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Old 01-04-2018, 03:12 PM
 
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When we moved to this house in CT 2015, we picked up a coal burner since the existing furnace is electric .
That stove is a God-send! We get 40lb bags of nut coal from TSC for about $6. It's so cold right now (blizzard) we're probably using a little over one bag/day. Still, it's a whole lot cheaper than electric! And it's toasty. And we don't worry about power outages.

Next project...replacement windows, which are purchased and sitting in the basement.
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Stoking the Furnace-coalstoveapr17.jpg  
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Old 01-07-2018, 08:53 AM
 
39,194 posts, read 40,587,898 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
"Every fall came the much anticipated coal delivery day when a truck would dump about 3 yds of bituminous by the curb"

I suspect that it was anthracite, not bituminous. Bituminous was a far dirtier coal and unpopular for much but industrial use. Hopefully Coalman will weigh in on the thread.
One thing to remember and this still applies today, all that anthracite had to be shipped from Northeast Pennsylvanian. The farther you go the more it cost and it's always had a premium price to begin with. Presently if you wanted to pick it up yourself in bulk at the breaker it might be $160/ton, $200 delivered and if you get into somewhere like Chicago it might be $300-350/ton. Once you get that high the economics don't make sense especially if you can local soft coal for $60 per ton.

People are still using soft coal but if they can get anthracite even if it's 3 times the cost of the soft coal they will often opt for the anthracite. Soft coal has lot of soot emissions, powerful sulfur smell and it tends to clinker which is where the volatiles have fused into a mass. This will not pass through grates and makes automatic operation of a coal stoker impossible.

While on the topic of clinkers came across this humorous stat for "it's a clinker" on my site. Everyone is watching "Christmas Story" and googling it. The fist blip is mid December, the last two points are Christmas Eve and Christmas.



If you want to learn about heating with coal all the information you can possibly need can be found here:

https://coalpail.com/coal-forum/


Last edited by thecoalman; 01-07-2018 at 09:12 AM..
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Old 01-07-2018, 10:11 AM
 
Location: too far from the sea
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We used to heat with coal back in the '50s. I used to know whether it was anthracite or bituminous but can't remember now. One of the cellar windows was located right over the coal bin and the coal men would stick a metal coal shute from the truck to the window and --shooooosh!

Then my dad would have to take a big shovel (not like a garden shovel, it had sides and was larger) and shovel coal into the furnace. That burning red hot inferno used to scare me. It did heat the house pretty well though and I don't remember any odor or smoke. But if that fire ever went out during the night, it was pretty awful, very cold house.

Digging in the gardens around old houses you will find lumps of coal occasionally. Of course they always had another good use other than keeping people warm: how else would your snowman have eyes and a mouth?
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Boydton, VA
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"we picked up a coal burner"....what brand/manufacturer ?

Regards
Gemstone1
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Old 01-07-2018, 02:50 PM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post

Then my dad would have to take a big shovel (not like a garden shovel, it had sides and was larger) and shovel coal into the furnace. ?
Maybe that's why they call it a "coal shovel?" A coal shovel is also the perfect size to handle one deposit of horse apples. I always wondered which task it was really designed for originally-- shoveling coal or cleaning stables & streets?

That reminds me of the old movie serial Flash Gordon starring Buster Crabb. Remember Flash, Gail and Dr. Zarkov went to the planet Mongo ruled by The Emperor Ming the Merciless, and where the Floating City was kept aloft by atomic energy-- but the slaves down in the furnace room had to shovel the Uranium in by hand like an old coal furnace!
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Old 01-07-2018, 03:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
Digging in the gardens around old houses you will find lumps of coal occasionally. Of course they always had another good use other than keeping people warm: how else would your snowman have eyes and a mouth?
You might get the occasional piece that did not burn, it's probably from the ash. Coal ash is good for amending heavy/clay soil. Other common uses was for fill, anti skid for snow and concrete. Some of the concrete structures in my area that were poured 100 years ago look like they were poured yesterday. Roman structures that exist today used ash from volcanoes which was key ingredient to their durability.

Last edited by thecoalman; 01-07-2018 at 04:20 PM..
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Old 01-07-2018, 04:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
Maybe that's why they call it a "coal shovel?" A coal shovel is also the perfect size to handle one deposit of horse apples. I always wondered which task it was really designed for originally-- shoveling coal or cleaning stables & streets?
I don't think there is any shovel designed for one task or another, shovels come in sizes. If you look on most shovels where the handle goes into the steel there will be a number stamped on it. I forget wjhat the number was but I used to prefer what could be referred to as medium one, held about 25 pounds of coal. The larger one most guys used might hold 35 pounds. The smaller one was more narrow and was easier to push into the nut coal which is about the size of golf ball to almost a baseball.

Some of them used to make fun of my shovel. ....however I used to be able to shovel about 12000 pounds of rice in about 1 hour with it. It's a tortoise and the hare kind of thing.


Quote:
but the slaves down in the furnace room had to shovel the Uranium in by hand like an old coal furnace!
I'm sure when most people hear coal heat that is what they envision, this is not the picture they have in their head.

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Old 01-07-2018, 04:19 PM
 
39,194 posts, read 40,587,898 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemstone1 View Post
"we picked up a coal burner"....what brand/manufacturer ?

Regards
Gemstone1
If you asking this question because you may have some interest in getting one yourself the first thing to ask yourself is what do you want it to do and what is you budget. Any option you can think of is available whether you want a little stove to heat a few rooms that you can get used for for few hundred, automated boiler for the whole house that might be $9K on pallet or a restored model like the picture above some which have stupid price tags on them.

One thing you want to be sure of is you buy a coal stove made for burning coal from a coal stove manufacturer. Some of these companies that make wood burners may label their product as dual fuel but more often than not they do not work well. Burning wood in coal stove is quite easy, burning coal in wood stove rarely works well.
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