Introduce Yourself

Re: Introduce Yourself

PostBy: LsFarm On: Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:23 pm

Hi Cookieman, welcome to the forum.. start a new topic on the Hand Fired Stoves forum,, ask questions and explain and describe the installatin of your Hitzer stove..

I'm sure we can help.

greg L
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: Introduce Yourself

PostBy: Bonehead On: Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:18 pm


Great place you have here!

I've been burning coal and wood for about 6 years or so. This is also my second season for pellets as a supplemental source.
I found this site while searching for a breaker to buy from. I bought from a local coal guy who retired. I've burned Blaschak (nut and stove mix) as well as a few other brands. Whatever he delivered, wood hunks, blasting wire, caps, dead mice, got used. I have a Harman sf250 heating 8000 square feet. I also have a Harman pellet fireplace insert which kicks in when it gets below 30 or so outside. Approximately 6 ton of coal and 5 ton of pellets per year. (Shoulda bought a coal furnace...)

We felt 10K per year to heat the house with oil was a little outragous. Wood is free here, but cutting and hauling mass amounts don't allow time for much else. No gas, in any form, no way. That left coal and pellets. We had a full return on the coal investment in two seasons. In the 5th year we bought the pellet insert to take the heavy load off of the coal stove, and for extra heat.

If I had to do it over, I would have bought a coal furnace for more BTU's. A newbie mistake...

Love coal! Hauling the ash pans out leaves a little to be desired, but coal itself is almost enjoyable. It's work, but it's good work. This is probably the only place I could get away with saying that... Everyone else thinks I'm nuts for "dealing with it."
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: SF250

Re: Introduce Yourself

PostBy: Coal Jockey On: Wed Mar 05, 2008 5:54 am

Welcome. It is only the last century that has seen the phenomenon of "push-button home heating". Oil and gas heat is an aberration that was like a "one night stand" - too good to last. The days of cheap heat from oil are gone forever as the Saudi's have us by the nuts and are tightening the screws. Throughout human history, the need for fire, and later need to heat residences and other buildings has been a large part of human labour. "Keeping the home fires burning" once occupied a large percentage of people's daily time. Whether digging peat, sawing wood, or shovelling coal and cleaning ashes. The idea that one could go from month to month without giving their home heating a passing thought would have shocked them. What we see now is a reality check -

In the end, one always comes back to basics and simple things.
Coal Jockey
Stove/Furnace Make: Newmac
Stove/Furnace Model: GAO

Re: Introduce Yourself

PostBy: chrisplaner On: Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:33 am


My name is Chris and I live near Reading, PA. I purchased a home 5 years ago that is heated using an oil fired water boiler. Oil was 1.04 a gallon and I started to replace all the windows in the house (over 30 of them) since the house was built in the early 30's and had all the original windows. Then oil jumped to 1.89 but by replacing the windows I still spent about the same amount because I lowered my fuel usage by around 40 percent. Then oil jumped to over 2 dollars a gallon and I installed an electric hot water heater so I could turn off the boiler in April and leave it off until October. This year oil is over 3 dollars a gallon and I have no other options to lower my oil usage from a savings perspective except for turning the thermostat down. Last year I decided to build an addition on the side of my house (24 x 40) with a full basement. The basement walls are finished drywall insulated with R13 and the first floor will have R19 in the 6 inch walls and R38 in the ceiling. I just ordered a Leisure Line Pioneer top vent for my basement. I am planning to heat the addition and hope that some of the heat will also reduce the heating bill for the existing 1850 square feet structure. My total finished living space will be about 3500 square feet. I was looking at pellet stoves but came across this forum and decided that coal was the right thing for me!

Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer

Re: Introduce Yourself

PostBy: elvinpw On: Fri Mar 07, 2008 6:51 pm

Hey Tom!

