jason0012

Any good ideas for coal storage

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ROI used to have a masonry bin behind the shop that held about a ton and a half. In the mid 90s I got away from burning coal and the coal pit got torn down and its bricks comited to flowerbeds or something. Now I am back to burning coal. I have a trash can I am currently keeping it in, but would like to get a ton or two. I would like to find some sort of container for it. Billy Merrit used an old oil tank. I am curious what everyone uses. I will be moving the shop soon so may just build a cinder block bin at the new place...

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I use some heavy duty plastic bins but my future plan is to get a 55 gallon barrel with a removable top then mount it on some legs so i can get a bucket under it then make a door in the side. That way I could store it outside and free some space in my shop.

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I have limited space for storage. I get 1/2 ton at a time. I put 100# in each of ten 20 gal. plastic trash cans with lids. Great for putting in various places, moving with a 2 wheel hand truck and they can stay out in the rain.

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I use an old wrecked truck bed that was replaced. Its up off the ground a bit and I can just shovel what I need to use into a metal can for in the shop. Ask around at body shops. Possibly might come across one or a plastic bed liner someone wants rid of. Just make a bit of a wood or metal framing to keep the tailgate end sides upright on the plastic liner. 

 

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I used a out 8- 55 gal drums for years. Lids mostly. Nothing fancy

 All were top loaders. And the coal came out the top as well. When they got down to half, they were not hard to tip. Cheap and no moving parts.

I have another system planned for my new shop.

 

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Das, that idea of a plastic bed liner is neat. Won't rust from the rain and easy to shovel out coal. Might even be worth the price of a new one!

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Try asking around where they do the spray in bed liners, will probably  give all they have laying around to you. 

A big floor freezer works nice for a more permanent  dispensary , cut an opening on the side with a sliding door to fill a bucket,

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We built one out of dry stacked concrete blocks 4'x8' x 3' tall with a plywood cover, holds over a ton of coal and the front blocks can be removed as the level of the coal drops.

I like the bed liner though.

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A 4x4 pallet 4 feet tall holds about ton, a 55 gallon drum about 500 pounds, and a 5 gallon bucket about 35 pounds. 

 

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I would strongly suggest plastic barrels or plastic tubs, as the coal may eat the metal drums given time. 

Coal mines, power plants, and river barges store coal outside in the weather. 

 

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If you have coal dust or fines, put then in a 5 gallon bucket and add water.

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To use the fines, coal dust, just scoop out a hand full of the black mud and put it on the fire.

 

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I use plastic barrels under cover. Get a bit of condensation at first so let the lid open for a few weeks. Then shut the lid, no issues. 

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7 hours ago, Glenn said:

To use the fines, coal dust, just scoop out a hand full of the black mud and put it on the fire.

Works better for bituminous than for anthracite: bituminous fines coke; anthracite fines just turn into a shower of glowing shards.

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The good thing about coal ,  it is like fishing in the rain, the fish don't mind getting wet,  just keep some in a dry container for immediate usage.

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I've put wet coal on a fire I started with just a little bit of coal and coke that was leftover in the pot with no problem as well. It dries pretty quick on a hot fire. Gatta love those rocks that burn. 

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Like diamonds---diamonds burn!  (and can be used for  case hardening too---"Cementation of Iron and Steel".)

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I use charcoal but it would work for coal. I finally put an old hog feeder back to work. Took off the feeder ring and built a drop and put legs on it. I know way more about how they are put together than I ever wanted to.

IMG_20190126_142414867.jpg

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Yes sir I suppose it would. I hadn't considered that. Making charcoal 10 to 15 gallons at a time it's not a big deal. 

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I was thinking coal (our main solid fuel now). Charcoal is a lot lighter and although I don't use much charcoal (buy bags of lump) it would be perfect. I currently use a fiberglass home made barrel that is about 100 gallons (to keep the rats from getting into it). When I get our side blast charcoal forge built, I will probably start making my own charcoal and would love a bin like yours.

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It is always a good idea to keep rain and snow away from your coal because besides the problems of trying to burn a wet fuel some types of coal can "slake," that is, deteriorate mechanically into smaller pieces in the presence of water.  If you have ever seen an old coal pile it may well have slaked down to fragments the size of pea gravel or smaller.  The very first fuel I used in a forge was some nasty old slaked sub-bituminous coal.  Very unpleasant.  Little coking and lots of burning bits flying around plus lots of clinker.

This can be a problem in open pit mines or road cuts which cut through coal seams.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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Funny when we burn the fines sold as smithing coal out here we store it in a bucket of water and add it wet to the fire. (Which my Father told me that also did back when he was in engineering school in the early 1950's and had to forge and design a steam engine as part of the basics classes.)

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