First Coal Fire in New to me MARK II

First Coal Fire in New to me MARK II

PostBy: joespond On: Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:26 am

Hi folks,

I'm new to the site, but have read quite a bit of stuff. I finally got a coal stove, hooked it up and had my first time coal fire ever last night. It is still burning. I have a magnetic thermometer on top of the stove in the center.

The stove has been burning around 450-500 degrees for almost 12 hours. My question is how do you know when it needs shaking down?

I'm sure it must need it, but do you go by appearance. I heard that when they start turning white on top that you should shake. I'm getting ready to do it and reload.

Anyway, the info on the site got me off to a great start. I had the thing up and going in no time, and my family, who thought I was crazy, is now totally impressed with the heat and burn time. I'm in Vermont and Nobody burns coal around here. Its awesome so far. I guess I'll just have to experiment to fine tune my procedures.

Anyway, I was wondering what other Harman guys run for typical stove temperatures and burn times.

Thanks,

Bill.
joespond
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark II

Re: First Coal Fire in New to me MARK II

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:32 am

Hello Bill, welcome to the forum.. You have a very good coal stove

Your stove is ready for some fresh coal and the ash shaken down..

Most people will open the air vents and let the fire get hot, add some fresh coal over the existing fire,, let it start to catch with the air vents open, THEN shake down the fire. If you have a hot healthy fire with plenty of hot coal, say at least 3" or more deep, then you can just shake, add coal, shake a bit more then top off the firebox..

You need to read this topic about loading fresh coal: Minor Explosion In Coal Stove

Hope this helps..

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: First Coal Fire in New to me MARK II

PostBy: joespond On: Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:42 am

Thanks,

I figured it had to need it, but I wasn't sure what the guidelines were other than time.

Oh well, here goes nuthin'. I'll let you know what I did and how it worked.

Thanks!

Bill.
joespond
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark II

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Re: First Coal Fire in New to me MARK II

PostBy: Freddy On: Sun Oct 19, 2008 2:09 pm

It's been three hours.... Bill! Bill! That's enough shaking, load that bad boy & go have a drink. *smile*
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: First Coal Fire in New to me MARK II

PostBy: joespond On: Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:53 pm

I'm back!

My wife put me right to work and I haven't had a chance to respond. I'm sure no one can relate to their wife providing "get ready for winter" chores on a beautiful Sunday, right?

Anyway, I had a lot of red in there so I shook first, and asked questions later. It pretty much filled the ash pan. The shaker jammed on me as I got down toward the bottom. I have a feeling that must have been some chunks that weren't burned enough to be crushable trying to get between the grates. I have heard of people having them jam. I was able to get back to center again, but I decided I better quit while I'm ahead. Hopefully whatever was trying to jam it will be burned enough that the grates will crush it up during the next shake. I used the short choppy strokes, but I may have gotten a little more agressive at the end, as I wasn't seeing hardly any glowing pieces falling in the pan yet.

So after the shake, I filled the sucker back up to the top of the bricks and left it open until the rolling blue flames were back. I closed the door, and since it was a little milder today, I wanted to try running slower. With 1 turn open it ran all day at a steady 250 degrees. Nice.

I'm not sure if I should shake before bed tonight after running slow all day, or just add more, set to two turns and wait till morning?

So.............. so far so good.

Bill.
joespond
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark II

Re: First Coal Fire in New to me MARK II

PostBy: captcaper On: Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:35 pm

I fired up my Mark III Thur. for the first time. Same thing with shaking,etc. as you. What I've found is to gently shake the grate handle back and forth just about an inch or she will open up alot and dump lot's of hot good coal. This is the reason I bought the Harman because of it's shaker system being grates that can shake down the ashes fast. I noticed I fill the ash pan up too fast if I shake it alot and lot's of hot coals come down. That's no good. Grate gets too hot and theres unburnt coal in the ashpan. I saw the grates bowing towards the middle while look threw the ash pan door and thought I might have got them too hot but I think it's the design. To give it strength.

