PostBy: justashooter On: Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:37 am

well, i should have taken pix, but a description should give a general idea. i am burning a vermont vigilant 2 with nut/pea mix and am running hot. just finished adding an inside coal bin, so life is easy.

i have an older farmhouse that is half log cabin structure, and half balloon frame. the footprint of the two combined is about 24X24 and 20X30, so about 1200 SF on each floor. the cabin has a walkout basement, and the frame has an earth basement. the 3rd floor is a half story with about 600 SF that i don't normally use, and have several doors isolating. the house has original windows with storms, but modern doors, and is about half insulated in the balloon section with celulose. the 2nd floor ceilings likewise.

my stove is in the walk-out basement, and the coal bin is in the back basement about 40 feet away. the walk-out basement is my hobby room, and the stove is slate hearthed and stone wall backed. the rest of the room is finished, but the floor is india slate on concrete, so a bit of a heat sink. i have 2 sizeable squirrel cage blowers bracketing the stove and drawing heat off into ducting to 12X12 grates in the floor above. i also have a cold air return to the furnace in the same room, so can run "fan only" to the entire house with the propane hot air furnace. i have added a floor fan to increase the circulation in the room so that the 16X24 return draws 85* air. the cold air return draws so much air that i have a significant negative pressure in the stairwell.

the stove was run last year with pea and rarely got over 550*. it kept the house in the 60's reliably, without the cold air return and fan only system that i added this year. i am having trouble keeping it under 750 now with a range mix of half nut half pea, and actually demagnetized a stove thermometer last week. the biggest problem i have is in getting the heat out of the stove room effectively. i would add a floor grate into the living room, but want to keep the rooms effectively isolated with regard to sound transmission. because of this i am running the fans.

the really cool part, and relevance to this thread, is the coal bin i added last month. last year i had a wooden coal bin outside, and let me tell you, that business is for the birds. walking out into the middle of the night to dig the bin out of a foot of snow to get a 5 gallon bucket of coal was not fun at all. walking into the back basement to get the same is much nicer.

the bin is in the back corner of the earth basement, about 6'X6' with a 36" door set at 45* angle on the corner, and framed with 4X4 and 2X4. it is built with end nailed wall frames that are lag bolted to corner studs with 1/8" steel clips and 1/2" lag bolts. it is floor to ceiling, and attached to joists above. i didn't have a hammer drill to secure the treated lumber plates to the concrete floor, so there are steel braces lag screwed to keep the exposed walls that are not against the foundation corner from kicking out, and depending on the loading against the foundation walls.

the wall surfaces are 14 gauge galvainsed steel sheeting i had picked up years ago for a song, hung on the interior of the framing. after framing the walls and door opening i used a 40 tooth carbide blade on a 7 1/2" circular saw to cut the steel sheeting to size (wear safety glasses and don't try this on over 14 gauge), overlapping corner studs where i could, and nailed the steel to the studs with #12 nails and a framing nail gun (needs max air pressure and dead square alignment or you get fish hooks flying back at you). the door is framed with 2X2X3/16 angle steel, steel sheeted, hinged on both sides with pipe sections, 1/2" round rod pull pins, and eye bolts into the corner 4X4 studs. it has a gravity feed chute just an inch over bucket height, and there is a window in the top of the door i can stick a rake into to pull the coal forward, so i am hoping to get 70% gravity feed.

the bin is fed via a feed chute i made up out of 14 gauge galvanised. the chute is about 4 feet long and sits at about 40* angle. it is 14" wide and 10" high on the outside wall, about 2 feet above grade, with a cap. passing thru the outside wall and over the foundation thru an old kitchen under cabinet it narrows to 10X10" before turning plumb to fall into the back corner of the bin. i cut the parts and flux core welded to make the chute, and had just enuf room to jog it in as one peice thru a hole in the cabinet floor. cutting the opening was a royal pain in the tush, but after painting the exposed areas with aluminum paint, then sealing and framing it to match the windows, it looks rather nice.

