Coal Dummy.....

Coal Dummy.....

PostBy: Shellie_wnj On: Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:52 am

For some reason, this didn't go through the first time - let's try again...

Hi. First of all, please go easy on me - this is my first time dealing with the coal stove and I have no prior knowledge of these things! In short, I am having to deal with the stove because the person who used to do it no longer lives with us - and we're COLD! :oops:

I have a Harmon stove, I believe its a III. It could be a II, who knows. I have been reading on here, but I honestly don't understand a lot of what is said, I think some of it is "technical terms" when I am fire stupid :? I see some people poke the fire from underneath, I can't seem to figure out how to do that, and also some of you leave the stove going for 12 hours, I can't get mine to last more than three if I dont shake it and feed it. And I can only feed it a small layer at a time or it goes out.

It went out overnight last night. To make a long story short - I have been left with no kindling, no firewood and no knowledge of fire, with three little ones under age 5. The stove is downstairs in the basement, so I don't have a lot of time to play with it. I need to get it lit - any suggestions? How long would small twigs and branches take to dry? I also rescued some scrapwood from outside, but it was buried under a layer of snow - I can't burn that right away either.

If I were to go out and purchase something to help me light the fire, what would you suggest? I read firelogs are no good in a stove - anything else? THANK YOU.
Shellie
Shellie_wnj
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harmon
Stove/Furnace Model: III

Re: Coal Dummy.....

PostBy: gambler On: Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:22 am

Where are you located?
Maybe a forum member lives close and can come over and show you how to light the stove and keep it going.

I see your stove is a handfired one. So maybe our resident handfired,blabber fingered guru Devil will show up. He should be able to talk you through this. He is a pretty good guy.
Last edited by gambler on Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
gambler
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer

Re: Coal Dummy.....

PostBy: Shellie_wnj On: Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:23 am

I'm in the poconos. Thank you :-)
Shellie_wnj
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harmon
Stove/Furnace Model: III

Visit Hitzer Stoves

Re: Coal Dummy.....

PostBy: Dann757 On: Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:27 am

Shellie,
Try to remain calm. First and foremost you need a CO alarm or two. Also a fire extinguisher handy. Home Depot has both under $20. If you could post pics of your stove setup that would help tremendously with all the good advice you'll get here.
You can get plastic wrapped kindling wood at a lot of supermarkets. I start fires with cardboard pieces and kindling myself,
I don't know if others would recommend that.
It sounds like your fire doesn't have enough draft, this could be the stove settings, this also could be due to the chimney. You need to know if your chimney is safe too. Safety first, be careful.
Keep asking questions, I did, and had some of the same problems at first.
Do you have a supply of coal there? What size is it?
Dann757
 

Re: Coal Dummy.....

PostBy: Devil505 On: Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:30 am

You'll get it right...We all had to learn! It sounds like you are managing to get a coal fire going??? Are you filling your stove up completely with coal? (to the tops of the firebrick)

Try this thread: How to Light a Hand Fired Coal Stove
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: Coal Dummy.....

PostBy: gambler On: Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:31 am

Maybe someone in that area with handfired stove knowledge could PM (private message) you their phone number.
It would be much easier to communicate via phone that the net.
gambler
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer

Re: Coal Dummy.....

PostBy: Shellie_wnj On: Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:05 pm

Dann757 wrote:Shellie,
Try to remain calm. First and foremost you need a CO alarm or two. Also a fire extinguisher handy. Home Depot has both under $20. If you could post pics of your stove setup that would help tremendously with all the good advice you'll get here.
You can get plastic wrapped kindling wood at a lot of supermarkets. I start fires with cardboard pieces and kindling myself,
I don't know if others would recommend that.
It sounds like your fire doesn't have enough draft, this could be the stove settings, this also could be due to the chimney. You need to know if your chimney is safe too. Safety first, be careful.
Keep asking questions, I did, and had some of the same problems at first.
Do you have a supply of coal there? What size is it?


Thank you for your response - I do have an extinguisher and a CO alarm. I will look for the plastic wrapped kindling - thank you for that tip. I don't know much about the chimney - my husband did all of that. We do have coal, it's lump coal. How do I create draft? Thank you!!!
Shellie
Shellie_wnj
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harmon
Stove/Furnace Model: III

Re: Coal Dummy.....

PostBy: Shellie_wnj On: Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:07 pm

Devil505 wrote:You'll get it right...We all had to learn! It sounds like you are managing to get a coal fire going??? Are you filling your stove up completely with coal? (to the tops of the firebrick)

Try this thread: How to Light a Hand Fired Coal Stove


I had someone come over and start a wood fire, I added coal to it myself and had it going pretty good for 2 days. Last night was the first time I filled the stove to the top of the brick, and that's when it went out. Thank you for helping!
Shellie_wnj
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harmon
Stove/Furnace Model: III

Re: Coal Dummy.....

PostBy: Shellie_wnj On: Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:08 pm

gambler wrote:Where are you located?
Maybe a forum member lives close and can come over and show you how to light the stove and keep it going.

