Coal stoker to wood stove - Survivalist Forum
Survivalist Forum

Advertise Here

Go Back   Survivalist Forum > >
Articles Classifieds Donations Gallery Groups Links Store Survival Files


Notices

Advertise Here
Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Off-The-Shelf Wood Gas Generator? TacticalFarmer Disaster Preparedness General Discussion 19 07-05-2017 04:36 PM
Watch: The Kindling Cracker is a Safe Way to Split Kindling Wood AllOutdoor.com AllOutdoor.com 2 10-12-2016 08:34 PM

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-19-2016, 12:19 PM
Skeptical1 Skeptical1 is offline
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 27
Thanks: 260
Thanked 26 Times in 10 Posts
Default Coal stoker to wood stove



Advertise Here

Hello all,
First off, I recognize that stoker stoves are dependent on electricity and therefore a poor choice for one who preps for the long term. But budgets being tight and this stove being free, I took it and got a generator to assure security in a short term (less than 2 month) pinch. But this does me little good if I need to face a second northern winter after and teowawki scenario.
My stoker stove is a cast iron box with a plate attached to the back. All the mechanical stuff is attached to or run through this plate. I plan to buy or scrounge a piece of thick steel plate and drill it so that I can pull the guts from my stoker and cover the hole with this plate and some stove cement. Then put a rack in the middle and a damper down low in the ash door and walla! A wood burning stove!
My concern is that there is so much I don't know. Will the wood fire melt my rack? Or burn my stove cement? Is air flow so different that this conversion is doomed?
This is not something I can test as it would basically ruin my coal stoker stove to do this. And of course, when funds allow it, I'll upgrade to a stove more suitable to longterm independence.
Am I overlooking some better, easier alternative? Is this plan hopeless? Or do I have a winner here?
Quick reply to this message
Old 10-19-2016, 12:31 PM
charliemeyer007's Avatar
charliemeyer007 charliemeyer007 is online now
reluctant sinner
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Rent Free in your head
Posts: 15,086
Thanks: 33
Thanked 27,347 Times in 9,729 Posts
Default

Back in the 70's I shared a house that had a coal stoker furnace in the basement. In the morning we would throw a bunch big logs in threw the door on top of the fire. Then turn up the thermostat for about 20 minutes to get the wood going. Set the thermostat back down - the stoker wouldn't kick back on for at 8 hours.
Quick reply to this message
Old 10-19-2016, 12:53 PM
Skeptical1 Skeptical1 is offline
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 27
Thanks: 260
Thanked 26 Times in 10 Posts
Default

Wow. That would improve the efficiency. But can I gut the thing burn wood permanently?
Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 10-19-2016, 01:22 PM
charliemeyer007's Avatar
charliemeyer007 charliemeyer007 is online now
reluctant sinner
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Rent Free in your head
Posts: 15,086
Thanks: 33
Thanked 27,347 Times in 9,729 Posts
Default

Yea we burnt all the knotty to hard to split wood in that furnace. The heated air to the house worked by natural convection - really big ducts, but no power required.

A stoked coal fire can melt steel grates. I doubt you need to cement the plate over the feed hole. A rack to allow the wood to be out of the ash would be good. How much air venting is in the door - I don't like leaving the door partly open - sparks can jump out.
Quick reply to this message
The Following User Says Thank You to charliemeyer007 For This Useful Post:
Old 10-19-2016, 03:52 PM
cornbelt cornbelt is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: cornbelt
Posts: 55
Thanks: 1
Thanked 40 Times in 20 Posts
Default

There have been a lot of furnaces converted to stokers. Not sure how it would work going the other way. Probably depend on the design, but will the stoker actually get in the way? The ones I've seen could just be ignored if a guy didn't want to use them, for whatever reason (like burning lump coal).
Quick reply to this message
Old 10-21-2016, 01:37 PM
Skeptical1 Skeptical1 is offline
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 27
Thanks: 260
Thanked 26 Times in 10 Posts
Default

It's a pain. I don't love being dependent on electricity for heat. I do plan to trade up "someday" to a wood/coal stove but a great plan won't keep the bambinos warm if the grid goes down. I have gas and generators. It would be a year 2 project for sure.
Quick reply to this message
Old 10-21-2016, 02:36 PM
Zef_66 Zef_66 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 39
Thanks: 139
Thanked 51 Times in 27 Posts
Default

I had a coal stoker in our old house. And I burnt wood all my life. With that said, converting a coal stoker to a wood stove might work okay, but it wouldn't burn well nor be a very efficient way to do it. It wouldn't get enough air, and wouldn't get air in the right place. You would be better off trying to source a wood stove that you can swap in if you were in a long term grid down scenario. Burning wood in a converted coal stove should be a short term solution only.
Quick reply to this message
Old 10-25-2016, 06:47 PM
cornbelt cornbelt is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: cornbelt
Posts: 55
Thanks: 1
Thanked 40 Times in 20 Posts
Default

Your stoker should have an adjustment for the draft control, which is forced air into the firebox. Too much makes for some bad clinkers with coal, but you might tinker around with a load of wood in it and see what you can find out. Another thing to try might be a bag of wood pellets.
Quick reply to this message
Old 10-25-2016, 06:56 PM
ol ol is offline
Survivor
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: SW/SE Wisconsin
Posts: 2,261
Thanks: 1,451
Thanked 2,730 Times in 1,796 Posts
Default

Worked for a guy the converted coal stoker.. ...
Local pallet factory would cell hard wood "ends" for $1 buck per pick up load (not any more) but required adjusting the fee speed.