I'm Peter and I live in Dresden, just outside of Wiscassett, about 45 min North of Portland. Where did you find coal for $200/ton? Cheapest I can find it is at Agway for about $6.29/40 lbs or $335/ton.

tom_maine wrote:Hi,

I'm Tom and I'm located in southern Maine.

I'm looking for a coil boiler to add to my existing oil/hot water system. I burn about 2100 gallons a year heating 4300 square feet.

There is very little talk of coal in this area. The good news is that I located a dealer 15 miles away that has loose, pea-size coal for $200/ton (not delivered).
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman Magnafire
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark II

Re: Introduce Yourself

PostBy: elvinpw On: Fri Mar 07, 2008 9:25 pm

Hey Smitty!

Lived and loved in the Great Commonwealth People's Republic of Massachusetts myself for about 7 years. Great/Beautiful state, Great people, Bloated, oppressive, overtaxing and over-regulating Gov't. When I left the state in 1986, one in every SIX people were state workers. Blead the taxpayers to death. Now I live in Maine, and I understand we've outstipped you in taxes, and now rate number ONE in the union for highest taxes.

LOVE my coal stove.



SMITTY wrote:My name is Smitty, and I'm an alcoholic.... (only on weekends...:wink:)

Have a Harman Mark I in my basement burning anthracite. Bought it due to (obviously) rising fuel costs. The initial payout was high, but in the long run I'll save a mint.

I'm a blue-collar Republican who busts his ass every day, only to have my pay drained by the one of the most expensive places to live on earth (besides California), Massachusetts. I drive a truck for a living, and, in any other part of the country (again, besides Cali or Hawaii) I'd be making a decent wage. Not here.

I am a self-taught jack of all trades. I repair & maintain all mine & my wife's vehicles (junk), ATV's, dirt bikes, motorcycles, & lawn equipment. I make a few extra bucks fixing co-workers cars, lawn-mowers. etc. I've also done masonry work around the house, as well as roofing, plumbing & electrical. I pay NO ONE. Learned mostly out of necessity growing up (again, I love to blame our democrat-controlled house & senate here in Mass. for all my financial woes...) I try not to bring up politics in general conversation, because we are both right, & it solves nothing. But, I am very passionate about the way I live my life. I don't force my blue-collar lifestyle on anyone (hey, if you were born rich, so be it), but living here feels like EVERYONE is trying to force their lifestyle on me. Our lovely state wanted to give DRIVERS LICENSES TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS!!!!!!! That about sums up Massachusetts politics in a nutshell. Pick up our local paper & you'll see anti-ATV, anti-hunting, anti-gun...basically anti-American people trying to tell us, ME, how to live. :evil: I drive a pickup truck with 256,000 miles on it. I like my Harley LOUD. I like having parties, drinking whiskey, and acting like an a**hole with my lifelong friends. I LOVE off-roading. I vote Republican because it jives with who I am. End of story.

OK,enough. That's my introduction... :roll: Now back to the coal....

If I were asked to name 4 things that bring me the greatest joy in life, they would be:

My wife, (seriously, I probably wouldn't be here if it weren't for her...long story)

My Harley (and if it weren't for these toys, I'd lose my mind!!)

AND, last but not least,

COAL HEAT in the winter!!

Coal reduces my high stress level by providing cheap, easy (except for unloading it...) heat.

'Nuff said!! :)
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman Magnafire
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark II

Re: Introduce Yourself

PostBy: elvinpw On: Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:33 pm

Lucky you!

I was introduced to this ethnic delight by my Polish wife's family from Western Mass. There, the Polish made them rolled in cabbage and they were delightful!

shapps13 wrote:Hello,my name is Bill,grew up in the "region", Shamokin PA. I also work in the region,for the largest pierogie maker in the world,Mrs. T's . So I have never left the "region", currently live in Paxinos PA with my wife of 17 years and 2 great kids, daughter and son.
I am on a mission to change my wifes mind about coal. I grew up with coal heat, so did my wife. She says its dirty ,I say I want to be warm,and have hot water. We are on the same page most of the time except for this. I have a Harman P-61 pellet stove in the basement that supplements the heat pump,my compromise.I would like a Harman DVC-500, since the house has no chimney. I am saving my pennies for that right now . My access to coal is a bit better than some of you out there,I drive by the Harmony mine every day, work is only 4 miles from Blaschak's St.Nicholas breaker and as soon as they get the Split Vein breaker rebuilt I am only 3 miles from that.
I love this region of PA. I like tinkering around the house, Drag Racing ,and riding motorcycles. But most of all I like a warm house filled with family,heated by an American product "made" right here in the "region".

