"New to Me" Harman Mark III, ??'S on Operation, B

"New to me" Harman Mark III, ??'s on operation, b

PostBy: goat6t7 On: Mon Oct 09, 2006 1:12 pm

Hello, brand new to this forum so thanks in advance for any advice/help.

I just got a used Mark III and about a ton of pea coal to try. I bought it with the intentions of replacing my old wood stove and continuing to burn wood, however, after some serious convincing my buddy, who ha sa Mark I) has now talked me into trying some coal. I have always burned wood so this coal thing is all new to me. I was told by another buddy that I should "bank" the coal in the stove to prevent gasses from building up (which could potentially blow the door off of my stove - yikes), and this would also decrease the risk of coal gasses escaping in general. Is this true or is this stove designed to just fill up deep with coal and "let-r-go"? I want to be safe and all but also want to be aware of any risks with regard to improper loading. Are there any other risks with coal gas that I need to worry about with this stove? One of the reasons that I have never messed with coal is because of the CO2 and coal gas dangers. I have installed a couple if CO2 detectors. Anything else I need to be careful of or know about? Have 3 small kids and a lovely wife, I want to make everything safe.

Also, I have a flue damper on the pipe a foot or so above the stove. Should I be using this at all or no?

Also a question on draft setting. I have only fired the stove once to try it out and it seemed to work well, especially given that I am a newbie to coal. Got it up and running nicely with very little trouble. I wondered if anyone else that is using this, or a similar unit, would share some info on setting the draft on the ash door? I had it one and one quarter turn open and this seemed to work well but I couldn't help but wonder if this was too much. My chimney is a 6' SS insulated chimney about 25 - 30' tall. I realize that everyone will probably use a different setting but just was interested in other's input.

Thanks again! Any input is appreciated.

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PostBy: Berlin On: Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:50 pm

no need to "bank" just fill it up and go, a deeper bed of coal is always better than a thinner bed. no need for an in-stack damper, use the primary air controls to controll the fire. coal releases it's volitiles shortly after loading the stove, thus don't open the door for about 1/2 hour after you load it up for any reason or you will get a puff and some singed eyelashes from the fresh oxygen hitting the released volitiles.
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

PostBy: laynes69 On: Mon Oct 09, 2006 6:31 pm

I learned from loading coal that opening and checking it is a no-no like posted. I made the mistake 2 times and it looked like a fire from dackdraft. Scared the he11 out of me! I had problems getting any heat, but then when I filled my furnace to the top of the firebrick, it worked great! As the weather gets colder, you may increase your draft for more heat. I burn mostly wood, but I use coal on those cold nights. Just give yourself about an 1 1/2 to get a good coal fire going.

PostBy: Islander On: Tue Oct 10, 2006 1:15 am

I'm on my second year with a Harman MK II. I used mostly nut coal last year, which worked good for mid winter. I then tried pea coal for March and April. Didn't get nearly the heat out of the pea as nut, which is what I was looking for. Just another way to adjust the amount of heat output. I generally would shake the ash down, open the ash door, and load up the stove to the top of the firebrick. When I saw blue flame dancing on top of the fresh coal, I shut the ash door and adjusted the draft. I generally used 3/4 turn for draft with nut, but found that the pea needed more air. Can't say what, as I only burned it for a short time in the spring.

Mark III

PostBy: endinmaine On: Wed Oct 11, 2006 7:40 pm


I bought my Mark III new last year and have been very satisfied with it's heat output. I mostly use nut size coal but have also used the larger stove size with success. Now that Fall is here I have been burning wood saving the coal for the cold season.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Margin Gem Cook Stove and Harman Mark III
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman and Margin Gem
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark III and CookStove

PostBy: Pap On: Fri Oct 27, 2006 7:19 pm

I bought a new Mark III last year and am also very happy with it. I used nut coal last year (my first year burning coal) till around March. Then I found that it was getting to hot in the house on some warm days.

The Coal Man told me to try Range coal (nut & pea mixed) no one sells Range coal in my area so I just bought some Pea coal and it worked very good. With nut coal I needed atleast one full turn open on the draft of the fire would start to go out.

With the pea coal I can close the draft ti 1/2 a turn and the pea coal will keep burning. Then at night I just open the draft about one turn and get plenty of heat. It will take some fooling around but you will get it figured out.

Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III
Other Heating: Oil

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