Us Stove fixes here

Us Stove fixes here

PostBy: wnyjim On: Mon Dec 15, 2008 1:40 am

I am starting this post to have a place to post things that did and did not work trying to get your US Stove working as it should.
These were never intended to burn Anthracite but they will burn it but you gotta earn it.

Please post what worked for you as well as what didnt. I have been working on mine about a month now.

Here is a list of the weaknesses I can think of right now.

Poor air flow up through the ash door

Some have drilled extra holes in their ash doors others have added blowers.

So far I am burning mine with the door open about an inch. (Possible to over fire your furnace doing this) For me it has been working and I dont see a diffrence in this or drilling more holes in the door.
When I figure this out I may drill a hole or add a blower. I dont want to make a perminant change just yet.

Again I am far from an expert and someone may find what I did was the wrong way so feel free to comment.

Grates

The grates are cheesey at best (Made in China) and need to be handled with care. If you have new ones then season them first. Here is a procedure I found online.

All cast iron should be seasoned before using in a normal coal or wood stove fire. This can be done two different ways. The first way is three to five small kindling fires in the stove. These fires should be small and in between each fire the stove needs to cool completely. The second way for seasoning cast iron is taking the new piece of cast iron and placing it into your oven. Starting the oven temperature at 325º and then every 30 minutes go up 25º until the oven reaches its highest temperature. (usually 500º) Do not touch the cast iron is will be HOT. Let the part cool, After all of the steps are done you are ready to start burning your stove

Especially important I would think with the grates we have in these stoves.

Tie them together.

The front and rear grates have alot of slop in the connection between them.

You can either add shim material to take up the slack space in the socket where the rear plugs into the front grate or add set screws to the socket and tighten them onto the shaft.

I drilled and tapped mine so I can tighten them from below through the ash door for easier assembly.
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Here is where I drilled and tapped my grates. with allen set screws.
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These stoves seem to need a good shake and a gentle one as well as some poking from beneath front and back with a poker up through the grates. Pull out the ash pan and poke after shaking.

Use a gentle chopping motion with one hand on the shaft and the other on the shaker handle. If they get jammed stpo and try to free the jam with a poker from below or let it burn awhile and turn to ash.

I have broken mine and so have many others. Be gentle.

The loading door

I havnt heard much on here about air leaking through the loading door but I found mine leaks so I am working on stopping the leak.
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I found air leaking around the red cover on the loading door. you can see where I took the cover off and cemented gasket matearial around it.
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These modifacations are not factory authorized so use this info at your own risk. If anyone sees where I have done something dangerous just say so. I will add more to this post as I get time. The ideas were definantely not all mine. I am just posting them in one place for ease of access. Alot of hard work by members here. Thanks for what you have taught me and I still have alot to learn.
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I covered the bottom vent with metal tape.
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I cememted a couple pieces of flat gasket to some bar stock and lay it on the top vent so it is removable for wood burning. I cut the bar stock to length after I took this picture.
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Cover removed you can see there are holes in the damper where air will leak when burning coal.
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wnyjim
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hot Blast Model 1500

Re: Us Stove fixes here

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Dec 15, 2008 4:17 am

I would say all sound good except for leaving the ashpan door ajar.. if you got a puff-back it could be pushed open too far, or if you have a currious cat or dog, that might push the door open, then you have a overheat in the making..
I'd just go ahead and cut a hole in the door, and install either a pivoting cover plate or use a flat 'refrigerator magnet' to cover the hole to control air to the fire.. Jus the idea of the door being left ajar when you leave the room really scares me.

Greg L

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

Re: Us Stove fixes here

PostBy: DOUG On: Mon Dec 15, 2008 7:00 am

I wonder if it would be possible to install the Shaker Grate Assembly from a US STOVE CLAYTON 1600 (part# 68826 for $140.88) The full shaker bar system works very well. I'm not a big fan of the 1500-1557 style of furnace's US STOVE makes. In my opinion I'd try to sell it and buy a Clayton 1600. By the time you spend the time and good money making it work, you could have one that already does. Don't take me the wrong way, I'm just trying to save you aggravation. :idea: :) I'm sure your furnace burns wood pretty well. DOUG
DOUG
 
Stove/Furnace Make: CHUBBY, D.S.MACHINE BOILER
Stove/Furnace Model: CLAYTON 1600

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Re: Us Stove fixes here

PostBy: TimV On: Mon Dec 15, 2008 8:15 am

Good point Greg on door ajar!

I am sure it is spelled out in instructions no uncertain terms not to operate with any doors open.
And if any type of fire damage was caused by the furnace and the door was found open the manufacturers army of lawyers would have a good case for not paying for any fire damages.
Not to mention its downright dangerous and a potential runaway fire.
Not to say alterations wont make something better or something wont work but rather that in certain situations it may cause a serious problem and could easily lead to dangerous situation.
TimV
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Older Ashley Cabinet ( pre US Stove gobble up)
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Energy King 480 EK
Coal Size/Type: Warm weather smaller coal. Cold weather larger coal.
Other Heating: Oil Furnace Backup when repairs are needed
Stove/Furnace Make: Energy King Furnace
Stove/Furnace Model: 480 EK

Re: Us Stove fixes here

PostBy: wnyjim On: Mon Dec 15, 2008 10:14 am

Point taken on the possible puffback opening the door wider Greg. Thank you I didnt think of that.
I guess I will have to make another spinner next to the original and keep my ash door closed.

