Custom Build, Need pointers before i finish this stove

Custom Build, Need pointers before i finish this stove

PostBy: sarge On: Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:16 pm

Well guys i am looking for some feedback i live in western wisconsin and anthracite coal is not popular i did find a dealer in minnesota but it cost 350.00 a ton .But here is the deal i am a stainless welder by trade and i decided to build my own outdoor boiler i used a 550gallon lp cylinder which is 3/8 thick and cut in half to make a 4'foot firebox I then cut a 1000gallon in half to slide firebox in and to provide water jacket this boiler weighs2700lbs and holds 350gallons of water i built 4 0f these and sold them now i am finishing mine for this winter and have decided to burn anthracite coal so i designed the grates for shaking and feed air from underneath i used schedule 40 stainless pipe and put 1/2inch gaps in between pipes for air under coal .Iam completely new to burning coal so what i am looking for is someone to give me pointers before i finish this stove .I would like to know how long anthracite will burn without air since this boiler is a closed sytem the only way air can get in is when the thermostat calls for heat so on 20 to 30 degree days it could set idle without air for a while also the fire box is rather large and the coal comes in 40lb bags how long does a bag last and how much on average does it take for a2500 square feet 2 story farm house we seem to heat 8 months out of the year in wi and temps can be below 0 for several weeks we have been burning wood indoors so we like the temp on warm side i really want this coal to work fuel is getting high wood is getting harder to find due to everyone buying owb if anyone can direct me i would appreciate it i really would like to talk with someone my name is mike and i can be reached in evenings after 8pm at7156433008 . I would like to leave a comment about stainless steel wood boilers stay away from stainless i have been welding stainless for 20 years and your lower grade stainless will not hold up to extreme heat you will experience cracking and leaks before warranty is up stainless really grows when heated there is heat resistant stainless up in the 347series and your inconel and hastelloys but this stainless is selling for 16dollars a pound it would cost you 20 to 25 thousand for a stove like this yor regular iron stoves will last you a long time i guarnttee you so dont get excited when the salesman says stainless firebox just get in your car and look elswhere
sarge
 

Re: OUTDOOR Wood/Coal Furnaces...Seeking advice before we buy??

PostBy: LsFarm On: Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:17 pm

Hello sarge.. you will have to install an adjustable air control that lets some air in all the time to keep the coal burning.. You will keep losing the fire or getting partial fires without some continous air.. Then use an aquastat to control a forced air combustion fan to ramp up the fire.

I built my own wood/coal boiler.. and made plenty of mistakes.. firebox design is one big mistake.. if you want to burn anthracite or Bituminous coal well, you MUST have a deep firebox, with vertical sides, and the entire bottom of the firebox covered with shaker grates..

My firebox is 24" wide, tapering down to 9" at the grate, about 10"deep and it WAS 50" long, for the ability to load plenty of wood, and long logs.. After I found out that feeding this monster was a full time job, and I was looking for a 12 hour loading schedule, I went to coal.. Well a long, narrow, shallow firebox with tapered sides is a lousy coal firebox.. I should have looked at just coal-burning boilers and furnaces, and copied that firebox design.

What I leared is to have a frustration free anthracite burning firebox, whould have made the firebox roughly square,, 22"x22"x 18" deep, with vertical sides, and aggressive shaker grates on the bottom.. with this design I would quite possibly still be using my boiler as a hand feed.

I had to build a firebox reducing back wall and stack firebrick at the door to shorten the firebox and allow for a deep fire. this helped a lot,, but the 'V' shaped walls and narrow grate at the bottom caused the hot coals to be forced together as they burned, this creates clinkers.. the very hot ash from coal will fuse together when agitated when hot, and the 'V' shape acts like a funnel,, so I always had problems with clinkers.. These clogged the grates after about a week, and I had to let the fire go out, clean off the grates, and start over for the next week's burning... not fun.