the best part was the day the coal truck showed up to deliver. the driver laid down his 10' conveyor and began to roll the nuggets and i went down to see how things were going on the receiving end. the chute fed perfectly and 3 ton ran right to the bottom of chute, up to the top of the bin in the back corner. the coal going into the chute made the sweetest sound as i weighed the effort of building the bin against the effort of running the pickup truck up to the coal yard last year and shoveling coal into the wooden bin. never again, my friends. never again.

i would have made the bin bigger, but space in the back basement was limited by plumbing and shelving and such, so i settled on a calculated 3 ton capacity. i think i could get 3 1/2 ton in, but didn't want to push it on the first fill. the coal was blascheck from Hoke Mills in York Pennsylvania, at $220/ton plus $60 delivery for 15 miles. hopefully it lasts 90 days or more. on basis of what i have seen in the last week, i believe it will.

this bin should last forever, treated lumber footed and steel lined. i am sure it will be here long after i am gone. gravity feed is a simple pleasure well earned. walking out into the dead of night in the snow and cold is a thing of the past.
Stove/Furnace Make: Vermont
Stove/Furnace Model: Vigilant 2


PostBy: coalkirk On: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:05 am

Well they say a picture is worth a thousand words. I'd say you about nailed it. :lol: But since the name of the thread is coal bin PICS, it would have been nice to throw a few pixels in there. :taz:
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal


PostBy: Stephen in Soky On: Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:15 pm

Well, ya'll can laugh over my high tech coal bin:


It's a corner in the tobacco barn. Poured foundation makes up the side and back. Some heavy poplar floor joists repurposed when they replaced the floor of the sanctuary in the really old Catholic church make up the third side. And I like the front open so I can come and go easily with buckets.

A ton of egg on one side:


A ton of lump on the other:


And I'm set for the year. Keep a pole axe and a coal fork nearby. Few chicken transport coops, a gin pole, extension ladders, the obligatory plastic yard chair for libation and contemplation time, oh and elevated brooder boxes for when I'm hatching/selling chicks in the spring complete the scene:


Oh, and a 1947 Willys CJ2-A to keep the coal company.

ETA: The floor under the coal is repurposed corrugated metal roofing. No rock/dirt in the coal, and it was FREE!
Last edited by Stephen in Soky on Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Stephen in Soky
Stove/Furnace Make: Warm Morning
Stove/Furnace Model: 500


PostBy: Hambden Bob On: Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:20 pm

Yep,I think that about covers it....It works,and you're warm and the coal's dry. Chances are good you will now be bombarded with questions regarding the Willy's ! If you need real,actual fit parts for it,let me know. I can help you get in touch with the folks who have actually got the rights to the name,blueprints and a ratpile of NOS parts for all the old Willy's. I actually was in the factory and grounds that your Willy's was built in before they tore it down. :(
Hambden Bob
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman 1998 Magnum Stoker
Coal Size/Type: Rice-A-Roni !


PostBy: Stephen in Soky On: Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:26 pm

My Dad and Leo rode together to Nashville to pick up our Willys and that one. Ours had a PTO, which this one lacks. My Dad sold ours years later but Leo still had his in a shed. It took me 3 years and countless cases of beer to buy that one. It has 52,000 one (Well 2) owner miles on it. I switched it over to twelve volts, but kept everything to switch it back. Runs like a top when I put a little effort into it. Unfortunately I never used it this summer.
Stephen in Soky
Stove/Furnace Make: Warm Morning
Stove/Furnace Model: 500


PostBy: ted11 On: Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:04 am

this one is a temp. until i get the one built in furnace room. there is an opening in the foundation for a shute. it will be sweet. i guess the house origonaly had an efm stoker, wish they would have left it!
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Stove/Furnace Make: harman
Stove/Furnace Model: magnum


