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From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Winter Firewood
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2000 23:14:27 -0500

Don Burton wrote:

> I have been using a pellet stove for 5 years here in Northern
> California, I am certainly pleased with the performance the stove has
> provided.  I generally purchase from 1 to 1 1/2 tons of pellets per year
> at a cost of $188.00 per ton.  I use the Golden Fire pellets, which I
> believe to be one of the better brand of pellets on the market.

OK, I have a question.  That seems awful high for solid fuel.  Given
that you're going to use a solid fuel in a stoker-driven furnace,
why not burn coal?  About half that cost per ton and much more heat
per ton.  And maybe it's just me but I love the smell of a coal
fire.

John



From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Winter Firewood
Date: Sat, 16 Dec 2000 17:12:33 -0500

mark97504@my-deja.com wrote:

> Coal, in the west, really isn't an option since there's no coal mines
> to speak of.

I guess I didn't realize that.  The Chattanooga metro area (what
Cleveland is a part of) is on the edge of coal mining country so I'm
conditioned to think that everyone can just drive up to the mine and
buy (or pick up) some coal.  There are still a couple of coal
dealers within reasonable driving distance of here and both deliver.

>East of the Mississippi it might be an option unless the
> Feds have shut down the mines or limited sales.  The environmentalists
> have gotten a lot of mines closed over the last years because of the
> sulpher content and commercial power plants found that the price of
> stack scrubbers was going up because of the increasingly tightening of
> emmission levels.  They had to spend more and more to for less and less
> improvement of the stack output.  If the companies didn't buy the coal,
> the mines had to close.  Look into the number of mines in Southern
> Illiniois and Kentucky that have had to close...

True.  But the stuff you use for home heating is high grade
anthracite coal that contains very little sulfur and burns with a
nice, bright and low soot flame.  Back in my early married days when
we heated with my homemade wood (should I say "solid fuel") furnace,
I quickly discovered that cutting, splitting and hauling 10-15 cords
of wood a year was no fun at all.  I reconfigured the grates in the
furnace to burn lump coal.  I'd fire it off with wood and then hand
feed the coal for the rest of the day's heating cycle.  Lump coal
was around $30/ton delivered back then and I could heat a whole
winter for 2-3 tons.  What a deal! :-)

I was driving through rural north Alabama last weekend in the MH
when I had those old memories tickled by seeing something I'd not
seen in years, perhaps decades.  Tiny shack houses with huge piles
of lump coal at the side of the house.  Reminded me of just how poor
rural Alabama really is.

John


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Microwave oven inventor
Date: Sun, 28 Jan 2007 14:19:17 -0500
Message-ID: <u3tpr293t63goimh2ckgjftjteie9lnpgi@4ax.com>

On Sun, 28 Jan 2007 08:16:42 -0700, "Just plain \"Dusty\""
<RV_phixer@innerREMOVETHISlodge.com> wrote:


>> My local wood pellet retailer burns corn in one of his display stoves, we
>> just don't have a cheap easy supply of corn around here.
>Yeah.  I can understand that.  But, given the huge 'hue-&-cry" for
>"alternative" fuels, *and* one that's ultimately both renewable *and*
>"locally" "manufactured", you'd think that this line of fuel products would
>be more closely scrutinized...

(trying valiantly to think like an eco-nazi...... Oh heck, it just
doesn't work...)

As the owner of a modest tree farm, I should point out that wood
pellets are equally "renewable" and require far less energy and labor
input than corn.  Ya plant the trees, wait 10-15 years, cut 'em down,
chop 'em up, make pellets out of 'em and there you go.  No tilling,
weeding, insecticiding or other stuff, at least as long as the pine
borers stay away.

I was "stumbling about" the net last night and read an article that
said that the (IMHO misplaced) demand for corn for non-food purposes
has driven the price so high that working class mexicans can't afford
their usual diet of tortillas and that mal-nutrition is looming.  Corn
would not seem to be a general purpose heating fuel.

It's a niche product for places where corn is everywhere, heaped up on
the ground when the silos are full.  Not much use anywhere else.

I do have to chuckle a little at the pellet stoves.  A small
reincarnation of the old fashioned coal stoker.  The thing is, coal
was/is sooooo much better for heating.  I well recall our old stoker
furnace.  It took feed from the bunker so coal never had to be
handled.  All one had to do was remove clinkers from the clinker pit
every so often.  Lots easier and less messy than wood ash.  It was
always a treat when the coal delivery came.  So much nifty machinery
at work.  A young nerd's nirvana.

And ahhhh, the lovely smell of coal smoke in the air.  I got a whiff
of that driving through Birmingham the other day. They must have been
firing up a blast furnace or something. Memories flooded back so
heavily that I almost drown!  Which would have been embarrassing in a
semi truck on the interstate!

