Starter Bags

Starter Bags

PostBy: ceccil On: Fri Oct 24, 2008 7:31 pm

I finally tore apart one of my starter bags to see what makes them tick. Just some broken up Cowboy coal and some shredded up paper. I went to Lowes and bought two bags of Cowboy coal for $6 & some change per bag, broke up the charcoal to smaller pieces shredded some paper and in 15-20 min. I had made 10 starter bags. Taking a guess, I could probably make 200 bags from the two bags I bought. Using shredder to shred up junk mail and such for the packing. I even intentionaly shut the stove down pulled all of the coal off the grate and restarted with one of my bags to test. Seemed to work as well as the store bought. If I bought 200 bags at the store at 1-1.50 thats a big savings :D
ceccil
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Mark III

Re: Starter Bags

PostBy: Qball On: Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:37 pm

I use Cowboy Coal now. What size bags did you use, lunch bags? Just mix the shredded paper with the broken up Cowboy Coal?

Thanks
Qball
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker Koker
Coal Size/Type: Rice

Re: Starter Bags

PostBy: beatle78 On: Sat Oct 25, 2008 6:55 am

could you post some pics?
beatle78
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker KA-4

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Re: Starter Bags

PostBy: Adamiscold On: Sat Oct 25, 2008 7:44 am

Sounds like money well saved.
Adamiscold
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Chubby Sr. Old School

Re: Starter Bags

PostBy: ceccil On: Sat Oct 25, 2008 12:41 pm

The bag I tore apart had a handfull of shredded paper on the bottom, then about a handfull of charcoal on top of that, then another hanfull of shredded paper on that. Cut excess off the top of the bag, roll it up semi tight and place one staple in it to keep it closed. I just used a brown lunch sac. I'll cut the side off one and post a pic in a little while. The cowboy coal is larger than the stuff in the starter bag so I put a bunch in an old pillow case and smashed it up some with a hammer. I will still need to come up with better way of smashing it up because there were a lot of fines in it. Just make sure you do the smashing outside. It does create some dust.

Jeff
ceccil
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Mark III

Re: Starter Bags

PostBy: ceccil On: Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:13 pm

Here is a pic of the Cowboy charcoal and one of the bags I made up.

Jeff
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ceccil
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Mark III

Re: Starter Bags

PostBy: mufwapo On: Sat Oct 25, 2008 5:48 pm

The starter bags I was buying for 70 cents each had tightly crumbled (but not shredded) paper around some charcoal and there seemed to be some type of chemical on the paper. It was wrapped in a small sandwich bag. When you light them they just smolder. Even with the blower on there isn't any visible flame but they light coal every time. I'd rather make my own though if I could get them to work.
mufwapo
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: Boiler

Re: Starter Bags

PostBy: choyt002 On: Sat Oct 25, 2008 6:12 pm

I have also looked in the starter bags i buy for .80 cents each. same thing but there is deffinatly something on the paper it is white in color but must be a chemical of some kind. The bags smolder for a few then they pop and throw sparks like the 4 th of july i don't believe the paper and cowboy coal would throw sparks like that. If just the paper and cowboy coal lights the rice that's great. I will make some and save 80 cents a bag. thanks for the info
Chris H
choyt002
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pocono bv

Re: Starter Bags

PostBy: ceccil On: Sat Oct 25, 2008 6:46 pm

You are correct about the bag, when I light the store bought bags they just smolder with a red orange glow. I do believe they are treated with something. The ones I made did burn. I'll be doing a little more research to see if I can find out what it is. I'm not sure what they are charging for the bags in my area right now but the last time I bought them I think they were a $1.00 ea.

Jeff
ceccil
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Mark III

Re: Starter Bags

PostBy: mikethebutcher On: Sat Oct 25, 2008 8:30 pm

getting the bags for about .70 cents in mt. pocono area
been using them for about 4 years
tried making my own with coal and broken up road flares....did not work well :oops:
i am better off buying them...if you guys come up with the cemical on the paper i think that would do the trick
mikethebutcher
 
Stove/Furnace Make: alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: stoker

Re: Starter Bags

PostBy: europachris On: Sat Oct 25, 2008 9:03 pm

So, if the little boxes are called "coal mice", what should we call these, "coal rats"???? :lol: :D
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I just made one up tonight so the stove is ready to light tomorrow morning - still too warm today to light it. Put some shredded paper in the bottom, a good handful of natural lump pieces about the size of pea coal, and some more paper. It fits perfectly across the grate, so hopefully it will hold the rice in place without it sliding off into the pan.
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Perfect fit - no need for the strip of metal to wedge in there to hold the coal back.
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Chris
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Re: Starter Bags

PostBy: ceccil On: Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:04 pm

I tried another one yesterday just to make sure. This one didn't light right off. Burned up all of the paper then pretty much went out. Had to hit the coal with the torch for a min. then it took off. Can anyone even venture a guess as to what the bags may be treated with. I couldn't find anything when searching online. It really doesn't matter if this works or not. I can still use the coal to light the stove, or better yet throw it in the BBQ, toss on a couple steaks and toss back a couple of beverages!! :cheers:

Jeff
ceccil
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Mark III

Re: Starter Bags

PostBy: europachris On: Sun Oct 26, 2008 3:11 pm

Yeah, mine didn't work so well, either. The paper bag sitting on the grate holes prevents any air from getting to the shredded paper/charcoal inside. Once the paper bag on the bottom burned away, I was able to hit the 'guts' with the torch and once the air hit the shredded paper, it really took off.

I'm wondering if the paper needs some potassium nitrate? Soak the stuff in a solution of it, let it dry, and then make the bag. I'll bet that's what it is.....and I think it can be found in your local home canning supply store, hardware, etc.

Chris
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Re: Starter Bags

PostBy: Qball On: Sun Oct 26, 2008 5:15 pm

I used a little shredded paper, small strips of cardboard and put some of the fire starter gel that I got at Agway. I also saw the same stuff at Wal-Mart, about $6 a bottle I think. Then I put the cowboy coal on top. Took right off and used only one match.
Qball
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker Koker
Coal Size/Type: Rice

Re: Starter Bags

PostBy: k9 Bara On: Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:06 pm

Great thread guys, thank you. I tried the shredded paper and cowboy package. We are out of lunch bags so I used a paper towel. Worked great first time. :D :D .... and the 500 is breathing again. :P
k9 Bara
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM
Coal Size/Type: Rice Anthricite

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