Knox Mealmaster coal cookstove

Knox Mealmaster coal cookstove

PostBy: LBrookm On: Mon Jan 16, 2017 5:22 pm

Central Va. native here that was introduced to coal happenstance. We're a culture of "woodies" but my central heat went out early Dec. '16 and the main wood stove is not enough to keep house warm alone. In 2000 I purchased a Knox Mealmaster K-44N with which the house and property were thrown in. All these years the Knox was in my mind considered a "wood cookstove". It happened that after a couple nights of adding wood to the Knox every 2-3 hours to keep the house warm I stumbled across TSC's availability of Kimmel's nut coal locally and since the Knox is as I now know a coal / wood stove the learning curve began. I have benefitted greatly from everyone on this forum and can't offer enough thanks! I have never seen an entry regarding Knox Stoveworks in all my searches here so with advice from the "Introduce Yourself" thread here goes some pics:
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LBrookm
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Knox Mealmaster k45
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: Baseboard

Visit Hitzer Stoves

Re: Knox Mealmaster coal cookstove

PostBy: corey On: Mon Jan 16, 2017 5:28 pm

Welcome aboard.

Looks like a nice cook stove you have. Can you get us a picture from below the grates looking at them.
corey
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: USS Ashley coal stove
Coal Size/Type: Eastern KY bituminous

Re: Knox Mealmaster coal cookstove

PostBy: Sunny Boy On: Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:54 pm

Welcome LB..

Yeah, isn't coal much better in that range. ;) I don't bother with wood anymore except the last few fires of the season to put a coating of creosote in the flues and help prevent rust over the Summer.

As far as I know, no one has ever posted about a Knox range before. If so, then congrats on being the first. :)

And I see that yours is one of the very few ranges that the company is still in business.

http://www.knoxstove.com/about-us/

Have you ever tried contacting them to see if they have any info about your range, or parts they might have squirreled away in the basement ?

Have you been cooking with it yet, or is it just going to be used as a heating stove ?

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: lowfog01 On: Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:28 pm

Did anyone click on the link? It's weird. It appears to be a US company but if you click on the products the wording is all in Latin. I ran it through the google translator but it doesn't translate to English, just identifies the text as Latin. Also check out the phone number - no number 3. Strange or maybe it's just my computer. Lisa

Sunny Boy wrote:Welcome LB..
http://www.knoxstove.com/about-us/Paul
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea

Re: Knox Mealmaster coal cookstove

PostBy: Sunny Boy On: Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:38 pm

I see that the "products" section is that way, but the rest of the website is in English, with the full phone number listed on several pages.

Why the Latin, who knows ? Maybe someone thought they heard "Testament" when the boss asked to put testimonials on the website ? :D

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: D-frost On: Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:42 pm

Lisa,
We know you're close to D.C. Do hear choppers above, or, any black SUV's prowling the vicinity?

P.S. It opened for me ok, but I'm using linux with Opera browser.
Cheers
D-frost
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Yukon Eagle I (multi-fuel oil, wood/coal)
Baseburners & Antiques: Herald 'fireside oak'
Coal Size/Type: nut/Reading anthracite, stove/Blaschak
Other Heating: Jotul #118 wood burner

Re: Knox Mealmaster coal cookstove

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:32 pm

D-frost wrote:Lisa,
We know you're close to D.C. Do hear choppers above, or, any black SUV's prowling the vicinity?

P.S. It opened for me ok, but I'm using linux with Opera browser.
Cheers


I hear Choppers all the time - we are in the flight pave of FT Belvior's airfield. It's small so only small (private) planes and helicopters land there. Lots of activity over that way; a lot of Executive Branch aircraft. Haven't seen any black SUVs yet but they have closed the HOV lanes into the City as of 3 AM on Thursday for the exclusive use of motorcades. Everyone is still expected to be at work on Thursday though.

I don't go into DC if I can avoid it but anyone would be nuts to go there after Weds. In addition to closing the HOV lanes there will be all kinds of rolling blockades throughout the city. And just for kicks the Blue Line on the Metro is closed in VA over 3 stations for catch up safety maintenance issues... but never fear shuttle buses are available. It going to be a real mess. Lisa
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea

Re: Knox Mealmaster coal cookstove

PostBy: LBrookm On: Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:31 am

corey wrote:Welcome aboard.

Looks like a nice cook stove you have. Can you get us a picture from below the grates looking at them.


Here's a pic first thing this a.m. looking up through where the ash pan goes before the morning shake down. Looks like I may be able to get some firebox pics soon as some of the hard stuff is beginning to bind the grates - this is my longest run so far without losing the fire :? I seem to have trouble with the grate design allowing some of the hard pieces to get wedged against the sides of the firebox and not allowing the grates to return to level.
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LBrookm
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Knox Mealmaster k45
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: Baseboard

Visit Hitzer Stoves

Re: Knox Mealmaster coal cookstove

PostBy: LBrookm On: Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:52 am

Sunny Boy wrote:Welcome LB..

Yeah, isn't coal much better in that range. ;) I don't bother with wood anymore except the last few fires of the season to put a coating of creosote in the flues and help prevent rust over the Summer.

As far as I know, no one has ever posted about a Knox range before. If so, then congrats on being the first. :)

And I see that yours is one of the very few ranges that the company is still in business.

http://www.knoxstove.com/about-us/

Have you ever tried contacting them to see if they have any info about your range, or parts they might have squirreled away in the basement ?

Have you been cooking with it yet, or is it just going to be used as a heating stove ?

Paul


Thanks Paul - I've never posted on forums before but since this site helped me tremendously getting started and I couldn't find this model of stove figured sharing it is a way to give back.