PostBy: vermontday On: Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:30 pm

The best coal bin may be no bin at all. For those who are thinking of an EFM boiler, check out the following video;
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520


PostBy: vermontday On: Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:35 pm

You will need room to install a skid/bulk bag feed system, the following sketch attachment shows the minimum room required. The sketch shows the auger out of the right side of the boiler, EFM's can be setup with the auger out of the left side as well.
Boiler - skid layout.pdf
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Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520


PostBy: Hambden Bob On: Sat Mar 19, 2011 1:03 pm

Excellent job,Vermontday !...Well Done and thanx for the details.
Hambden Bob
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman 1998 Magnum Stoker
Coal Size/Type: Rice-A-Roni !


PostBy: MURDOC1 On: Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:04 am

Vermontday, very very impressive setup!!! That's what I call 'thinking outside the box' pun fully intended!!!
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska/Franco Belge/Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: S.S. 2/ 144.08.02/ Mag Stoker


PostBy: ramblerboy2 On: Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:27 pm

I'm trying to figure out if I can build a coal bin in my basement which can be filled directly by the coal delivery truck with the chute thing they use. There is a basement window in the area, on the side of the house facing my driveway. The space on that side of the house (we are in the city) is about 13 feet. Can the coal delivery chute turn 90 degrees? If so, the truck could back into my driveway to the window, and the coal could just slide in through the window to a bin in the totally unused section of my basement. I assume this is the way the coal was delivered to my house back when it was heated with coal, but there is no obvious evidence of a coal bin. I can try to snap some pictures since this reads like gibberish. Thanks.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac MCK 508
Other Heating: Embassy Ambassador BMS natural gas boiler


PostBy: vermontday On: Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:01 pm

I believe they can turn it 90 degrees. I think there a pin that the chute hooks onto under the back of the truck that allows it to rotate 180 degrees.

The house I grew up in had a Gentleman Janitor coal boiler. The coal bin was filled through a celler window from a driveway that was only a couple feet away from the house, running along the side of the house. With the neighbors house just a couple feet on the other side of the driveway, the truck was parallel to the house.
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520


PostBy: njbill On: Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:00 pm

I was looking online for some coal bin "plans", since a well-planned project tends to turn out better than the alternative. I came across this plan from a 1981 edition of Popular Mechanics and didn't see it already posted here. You can read the magazine article there about how to heat your home with coal. Remember, in 1981 inflation was rampant, gold surged to over $800/oz and silver to $50/oz, interest rates were soaring, and the second oil crisis was in swing. Hmmm....

Anyway, I got a good chuckle scrolling through the rest of the magazine too!

I would be interested in ways to improve on this design. I'd add removable access boards instead of a shutter door, and size it to hold 5 tons of coal instead of 3. Other suggestions anyone?

Coal Bin - Pop Mechanics.JPG
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Popular Mechanics Coal Bin Plan
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman & Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Magnafire Insert, Pioneer


PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:13 am

Anyway, I got a good chuckle scrolling through the rest of the magazine too!

16K RAM expandable to 48K :lol:
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove


PostBy: steamup On: Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:02 pm

Just finished my coal bin in the corner of my basement workshop. I am buying coal in TT loads and did not want to move by hand. Check this out.

coal bin in progress.JPG
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I made a small chute in the door to load buckets with coal for my K-6.

Coal bin sliding doors.JPG
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Above the bin is an area with an overhead door. I built a small removable loading chute.

Coal bin chute.JPG
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I have a small tractor with a loader to move stuff including coal.

Coal bin loader.JPG
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The loader in action:

coal bin load.wmv
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1 ton of coal in bin. I estimate I can get 7-8 tons in the bin.

coal bin - 1 ton coal.JPG
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman-Anderson AA-130, Keystoker K-6
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: HS Tarm 502 Wood/Coal/Oil
Coal Size/Type: pea, buck, rice