Introduce Yourself

About me...

PostBy: boilermaker On: Tue Nov 28, 2006 7:01 pm

Hi Gang...
I'm Doug and live in Northern NY state where it can get to -40 outside in February at times. I took out an oil fired hot air system and installed a hand fired coal boiler with cast iron radiators. It is without a doubt one of the best decisions I ever made. It's half the cost of oil, clean, constant, reliable, and very little work. I can't imagine burning anything else now.
As for me, I am both a professional engineer for the state of New York and a locomotive engineer for a railroad in Lake Placid New York. My profession is primarily boilers of the large nature (like, 600 HP), plus diesel generation, water distribution, etc. I have a staff of 11 men working for me and they are the best in the business.
I couldn't be happier that I found this site. It's the greatest!!!
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Sime, hand fired hot water boiler
Stove/Furnace Make: Sime
Stove/Furnace Model: 6 section hand fired boiler

Newbie in Waymart, PA

PostBy: Linda On: Tue Dec 05, 2006 7:19 pm

We just purchased a used Alaska Kast Console II and it's sitting in the basement. We couldn't figure out how to attach the Power Vent so I am waiting for the dealer to install it on Friday.

I'm sure I will have lots of questions and am looking forward to reading all of the useful information on this site. Any suggestions on good coal (rice) in my area would be appreciated. The dealer I purchased from quoted me $220 for bagged rice coal per ton.


PostBy: italia899 On: Tue Dec 05, 2006 8:41 pm


I have been hanging out around this web site since I first heard about anthracite (winter 05'). Everyone here has been so helpful and this site is one of my favorites. I thought I'd finally introduce myself.

My name is Chris and I live in NE Ohio. I am an attorney in private practice. I was a former assistant prosecutor. My hobbies are sports, motorcycles, outdoors, and recently burning anthracite.

I grew up with a wood burning stove (Vermont Castings Defiant Encore) and was unsure of my transition into burning coal. Thanks to you good folks I am learning how to burn anthracite effectively. I own a Brunco Hearthglow insert (hand-fired). It is made by a company located in Salem, OH. I use a mixture of 20/80% pea and nut coal respectively. The stove is similar to the newer inserts made by Hitzer and Harman.

What impresses me the most about anthracite is the heat it throws out--you can really "feel" the difference compared to wood. I also like the fact that I can leave my stove alone for 11-17 hours depending on the weather. The only downfall is a little fly ash to clean up after each shaking. The money I'm saving on gas is also a plus and now my 1700 sq. foot colonial actually feels warm in the winter.

Anthracite is great and the members of this forum make it even better. Thanks for everyone's past, present, and future help!
Stove/Furnace Make: Brunco
Stove/Furnace Model: Hearthglow

PostBy: bksaun On: Tue Dec 05, 2006 8:53 pm


My name is Bill, I am a Firefighter from Kentucky. I found this site after buying my Alaska Channing. This is my first year burning hard coal,so far everything is working well.

In the past we have burned wood,wood pellets/corn mix, and years ago soft coal.

Have learned a lot of good tips from this site, I am heating a story and a half 75 year old home with all new windows (35 of them)! and good insulation. I have the stove in my basement piped to my cold air return.

After seeing the Leisure line hyfire hot air box, I may do something like this to get more heat up stairs.

Have 3 Tons of bagged rice to start off with,should be enough.

Hobbies Hunting, Flying RC and full scale,Guns and Horses. ( Good KY Whiskey) Never at the same time with my hobbies though.

Bill (BK)
Stoker Coal Boiler: Hybrid, Gentleman Janitor GJ-6RSU/ EFM 700
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 503
Coal Size/Type: Pea Stoker/Bit, Pea or Nut Anthracite
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer/ EFM-Gentleman Janitor
Stove/Furnace Model: 503 Insert/ 700/GJ-62

Newbie to the forum

PostBy: bronzestars On: Sun Dec 10, 2006 9:37 am

Hi I am Dave from NE PA. I have always burned wood until three years ago when I got a Harman magnum stove. Coal is so much easier than doing all that wood all my life. Thanks for having this forum on the net. I hope to visit often and learn all I can. I retired from TOAD two years ago where I was chief of buildings and grounds. I am currently enjoying my retirement with fishing, snowmobiling, four wheeling and rebuilding my antique dirt track race car.

PostBy: europachris On: Sun Dec 10, 2006 10:49 am

Hi! Name is Chris and we live in N. Central Illinois, just south of the WI border.

