Can't get a fire!

Can't get a fire!

PostBy: brin On: Sun Oct 12, 2008 9:31 am

Got an Estate caboose stove, circa 1905.......In real good shape. Have a good 20 foot chimney with good draft. Trying to use anthracite coal from Agway. Found it impossible to light. Have tried a nice wood fire and let it burn to a hot red ember situation, of kindling and adding coal a little at a time, no go. A lot at a time, no go. Tried charcoal, no go.
Could it be designed for bituminus coal ? Not readily available in Southern Tier of NY.
The grate area is quite small in this stove, but the fire box is round and actually quite large, maybe like a 5 gallon pail size.
Would like to use this but am at my wits end trying to get a coal fire. Have read all the topics and tried most but still fighting with it.
Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!
brin
 
Stove/Furnace Make: estate caboose stove

Re: Can't get a fire!

PostBy: Devil505 On: Sun Oct 12, 2008 9:38 am

Maybe someone here is familiar with your stove. I am not but I would guess that it may not have been designed to burn Anthracite coal, that needs all the air to come in from below the coal bed. Is you stove set up so that the air inlets are below the coal bed which sits on a movable shaker grate of some kind? (if not you will never be able to burn anthracite coal in it)
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: Can't get a fire!

PostBy: BIG BEAM On: Sun Oct 12, 2008 9:45 am

I'll ask all the normal questions.Do you have ALL the air coming in under the fire?(loading door air should be off).Do you have a manual damper and is it wide open?What size coal are you using?(nut would most likley work)Sometimes in a stove like that you have to leave the ash door cracked open after loading coal for it to catch fire.
DON
BIG BEAM
 
Stove/Furnace Make: USS Hot blast
Stove/Furnace Model: 1557M

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Re: Can't get a fire!

PostBy: brin On: Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:06 am

Yes, stove has shakable grate and I leave the ash door fully open. Get excellent draft. But coal won't ignite. The wood or other starter fires burn fiercely in this mode but when they burn down with some coal on top, the coal hasn't caught and the fire goes out.
brin
 
Stove/Furnace Make: estate caboose stove

Re: Can't get a fire!

PostBy: Devil505 On: Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:14 am

brin wrote:Yes, stove has shakable grate and I leave the ash door fully open. Get excellent draft. But coal won't ignite. The wood or other starter fires burn fiercely in this mode but when they burn down with some coal on top, the coal hasn't caught and the fire goes out.

If ALL the air is coming in from below the coal bed & the coal wont catch on a hot wood fire, maybe it's the coal itself???

What coal are you using? (size & where you got it)
(also, are you allowing enough time for the coal to catch? ....It's not like wood & will take maybe 5-10 minutes to start to catch)
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: Can't get a fire!

PostBy: brin On: Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:49 am

Am using nut coal from Agway........No damper in chimney, only air is under grate thru ash door, am adding coal to red hot wood embers, just a few at a time.
When got coal it was wet. Is this just to keep the dust down or does it have something to do with ignition?
Coal is now dry. Sources for coal around Binghamton are few and far between unless buying bulk. more than I care to have.
brin
 
Stove/Furnace Make: estate caboose stove

Re: Can't get a fire!

PostBy: Dallas On: Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:58 am

My experience has been, that my fire burns better with pipe damper. My thoughts on this are: that there is too much air going through the coal, which actually sucks the needed "ignition heat" from the fire. Kinda like blowing gently on a candle flame or blowing hard on the same flame.
Dallas
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Modified Russo C-35
Other Heating: Oil Hot Air
Stove/Furnace Make: Russo
Stove/Furnace Model: Modified C-35

Re: Can't get a fire!

PostBy: Ed.A On: Sun Oct 12, 2008 11:04 am

I'd agree with Dallas on that point, add a damper.
Ed.A
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Channing III/ '94 Stoker II
Coal Size/Type: Rice

Re: Can't get a fire!

PostBy: brin On: Sun Oct 12, 2008 11:17 am

I will try limiting the air under by shutting the ash door........it does have adjustable air inlets on it. Thanks for the tip. A damper in the chimney would be quite diffacult because the chimney pipe is attached topside and resting on the stove too.
brin
 
Stove/Furnace Make: estate caboose stove

Re: Can't get a fire!

PostBy: Dallas On: Sun Oct 12, 2008 11:24 am

You must also be aware of the air leaks, which you might have "above the fire". These can also effect the burn. ... wood doesn't care where it gets it's oxygen, coal wants it underneath.
Dallas
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Modified Russo C-35
Other Heating: Oil Hot Air
Stove/Furnace Make: Russo
Stove/Furnace Model: Modified C-35

Re: Can't get a fire!

PostBy: Devil505 On: Sun Oct 12, 2008 11:30 am

brin wrote:am adding coal to red hot wood embers, just a few at a time.


Also......(Too many cooks spoil the broth :lol: ) try adding more coal at a time. Cover the fire you have with one layer of fresh coal , leaving just a little flame somewhere to burn off volatiles. Coal likes a deep bed to work.
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: Can't get a fire!

PostBy: BIG BEAM On: Sun Oct 12, 2008 11:55 am

When thr fire is burning fiercely with wood then is the time to add 2"of coal.When that coal catches fire add 3" more.When that catches fill it up to the top of the fire brick.If you wait until the wood has burned to embers then the embers have to be at least 3" deep.If the embers are only 1" or so deep that's not enough to light the coal.
DON
BIG BEAM
 
Stove/Furnace Make: USS Hot blast
Stove/Furnace Model: 1557M

Re: Can't get a fire!

PostBy: Razzler On: Sun Oct 12, 2008 3:44 pm

when you put the coal on the fire close the load door and leave the ash door open don't poke the fire or fiddle with at all. Then when the coal starts burning then put another layer of fresh coal on the fire.
Razzler
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: Buck

Re: Can't get a fire!

PostBy: Rob R. On: Sun Oct 12, 2008 5:14 pm

Great advice from Razzer, don't stir the pot. Once you have a base of wood embers and you add a few inches of coal, leave the draft open and don't touch anything for at least 10-15 minutes or so, leave the draft open until the coal starts going good.

I recently tried starting a fire in my new stove and couldn't get it going, I blamed it on the warm weather/poor draft and went to bed. The next morning I woke up to a warm stove.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Can't get a fire!

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sun Oct 12, 2008 8:23 pm

If none of the above suggestions work, then try a bag of coal from Blaschak Coal.. and see if it will burn.. maybe it is your coal. Do you know where Agway buys their coal??

A good hot fire with red hot coals.. and 2" of coal over the top of the fire, and leave the air supply open.. you want the fire HOT..

The 2" of coal will reduce the air flow through the stove..control your heat with inlet or combustion air, forget the manual damper, But seal up the stove so that the ONLY air is from below the grates.. no leaks between stove sections or around doors, the leaks reduce combustion airflow through the fire.

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

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