Go to the various sites of the made-to-burn coal manufacturers.. FORGET everything about wood,, it doesnt apply. look at the good firebox designs..

do a google search for
Harman stoves hand feed boilers and furnaces
Hitzer stoves and furnaces
Alaska stoves
Keystoker
Baker
Newyorker

Copy the flat bottomed, vertical sided, deep firebox as close as you can.. every effort you put toward this goal will be effort well spent.

Greg L.
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inside wall of firebox, showing lower row of brick, upper row not shown.
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Great for wood, too shallow and too long a firebox for coal.
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Great for wood, too shallow and too long a firebox for coal.
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Before painting,
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LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: OUTDOOR Wood/Coal Furnaces...Seeking advice before we buy??

PostBy: sarge On: Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:55 pm

thanks ls i guess i should of looked at this closer before i fabed my stove at this point i think i may be able to sell my wood boiler and buy a alaskan coal stove do you think it is beeter to have the coal stove in the basement rather than outside like a boiler from what i seen the bags are not messy and dont take up a lot of space and the stove i looked at has a big hopper the guy says it does wood pellets and coal but i mainly want to burn coal after i seen this stuff work i am totally convinced that this is the way to heat after 4000 dollar fuel bills i need a cheaper way you know i would of looked at more coal designs but for some reason here in the midwest no one is interested and everything i find on coal is from out east there is not even a coal dealer on web west of michigan i cant believe people have not caught on to how effecient a coal boiler would be i think every home owner should have one but thanks ls i guess its back to drawing board for me lesson learned
sarge
 

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Re: OUTDOOR Wood/Coal Furnaces...Seeking advice before we buy??

PostBy: cArNaGe On: Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:59 pm

With coal being $350/ton, and if your set on burning it. You should look into hiring a driver to deliver a big load. Its alot of coal but it would be cheaper.
cArNaGe
 

Re: OUTDOOR Wood/Coal Furnaces...Seeking advice before we buy??

PostBy: LsFarm On: Thu Sep 11, 2008 3:16 am

On the west side of Michigan just west of Grand Rapids there was a Hitzer stove dealer that also sold coal.. I also think there is a coal dealer in the Big Rapids area. There is a coal dealer in Northern Indiana.. Nappannee Indiana.

Putting the stove or furnace in the basement means that all the heat loss off the unit goes into the house,, only the heat lost up the chimney is lost.. If you don't have an outside wood boiler installed yet, and need to buy the pex underground insulated tubing, heat exchangers etc, then you will definitely have a lower initial expense with a basement install..

Bringing in a 24 ton load of coal will cost you about $220-250/ton depending on where in Michigan you are.


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: OUTDOOR Wood/Coal Furnaces...Seeking advice before we buy??

PostBy: sarge On: Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:09 pm

i see a lot of people on here saying they go through 50lbs of anthracite a day does anyone know approx how much coal it takes on a two story farm house approx 2500 square feet i am thinking about the alaskan forced air coal combo my dealer has it at 4400 dollars but on average how much anthracite would a guy need to be comfortable at 70 degrees i live in northern wisconsin usally start heating in oct and run through may ,jan and feb are the below zero months .The web claims 2 ton but i want first hand feedback i have new windows but the insul is the old original blown stuff from 1948
sarge
 

Re: OUTDOOR Wood/Coal Furnaces...Seeking advice before we buy??

PostBy: gambler On: Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:23 pm

sarge wrote:The web claims 2 ton but i want first hand feedback


I think you will need atleast twice that amount.
What have you heated with in the past and how much of it did you use?
You could then calculate about how much coal you would need.
gambler
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer

Re: Custom Build, Need pointers before i finish this stove

PostBy: Scottscoaled On: Fri Sep 12, 2008 8:53 pm

Sounds like you went thru 1500 gallons or so of fuel oil? If so , more like 8 tons to keep you toasty. :) Scott
Scottscoaled
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520x4, 350, 700. Van Wert 400 x 2, 800, 1200.
Coal Size/Type: Lots of buck

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