I grew up during the "wood boom" of the 70's/early 80's. My parents built a big, contemporary design home, equipped with dual ground source heat pumps with a Woodchuck add-on furnace for the basement and a German Weso tile stove for the family room. This was in Southern Indiana (Jasper). The Woodchuck gobbled wood by the wheelbarrow, but we were toasty warm in that home. My father and I spent a LOT of time cutting, hauling, splitting and stacking wood. I bet we burned 3 to 5 cords a winter. The Weso stove was a work of art - one of the most beautiful and well crafted stoves I recall from that era.

One winter we ran short of wood and Dad ordered up a ton of Indiana bituminous. I think it was $35 a ton delivered. We then proceeded to cover just about everything in the neighborhood with soot. Dad grew up in Scranton, PA with a coal stoker (anthracite, of course), but I don't think he realized what he was getting into. The sulfur also turned the beautiful, handmade copper chimney caps a nice shade of corroded green! :shock:

Ever since that time, however, I've been enamored with solid fuel heating. I just love the feel of a stove in a home. I have been trying to get some sort of stove installed in the two homes I've lived in since getting married, having a family, etc. but both homes have had natural gas heat, been new construction, and not well set up for a stove installation. The heat bills were also never high enough to justify a stove installation.

For me, wood is out of the question, as I have no source. Pellets look to be a good option, but it seems that they are getting $$$ as everyone is putting in pellet stoves. At least they are a good use for wood waste. Heck, the Kimbery Clark company up in Wisconsin sold diaper waste to a pellet company to pelletize. It's all wood anc cotton cellulose, and made a nice pellet. Looked real funny with all the multicolors in it!

Coal, however, is my real interest. I've had a chance a few times to see a quality anthracite stove burn, and it's rather impressive. Now it just is a matter of seeing how to make one work out here in Illinois, far away from the source of the 'good stuff'.

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

Hello from Virginia

PostBy: blthomas On: Tue Dec 12, 2006 8:45 am

Hey all,

My name is Blair and live in Culpeper, Va.

I have had seeral wood burners and bought my first coal stove years ago.

Had my second Harman in a house I built a few years back.

Now I'm in a another "new" house and looking to install a Harman again.

PostBy: JerseyCoal On: Tue Dec 12, 2006 7:41 pm

Hello to all.

My name is John. I live in central NJ ( Basking Ridge) with my 16 year-old son. My daughter is away at University of Richmond, Va. I started burning coal when I built my first home in NJ in 1982. Jimmy Carter was in office then, gas shortages and 21% prime interest rate. I installed a new Franco Belge model 10-1475 hand fired unit. I LOVED it!! It was the best heat I had ever felt in my life. I commuted to NYC then and the fire would still be burning (just barely) when I returned home 18 hours later.

Many years have passed since then; that house was sold with the stove in it. I've moved more times than I care to remember. Over those years, a winter hasn't come and gone that I didn't yearn for the comfort and warmth of a coal fire. Last year I decided to take action. I contacted the current owner of my first home and asked to purchase my old stove. Although she has NEVER used it, she would not sell. I guess she liked the look of it. After months of hunting on the internet, I found and purchased two stoves built in the mid 80s; one in Connecticut, and one in PA. I stripped them both down, cleaned up and painted parts, and assembled one working stove.

My fireplace has an 8" multiwall pipe that I did not want to corrode. So, I purchased about 13 sections of 6" pipe, 2 feet long each, and started shoving them up from the bottom. It got a bit heavy towards then end of the job but I managed to sleeve the full length of the chimney and will do it again when the 6" pipe rots out.

When I fired that stove up for the first time last winter, I was not prepared for the flood of memories and emotions that surfaced. It is amazing how one can associate so many experiences and feelings with a coal fire. It truly makes my house a home.

Last winter, my natural gas bills ran 30% to 50% of my neighbors' bills. I'm guessing that virtually all of my bill went to heating water for showers, laundry, etc.

I live in a condominium townhouse community so I am not permitted to have a coal bin outside. I designed and contsructed a 1.25 ton bin which sits just inside my one-car garage, off to one side. The coal man jacks up his truck and it slides right down the chute into the bin. All winter the coal is clean and dry; no more snow, mud or cold when getting coal. I burned just about a ton last year. This year I paid $235.00 delivered for one ton of anthracite pea sized.

I've been visiting your site for a couple of weeks now and must heap praise on the admin and members for how well run and informative it is. It is like an endless learning experience. I admit to feeling a bit like a minor leaguer in the presence of the "BIG DOGS" running the big stoker units but, I try to measure myself by my character and actions rather than by the things I own. Nevertheless, I am impressed with those sophisticated systems and would get one too if the size of my home warranted it.

I look forward in the months to come to reading your comments and learning a thing or two.

