Burning Coal: How did it begin for you?

Re: Burning Coal: How did it begin for you?

PostBy: freetown fred On: Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:27 pm

Oh hell ch, that has nothing to do with you being an odd duck. ;)
carlherrnstein wrote:It appers Im a odd duck.. My parents heated with coal.
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix

Re: Burning Coal: How did it begin for you?

PostBy: Rick 386 On: Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:19 pm

Once upon a time in a land far, far away there lived.................................

Way back when my parents built a house with all electric heat. At the time they were given a special rate because it was an all electric house. That ended and they tried heating their ( & mine at the time) house with wood. Insert in the basement fireplace and freestanding in the living room uner all of our bedrooms. They cut floor registers in and all was well. we were getting wood for free ?? Grandfather was caretaker of a cemetery that had a large wooded unused section. It was hard work but with me and my 3 brothers helping, it wasn't that hard. Well the "free" wood was drying up to buy wood got expensive.

My Dad attended the Oley Fair in Oley, PA and was introduced to Alaska Stoker stoves. They replaced the wood burners with the 2 Alaska's and it was a done deal. So I meet this fine lady living in a big old farm house twin with a shared basement. Her parents live in the other half and across the driveway her brother lives in a ranch house. we got our own little compound !!! Anyway the father in law had installed a used AA260 in the basement to heat the house in the cold times and used an oil burner in the summer. Me, I can't keep my nose out of his business so he shows me how the AA works and how to start it up and shut her down including which valves to open and close. Eventually he gives me a copy of the owner's manual and I am stuck living there and taking care of everyone....

My stepson buys a house and wants to cut down on expenses so we find him a Keystoker but needed a power vent due to where he wanted to place the stove. Internet search reveals this website..............

Over 1 year ago, my nephew moves into an old farmhouse which happens to have an EFM 520 DF in the basement.

The rest is history as they say.......



Rick
Rick 386
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 260 heating both sides of twin farmhouse
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Hyfire II w/ coaltrol in garage
Coal Size/Type: Pea in AA 260, Rice in LL Hyfire II
Other Heating: Gas fired infared at work

Re: Burning Coal: How did it begin for you?

PostBy: lsayre On: Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:00 pm

It was the looming threat to phase out our special "all electric" rate that drove us to coal. I couldn't see any economic benefit in going back to oil, or in converting over to propane, and wood (my former go too fuel) is now way too much effort for me due to my chronic medical issue, and also since it doesn't make for the best boiler fuel for someone who is not continually home to watch over it and feed it.
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Stockton Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (13.5 KW)


Re: Burning Coal: How did it begin for you?

PostBy: NoSmoke On: Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:13 pm

My Grandfather burned coal, at first it was mostly to keep the potato house from freezing, but when we got out of potato and got into chickens, the pot bellied stoves, used at regular intervals kept the chickens warm. In fact at one time we had the biggest chicken barn in Waldo County, that being 5 stories and 75,000 birds. As the chicken industry began to build, so did the barns and soon ours was considered small when some barns held as many as 200,000 birds.

Unfortunately if we had kept coal as our heat source, we would still have a chicken industry. We didn't...with oil so cheap everyone had huge oil fired boilers and the chicken industry blossomed. Even if you only had a few acres, you could build big barns, raise a lot of chickens and be home all the time and enjoy all that farming is. Our town of 700 people had 3 stores, 2 feed mills, and an active railroad in the mid 1980's.

Then the oil got expensive.

Soon the chicken industry realized that it was a lot cheaper to build chicken barns in the south where they did not have to even build heated barns, and the industry went south...literally. Almost over night the chicken industry was gone and we were left with lots of big empty chicken houses that still stand...empty. The feed mills have been scrapped, and the chicken farmers that once stayed at home, have left to work in the bigger cities. This involves long commutes, fire departments that have no volunteers when a fire occurs during the day, and lost of poverty. To give you an idea, I work at a ship yard and have an 87 mile commute...1-1/2 hours...ONE WAY!

Seriously, all this was lost because a single major industry here required cheap heat in which to efficiently run, when oil got expensive, it was over.