Stove/Furnace Make: Harman Magnafire
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark II

Re: Introduce Yourself

PostBy: livefreeordie On: Mon Mar 10, 2008 9:57 am

Hello all,

Like alot of you I'm sure, I'd been exploring the site here for a short while before I got around to registering.

I grew up in Ireland & the house was heated by two coal fires. My girlfriends last house had a chubby stove where she burned wood & coal so we had some exposure.

Together, we recently bought a small farmhouse on 12 acres in New Hampshire. Great little place & we love it here. Close enough & far enough from towns & cities.

The house came with a ThermoPride Oil/Wood/Coal combination furnace in the basement. The wood/coal hadn't been used in years. Given the cost of oil I convinced her that we should get the wood/coal side kickin'.
The refractory bricks were beaten up & needed to be replaced. Some of the steel retainers around the shaker grates were bent. God knows how they got that way. The clean out ports were cooked & useless.
Turns out ThermoPride stopped making wood/coal furnaces in 1992, but they do still sell the bricks. The bricks came really quickly through UPS. Running it for the first time I wanted the original bricks. They come with grooves along the sides so they can sit on metal retainers & interlock loosely with each other.
The bent steel I straightened with lots of lumber bracing inside the furnace, a bottle jack & lots of small patient turns. The clean out ports I got from the local oil company.
The oil company said they wouldn't touch the wood/coal part, but the installation of ducting etc. did look good. The local sweep looked at the chimney & gave it a thumbs up. Based on the ThermoPride manual available online, it looked like everything was good to go as far as setup.

I spent half a day inside the furnace with a brush, shopvac & headlamp. I came out looking like a miner but I had a clean, well inspected furnace.

We bought 7 bags of Kimmel coal from Agway. $7 per 50lb bag. We were ready to go.

Our first fire went out. :x

Our second got as white as the sun & had the house up to 92F with the front door & windows open. It was 1am & 19F outside. :shock:

Third times a charm. Before we ran out of coal we had gotten a steady burn going. The oil was turned down to 60F & the coal kept the house at a comfy 74F with a few of the windows open just a crack. :D

The house is drafty, & we have a dog so we can't turn the heat down too much while we're not home. Two weeks ago we got an oil bill for $749 for a refill only 3 weeks since our last refill!!! Hopefully coal will put an end to this.

That's my ramble. I have a bunch of questions that I'll trot out over the next while. I've used the search feature & gotten some help.

Best wishes to all,
Colm & Nicole.
Stove/Furnace Make: ThermoPride
Stove/Furnace Model: WC-27

Re: Introduce Yourself

PostBy: Bulldogr6 On: Sun Mar 16, 2008 5:51 pm

Hello all,

My name is Jeremy, I'm 31 years old and reside in Western Mass. I just started burning Anthracite last month, A little late in the heating season but o well :D. I have been wanting to get my old pot belly ( Station Agent 24 )hooked up and running to supplement the oil burner for a while now and finely got fed up with the price of oil and went a bought a 1/2 ton of Blaschak nut coal to try my hand at it. My father used to run this stove so he showed me the basics but I'm still learning and have much more to learn. I am having a fun time with this and feel Ive been bitten by the coal burning bug like some of you. I'll be watching the For Sale section on this wonderful forum and Craig's list to possibly locate a newer more efficient stove that will do domestic hot water and make coal my primary for the winter months. I'll also be looking locally for something new so we'll see what happens.

I've only been poking around here for a few days now and this seems like a great place.

Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harmon Magnum
Baseburners & Antiques: Station Agent 24
Coal Size/Type: Rice & Nut

Re: Introduce Yourself

PostBy: nsyman On: Mon Mar 17, 2008 6:14 am

Hello all. My name is Keith and I have been using a surdiac for 10 years. I have always used it on cold snaps but this year I used it almost continually. I am thinking of getting a stoker for next year. I saw one in use at a store and was impressed. Since I have time I will be searching for a used one. Do good ones come up for sale often? thanks
Stove/Furnace Make: surdiac

Re: Introduce Yourself

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:15 am

Hi Kieth, welcome.. Look through the forum, we have a 'for sale' forum..

Please ask questions under a new topic in say the Stoker stoves forum..

This particular forum is just for introductions...

But I will answer your question.. keep an eye on and in your local papers, there are LOTS of stoves showing up used at reasonable prices..

Again welcome to the forum!

Greg L
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: Introduce Yourself

PostBy: samhill On: Tue Mar 18, 2008 7:49 pm

Hi! I`m Denny been hanging around here for a while so I thought I`d join & intro myself. Just moved to the Linesville, Pa. area in Aug. . Bought a house with pro-pain & knew shortly after to first fill-up that there had to be something better. Tried a pellet stove for awhile, ok for a basement warmer but not much more. Then I came upon this forum, lurked for awhile, took the plunge last week & couldn`t be happier with coal. Just reading the way people help one another out here helped convince me. Anyway I`m an old retired steelworker & love this area.
I want to thank everyone here for the help they didn`t even know they were giving. One of the best sites I`ve seen.
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: keystoker 160
Hand Fed Coal Stove: hitzer 75 in garage
Stove/Furnace Make: keystoker/hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: koker 160/ hitzer 75

Re: Introduce Yourself

PostBy: chemung On: Fri Mar 28, 2008 10:31 pm

Hello all.

My name is Al and I live in NE Pa. Been nosing around the board last couple nights looking for info on coal stoves. Lots of great info here. For me it's jogging the old memory as I grew up in the Anthracite Region of NE Pa. when coal was still king and the steam trains were on the tracks. My intension's are to have some type of coal heat up and running the winter of '08, '09. Being retired on a fixed income and the rising cost of LP gas.... Well I don't need to tell you guys that.

Take care,

Re: Introduce Yourself

PostBy: gordonb999 On: Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:35 am

My name is Gordon and I live in Columbia Conn. I have been burning wood for over thirty years and have finally depleated my supply of free stuff. Have never purchased any wood in the past and have always cut my own. I have a small 1800 sq ft cape and consumed four to six cord of wood per year. I stumbled across this site and since I have been thinking about burning coal this was a great find for me. As a youngster I remember burning coal in a furnace before converting the unit to oil. Its been a very long time. I presently have a monster wood stove in the basement and am in the process of enserting a grate to experiment with the prospect of burning coal. I hope that I will be able to get information for the problems that I will encounter. I am a very self suffient person and do all things on my own, I hire no one for anything and since I am presently retired I have plenty of time. I look forward to participating in this site which I find very informative and not at all like the rest of the junk found on personal sites on the web. thank you gordonb
Stove/Furnace Make: Moe

Re: Introduce Yourself

PostBy: coalkirk On: Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:40 am

Welcome Gordon. Well after 30 years of cutting, splitting, stacking and hauling wood, you deserve a break. I kicked to wood habit after 20 years. Good luck with your project. Posting some pictures of your stove would be good. There will be challenges converting a wood stove for coal use. The grates ina coal stove are generally movable to shake down the fire. also, air to a coal fire must enter from below, not above the fire. What type of heating system does your home have. You might be better off to get a coal burner that adapts to yuor heating system. boilers are the best way to go. .
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1981 EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: anthracite/rice coal