Knox Mealmaster coal cookstove

Re: Knox Mealmaster coal cookstove

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Fri Jan 20, 2017 6:25 pm

LBrookm wrote:Paul,

Apologies for the lack of a timely reply to your questions but just getting a moment to do so - I've been basically shaking twice per 24 hrs and attempting to keep surface temps between 500-600 degrees slightly to the exhaust side of the firebox. That gives the heating area 30 degrees above outside not counting wind chill and nice even oven temps around 300 degrees. My previous post and pics hopefully answers a bit but if I missed something please let me know.

Lisa,

Survive the additional bottlenecks with the festivities today? Makes one appreciate living out here in the sticks. Hope all is well.


We took off for Williamsburg last evening so we only know what we saw on CSpan. I must say it was a great day. I can't s top grinning like a jack ass eating briers. DK is listening to the police scanner and it appears things are getting nasty over the river in DC. You wouldn't believe it if you are listening to the drive by media who see nothing, hear nothing and say nothing.

I'm hopefully that we've seen the last of BO but don't think so. Take care, Lisa
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea

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Re: Knox Mealmaster coal cookstove

PostBy: LBrookm On: Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:34 pm

:idea: !!! The "duplex grate" description makes complete sense! When the coal burning teeth side is showing the shaker handle is in full counterclockwise rotation so shaking is being done by partial clockwise rotation, etc. If I'm hearing right, the full clockwise rotation with the other side of grates showing is for burning wood? All I can say is wow! I both feel appreciative and like a dumb a** ;)
LBrookm
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Knox Mealmaster k45
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: Baseboard

Re: Knox Mealmaster coal cookstove

PostBy: Sunny Boy On: Sun Jan 22, 2017 10:53 am

The duplex grates were a compromise that makes it easier to switch back and forth between wood and coal. If you have coal that is prone to clinker, like the high iron content (red ash) coal you have, I'd suggest seeing if you can find a supplier of white ash coal such as Blaschak. Or a bulk dealer that gets coal from white ash coal mines. My dealer only buys from coal breakers in the Mahanoy area and I don't have the hard clinker problems I did when I used Tractor Supply's bags of Kimmel's red ash coal last winter.

For grates like the triangular ones in my range. They do a little better job of grinding clinkers while they are still at the "crumbly" stage, but they don't do as well with wood like true wood grates. The smaller wood embers fall through the 1/2 to 3/4 inch gaps around the grate bar teeth.

But there's a simple fix. With some triangular coal grate ranges (and parlor stoves too) they often added what was called a "summer" or "wood" plate that sat on top of the coal grates. It was just a flat cast iron plate with rows of smaller air holes to hold more of the wood embers.

Some wood plates were two-piece and had a sliding section that adjusted the size of the air opening in the plate. But they don't sit on top of coal grates, they replace them, so they can't be used for coal. The entire plate had to be removed and a set of coal grates, frame, and gears installed, plus a different shaker handle, to work properly with coal.

Paul
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: Knox Mealmaster coal cookstove

PostBy: LBrookm On: Sun Feb 12, 2017 12:56 pm

I reckon at some point it'll be fun to just tinker with the wood side since we're entering the hot today cold tonight season in Va.

Meanwhile the grate shaking "art vs. science" gifted me with a learning experience :oops: :
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Shaker handle that was inherited with stove - seems soft "pot metal". Thought it was cast aluminum but it is magnetic.
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Found another on Ebay that actually has the Knox Mealmaster label:
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LBrookm
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Knox Mealmaster k45
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: Baseboard

Re: Knox Mealmaster coal cookstove

PostBy: SWPaDon On: Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:00 pm

LBrookm wrote:I reckon at some point it'll be fun to just tinker with the wood side since we're entering the hot today cold tonight season in Va.

Meanwhile the grate shaking "art vs. science" gifted me with a learning experience :oops: :
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Found another on Ebay that actually has the Knox Mealmaster label:
100_1049.JPG

Oh, wow. Sorry to hear the shaker handle broke. And weren't you fortunate to find a replacement :)
SWPaDon
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1600M
Coal Size/Type: Bituminous
Other Heating: Oil furnace

Re: Knox Mealmaster coal cookstove

PostBy: LBrookm On: Mon Feb 13, 2017 5:02 pm

The "new" shaker handle I found and ordered before breaking the original (to me) one and had about a 2 day interval before it arrived. I reckon almost caught Murphy sleeping that time? Just really glad it was not the grates or connecting gears :D

L.
LBrookm
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Knox Mealmaster k45
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: Baseboard

Re: Knox Mealmaster coal cookstove

PostBy: freetown fred On: Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:23 pm

Yep, over time I've learned never to say "what the hell else could go wrong?" :clap: toothy
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut

Re: Knox Mealmaster coal cookstove

PostBy: Sunny Boy On: Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:16 am

Yes, lucky it was the handle. Those grate teeth are not the strongest type. And when they are cherry red, they are even weaker. Never, ever force the grates. If you feel resistance, don't try to "bust on though". Stop, get metal framed mirror, and look up in from underneath and see what is preventing the grates from moving. Then use an angled poker to work the offending piece back up into the firebed and out of the way. If it's a rock, fish it out through the top of the firebed.

No matter how long it takes to clear a jam, it'll be a lot less time then all the work involved in replacing a broken grate !!!!

