Okay, I've got an old fashioned wood or coal burning kitchen cook stove that is set in an alcove off one wall of the main kitchen. Has a side chute labeled "coal" cast into the iron of the chute door and then the front door to the fir-box where I've been stuffing wood into it from the front of the fire-box. Has good grates that are solid and still cam together and rotate with the handle on the front to shake the ash down to the ash bin below the fire-box.
It's mainly a hobby thing, to occasionally try cooking the really old fashioned way and I can also still cook even if the power goes out for days. Usually use it only in the winter or on cold rainy days since it throws a lot of heat in the process which is a good thing in the winter or on a cold day, but not so good on a hot summer day.
Fire box is bread-pan shaped and small so I can only use maximum 4" diameter by 16" long or so small rounds or split really small wood and thus requires constant stocking every half hour or usually more often to keep it burning and has to be stocked with smaller wood every 15 minutes if you are trying to maintain a stable temp for using the oven to bake something that needs even temp (like trying to make home-made bread in it the ultimate of cooking challenges). No one burns coal up here that I know of as residential heating. A few decades ago we did have a lot of coal fired electric generating plants that was fired from coal shipped in by rail by the trainload and some of them are still up and running and some of them are in mothballs. Every once in a while I see a big coal train go through on the Northern trans-continental rail line that runs through my state and sometimes I wish they would have one of those big cars derail and spill and not get it all cleaned up so I could go back my truck up to thessite of the spill and scavenge the little stuff they didn't get all cleaned up. No such luck though and I bet it wouldn't be legal and I could get in trouble anyway even if I was just scavanging what they left a lying.
I would like to order a bag or two online or mail order just to try out coal and see if I could use it to good effect in this stove to get a more even heat that didn't need to stocked as much and fiddled with as often. All I have found online though is Bituminus by the bag specifically for blacksmithing from a couple online hobby blacksmith sites:
Both sites look to be running about $45.00 including shipping to my door for a single 50# bag of the stuff. Problem is that they both very clearly say that it is not intended for stoves and should only be used for blacksmithing. Plus its not Anthracite which from what I've read is the stuff to use specifically in the "nut" size for this kind of application.
I was thinking start with a full fire-box of wood and get it burning nice and hot and let it burn down to a half full fire-box of red hot wood chunks and then add coal on top to fill up the fire box and then wait another 15-20 minutes for the wood to burn through and ash out the bottom and then top off the fire-box again with coal and then hopefully that will hold out for a full baking cycle without having to constantly stand over the thing adding fuel and fiddling with the fire-box to keep it hot and even for however long whatever I'm baking is supposed to bake.
Anyway, long story short, anyone here know an outfit that sells good quality bagged anthracite for hand stocked stove heating applications internet or mail order by the bag that I can order just a single bag or two from to try it out with my cook stove? For just the first bag or two on a small order to try it out I'd be willing to pay the price that the black smith places are asking, I realize that mailing coal in single bags isn't exactly the most cost effective means of transporting it and the shipping costs just as much as the coal. If I decide I really like it then I might look into ordering an entire pallet of bags and getting it truck freight shipped and paying a lot less per bag for both the cost of the coal and the shipping cost.
Thanks guys, and any input or comments for this newb are welcome. And no wood pellets aren't an option (although easily and cheaply available locally), already tried that and they go through the grates at the bottom of my fire-box too easily.