Hand Fed Coal Stove: Franco Belge model 10.1475

PostBy: europachris On: Tue Dec 12, 2006 8:13 pm

JerseyCoal wrote:Hello to all.

My name is John. I live in central NJ ( Basking Ridge) with my 16 year-old son.

Nice story, John. Care to post some pictures of your stove installation into your existing fireplace? Was it a gas or wood fireplace?

My step-mother lived in Basking Ridge before marrying my father, and now they live in Whippany. She also lived in a town-house/condo, but I do not know the exact address, even though I'd been there a few's been quite a few years.

Come to think about it, they have a nice European airtight installed in the master suite that my father really likes. However, one of these years he's going to use up all the wood that came from felling a large number of VERY old and VERY tall trees next to the house. Maybe I can turn him on to a modern coal stove. He grew up in Scranton, PA, so he knows all about anthracite.

Unfortunately I'm stuck in northern Illinois, so I'm far away from 'coal country'. FORTUNATELY, I'm paying about $.55 a therm for natural gas right now, so heating our house is downright cheap, for the time being.

Welcome aboard!

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


PostBy: TGMC On: Tue Dec 12, 2006 10:26 pm

Stove/Furnace Make: KEYSTOKER
Stove/Furnace Model: KB 8

PostBy: retired9 On: Wed Dec 13, 2006 3:16 pm

hello am fred am new at burning coal but am learning am heating my new home which is 960 square feet with a army cannon heater model 20 they throw a lot of heat but it gets real cold up here in remsen ny 30 below is not uncommen up in the winter .am 1 mile off into the woods I plow my road to get to my place with a walters snowplow with a 9 foot v and 2- 12 foot wings for a living I have a army navy store on rt12 in barneveld ny and we sell miltary truck parts on the web, that my story ,this is a great site to get info on burning coal

PostBy: dutch On: Wed Dec 13, 2006 5:27 pm

Another UPstate New Yorker,,
Closer to Syracuse, but up in the Hills South of the city..

Bought this house in 2005 and it came with a Harman
Mark III. Burned all last winter and going good so
far this year.

Great site, nice to get useful real life experience.


Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Alaska Channing III

PostBy: JerseyCoal On: Thu Dec 14, 2006 2:11 am

Responding to EuropaChris:

I'd be delighted to post a photo of my Franco Belge but, I first have to consult with my son on how to do it. I would also like to post the plans for my in-garage coal bin. I designed it with an alcove into which the coal scuttle fits. I then pull out the blade on a knife valve and gravity does all the work. I won't have to shovel any coal until the coal in the bin gets below 18".

I used to burn wood in the fireplace before I put in the coal stove. It is a small fireplace, couldn't fit too much wood in there, and had to get up in the middle of the night to add more wood. No such problem with coal.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Franco Belge model 10.1475

I'm Tim from Northeast PA

PostBy: taspa On: Tue Dec 19, 2006 6:49 pm

Hello Everyone....

My name is tim, and I'm from northeast PA.

I'm now looking into getting coal heat, I'm on a fixed income and oil pricing is getting out of control. I've been looking at the new gen of coal stokers, and they have come a long way for sure. I looked at pellets, but that is no where as good of deal as coal is.

Infact it would seem that pellets, cost close to the cost of oil heat. But are very hard to get supplys of them, it would take 3X 40lb bags per day for a 40k BTU out put. So I'm not going there at all, they can keep the pellets and throw them into a land fill, as far as I care because I'm not paying the prices they want $5 per bag.

I've been checking on my options, I even found out coal was first found as a fuel right here in Pottsville PA. Not only that, to stoker makers are only about 10 miles from where I live. And they mine coal not even 10 miles from here, add to that the rising cost of pellets and oil coals the best choice for me.

Anyways, Here is a big HELLO to everyone.

PostBy: MrP57 On: Thu Dec 21, 2006 7:17 pm

Hello, my name is Gary. I will be 60 3/3/07. I live in Hemlock, a small town about 25 miles south of Rochester, NY. I have one wife and one son.
(and that's enough for me) I have burned wood off & on for 30 years. I am trying to retire in a few years and needed to find a cheaper way to heat our home. Last year we spent $3,300. for propane. We do use it for cooking and hot water. This fall I bought a Ketstroker Koker. I have a walk in, from my garage, that is my coal bin now. four ton, $199 a ton, $25. to deliver. (three miles away) I have not yet got the system hooked up to my furnace blower direct, but it is doing a great job so far. Soooo
much easier than splitting and hauling wood, and I am very well pleased with how even the heat is, I'm hooked on coal.
Happy Holidays to all, I''ll keep the fire going.
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystroker
Stove/Furnace Model: Koker