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Thread: Anybody use coal ?

  1. #1
    Member SANDRAT's Avatar
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    Default Anybody use coal ?

    I may be spending my first Alaskan winter ( not new to Alaskan winters) in a dry cabin with only wood heat. I wondered if anybody used coal as an alternative to firewood ? Also, as I work long days, just looking for a source, either propane or electric, low energy use, I can use to keep the cabin just above freezing while I'm away.

  2. #2

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    Just built the cabin this summer and put an old coal stove in it from one of the old Alaska RR caboose cars. Love it so far. What we have been doing is burning wood during the day while we are up and around and load it with coal for the night. Doesn't take very big pieces of wood due to the door being fairly small. Works well and heats the cabin up real well. I've been buying the coal in 50 lb bags from a guy on Maud road.

  3. #3
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    Default I haven't used coal but

    I took the tme to modify a gas burner to fit in my wood stove for summer cooking ,and I discovered that it does not heat as well as wood.The short flame of gas is hot real close but a very brief exposure by comparison to wood .I have seen where folks had put coal in a wood stove and melted the grate and the iron wall inside ruining the stove. Coal is particularly hot but I don't know by volume compared to wood ,what it's longevity is.I had a log stove we would stoke up for the nite and close the damper and air in ,and it would cook all nite but that was usiung hard wood, not pine. My stoves though are set up with the stove pipe in a dog legg fashon double L so the pipe is not strait up. Very effecient.Hope this helps.

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    Arleigh, This will be my second winter with a coal stove at the cabin. The MORSO stove burns wood too. Very happy with heat and burn time with the coal. At -30 degrees it will burn 25# per day to keep everyone in tee shirts. I buy 50# bags from a supplier in the Butte/Palmer area to haul during the winter. You do need the correct stove to burn coal or you can burn out the bottom of the stove.

  5. #5
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    There is an abundance of coal around my cabin. I gather it up and use it for those long winter nights. Mine is a home made stove with very thick sidewalls. There is always a pretty thick bed of ash in the stove when I burn coal.

    I'm not crazy about the smell when working outside, so limit the burn to night time for coal. A nice chunk lasts all night and is very warm.
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  6. #6
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    Default where are you that coal is so plentyful?

    I'd love to live there,simply because I do a little black smithing but where I live I can't get coal unless I go out of state.

  7. #7
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    Arleigh, my cabin is on the west side of Cooks Inlet. Almost every river has coal seams cutting across or into the current. They get exposed and then break up, getting deposited and distributed along the ocean beaches. Some of those river seams are many feet thick.
    The beach at my place has no other access, so I usually have it to myself. Some years there is very little coal, this year there is a lot. }:>
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  8. #8
    Member SANDRAT's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info, found a source in Homer that charges $50 a pickup truck load for coal. Seems one helluva lot cheaper/more efficient than buying wood or the time it takes to cut and split it.......looking at a Toyo Stove for the times I'm away for a few days to keep it above freezing.


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