Even today, when I mention using coal for heat, I am looked at as if I am crazy. Well go right ahead then, buy your expensive oil, buy your propane with little btus per gallon, buy your green useless firewood, and buy those pellets that are literally causing local dairy farmers to put bullets in their heads...I'll burn coal thank you very much!
NoSmoke
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: New Yoker WC90
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vogelzang Pot Bellied Stove
Coal Size/Type: Stove/Nut/Pea Anthracite
Other Heating: Munchkin LP Boiler (Back-up)

Re: Burning Coal: How did it begin for you?

PostBy: joeq On: Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:24 pm

I was hoping to hear some cool steam locomotive stories, that someone may have recognized the benefits, and applied it to their house. As for myself, I wanted a wood stove for my sun room, only for esthetics, so when company came over, we could toss a log or 2 in, for viewing purposes only. Found the Surdiac,(almost 20 yrs ago for $200), and because it had a glass door on it figured it would work for my needs. stuck it in my sun room, then found out the double wall pipe was gunna coat 3 times what the stove is, so it sat empty for about 5 yrs. Then i found some pipe in the classifieds for cheap, and after I purchased it, it sat in my basement for about 10 yrs. Finally, after a few yrs of increasing fuel (oil) prices, the wife said we should install it inside the house. The rest is history. My stove is now burning away during our 1st Nor-easter of the yr. My downstairs is 80, and am sure the up-stairs is more. (Worse? depends who you talk to). Now I need to learn how to control it. Out for now.
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Burning Coal: How did it begin for you?

PostBy: 2001Sierra On: Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:37 pm

First year in our house a 60's ranch was winter of 1980. Froze our buts off, other family members where burning wood. I too searched out a wood stove, I think a Garrison or Vermont Castings. Little stove shop in town was test burning a Nashua, looked good, then he tests a Buderus, Baked enamel German cast iron coal only stove. Checked it out a few times and pulled the trigger, I worked a lot of overtime and figured the money earned could cover the added expense of coal and shortage of time I had that wood would require . By the way all those family members have long given up wood, but I still burn coal. Fall of 1981 installed a block and brick chimney. The rest is history, and bye the way no forum so I made all the mistakes by myself :mad: I knew no one else that burned coal other than my suppliers, so I was pretty much on my own. My dealer moved on from selling a few coal stoves, and many more wood stoves. Later pellets, gas inserts and the like, then he got big and never looked back. After 28 years saving a ton of money and still burning a little oil came along the Keystoker 90. Thermostats for oil have not been on for the past 2 years, the Keystoker is installed in a finished family room with a somewhat mini furnace setup and working real well.
2001Sierra
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90 Chimney vent
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Other Heating: Buderus Oil Boiler 3115-34
Stove/Furnace Model: Keystoker 90 Chimney Vent

Re: Burning Coal: How did it begin for you?

PostBy: wsherrick On: Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:59 pm

joeq wrote:I was hoping to hear some cool steam locomotive stories, that someone may have recognized the benefits, and applied it to their house. As for myself, I wanted a wood stove for my sun room, only for esthetics, so when company came over, we could toss a log or 2 in, for viewing purposes only. Found the Surdiac,(almost 20 yrs ago for $200), and because it had a glass door on it figured it would work for my needs. stuck it in my sun room, then found out the double wall pipe was gunna coat 3 times what the stove is, so it sat empty for about 5 yrs. Then i found some pipe in the classifieds for cheap, and after I purchased it, it sat in my basement for about 10 yrs. Finally, after a few yrs of increasing fuel (oil) prices, the wife said we should install it inside the house. The rest is history. My stove is now burning away during our 1st Nor-easter of the yr. My downstairs is 80, and am sure the up-stairs is more. (Worse? depends who you talk to). Now I need to learn how to control it. Out for now.


I have plenty of steam locomotive stories. How many of them can you stand?
wsherrick
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Glenwood Base Heater, Crawford Base Heater
Baseburners & Antiques: Crawford Base Heater, Glenwood, Stanley Argand
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut, Stove Size

Re: Burning Coal: How did it begin for you?

PostBy: joeq On: Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:25 pm

PM sent, Will. I'm all ears :)
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Burning Coal: How did it begin for you?