Was an old Octopus style gravity unit.....

What kind of coal stoker doe you have...I gonna guess you are burn small pellets or chunks?... in a small unit?
Quick reply to this message
Old 10-25-2016, 08:05 PM
6556 6556 is offline
human
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 4,430
Thanks: 734
Thanked 4,357 Times in 2,090 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zef_66 View Post
I had a coal stoker in our old house. And I burnt wood all my life. With that said, converting a coal stoker to a wood stove might work okay, but it wouldn't burn well nor be a very efficient way to do it. It wouldn't get enough air, and wouldn't get air in the right place. You would be better off trying to source a wood stove that you can swap in if you were in a long term grid down scenario. Burning wood in a converted coal stove should be a short term solution only.
I'd rephrase this. .. "Getting the Proper amount of air at all the right places".

I think that once you get an area of a piece of coal hot enough to start combustion that that piece of coal will continue to burn with very poor air circulation. Depending on the type/mass and cut of wood to sustain "burn" oxygen flow becomes much more critical. To help compensate (you can't compensate for lack of 02) keep the HEAT around the "burn chamber".

If possible line the burn chamber with "more" fire brick" Keep the HEAT concentrated ON THE WOOD. This will help with a more complete burn (finer ash)
Quick reply to this message
Old 10-27-2016, 01:37 PM
Skeptical1 Skeptical1 is offline
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 27
Thanks: 260
Thanked 26 Times in 10 Posts
Default

My in laws are elderly, but they have an old wood stove they don't use. Maybe they'll sell it. It would seem best to have a working stove to pop in while I tinker with a conversion project...
Quick reply to this message
Old 10-27-2016, 07:54 PM
michiganmuleguy's Avatar
michiganmuleguy michiganmuleguy is offline
Tactical Tinkerer
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: starvation lake ,mi.
Age: 75
Posts: 388
Thanks: 11
Thanked 257 Times in 142 Posts
Default

I have heated with coal and wood in the house and shop since the early 70's.Coal and wood do not burn the same.Wood needs more air than hard coal and in a different place. Hard coal burns from the top down,soft coal is a lot like wood in as much as it likes air from the bottom,but more of it.The furnaces I am burning now are "dual fuel" and will burn wood or bit coal.They do not like a diet of coal only,it must be mixed , even though they will burn it.Hard coal just lays there like a pile of rocks.Do yourself a big favor and just get a stove that is engineered for your intended purpose.
Quick reply to this message
Old 10-28-2016, 01:19 AM
woodzman's Avatar
woodzman woodzman is offline
Survivor
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: upstate NY
Posts: 3,065
Thanks: 20,086
Thanked 13,655 Times in 2,745 Posts
Default

Ditto on finding yourself a dedicated wood burner. I goofed around with wood in coal stoves, it will work, but you won't be happy.

The key here is Craigslist or e-bay. Keep looking under just the word "stove"
You will have to look at a LOT of ads but you WILL find a good stove that someone wants removed and they will go very cheap. Be ready to jump on it with cash. Wait for Summer, if you can.
You can find an $1800 stove for a couple hundred bucks if you keep at it.
I used to buy, repair and sell stoves of Craigslist often.

HINTS:

*Stick with a "gasifying" type.

*Catalyst type stoves work but require more attention
at start up and at the end of a load. Catalytic units wear out also.. $$

*Avoid wood stoves that use a refractory insert in the burner area, like some Harman stoves and others;
They erode / break and are
expensive to replace and may be discontinued.

*Buy a bit more stove than you need. You can let cool, fresh air in if things get too warm.

*My favorite is the full size Vermont Dutchwest / Federal series with a passive air-wash system for the glass door. They are a pleasure to use, nice to look at and are REALLY efficient.

You can watch the Hydrogen and other gasses burning; nice blue and orange flames rolling around over the logs. That gas would otherwise be going up the flu, wasting energy, creating creosote, polluting and attracting attention you don't want.

A good example below.


Good Luck.


www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouBo6wnTDTM
Quick reply to this message
Reply

Bookmarks



Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Survivalist Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
Gender
Insurance
Please select your insurance company (Optional)

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:53 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright © Kevin Felts 2006 - 2015,
Green theme by http://www.themesbydesign.net