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Old 11-03-2015, 12:50 PM   #11
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After seeing it mentioned (and raves about it) in the Abominable Snowbus conversion thread, I looked into the Dickinson Marine propane stove(s) only to find that they also make a solid-fuel model that will burn wood, charcoal, and coal. Dickinson Marine Newport Solid Fuel Fireplace

It looks pretty cool (not that I want to be burning coal to heat my home), and I like how versatile it is. But if I'm going to be heating with wood, I want a fire box bigger than 7" x 4.35" x 6".
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Old 11-03-2015, 03:03 PM   #12
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What is wrong with burning coal to heat your home?

I would rather leave the tree's growing to make oxygen, and burn the coal.

However, most solid fuel stoves can burn grain, wood pellets, wood chips, ect.

Nat
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:07 AM   #13
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Well, if the stove has carbon scrubbers and a way of catching the sulfur and other by-products of burning coal, then great - but otherwise, it's the dirtiest (albeit cheapest) fuel you can burn. Think of the legendary environmental health effects of burning coal to heat residences, in addition to the widespread blame for acid rain placed on combustion of coal. And then there's the coal mining itself, which would be bad enough if it was just miners getting black lung; now that mountaintop removal is the norm for coal mining in Appalachia, the impacts include obliteration of existing ecosystems and posing long-term risks to communities downstream of sludge impound ponds.

So no, I won't be burning coal to heat my bus if I can help it. That said, you're welcome to make any decision you like. It's just a matter of balancing the pros and cons for each of us, and I feel that the cons of burning coal outweigh the pros in my circumstance.

That said, what do you use to heat your bus, Nat? I've been trying to track down a definitive statement from you on this matter, since you seem to know what you're talking about, but I haven't found anywhere you say what you use.
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:49 AM   #14
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I use 90% coal, 10% wood.

Wood is used for starting and flaring the fire.

I burn less than 2 tons per year.

The power plant to the west of me burns 1250 tons per hour.

Do you all have carbon scrubbers on your wood stoves?

Nat
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Old 11-05-2015, 07:07 PM   #15
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Also a wood stove/ coal stove with a secondary burn or cat on it will be a lot cleaner than an old coal fired power plant. That said I think coal might be harder to find on the move.If in yo don't want to be at the same place for more than a month.
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Old 11-06-2015, 08:26 PM   #16
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Almost any cast iron stove can be modified rather easily to be a gravity fed pellet stove, hats how I heat my home. On a potbelly stove you can literally shove a piece of stove pipe in the fire door at a steep downward angle. It may work better if you massively perforate a the end of the stove pipe for increased airflow. Then you fill your "hopper" with pellets and open your beer. Mine will go all night and into morning without reloading. As the pellets burn away the ashes fall out of the way into the ash box and pellets fall from above into the empty space they leave. Thermal and fluid dynamics with a good chimney draw keep the fire from climbing the hopper or smoke escaping either. I can post some drawings that are more helpful.
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Old 11-16-2015, 11:11 AM   #17
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That would be awesome, @famousinternetjesus! I've been wondering about the potential to "make" a pellet stove, but haven't researched it yet...
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Old 11-16-2015, 09:53 PM   #18
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Riley Stove Wrangler Wood & Pellet Camp Stove


That stove is a very simple to see example of how gravity feeds the pellets into the firebox. With a cast iron stove you basically just need to size and position your pellet feeding tube so that the fire is of an appropriate size and gets proper airflow etc. my tube is about 3 inches wide at the mouth and is a large cone that sits on hooks in the front of the stove entering through the fire door. It is removable, so I can still burn logs when I want, and I can use the cook top when using the pellet feeder as well. With some experimentation and trial and error you will
Figure out what our stove needs to get a good burn rate, I think that pot belly stoves require the least modification i.e.; none, where as a box stove you may do better to enter through the front cook top hole and actually install a 3way 90 piece of stove pipe packed with vermiculite around it like a rocket stove would
have. This turns what was your fire door into your air inlet. So it's best if your fire door has an adjustable inlet on it, if not you can adjust how far you crack it open, let me know if none of this is making sense
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Old 12-03-2015, 05:34 AM   #19
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We used the Two Dog stove from Four Dog Stoves Co. They are way affordable and holding up well for us this winter so far. Very pleased.

I wrote an article about my stove and installation, if anyone is interested. I ended up taking the pipe through a window, and building a thimble for it myself. Worked out well:

https://splittingelm.wordpress.com/2...mble-assembly/

Pellet stoves are more efficient and easier to find fuel, but this wood stove will work whether or not I have electricity. It is an investment including buying a chainsaw and the safety gear that comes with that experience (namely, at least chainsaw chaps.) As well as a truck for hauling. Something to consider when picking your heat source: where are you going to source your fuel?
At least pellets are sold at local grain/farm stores.

Still, in all, I'm please with my choice.

If someone were never worried about electric, say, had an awesome solar setup and generator backup, etc... I would suggest a heat pump. It will also serve as a source of A/C in the summer; they make small window models and they are, as far as I've seen thus far, the most efficient and cost-effective form of heat, when you figure it all out with BTUs per watt and all that. Very efficient.

Just some ideas for ya.
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