PostBy: Ed.A On: Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:54 pm

Burned wood as secondary source for my all "electric" house I had built in the early 80's.

Fast forward to 2007, electric rates out of sight, $175 a cord of wood. I was working 2nd shift and my wife was always keeping the woodstove going (or try too) when she forgot to open the damper, smoked out the house and called me at work in tears and said she'd had it!

She went on a crusade to find an alternate heating source...of course all her friends pointed her to their lovely Pellet stoves.

Then she happened upon some info on Coal stoves. We ent to a store in Munson Mass., toured the place, asked all sorts of questions, saw some stoves in action.

The rest as they say is history.
Ed.A
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Channing III/ '94 Stoker II
Coal Size/Type: Rice

Re: Burning Coal: How did it begin for you?

PostBy: backwoodbill On: Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:00 pm

Well like most in Maine I burned wood off of my own wood lot and I had to most of the time harvest by hand=4ft. on my shoulder one lenth at a time up till a point when my heart and body said hey knock off the shhhhh! and I really hated the fact it would heat me more than once out of heating season when I didnt need it and only once during heating season well do the math its not rocket science! so my first exposure to coal was when I stayed at a friends camp for a weekend and it was heated by coal I didnt have much trouble running it as the fire box probably only held about 10 pounds of coal fully loaded and the camp was 24x24 so it was easy to heat and I found it hard to put the fire out due to the small size of the fire box now that was back in 1990 it took from then to the end of 2011's heat season to recall and then commit to switching to coal my body and heart now say YES! when I go to the coal shed and pick up a fifty pound bag of coal and that is every other day and only have to tend the stove am and pm my arthritis loves the steady 70-75 degrees it pumps out its a new Harman mark2 hand fed the house is 24x28 two story and it heats the whole place nicely the only thing that bothers me about the whole thing is I now have to pay for coal and well the cost of my fire wood was a little easier to take but in retrospect coal is saving me further cost of my health so what is not to like as for wood Iam never going back unless there is a dire catastrophic emergency I leave all of you with this thought the only good addiction is a coal addiction its affordable!
backwoodbill
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harman
Stove/Furnace Model: mark II

Re: Burning Coal: How did it begin for you?

PostBy: CoaledWinter On: Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:24 pm

I moved to PA and bought a house with a near-dead oil burner. I have wooded property, so started looking for a wood burning boiler, found lots of wood/coal combos. That got me looking into coal.

I found an AA130m local to me as an extremely good deal, so I picked that up to give it a try.
A few googles of the unit and I found this forum, now I'm eager to get it up and running.

So far, this is the second heating season it sits in my garage partially disassembled. I originally planned to park it there, but in a little research of code and chimneys, it won't work there, so I planned an outdoor installation. A little more code research, and I opted to buy an insulated container to build a bin and install the boiler in. A permanent setup like a shed or brick structure would be a permit hassle and might affect my taxes. So now I have a military surplus 12' x 7' container on my 16' backhoe trailer, deep in the woods in my back yard out of neighbors view, waiting until I can scrape up the cash for insulated piping. Once that's all set up, I'll actually have the whole boiler and coal bin portable. Great if I sell the house or have a permit/code problem (in theory).

In the meantime, I installed a wood stove insert in my fireplace last week to offset the oil. That's working out great aside from the constant fire maintenance, and the fact that I'm on day 7 and already used 3/8 of my seasoned wood.

I'm hooked on coal when I haunt this forum for a while. :D It's very frustrating, I want to get that sucker installed already...
CoaledWinter
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Axeman-Anderson
Stove/Furnace Model: 130M

Re: Burning Coal: How did it begin for you?

PostBy: Wiz On: Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:53 pm

Many years ago I purchased a Harman Mark II because electric was to darn costly. Moved several times since then and burn oil which really :mad: . About 3 yrs ago moved again into our current house that had a Tarm wood boiler. Well my hats off to everyone who burn wood for years, no way was I going to do that. Remembering how much I saved in burning coal, I search the web and found this forum. Did allot of reading before becoming a member and got a warm welcome from everyone. TikiGeorge invited wife and me to his house to check out his ka-6 and the rest is history. :D :) :D
Wiz
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker Ka 6
Coal Size/Type: Casey Junk Coal :(

Re: Burning Coal: How did it begin for you?

