My old furnace

My old furnace

PostBy: 84GNLT1 On: Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:29 pm

I own a house that was built in 1904, still has the orginal coal burning octupus furnace in it. Was converted over to gas at some point. About 5 years ago, i tore out the gas conversion, i couldn't find a round 18" grate at the time, so i used a pair of rectangle grates, has worked fairly well since then. This spring i got sick, so no more cutting wood. I had done some research on burning coal, a couple of weeks ago, i did find a round cast iron grate, had a friend make me a support for it, tore the furnace down and installed my new grate. So far it has been an experiment, but got to say, it was 10 degrees out side this morning when i got up it was 70 in the house. My biggest problem is shaking down the ash, i do alot of poking. So now i am on the hunt for a grate system. Would the grate from a free standing stove work? My guess is that it would, from an old catalogue i found, looks the they used the same grate system in all of there stoves and furnaces.
My furnace is a Detroit Stove Works Jewel, Model 2452A, patent date 1918
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84GNLT1
 
Stove/Furnace Make: detroit stove works
Stove/Furnace Model: jewel 2452A

Re: My old furnace

PostBy: rockwood On: Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:45 pm

Maybe these guys would have grates for it....?

http://heatherfurnace.com/index.php?page=grates.html
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: My old furnace

PostBy: dcrane On: Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:15 pm

It appears any round grate would work that is a proper outside dimension as the firebox (it wants to have 1/4" - 1/2" gap around the entire outside perimeter to allow for shaking (the only difference you find with these round grates is a slide out dump on most and the holes vary in size depending on what size coal you wish to burn).

It appears that you have BUNCHES of asbestos wrapped duct work as well as the boiler has been asbestos covered (im pretty sketchy about this) but just be aware of it because if that stuff becomes friable at anyplace it will permeate your entire house in seconds! I would have it inspected and/or removed prior to using and be careful working around it to make sure you do NOT disturb it whatsoever!
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

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Re: My old furnace

PostBy: Berlin On: Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:29 pm

Something that works well on that asbestos covered ductwork that doesn't involve the danger and expense of removing it is to soak it thoroughly with a slightly thinned oil-based paint. Since it's just a thin layer, the paint soaks into it and hardens rendering it non-friable.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: My old furnace

PostBy: dcrane On: Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:46 pm

Berlin wrote:Something that works well on that asbestos covered ductwork that doesn't involve the danger and expense of removing it is to soak it thoroughly with a slightly thinned oil-based paint. Since it's just a thin layer, the paint soaks into it and hardens rendering it non-friable.


jeeeze, that might even be a good idea/practice to do prior to removal of the stuff too :dancing:
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

Re: My old furnace

PostBy: echos67 On: Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:38 pm

Put the gas conversion back in that monster and get a DS Machines Stove to burn coal in and call it a day ?
echos67
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Glenwood No. 6.

Re: My old furnace

PostBy: Pacowy On: Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:57 pm

Looks like a job for a conversion stoker. In our "new" house we removed a gas burner that had been installed in the old boiler, and replaced it with a conversion stoker. The stoker and boiler work great and the cost was pretty modest compared to what a replacement system would have cost.

Mike
Pacowy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/anthracite

Re: My old furnace

PostBy: Dennis On: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:17 pm

We had one of those enormous octopus burners at home.I will ask my brothers if they want to get rid of it.Last I remember the grates worked fine.Where are you located
Dennis
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: AHS/WOC55-multi-fuel/wood,oil,coal
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/stove size

Re: My old furnace

PostBy: 84GNLT1 On: Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:42 am

I am in MIchigan. i know all about the asbestos, about 5 years ago when the gas conversion was going bad, i had an estimate on replacing the furnace, quote was over $5000, that is why i converted it over to burning wood. When i got sick this year i had a quote of $7500 to replace it, lots of cost in removing the asbestos and running new heat ducts, i can buy alot of coal for that money. I have been using coal in it for a couple of weeks now, lost the fire a couple time trying to learn how to run this beast. Was scared to put too much coal in it, it will hold almost 100 pounds of coal. But it is holding the house about 72 even with the cold we are having. My grate shaking is very primitive, i know if i had the correct grates with a shaker, this thing would work well. Pic is of the firepot with nice glowing coals. Would be very interested in finding grates for this thing.
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84GNLT1
 
Stove/Furnace Make: detroit stove works
Stove/Furnace Model: jewel 2452A

Re: My old furnace

PostBy: SMITTY On: Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:08 am

Yeah, why replace the asbestos? It's one of the best insulators out there - you already have it, so why waste money replacing it? I never understood why people are so afraid of the stuff - as long as it's not airborne, it's NOT going to kill you. People around here hear that word and go absolutely bonkers ...