I see your stove is a handfired one. So maybe our resident handfired,blabber fingered guru Devil will show up. He should be able to talk you through this. He is a pretty good guy.


LOL I thought I saw a devil around here - where are you??? I won't sell my soul, but I could use some help :roll:
Shellie_wnj
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harmon
Stove/Furnace Model: III

Re: Coal Dummy.....

PostBy: dutch On: Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:13 pm

Here's a link to the manual from Harman if you don't have it.
http://www.harmanstoves.com/doc/marksm.pdf


You should see many posts here giving lots of help, but basically
you want to start out with a nice wood fire.. hardwood,, not pine etc.,
and once that fire is going good, start adding coal a little bit at a time
and let it go until the coal is starting to turn red, and burning nicely, then
add a little more coal. (patience is key!) with a couple good shovels of coal, the stove should
start to warm up, and the bed of coal will glow orange. once that coal is all
nice and orangeish, and the fire is seeming good and hot, you could add more
coal until you fill it to the top of the firebrick. it would end up sloping down
to the front gradually. depending on your draft (the pull up the chimney from
the heat of the chimney) the fire will require more or less air thru the control
know on the lower ash door. most people are 1- 2.5 turns opened once there is
an established fire. you shouldn't have to poke or shake this new fire until you go
10-12 hrs, then we get into the shaking/reloading procedure. poking usually doesn't
need to happen until a few days into the burn when some ash may build up, usually in
the front of the stove where the bed of coal stays shallower.

i guess i could write all day.... best thing is to spend some time reading the info on these
boards, as there are lots of experienced people here.

and welcome to the coal forum!
:D
dutch
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Alaska Channing III

Re: Coal Dummy.....

PostBy: Pete69 On: Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:10 pm

If you don't have one it's a good idea to get a stove temp thermometer. This will help you to set the draft control so you don't over fire the stove. I have a different stove but I set mine on the loading door and run it between 350 and 450 degrees maybe someone with your stove can pitch in and recommend better placement and temp. I don't think you want it to hit over 500 degrees. Remember a coal fire is like a freight train it takes a while to get going and it takes a while to slow down so you need to open your draft control nob a little more than it will be set at running speed to get it going, but more importantly you will need to start closing it down more before it reaches its operating temp. I think this is good safety advice for an inexperienced operator although more experienced operators will have different ways of doeing things. but you definitely need to know what the temp. is so things don't get too hot. And ALWAYS check to see that the ash door is closed before walking away from the stove even for a minute.
If you can you should check on the stove regularly until you are more familiar with its operating characteristics, especially with little ones in the house.
Pete69
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Baker/Vermont Castings/Chubby
Stove/Furnace Model: fireside /VigilantII/Chubby

Re: Coal Dummy.....

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:21 pm

Buy a bag of real wood chunk charcoal it's under $10, HD has the 'cowboy brand' it burns hotter than wood and will light off the coal just fine. Stuff a ball of newspaper on top and light to get some heat into the flue.
3-4 inches of the chunk charcoal with some kindling will light the charcoal or a propane torch if you want it to light quickly!
Once it starts to spark put 2-3 shovels of coal on, add the coal slowly to the top as the previous batch starts to glow.
Stay with the stove, leave the ash door open to speed the process, never leave the door open if you are not in front of the stove!
Soon the coal will be to the top of the bricks, close the ash door, open the spinner between 3/4 of a turn to 2 turns, using the stove thermometer to keep body temp between 200*-500*.
That is the basics, read the forums when you have time and ask questions as needed!
MarkIII has three grates and the MarkII has two.
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: Coal Dummy.....

PostBy: Devil505 On: Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:23 pm

Shellie_wnj wrote:LOL I thought I saw a devil around here - where are you??? I won't sell my soul, but I could use some help :roll:


right here! :devil: :funny:


Shellie_wnj wrote:We do have coal, it's lump coal.


It sounds like you are burning bituminous coal??? (do you know if it's Bit coal..soft...or hard coal...Anthracite?)
If it's bituminous, there's a forum just for Bit coal & allot of us no very little about it. I'd recommend burning Anthracite in that stove.
Do you know which type of coal it is?
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: Coal Dummy.....

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:26 pm

You mentioned 'lump coal' in your post just want to confirm you have hard anthracite coal and not soft bituminous coal.
Same Question!
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: Coal Dummy.....

PostBy: sharkman8810 On: Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:31 pm

If you dont have any wood, alot of people also use charcoal. There are stickies on how to get your fire started, and you can look at them to see on ideas on how to light yours. Feel free to pm members with specific questions, or if you see someone with the type stove you got (sounds like a harman mark ??, it is pretty common, pm them and they can probably help with what works good for your type of stove. I use wood fire then just put a layer of coal over the entire grate. make sure that the wood is flaming good.
sharkman8810
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: hitzer 82 ul
Coal Size/Type: nut
Stove/Furnace Make: hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 82 u.l.

Visit Hitzer Stoves