Operation of Hand-Fired Anthracite Stoves

Take about eight sheets of newspaper, crumble into balls and place on top of grates.  Next, lay fine kindling on top of paper.  This kindling must be dry and no larger than ¾” in diameter.  Layer the kindling in a criss-cross fashion to allow good air flow.  Open the draft control fully and light the paper just inside the door.  Now, close the loading door and allow the kindling to catch fire.  After a few minutes, open the loading door an inch or two for a few seconds before opening completely.  This method will allow smoke to clear away from the door before the loading door is completely opened.

Add small, compact pieces of hardwood when the kindling is burning hot.  Keep the draft controls fully open to establish a hot fire quickly.  The ash door also may be opened during start-up to accelerate the initial burn.

When a substantial bed of red wood coals is built up, start adding coal (pea or nut is preferred over stove when starting) small amounts at a time.  Keep the draft control open.

Continue adding small amounts of coal until there is a solid bed of burning coal.  Do not add too much at one time.  Allow sufficient time between each small loading (at least 5 – 10 minutes), so that each loading has time to ignite thoroughly before the next load is put in.  When a substantial bed of burning coals has been established, fill the stove to the top of the firebrick.  A deep of coal always will burn more satisfactorily than a shallow bed.

When most of the wood is burned and the coal is completely ignited (usually 5 – 10 minutes or less after filling the stove), The draft control should be turned down to the proper operating level.  (If the ash door has been opened, it must be closed to prevent over-firing, which can cause dangerously high temperatures.)