What I've found to help is I made a long poker out of 3/8 in. rod and use it to poke the coal from above first as long as it's a strong fire to make it compact and drop the dead spaces in corners,etc. Then I just gently shake it until I see even red glowing pattern under the grates. The add more coal of course.
captcaper
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman Super Magnum
Stove/Furnace Model: Super Magnum Stoker

Re: First Coal Fire in New to me MARK II

PostBy: Devil505 On: Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:46 pm

Those of you new to coal burning a hand fired will find that shaking down your stove takes a bit of practice, patience & a feel for it that you will develop. I think you should plan on shaking down every 12 hours when the outside temps are fairly moderate like they are now. The biggest mistake most people make at first is to shake down too hard!....You want to give it short jerky shakes (anywhere between 5-10shakes usually...don't overdo it) & STOP when you see the very first red embers fall into the ash pan! Over shaking will pack your coal too tightly & make loading much more time consuming & you could even smother your fire. ill say it again for emphasis:

As soon as you see the first red embers fall into the ash pan....STOP!

In terms of heat, I usually run my stove as low as I can to keep the house warm. Most of the winter this will be below 200* on the magnetic stack thermo.

Some good tips here too: How to Light a Hand Fired Coal Stove
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: First Coal Fire in New to me MARK II

PostBy: patkingcoal On: Thu Oct 30, 2008 11:10 pm

Just like joespond, i fired up my mark II for the first time Tuesday. Fun Fun Fun. Actually I've learned a lot in the last two and a half days. For the last few days Ive been playing around with the damper control, trying to figure out where I will get the best draft for a steady, hot burn... One question i have is about reading anthracite. What is the ash content for nut coal? I've heard from other members that it is junk and that I will hate burning coal because of it. Ahhh... thank God I have two small children because they have helped me develope patience. ;) In the last two days I've gotten a lot of ash from this coal. Instead of shaking twice daily I'm planning on shaking down 3 times just to get rid of the ash. My dad, who's been burning coal for a long time, recommended getting coal from his dealer. I'm hoping to work through the reading anthracite and move on. I've been told that mark II's are great stoves so I'm optimistic :) Tonight my basement, where the stove is located, reached 93 degrees F, my living room, kitchen and bath reached 73 degrees F. Not bad where I live. Its in the mid 30s right now. My house is smaller, not much more than 1000 square feet. Having the stove in the basement has heated up everything including my domestic hot water. I have the stove in front of my oil burner so I could tie into the chimney. I've disconnected the oil burner. Went to a electric hot water heater and tied it into my domestic hot water line coming off the oil burner. Basically the oil burner is acting like a preheater/holding tank before the water goes into my hot water heater, an idea from my father-in-law. Tonight the water temp in my oil burner was at 90. Hopefully it will help save on electric. We'll see. :?:
patkingcoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harmon
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark II

Re: First Coal Fire in New to me MARK II

PostBy: jeromemsn On: Thu Oct 30, 2008 11:35 pm

With both my Harman marks I do 12 hour intervals in the shaking and loading. I have found that some ash is good, if you don't have enough ash things tend to heat up more than they should and that goes for not emptying the ash also after a shake empty the ash pan or the grates will get hot and warp. If you noticed when you first started up the stoves it seemed like the handles everything was a tad hot and after the first shake everything settled down and thats the way it should be. So a good shake every 12 hours is what I would recommend (well more of a good vibration, very rapid short choppy strokes.) Ah coal you have to love it.
jeromemsn
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker 90 dvc
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman elite fireplace insert

Re: First Coal Fire in New to me MARK II

PostBy: LsFarm On: Fri Oct 31, 2008 9:52 am

patkingcoal, I'd be concerned about pumping fresh oxygenated water through your oil boiler just to raise it's temp a few degrees.. The cast iron boiler will corrode internally very quickly and you will be fixing leaks or replacing sections in the boiler..

Hot water systems are meant to use recirculated, reheated water, the disolved oxygen in the water is quickly used up by limited corrosive work on the metals it is exposed to, then the corrosion stops, for lack of O2. But with fresh water being added constantly,, this corrosion will continue nonstop..

A better method would be to find an old hot water heater, an electric one with bad elements is best, and place this near the stove, and pipe your cold water through this tank then into your operational water heater.. water heater tanks are ceramic or glass lined to prevent corrosion by the fresh water..

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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