Often, a piece of unburned coal will get down into the grates with ash. Especially if you shake too much ash down, and/or, move the shaker handle with too much travel. Just leave it, go off and do something else for a few hours and let that piece burn out.

Had that happen yesterday afternoon while I was out clearing snow. A "helper who shall remain nameless" :roll: ..... shook the grates too much, with too much handle travel. A piece of unburned coal got down into the grates and jammed them partially open. Since they weren't dropping a lot of good coal, I left them. Five hours later, I shook the grates again, but with the very short, chopping strokes like should be used. The jam had burned to ash and was easily cleared.

If you find the grates jam a lot when you shake ash, your moving the handle too far. Use shorter strokes and stop shaking as soon as you see small bits of burning coal dropping and an even glow throughout the ash pan area. If large pieces of burning coal are dropping, your shaking with too much handle travel.

Paul
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

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Re: Knox Mealmaster coal cookstove

PostBy: LBrookm On: Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:42 pm

freetown fred wrote:Yep, over time I've learned never to say "what the hell else could go wrong?" :clap: toothy


Unfortunately I tend to tempt fate when frustrated and say bring it on like "fine what's next it's coming anyway!" :poke: :D
LBrookm
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Knox Mealmaster k45
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: Baseboard

Re: Knox Mealmaster coal cookstove

PostBy: LBrookm On: Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:50 pm

Sunny Boy wrote:If you find the grates jam a lot when you shake ash, your moving the handle too far. Use shorter strokes and stop shaking as soon as you see small bits of burning coal dropping and an even glow throughout the ash pan area. If large pieces of burning coal are dropping, your shaking with too much handle travel.

Paul


With the silly weather we've been having here I did have a chance to clean it out since the handle breakage and did a empty box shake while watching the grates and I believe you nailed it. I was definitely moving the handle too far. Will try again.
It'll probably win again but not beat me until I quit trying? :)
LBrookm
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Knox Mealmaster k45
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: Baseboard

Re: Knox Mealmaster coal cookstove

PostBy: Sunny Boy On: Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:00 pm

LBrookm wrote:
Sunny Boy wrote:If you find the grates jam a lot when you shake ash, your moving the handle too far. Use shorter strokes and stop shaking as soon as you see small bits of burning coal dropping and an even glow throughout the ash pan area. If large pieces of burning coal are dropping, your shaking with too much handle travel.

Paul


With the silly weather we've been having here I did have a chance to clean it out since the handle breakage and did a empty box shake while watching the grates and I believe you nailed it. I was definitely moving the handle too far. Will try again.
It'll probably win again but not beat me until I quit trying? :)


It happens to us all. There's quite a bit of unburned coal under all the ash out in my driveway. :oops:

When, how, and how much ash to shake is one of the most common problems for new stove users to learn. Without someone right there to show you what not to do, it's tough not to do the mistakes. But that's part of the learning curve.

Just remember that when grates are very hot, they are also weaker and easier to break. ;)

Paul
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: Knox Mealmaster coal cookstove

PostBy: LBrookm On: Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:37 pm

While playing with the little Warm Morning project yesterday, finally fired up the old shoeing forge and in between shaping metal for that hammered out a new toy to help me kill the fire in the Mealmaster :oops:
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LBrookm
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Knox Mealmaster k45
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: Baseboard

Re: Knox Mealmaster coal cookstove

PostBy: Sunny Boy On: Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:56 pm

Nice job.

You'll find it's more useful for poking/scraping ash and clinkers by working from under the grates if you put a 90 degree bend in it about three inches from the tip. Then the tip will go up through the gaps in the grate bars without jamming because of the partial angle.

That right angle bend can also be used it to pull accumulated ash on the oven top, over to the firebox to be shaken down into the ash pan. That way you can keep the oven heat up without having to shut the stove down to vacuum it clear of fly ash.

And with the bend, it can still be used as a wood poker, if need be. ;)

Paul
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: Knox Mealmaster coal cookstove

PostBy: LBrookm On: Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:22 am

Modifications made as specified :D

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I do like how it works better - had the theory of poking from top side originally but that just seemed to pack the ash tighter. Working through the grates seems to loosen things up more and now it fits without removing the ash pan :)
LBrookm
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Knox Mealmaster k45
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: Baseboard

Re: Knox Mealmaster coal cookstove

PostBy: Sunny Boy On: Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:15 am

LBrookm wrote:Modifications made as specified :D

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I do like how it works better - had the theory of poking from top side originally but that just seemed to pack the ash tighter. Working through the grates seems to loosen things up more and now it fits without removing the ash pan :)


Perfect ! Yup, that'll do a better job ! ;)

If the fire is really hot, there is a theory that poking from the top can cause clinkers more easily. I've noticed that the really hot chunks of coal do feel "mushy" when using the poker from above, so I try to avoid it.

The only use the poker gets for above the firebed is every couple of days, scrapping the firebrick walls to dislodge any clinker scale that is trying to glue itself to the firebricks and start a buildup. That buildup not only reduces the firebox size, it also makes the surface rougher making it tougher to thoroughly shake down ashes near the firebricks.

And then the rare occasion that I've had to fish a rock up out of the firebed to unjam the grates without shutting down the stove to do that.

Paul
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

Visit Hitzer Stoves