As far as selling it and buying something diffrent I may in time and If I do I will buy a new door and take off the mods I put on.
I got this with my house when I bought it.I finally got it safely hooked up so I will use it.
I started this post to share information we US Stiove owners have and find it in one place.
We modify at our own risk of course and take comments and make changes for safetys sake.
People also make home made stoves that also work safely.

A couple questions:
I have heard of shortening the firebox to improve the burn. Not sure what the advantage was there. Any thoughts?

I have also read that a straight sided firebox is better than the tapered one on the Us Stove wood/coal models.
Has anyone tried making a bracket to hold the top of the firebrick verticle to make the prefferred straight sided firebox and at the same time reducing the size of the firebox?
wnyjim
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hot Blast Model 1500

Re: Us Stove fixes here

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:02 pm

Yes, Tigermanrich modified a US Stove product to have vertical brick,, do a search on his name for his posts..

The reasoning behind shortening the firebox comes from the coal liking a deep fire. The US Stove fireboxes are meant to burn wood, and therefore are rather narrow and long. If you shorten the burn area, create a new 'back wall' for the fire, [you MUST block the unused grate, no air can get through] , you can then burn a shorter but deeper coal bed that will burn much better, and not have so much fuel in the firebox. The smaller fire can be burned hotter and this usually means more complete combustion.. The narrow shaker grate doesn't let in enough air for the wide surface of coal at the top, so you need to burn the fire with more air [hotter] than you would want to with a full size bed of coal.

Below is my moveable back wall in my big hand feed boiler.. my firebox is 54" long, this wall shortens the firebox to ~26" long. I was able to have a coal bed roughly 24" square and 18+" deep. This 'wall' is made from SS and firebrick.

Greg L

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

Re: Us Stove fixes here

PostBy: North Candlewood On: Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:14 pm

Doug
I'm pretty sure the grate throat in the 1557 is to narrow. I've got access to one that sits idle, it is in a house under construction burning wood. I'll do up a drawing and we'll see what we can come up with stock off the shelf first.

Shortening the firebox: In the 1600,I have re configured it a couple of ways. Covering the grates with fire brick and closed it down almost half way by stacking fire bricks. It ran fine and burned like normal just a shorter fire box. I closed it from the back forward, doing it again I would do it in reverse to get the heat closer to the fan control. It shook ok, the bricks just moved some while shaking. Try it in warmer weather.

Squaring up the sides: Also played in that box as well! I used taller firebricks from a kiln being thicker and taller they took 1 and 1/4 inches of taper out of the fire box and did not interfere with the grate system. It is my feeling that the thicker bricks did not transfer as much heat to the body of the stove. It ran fine as well.

I really think that if you can set your draft at .05 with a base fire not too low and not to hot, you have the first and foremost element to running these units.

Then learning how to get it loaded to the top, I mean the top of the fire bricks and then some mounded front to back you'll find all the heat you can get from the unit. Do not over burn bringing it up to full load.

Now reducing the intake air (open 1.5-2 turns) to keep the burn and not to over fire the unit. This is key!! You already have draft,fire and heat from the unit now let's keep it. This will give a solid burn time12 plus hours no problem. New fire I would not shake at all in the first 24 hours... Add coal yes keep the mound up. It will settle. I add coal when I'm around a scoop plus at a time every 4 hours or so it helps keep the top nice and blue.

Reload & Shake: Morning/Night after first 24 hours of burn. Add coal layer and let it get burning while getting coffee etc..Shake it down add a layer get ready to go and then fill it up. Generally it is full up to top of fire brick at this point and I just mound the center to the edges. Again if I am around I'll add a scoop during the day.
North Candlewood
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Eshland S-130
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker A 120
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1602
Baseburners & Antiques: Princess Atlantic Cookstove
Coal Size/Type: Nut Rice

Re: Us Stove fixes here

PostBy: wnyjim On: Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:44 pm

Finally got my Dwyer mark II Manometer in the mail. I set the draft best I could. I only got .03 to .04 and sometimes it would peak at .05 and 27 degrees out so I set the weight to trip at .05. I hope that is adequate draft. When the weather breaks I will work on improving the chimney draw.(make sure its sealed up good and possibly raising it a bit if I have to.)

I also played with the ash door spinner to maximise the mamnometer reading. I take it your supposed to do that?? I'm still a newbie... 8-)

If the draft improves as the weather cools I will set it to max out at .07. I believe from what I read that is correct for a hand fired furnace.

Also was able to get it to burn properly with the ash door closed now and the spinner knob backed out about half way. Things are lookin up.

Nice lookin furnace you got there Greg. I bet it works very well and theres nothing like makin something yourself.