Nice job there - that's exactly what I would have done. Keep the old stuff - it's 200x better than anything built in the last 20+ years, and will outlast any replacement.

And more importantly, IT WORKS! Hope you find a grate for it. 8-)
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

Re: My old furnace

PostBy: franco b On: Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:54 am

A plain flat one piece grate fixed in place can work well if you provide access slots (maybe two) just at grate level to slide a flat poker over the grate to break up ash and let it fall into the ash pit. No need for a shaker grate. The poker would be about 3 sixteenths thick and about an inch wide and 3 feet long.

The grate slots sized for nut or stove coal. Maybe it will work with your present grate.
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franco b
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: V ermont Castings 2310, Franco Belge 262
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Modern Oak 114
Coal Size/Type: nut and pea

Re: My old furnace

PostBy: stovepipemike On: Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:47 am

Wowser franco,I think you have designed a true multi-purpose tool there.Not only does it look great for "unhooking"ash but it might be handy to have by the bedstand,to say nothing about putting an edge on it and pruning out the fruit trees. Clever design for sure. Mike
stovepipemike
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: KAA-2

Re: My old furnace

PostBy: franco b On: Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:40 am

Not my design but is the standard slicing poker for Franco Belge stoves which have both shaker grates and provision for slicing. That one is 1/8 thick by 3/4 wide. It is so simple yet so effective that I am surprised more makers do not take advantage of it.
franco b
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: V ermont Castings 2310, Franco Belge 262
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Modern Oak 114
Coal Size/Type: nut and pea

Re: My old furnace

PostBy: EarlH On: Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:20 pm

I heated my house with one of those for about 5 years. REALLY a nice way to heat. They are much more efficient than most people want to believe. You will however, want to take it all apart and re-cement it back together. They come apart pretty easily actually except you will probably want to grind off the stove bolts instead of trying to fight with them. There is 4-5 joints in those as they are just stacked on top of each other and the weight holds them together. They called them "portable" in the day and claimed two men can easily install one. Well, that's true if you have a human forklift on your hands. Otherwise three can do it. That ring on the top is the worst to get lifted off and back on top of it again. But it you do that, it will be airtight and be much easier to regulate your fire. You will also be able to make a pattern for your grates a lot easier.
I just took the one out of my house as I have a different stove to heat with now. But the one I took out had a 24" firepot in it and it really did not need much of a fire to keep the house warm. A good friend of mine works in the asbestos removing 'industry' and I asked her what I needed to do since I needed to disturb some of it when I worked on mine. And she started to go on and on about all of the things I needed to do to be safe while I was doing what I was with the thing. I finally said, 'do you honestly do all that in your house?' since I know they have an old house. And she said. Mmmm, just get a weed sprayer and wet it all down with some water so it's damp and you'll be fine. The dust that's settled around the thing from being in your house for the last 90 years will give you more greif than your insulation.' We used to take those things out when I was a kid and scrap them for iron. And believe me, you'll want to do that as they are very dirty. We used to just get them all wet with a garden hose in those days, but we weren't taking them out of finished basements either.
They might not be the best looking things in the world, but they sure can heat a house! Mine would hold a fire for a day and a half if I needed it to. Good luck with it now. I can post some catalog images of one of those things being set up if you'd like. I'm pretty sure one of the old furnace catalogs I have shows one getting installed.
EarlH
 
Baseburners & Antiques: Favorite 261, Columbian Joy A2
Coal Size/Type: Favorite-16" firepot; Columbian Joy-12"

Re: My old furnace

PostBy: rockwood On: Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:36 pm

This video shows the assembly of one of these furnaces. I don't think these would be efficient using gas or oil but I do think they would be much more efficient burning coal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viqdSrtl9_M
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)

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