in the basement and heat 1800 sq ft for thirty years burning five to seven cord a year. MY wood supply is gone. I have done some mods to the stove and actually had a fire going yesterday for a couple of hours but it would not last. If I have to render the stove useless in its present state then I will probably just buy a coal stove and set them up side by side. There seams to be a lot of knowledge on this site and I would greatly apreciate any info on this subject. I am retired and have the ability to do most anything for myself and have in the past. From what I have seen so far the coal stoves have to be connected to some form of electricity to run blowers and such and this is definately not for me. If the power goes out I want heat in the house and the ability to cook even it the basement has five inches of water in it. thanks to everyone


A handfired stove needs no electricty at all & will therefore run fine if you lose power. Alot of us will run blower fans to move the heat more efficiently but you certainly do not need to do so.
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: Converting from wood

PostBy: LsFarm On: Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:17 am

Hi Gordon, please take a photo of your stove, showing the firebox, ashpan, and any grates if it has them.. A photo will help us help you.
You do not have to use a fan for washing the heat off the surface of a stove, but it does increase the stove's heat output, and reduce the amount of heat going up the chimney... Most hand-fired stoves will work fine without a convection[heat distribution] fan. On some stove the fan is an option.

Take a look at the many hand-fired stove sites, and see how the firebox/ashpan/grates are set up, and if you can modify your stove to provide the same airflow to the fire as a coal stove.

http://www.harman.com
http://www.hitzer.com
http://www.bakerstoves.com

http://www.alaskastoves.com
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.

there are more...

I think these are good links.. if not google the brand name,, you'll find the sites.

Welcome to the forum.. Greg L
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

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Re: Converting from wood

PostBy: gordonb999 On: Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:53 am

Thanks Greg
I have already acomplished your requests and feel that as of this time I would be unable to convert my stove and still be able to have it perform the task that it was meant to do, which it does sooooo good. So now I will looking into the purchas of a stove that fits my particular situation. I want to thank you for the help and look forward to the future on this site...
The child is grown the dream begins
gordon
gordonb999
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Moe

Re: Converting from wood

PostBy: LsFarm On: Tue Apr 01, 2008 1:45 pm

Hi Gordon, yes some wood burning stoves can be converted, but most can't.. I have two wood stove fireplace inserts in my house, I'd love to burn a bucket of coal ocassionally in them.. but there is no way to get all combustion air to be routed to the underside of the fire... there are no grates, and If I installed some grates, ther would be no ashpan, or air control to the fire... they just won't convert to coal.

For a good deal on a coal stove, keep an eye on http://papershop.com/ http://www.craigslist.com and your local papers... ask neighbors about anyone burning coal.. you may find a stove in your neighborhood. Don't forget http://www.ebay.com. many good stoves come up for sale there too.

The Hitzer stoves, the Harman stoves. the Alaska stoves, and several others are very good hand feed stoves.

After looking at the cut-away drawings of the stoves, you can see that there are several required items in the design:
An ashpan,
combustion air vents usually through the ashpan area to feed air under the coal bed
Shaker grates, hopefully with an external handle
Usually a firebrick lined firebox
Often a heat distribution fan, which can be used or not, depending on desired heat output

Hope this helps... Greg L
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: Converting from wood

PostBy: grizzly2 On: Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:17 pm

I just converted from burning wood to coal. I had planned to burn wood in my Hitzer 30-95 spring and fall. The guys here told me that once I burned coal I would never go back to wood. The coal heat is so constant and controlable, and there is so much less labor, that I will only burn wood in the garage now(in the Jotul 3 I took out of the house. Why mess up a chimney with creosote when it will stay clean except for ash, when burning coal. I am an enthusiastic coal burning convert. :D

By the way, I love my Hitzer :!: I do run the blower occationally when I want to heat up the house quickly, but heat without it in this milder weather.
grizzly2
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 30 - 95
Coal Size/Type: pea and nut/ anthracite
Other Heating: Jotul #3 wood stove in garage. Oil backup in house. Electric backup in house.

Re: Converting from wood

PostBy: rdw On: Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:35 am

Hi,
Just wanted to tell you that you are trying to reinvent the wheel. The All Nighter Co. made a coal grate that will fit right into your stove. In fact there is one advertised on Hartford Craigslist now. Item no. 613641690 for $50. I doubt any conversion that you come up with could do the job that this will do. They are made of solid cast iron and have a seal on front so that the air coming in the draft caps on your door has to go under the coal fire as it should in any updraft style stove. Hope this helps.
rdw
 
Stove/Furnace Make: cawley lemay
Stove/Furnace Model: 400

Re: Converting from wood

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:57 pm

rdw wrote:Just wanted to tell you that you are trying to reinvent the wheel. The All Nighter Co. made a coal grate that will fit right into your stove. In fact there is one advertised on Hartford Craigslist now. Item no. 613641690 for $50. I doubt any conversion that you come up with could do the job that this will do. They are made of solid cast iron and have a seal on front so that the air coming in the draft caps on your door has to go under the coal fire as it should in any updraft style stove. Hope this helps.