Would be very interisted in hearing how the clayton grates measure up for a fit in the 1500. Hope you guys remember to get back to us. So far mine are holding up great.
I am more careful with them now and I have a backup.

Again thanks to everyone here I knew absolutely nothing about coal less than a month ago and now we are talking about the finer poings of burning it.
I have been burning steady for 14 days and counting thanks to you experts.
wnyjim
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hot Blast Model 1500

Re: Us Stove fixes here

PostBy: LiftedAWDAstro On: Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:06 am

Any updates? I just bought 500# of nut coal to try in my 1537G in the next week or so. I will be modifying the shaker grates so there is less slop in the rear one. (which is currently broken :( , I have a spare set with 1 good one). What about the holes in the feed door damper flap? Do I just seal them up or something else? My feed door is just like the one below.

Image
LiftedAWDAstro
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker 160
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: Koker

Re: Us Stove fixes here

PostBy: DOUG On: Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:14 pm

LiftedAWDAstro: I'd leave the air holes in the feed door. They can be useful in allowing over the fire air during recharging stage. This will help the combustion during the recharge. You then can close the feed door holes with the control on the feed door after the fire has been established and the blue flames are flickering good. The excess air from these holes will also prevent the possibility of the coal gas exploding if you add too much coal at one time. I'd like to see the modification to your firebox and shaker grates. Please post them if you will. Thank you.
DOUG
 
Stove/Furnace Make: CHUBBY, D.S.MACHINE BOILER
Stove/Furnace Model: CLAYTON 1600

Re: Us Stove fixes here

PostBy: LiftedAWDAstro On: Wed Feb 11, 2009 5:12 pm

Thanks for the info on the air holes. Sounds like a great idea to leave them.

Sorry to say but I didn't take any pics of the shaker grate mod I completed a little while ago. All I did was drill 2 holes in the front grate where the back grate joins and tapped the holes for 1/4-28 set screws. I saw a pic on here showing the mod. I also used a piece of scrap stove pipe for a shim to take up some of the slop. My grates are quite warped and The front grate has a broken handle. I will be using vise-grips to shake it. LOL I will have to order up some new grates this summer and then season them according to the procedure I saw here. I will finish off the winter with wood as I only have 500# of nut coal to play with. I just want to make the decision to either buy wood or coal this year.
LiftedAWDAstro
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker 160
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: Koker

Re: Us Stove fixes here

PostBy: wnyjim On: Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:13 am

The flat bar I made in the above picture allows me to close down the air through the holes in the flap in the door after the furnace gets going. I leave it loose and take it off and replace it as needed.
wnyjim
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hot Blast Model 1500

Re: Us Stove fixes here

PostBy: gitrdonecoal On: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:14 am

before i say anything i truely love my hotblast. works good for me, burns many different things. with that being said, USSC can take their shaker grate system on the hotblasts and @#&%*!. this mourning i shook down and the handle nub broke off of the shaker grate. :mad3: :mad2: :rambo2: :bang: :wtf: :blowup: . i did season the grates before i installed them TWO WEEKS AGO in my oven like USSC suggests. i also use the 2 handed approach when i shake. i am really sick of the grate system but love the furnace. it really has saved me money this year, i cant complain about that. im running out of options with this unit. i ve tried to make the grates work, but why put money into something when you can get something that already works, ya know. but if there is something that you guys have done with this topic let me know, im all ears.
gitrdonecoal
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90
Stove/Furnace Make: USSC
Stove/Furnace Model: Hotblast 1557

Re: Us Stove fixes here

PostBy: wnyjim On: Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:32 pm

Mudman I hear you on the nubs breaking off on those cheesey grates. I broke just one. Ordered a replacement and while I was waiting I had the old nub welded back on.
After tying the front and rears together. I have been using the welded grate since and so far so good. (Watch it beak off now) I have the spare but I think I'll stick with the repaired grate as I think its stronger after the repair. I do use it hard at times. Short choppy strokes and the 2 hand thing.

I also rake under the coal bed now just above the grates. as the ash was smothering my fire and not shaking down through the grates. I guess I dont know what to say other than I have been there and yes I wanted to throw the grate through a wall when it breaks.

Like everything they are made in China and im sure they dont make em like they used to.

I guess the choices are Make friends with a good welder or build a set that holds up better than the original junk. Maybe Email US stoves and link to the threads that talk about the crapy grates? Never hurts to complain. I think I'll send one, I hope others do too.

I saw in a diffrent thread that someone was going to try to make a set of grates and see how they worked. I checked several times and there was never a reply as to how they made out.
wnyjim
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hot Blast Model 1500

Re: Us Stove fixes here

PostBy: gitrdonecoal On: Tue Feb 17, 2009 6:09 pm

yeah, that was me :oops: . i got a friend that has a side business as a welder, and lets just say we all have ran into that kind of thing lol. still has not done them up. maybe i need to give him more beer :drunk:
gitrdonecoal
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90
Stove/Furnace Make: USSC
Stove/Furnace Model: Hotblast 1557

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