John


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Microwave oven inventor
Date: Sun, 28 Jan 2007 16:28:39 -0500
Message-ID: <p35qr2p34kre9etfaclhj79b8kmerp2q1a@4ax.com>

On Sun, 28 Jan 2007 14:41:51 -0500, bill horne <redydog@rye.net>
wrote:

>Neon John wrote:
>
>> I do have to chuckle a little at the pellet stoves.  A small
>> reincarnation of the old fashioned coal stoker.  The thing is, coal
>> was/is sooooo much better for heating.  I well recall our old stoker
>> furnace.  It took feed from the bunker so coal never had to be
>> handled.  All one had to do was remove clinkers from the clinker pit
>> every so often.  Lots easier and less messy than wood ash.  It was
>> always a treat when the coal delivery came.  So much nifty machinery
>> at work.  A young nerd's nirvana.
>
>When I was a little kid, my grandmother burned coal in the fireplace.
>My job was to play in the coal bin - until I was fired.

In my case, my mom would set my tail afire every time I got in the
bunker.  She was a neat-freak back then.  Even the sunbeams didn't
have any dust in 'em.

She finally got dad to replace the furnace with a gas one.  A sad day
indeed.  The house was never as warm, it cost a fortune to heat and I
could no longer go to the basement, open the door to the furnace and
sit there at fireside reading or something.  *sob*.

She found someone to buy the remaining coal and a couple tons of it
were hoisted out one coal scuttle at a time.  Really hated to see my
l'il black buddies leave.  The good side was that I got the bunker for
my chem lab.  That lasted until I almost hit Mom with a homemade
rocket.... But that's another story....

John



From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: misc.rural
Subject: Re: What would life be like in the rural areas if gas was $10/gal.?
Date: Wed, 04 Jun 2008 22:47:57 -0400
Message-ID: <7kke44hap4tfj1kgm34r6bhgqg86p7k3ot@4ax.com>

On Wed, 04 Jun 2008 13:53:38 -0500, AL <lithar@hamiltoncom.net> wrote:


>I don't have *any* fond memories of residential coal heat. As a kid, my
>job was to dig clinkers out of the furnace using that awkward claw gizmo
>and load the stoker. What a thrill it would be to discover the fire had
>gone out while the stoker, unaware of this, would dutifully auger more &
>more coal into the firebox until it jammed and failed - oh what fun!
>And and let's not forget the chimmney fires - what a thrill!!! Sounds
>like a runaway freighttrain roaring in the center of the house and who
>needs July 4th when you can produce your own fireworks like that coming
>out of the chimmney?

Sounds like you had a poorly designed system.  I loved my grandparent's stoker
system.  It was my job to clean the clinkers when I visited every week, a job
that I enjoyed.  In this furnace, the stoker fed up through the center and the
clinkers fell out over the side of the fire basin (for lack of a better word)
into a catch bin.  I'd occasionally have to fish out a recalcitrant clinker
but not very often.

The stoker had a thermostatic switch that kept it from running when there was
no fire.  The only jams that I recall were from the very occasional rock that
managed to get in the coal.  Very rare occurrence, as the coal dealer sifted
it well.  In the case of a jam, there was a crank to stick into the end of the
gearbox to crank the screw backwards a little.  That almost always fixed the
problem and the rock fed on in with the coal and ended up in the clinker bin.

I LOVED the smell of coal burning and still do.  I probably would not like
shoveling it nowadays with my bad back but everything else I enjoyed.

John


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: misc.rural
Subject: Re: What would life be like in the rural areas if gas was $10/gal.?
Date: Wed, 04 Jun 2008 22:40:20 -0400
Message-ID: <t0ke44tiieea770baoiq71kalvsskr1ria@4ax.com>

On Wed, 4 Jun 2008 07:23:33 -0700 (PDT), forum@nepadigital.com wrote:

It'd be nice for you to quote some of what you're replying to.  Whomever that
is is in my filter so I don't see it.  All I see is a one-sided conversation.

>Sorry but your mistaken, I believe you're confusing anthracite with
>bituminous coal. There is a smell associated with bituminous coal but
>that's a whole other animal and I probably should have clarified that.
>There simply is no noticeable odor with anthracite whether its stoking
>full blast or just idling along,

When I use anthracite coal in my blacksmithing forge, it DOES emit an odor.  A
WONERFUL odor.  I love the smell of coal, either type, burning.  Folks who get
the idea from this thread that anthracite is as odorless as, say, natural gas
will be disappointed.


>I used to deliver coal and the current cost is about the same as it
>was 20 years ago adjusted for inflation. One thing that will keep
>costs down for coal is that there is such an enormous supply of it,
>the U.S. contains more than 25% of the worlds know reserves.

Do you have a guide that shows where coal is available in an area?  Hopefully
a web guide.  I'd like to convert to coal from wood now that I'm physically
incapable of fetching my own wood.  All the coal yards that I know of around
here are closed down, the last one going away just a couple of years ago.  I
don't really care which type of coal it is, as I live back in the woods with
no close neighbors.  I have a large truck and another one with a dump bed so I
can go get it and don't need delivery.


>There's a fuel comparison calculator here: http://www.eia.doe.gov/neic/experts/heatcalc.xls
>
>You'll need Excel to use it, if not you can download openoffice for
>free.

Thanks.  That looks like a useful spreadsheet and it opens just fine in
OpenOffice.

John


 



































































































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