I have not so far chased after parts availability but did find some nice breakdown pics here: http://www.antiquestoves.com/Mealmaster/mealmaster.htm

We do like to cook so one can only imagine the temptation when the stove is warm anyway - it's cooking breakfast now :) . Actually wifey won't let me near it when it's running "just right". The oven is advertised as "heats from 5 sides" and it does a good job with anything that needs to cook low, slow, and evenly. The coal keeps it so steady at around 300 degrees - using wood I could never keep it even without constantly tending the fire.

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

Re: Knox Mealmaster coal cookstove

PostBy: corey On: Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:13 am

Yeah I see what looks like a lot of clinkers in there.
corey
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: USS Ashley coal stove
Coal Size/Type: Eastern KY bituminous

Re: Knox Mealmaster coal cookstove

PostBy: Sunny Boy On: Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:32 am

LB,

I know what you mean about what happens if I get near the range and Melissa is cooking. :D She "bought" me the range as a present, but I think it was because she wanted to use it and couldn't move it. :D

I know exactly what you mean. When I first got my range I was using a lot of wood because it's much cheaper around here than coal. Seems like every farmer and his dog is in the firewood business. Even my Lawyer cuts and sells firewood on the side and he's well into his 70's now. :D

But after a few seasons I stopped using wood. Even the windfall wood on my property that's free. It's not worth all the extra time having to tend the fire and dampers just to try to get even temps for cooking. And if I didn't come in from the shop soon enough I was spending time restarting the fire. Plus, it could never make it though the night on a load of wood. So every morning I woke up to a cold stove and kitchen , then having to spend time getting it going while using the expensive pro-pain stove to heat water to make my coffee. :mad:

With using coal, I come down to a kitchen that's 70F and the kettle is just short of boiling. On the middle back round cover it stays about 200F - 210F. :)

It's surprising to many wood-fired range owners how long, and how even the temperatures are with a range run on coal. Glad your enjoying and benefiting from it.

That's some red looking coal ash chunks. Looks like you may have a high iron content coal. That can be tough to break it up and get it past any grate bars. Last year's Tractor Supply Kimmel's coal was like that. I had quite a few iron "meteorites" grow in there that jammed the grates. I had to look in with a mechanic's telescoping inspection mirror under the grates to see where the jam was, then go digging with the fire poker from above to get them out of there so I didn't have to shut it down and empting the firebox.

How often are you turning the grate bars ? That may contribute to some of the jams ????

Early on I found I was turning the grates too often and too much. Not knowing how often the grates had to be turned to break up clinkers while they were still in the crumbly stage, I was getting jams from coal that did not have quite enough time to burn to ash. And when I turned them too far I was dumping too much ash along with many still burning coals. With experimenting, I learned how much is enough for the coal I use and the temps I run the range at during the day. That's 550F-650F at the round covers over the firebox and 130-140F three feet up the stove pipe.

Now, I only turn them over once a day - first thing in the morning when reloading after the range has had a long burn over night. For my triangular grates, that means just a 1/3 turn to the next set of bar faces. Then give the bars the short, choppy, shaking until I see a few embers drop and the ash pan just starts to get an even orange glow from above.

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 Jan 17, 2017 5:40 pm

corey wrote:Yeah I see what looks like a lot of clinkers in there.

Thanks Corey - I'm still learning what a clinker looks like. The stuff I have left over and kinda binding the grates reminds me of red shale. Dug a bunch out underneath after work today and seemed to help a little.

Again thanks much for the help,
L.
LBrookm
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Knox Mealmaster k45
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: Baseboard

Re: Knox Mealmaster coal cookstove

PostBy: LBrookm On: Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:24 pm

As promised more pics of inside firebox since some things bound the grate and the outside temp warmed up. Was able to shut down, clean out and restart:
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Clean firebox, grates in op position
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Does this look like the back side of the grates are designed to crush things that are not too hard on the back side when rotating them back into operating position?
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Full rotation
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Partial rotaion
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I figured these were getting caught in the grates back side b/c I could rotate the shaker handle one way and it progressively would not allow return to level - kinda like a ratchet action. (?)
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This was binding the grates
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Seems much happier after cleanout :)
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Underfire after cleanout about 2 hrs into run
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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: LBrookm On: Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:40 pm

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

Re: Knox Mealmaster coal cookstove

PostBy: Sunny Boy On: Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:11 pm

LBrookm wrote:As promised more pics of inside firebox since some things bound the grate and the outside temp warmed up. Was able to shut down, clean out and restart:
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Does this look like the back side of the grates are designed to crush things that are not too hard on the back side when rotating them back into operating position?
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You have what are known as duplex or combo grates. That's the coal burning "teeth" side.
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That's the ember - holding wood burning side of the grate bars. That's not really meant for crushing coal ash, but as you found, at times it will. Other times it may be more prone to jam than the teeth side. With the force being spread out of a greater surface it's not as affective as the smaller points of the teeth biting into the ash chunks and breaking them up.

Are you turning the shaker handle clockwise, or counter clockwise when you rotate them ?

I figured these were getting caught in the grates back side b/c I could rotate the shaker handle one way and it progressively would not allow return to level - kinda like a ratchet action. (?)
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Seems much happier after cleanout :)
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Yup ! Lots of iron in those chunks.

I had one of those hang up the grate during this morning's grate rotate and shake. Rather than go in under the grates with a mechanic's inspection mirror and see what was the cause, I just waited to let it burn longer in case it was an unburned chunk that would free up when burned, or would it turn out to be something more permanently hard. After a few hours it burned enough to free up the grates and burned down to all red ash chunk that fell through. I could break it up with my fingers after it cooled.

Yeah, that glow through the grates looks much better ! :)

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