CapeCoaler Question

CapeCoaler Question

PostBy: Ashcat On: Sun Dec 28, 2008 1:46 am

Question for you, CapeCoaler: Your profile indicates you have 4 stoves--Harman Mark II, Hitzer 503, Russo, and VC. I know New England gets cold, but assume :) you're not burning more than one or two at present. But have you, at one time or another, fired each of them? I'd be interested in your comparative views on your stoves' designs, build quality, ease of use, heat output, value, etc. Maybe you've addressed this issue in another post, but I haven't seen it.

Most people do coal stoves like they do Caribbean islands: many people have been to only one island, which they love, and will try tell you why "their" island is the best of all possible choices. It's really valuable to talk to people who've been to multiple islands, and who can truly compare based on actual experience.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts.
Ashcat
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 983
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Blaschak

Re: CapeCoaler Question

PostBy: Freddy On: Sun Dec 28, 2008 4:21 am

I wouldn't assume they're not all running! I have a buddy that bought a *new* 100 yr old farmhouse this fall. They're not living there but must keep it from freezing. In the Fall he bought a Vermont castings Vigilant from me. Then he found a "King of heat" cheapie. A week or two later he fell into buying a Franco Belge (nice unit). He's played musical chairs with them, but today, at this very moment, all three are operating. Two upstairs and the King o' heat in the basement. The learning curve slapped him pretty hard, but at this point he tends them all at once, every 12 hours. They easily keep the drafty ol' place 62-65.
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: CapeCoaler Question

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Sun Dec 28, 2008 1:20 pm

Well there are two more of my 'children' that have lived with me at various times!
A small Godin and another Russo.
I have a 'King o Heat" and a 'warm morning' that are being cleaned up and placed at my parents and a friend’s house.
The Godin and Russo stoves were fine but unable to match the 'maximum heat load' of my house so they got relocated.
The VC Coal I thought would be nice as I had a VC wood burner before I burned coal but it too could not keep up and I had just found my next stove 2 days after the VC Coal was installed, the MarkII.
The Hitzer 503 lives at my parents house 20 miles away but I tend it long distance!
I heated my place with a wood VC Vigilant and had all of the wood burning issues but the wood was almost 'Free'.
I then stumbled across the forum after recalling that a high school friend’s house was always toasty warm and they heated with coal.
I have the most time in with the MarkII and the least time with the VC Coal.
The MarkII is good with no major flaws. It drafts well with a short 14' Metalbestos flue, takes whatever suburban mined coal comes its way and can run without electric but needs the fan for max heat output. This is the stove that i really learned on and pushed the limits of my coal burning knowledge.
The 503 was done right. Brand new stove, insert, in a 6" insulated and lined chimney 24' capped and screened. That stove drafts like a 'muther!
I keep it totally choked with the factory MPD that is built into the stove and still no ash escapes the stove when you shake it down.
The stove was lit once and is still running 8 weeks later with my parents just filling the hopper, shaking twice a day and adjusting the air vents for heat!
I check the stove but there were no issues with the stove. It never goes over 350* on the body and heats a 2000 sq/ft house to an average 72* again it needs the electric for max heat output.
The Russo stoves while smaller were more efficient with the round grate system. It was in a small tall square box and the ash would build up a bit in the corners. Had a couple of grate jams no major problems. Parts are still avaliable, some funky shaped refactory castings that are expensive.
No fans on either but one did have the capabilities to run a fan, the double wall no fan stove was hurt by not having a fan.
The Godin...small round efficient stove. It was in rough shape but almost free! Keeping that one for a small hard to heat place or a ‘Spring’ stove!
The VC …Not a steel stove. Pretty, not a beginner stove and did not have enough time to really play with the stove to form a strong opinion.
The king o heat and warm morning stoves….Good utility stove, no fan, lots of heat, efficient design and a good power outage stove.
I pick the brains of my friends down at The Iron House. A wealth of knowledge, parts and people who built the stoves back in the day!
My ideal stove…
Steel body. Solid and less chance for air leaks.
Shaker grates like the Mark series. To pass the clinkers and bone!
A square body like Russo or round like the Warm Morning with a smooth transition to the shaker to prevent ash buildup. More efficient less cold spots in the fire.
Top loading, a hopper or large reserve for extended runs.
Quiet fans that could be located remotely.
Glass to watch the ladies dance!
So I would guess that the Hitzer hopper models 30-95 or 50-93 or a MarkIII would be my choice at the moment for a commercially available stove. For a hand fed stove…
The A-A boiler is really what I want to heat the 2 houses on the property. But that is a different story altogether.
CapeCoaler
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove

Visit Hitzer Stoves

Re: CapeCoaler Question

PostBy: Ashcat On: Sun Dec 28, 2008 5:00 pm

Very interesting, CCoaler. Your description of the ideal stove sounds right on. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

By the way, you mention your parent's chimney being capped--what are the advantages of capping?
Ashcat
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 983
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Blaschak

Re: CapeCoaler Question

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Sun Dec 28, 2008 5:14 pm

Keeps the critters out, reduces water intake and cuts back down drafts.
The 'rents had the money for a new stove and with the money saved by direct purchase, spent the savings on fixing the chimney cap area along with a SS cap for the 3 flues.
I'll dig up a picture later.
CapeCoaler
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove

Re: CapeCoaler Question

PostBy: rockwood On: Sun Dec 28, 2008 8:45 pm

I pick the brains of my friends down at The Iron House. A wealth of knowledge, parts and people who built the stoves back in the day!


What is "The Iron House"? Is it a Blacksmith, custom ironworks shop?
rockwood
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Stokermatic coal furnace
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Rockwood Stoveworks Circulator
Baseburners & Antiques: Malleable/Monarch Range
Coal Size/Type: Soft coal: Lump and stoker (slack coal)

Re: CapeCoaler Question

PostBy: RePete On: Sun Dec 28, 2008 9:01 pm

The Iron House is a great wood/coal stove dealer in Hyannis. They used to make their own coal stoves at one time called the New Castle. My friend has one it's a very nice stove. Looks like a Harmon MKIII, but with a round shaker grate. It was 1/4" formed sheet steel and welded like Harmon does. He loves his stove and the Iron house still has parts for it.
RePete
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harmon
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark I

Re: CapeCoaler Question

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Mon Dec 29, 2008 12:11 am

They brought the plans out of storage when the oil prices went up this fall.
Their dad has an EFM that he will show at his house every now and then.
They do rebuilds of the newcastle as they have all the parts and castings!
It is a tank of a stove that will crank out the heat!
CapeCoaler
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove

Visit Hitzer Stoves