PostBy: sperry On: Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:13 pm

Older couple next door showed me the way. Back in the 80s VT electric rates were some of the highest in the nation. Didn't take long to seek some heating advise from my elders across the road, next thing I was installing a used Surdiac pea burner. No looking back!
sperry
 
Stove/Furnace Make: efm/alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: 520/fireplace insert

Re: Burning Coal: How did it begin for you?

PostBy: wilder11354 On: Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:25 pm

Lets see.... oil's to damn exspensive. Thats my story and i'm sticking to it.

Parents bought house winter 61, had an old Hobart wood/coal furnance in basement. There was some coal there, dad used it till gone, got more, mom said its too dirty(dust). So firewwood was next.. i hated firewood,hauling it, stacking it etc. That lasted for a few years. Good thing about that furnance.. heat out of floor heat vents was sure nice on cold winter mornings when fired up from idle, use to stand on them,but you best have something on feet steel grates on them got HOT!!

Years later(now), tired of cold house mid 60"s when its cold out, but fuels too exspensive to keep at 70* or higher. So kicked the can about coal for a few years... decide its time to try coal. Hand fired boiler.. but its great. Give me a few years, and will strating looking for an EFM stoker.

COAl rules for efficient heat.

THE END.
wilder11354
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Harman SF260
Coal Size/Type: nut or pea, anthracite
Other Heating: crown oil boiler, backup.if needed

Re: Burning Coal: How did it begin for you?

PostBy: SMITTY On: Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:11 pm

We bought our first house and moved in the summer of '03. That winter was the first time I had to deal with oil (not counting my parent's place .. but THEY paid for it then ;) ), having lived in several apartments prior. We kept the house about 65° all winter, and that spring, I was astounded at how much it cost to heat my house! Oil was $1.70 a gallon.

Winter of '04 with oil hitting $2.20 a gallon, we cut the t-stat back big time. On the weekends we'd crank the TV room up to 65°, but during the week, the heat was OFF in the TV room, and the house was kept at 58°. That SUCKED, especially coming home soaking wet and freezing cold having worked outside in that crap for 12 hours - coming home to a cold house was NOT fun! At the end of that year of suffering, I STILL went through 4 tanks of oil! That spring I decided we were buying a stove of some kind. Wood crossed my mind briefly, but recalling how my parents heated with it for my entire life, I figured there had to be something better.

I visited a friend of mine at the end of that winter in '05. He had just bought a Saey to get rid of his $600/month electric bill for the winter. I was sold. I told my father about it, & he beat me to it and bought a Mark I for himself. After seeing how much he paid for it, I went that September and bought one myself without any research at all - just based on the one visit to my buddy's place. Fired the stove up that October, & for the first time in my life, I had a warm bedroom! That December, I discovered & joined the forum.

After a couple seasons of burning, and reading a few posts in between my 60 hour work week, I realized my Mark I wasn't really cutting it. Come January and February we'd begin to freeze again, and the oil burner was kicking on WAY too much for my liking - especially at $3.75 a gallon. In spring of '08, I went back to the same dealer and ordered a Harman SF250 - the biggest baddest handfired you can buy. That July, panic hit. Heating was in the newspaper. People were lining up at stove shops around MA, lines out the door, in panic mode. I inquired about my order ... and they said it wouldn't be in till that February, '09! I had just sold my Mark I for $1,000 to someone who came all the way from NY to pick it up, so I had a brief moment of panic ... until they told me since I already had money down, I was welcome to take the Mark III sitting on the showroom floor. I hopped in the truck that day, walked past 100 people lined up out into the parking lot while they scowled at me in disgust, and came home with the Mark III.

On the way home, I had to slam on the brakes and the 500 lb. stove went airborne into the back of my cab at about 20 mph. And the rest is history! :lol: Bent the bed and the front of the box of my truck. The Harman suffered 2 broken firebricks, which I am still using right now. :D

If I had to do it all again, I would've went the girly man route and bought a stoker boiler. ;)
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler