scottf wrote:My father tells me Im crazy for wanting to burn coal. He says as a youth he had to load the old coal boiler and clean the ashes every day and it was a dirty dusty chore with lots of work. This was back in the 40's . I think it is very different now but he doesnt understand how. He also complains of having to deal with the clinkers. My question is do we still have to deal with clinkers with the coal we burn today. Will this be an issue in my hand fired antique stove?
Clinkers form when the coal is heated to extreme temperatures. Clinkers are formed from the other trace minerals that exist in the coal get hot enough to melt and fuse into a mass. I have had to deal with some pretty big ones while working on steam locomotives.
BUT, you don't have worry about them with an appliance that operates with a natural draft. It is highly unlikely that your fire bed will get that hot. I have never had a clinker in a stove with a natural draft. Stoves and furnaces with forced drafts run a greater chance of bumping the fire bed temperature up to the fusing point in the coal. Any reputable coal dealer will give you the specs for what they sell. This information contains the BTU's produced per pound, ash content, sulfur content and the fusion temperature at which clinkers will form.
And last of all AND MOST IMPORTANT--form your own opinions about coal and it's nature. You already bought one of the best stoves ever made so you are ahead of the game. Learn and experiment and enjoy your new found interest. Don't let any one else's bad opinion rain on your parade.