Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

OT: Coal - what to do with it?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • OT: Coal - what to do with it?

    They had 40 lbs bags of anthracite coal down at the farm store today for $5.99 (and in ton qtys). I guess the market has slowed to where they're selling it retail by the bag. They had it in 1-2" chunks, and also sized like fine gravel. As someone who has gone through life without a supply of coal, this sudden availability is exciting. Like a forbidden fruit. "Now that I have some coal, and this Dave Gingery book, I can make a lathe.."

    I don't have an immediate use for it, except for gag gifts. I have never made a fire with coal, and for some reason I am curious to do so. But to what end? I understand this pure coal is difficult to light and many power plants use the dirtier bituminous coal to get anthracite going.

    I resisted the temptation to buy a bag. I guess I could rig up a blower and melt some metal? I have an anvil!

  • #2
    Send it here and I'll use it in my forge!!

    Pete
    1973 SB 10K .
    BenchMaster mill.

    Comment


    • #3
      I can remember when my grandparents had a coal furnace and a coal storage bin in the basement, with an opening at street level where the coal truck could put the chute and top it off. I would sometimes play near the coal bin and I enjoyed the look and feel of the shiny black anthracite coal chunks. I was too young to remember much about how the coal was lit and maintained, but I remember a stack of small chunks of lumber that were used in that process, and I played with those as building blocks. I think a wood stove can be adapted to burning coal, possibly as easily as putting a grate in the firebox and maybe a "shaker" to let the ash filter out. I'm just guessing here, and a good search should find a lot more information. And some of it might even be correct!
      http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
      Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
      USA Maryland 21030

      Comment


      • #4
        We have a coal fireplace with a cover that puts out pretty good heat, also a wood/coal cookstove. We have Amish north & south of us so coal is available. When I was a kid my Dad worked at a lumberyard that sold coal & was amazed that one man could move a loaded railcar with a RR jack, I still have a couple with about 6' handles. He'd puch the car over the right bin & open the bottom. If it was frozen he'd get on top & beat around till it all came crashing out. He also delivered it, shoveling in the houses coal chute & had one house that had a very mean dog so he'd open the passenger door & as the dog was coming in he'd jump out the drivers door run around & close the passengers door locking the dog in the cab until he was done.
        Last edited by flylo; 12-18-2015, 05:22 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          First off, virtually ALL coal-fired plants burn bituminous or sub-bituminous coal, (except for those that use lignite.) Anthracite coal is too scarce for high-volume consumption. Aside from the actual heat value of a particular coal, the important variables are sulfur content, and its ability to coke.
          Anthracite is more difficult to light than bituminous coal, but once lit, burns hotter and has a smaller percentage of ash. Geologically, anthracite is older, and has usually been subjected to greater pressures.
          I am sure that someone on this forum knows FAR more than me on the subject, so I will now shut up.
          Duffy, Gatineau, Quebec

          Comment


          • #6
            I wonder if coal is like firewood in which all species has the same BTUs per ton? I still have a coal feeder with what looks like 6' drill bits that fed the boiler & the motor unit that turns 3/4 rev per minute
            Last edited by flylo; 12-18-2015, 05:28 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              About half the folks I know that dont live near a gas main either have a propane tank or burn coal for heat bc its much cheaper than burning "fuel oil."
              "I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer -- born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow."

              Comment


              • #8
                I had a coal furnace for many years, To light coal starting from scratch, ball up a bunch of newspapers, put on some wood and then coal on top. The wood step can be skipped by balling up a large amount of paper.
                Better to not let the furnace go out. The ashes can be shaken out and more coal just added.

                Comment


                • #9
                  "Small chunks of lumber"
                  Easy to take it for granted that everyone was brought up with coal but that was the last generation. So many now brought up in all gas or all electric town houses and flats/apartments who just have no idea of what a real fire is. Once saw my neighbour's mother trying to light a bonfire. She put the whole, folded, newspaper on the ground and tried to light one side of it
                  I have also seen young people with at least a decade of using a woodstove who don't really understand how to handle a living flame to best effect and struggle to light it using oversized damp logs. So I think for some it is like having no natural ability to use a screwdriver or spanner and just being mechanically inept.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There was an article around 1975 in Time magazine about the "Physicist's Fire" but available only by subscription. However, much of it is on the following website:
                    The best fireplace grate uses laws of physics to direct more heat out into the room, less up the chimney compared to conventional fireplace grates. Featured in news stories on CBS, in Time, Scientific American, New York Times. Discover how easy it is to start and maintain a hotter fire.


                    Here is an article on NOVA about the physics of fire:
                    Explore the basics of combustion and learn the physics and chemistry of burning in this virtual laboratory.


                    Also interesting and informative:
                    Discover satisfies everyday curiosity with relevant and approachable science news, feature articles, photos and more.


                    I found this article very useful in reference to wood burning appliances:


                    Their main web page shows their "JUCA" products and more info about how they achieve high efficiency:


                    "The Physics of Fire" is also a death metal band.
                    Last edited by PStechPaul; 12-18-2015, 07:00 PM.
                    http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
                    Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
                    USA Maryland 21030

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I was exposed to coal when I was 14. In high school Agri shop we used it to forge a hay hook. In North Central Arkansas in the late 50's early 60's fuels commonly available were wood, propane, electricity, or kerosene.
                      North Central Arkansas

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        well your on HSM.....the answer should be obvious, build a steam engine!
                        located in Toronto Ontario

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post
                          well your on HSM.....the answer should be obvious, build a steam engine!
                          Pretty much, One of the notable uses of anthracite coal was passenger steam engines. The point being anthracite coal burned so clean, your passengers would not be covered in soot and smell like coal when they arrived.
                          Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Coal, Lol! I have "carried in the coal" for our stoves for as far back as I can remember, until I was in high school we even fired the kitchen cook stove with the stuff! My dad mined coal and I too spent 38 years with a coal mine, althgough I mostly worked machine maintenance, that produced over 4 million tons per year in South East Kentucky, I carried in two buckets just before dark this evening and I am siting here right now feeling the heat from our King coal burner, I have 4 more tons of hand picked block in a pile just outside my shop. I guess coal has been a part of my life since I came into this world and likely I will continue to burn the stuff until I can longer carry another block of it!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I don't burn it myself but used to date a gurl who's parents did - also the small towns surrounding mine still use a fair amount of it due to them being by a coal mine,
                              I know this sounds funny but I like the smell of it - esp. when riding my bike or walking by someones house that's using it...

                              it's a real homey smell to me - takes me back... almost a little gun-powder-ish...

                              you can try it some if you have a fire brick lined wood stove but don't make a habit out of it or you could warp the steel or worse yet burn a hole through it....

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X
                              😀
                              🥰
                              🤢
                              😎
                              😡
                              👍
                              👎