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Help advice to a 1st time wood stove owner

Post in 'Classic Wood Stove Forums (prior to approx. 1993)' started by Richard P, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. Richard P

    Richard P New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    Messages:
    1
    Last year I bought a SMALL used Federal FA209CL or 297, it's not marked extact which model it is, serial = 4489; This stove is also supposed to burn coal. I live in a 1860's house in southern NH. I bought this to heat a unfinished damp basement with the idea that I can take a huge load off the 1st floor by heating basement. I can get pretty cold down there.

    My wife is better fire started then I, we have a open fire place in living with a 4,x5, hearth and she has no trouble making large fires.

    I would like to burn coal so I do not have to down in basement as often, but we have both tried and can not get coal yo burn. I even tried using a torch with not luck. My relative said I need to get a real good wood fire going and then add the coal, I bought nugget coal, as I thought this would burn easier.

    I think what we are doing wrong is we have no idea, where to set the air intake damper on the front. There are 2, they are both round brass knobs/disks, turning to right closes them. The bottom 1 is located on the door with the ask tray inside (so I guess that's for bring in under the fire and the 2nd 1 is on the single front door, which has glass window or a screen can replace the door.

    So I need instructions or assistance from anyone who can tell me what to do with setting these dampers and/or the damper in flue pipe. Then how to get the coal to burn. I can not seem to find an owners manual on this stove probably because it's old.

    The preson I bought it from told me they had it in living room and it heat their entire small house. They bought a new one simple because they wanted a more fancy one

    Can anyone help or direct me to a manual?

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  2. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    706
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    For coal burning advice you can go to nepacrossroads.com. Most dual fuel stoves are not good at burning one or the other fuel. The people at nepacrossroads might be familiar with your stove and have better advice...

    Some pics of the stove would help...

    Is the stove still air-tight? Is the firebox lined with cement or brick?

    The lower air intake is probably for coal fires, the air must go up through the coal. Use the upper air intake for wood.

    Are you trying to burn bituminous (soft) or anthracite (hard) coal. What size coal are you trying to burn? I would probably try pea first. If that does not burn hot enough or falls through the grate then move up one size to nut.

    To start my coal stove I put some crumpled newspaper on the bottom some kindling splits on top of the newspaper, then some small splits on top of that. I cover it (but not too deep) with a layer of coal. Light the paper, let the wood burn and the flames going through the coal will light it. Leave the pipe damper open, the top air supply open during the wood burning phase, then closed. The the bottom air supply open for coal. As the coal lights adjust the bottom air supply it to maintain the heat level you need.

    Keep an eye on the stove during the first few coal fires. Start with small quantities of coal and slowly build up. Once it lights coal can take off very easily, especially if the stove is not airtight. As you get comfortable with the stove and how it burns you can build bigger fires. I have a bucket of sand near the coal stove, easiest way to get it under control if it takes off...

    KaptJaq
  3. edison

    edison New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2013
    Messages:
    1

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