Geez, what a great forum. :)
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: Converting from wood

PostBy: BroBob1 On: Wed May 28, 2008 10:13 pm

Hi All,
I'm new here, I noticed the topic and if anyone could help it would be greatly appreciated :roll:
I have a Better N Bens 501 stove and I was looking into burning coal this winter because of the Grand Larceny of oil heat :mad:
Does anyone know where I can get a coal grate for this stove?
Thanks,
Bob
BroBob1
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Better n Bens
Stove/Furnace Model: 501

Re: Converting from wood

PostBy: Devil505 On: Thu May 29, 2008 7:20 am

BroBob1 wrote:Hi All,
I'm new here, I noticed the topic and if anyone could help it would be greatly appreciated :roll:
I have a Better N Bens 501 stove and I was looking into burning coal this winter because of the Grand Larceny of oil heat :mad:
Does anyone know where I can get a coal grate for this stove?
Thanks,
Bob


Hi Bob & welcome. My first stove was a Better N Bens. Nice little stove but it was a little to small to heat my house when the temp dipped below 32*. I too had grates that were jammed & could never find replacements. (you might try Ebay & have better luck than I did) I actually ran the stove for a few years with jammed shaker grates by just using a poker to manually get rid of ash from under the grates)
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: Converting from wood

PostBy: BroBob1 On: Thu May 29, 2008 2:55 pm

What are jammed shaker grates?
Thanks! :)
BroBob1
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Better n Bens
Stove/Furnace Model: 501

Re: Converting from wood

PostBy: Rob R. On: Thu May 29, 2008 3:39 pm

What type of grate is currently installed in your stove? Can you post a picture of the grates?

A shaker grate normally has a handle that allows you to shake the grates and effectively shake the ashes down into the ash pan, you would need to do this approximately every 12 hours of burn time. If the grates get damaged and stuck in one position, they are "jammed".

Poor quality coal can contain rocks or cause "clinkers" to form, either of these can jam the grates in one position and prevent you from shaking down the ashes.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Converting from wood

PostBy: Devil505 On: Thu May 29, 2008 4:16 pm

Thanks! :)[/quote]
BroBob1 wrote:Does anyone know where I can get a coal grate for this stove?
Thanks,
Bob


[quote="BroBob1"]What are jammed shaker grates?



Thought that was what you were looking for??
(My Better N Bens had two grates that the coal bed sat on & were designed to slide from side to side when shaking down. They jammed (froze solid) & wouldn't budge after a few years. I still used the stove by poking from underneath until the grates just broke off completely!)
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: Converting from wood - Better N Bens

PostBy: Packrat12 On: Sun Sep 28, 2008 10:06 pm

The ultimate answer on jammed Better N Bens 501 shaker grates.

The grates jamb against the front and back sides because they expand with heat, Clinkers and nails also contribute by burning through the individual bars on the grates allowing them to expand sideways.

My solution was to pry (knock, hook and bang) the grates out of the stove removing them through the feed door. You have to remove the shaker hook first with a half inch wrench, and the pop the 2 grates apart in the middle where they interlock.

Take them out and place them on a flat surface interlocked face down, You will note that the centers of the grates where they join are wider than the outside edges.

Take a straight edge and scribe a straight line between the parallel corners. this will indicate how much material has to be removed from the centers to get them working again. I have used a either bandsaw or a grinder to remove maybe the 1/8 to 3/16" of material that has expanded on both sides.

Clean the stove thoroughly including the corner air bypass tubes. Put it back together and shake away.

This is a temporary fix however (good for 1-2 years) because the grates will expand again until they crack. Somewhere I have seen an online store that sells them but they are ~$70-$80 EACH (you need 2.)

I once considered having a set flamecut out of steel but never got that far. BTW...my stove was actually marketed by JC Penneys and has a different name along with 3 "Dutch" Tiles across the front.

The blower fan is a different story...Disassembly and lubrication will get you by for another year or two also.

When I find that source of grates I'll post it. The stove owes me nothing... it paid for itself burning up 3/4 of a bin of coal that was left in the cellar after a gas conversion. I think I might try Bio Bricks this year.

Packrat12
Packrat12
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Better n Bens 501
Stove/Furnace Model: Better n Bens 501

Re: Converting from wood - Better N Bens

PostBy: Packrat12 On: Sun Sep 28, 2008 10:33 pm

Just a correction from my last post...I was referring to the 801 stove of course not the 501.

I found the Better N Ben's Grates and hold onto your britches...they are now $91 EACH (if they really exist)

The link is here:

http://www.woodmanspartsplus.com/68/catalogs/Wood-and-Coal-Stoves-Manufacturers-Cross-Reference.html

I have no financial interest in this supplier nor have i ever ordered from them. Another hint/trick I forgot was that these stoves were produced either in Rocky Hill or Terryville Connecticut, by Hayes Company (or Corporation.) When I lived in Connecticut it was a big farm in Rocky Hill that also had the local school bus contracts. Maybe an old Hardware store (if you can find one) around there has some in stock. I used to get mine from a guy in Middletown but I have lost his name.

Preston Trading Post in SE Connecticut will chase up tough parts for you but I haven't called them.

Back to my BioBricks.

Packrat12
Packrat12
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Better n Bens 501
Stove/Furnace Model: Better n Bens 501

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