I bought 2 bags of artificial coal from Jeff at Train Tender for my coal loader. I just checked it with a magnet. It didn't stick. I think it looks good. I can post a photo if you like.
4 oz bag of artificial coal
A picture would be great! I'm looking at all my options. The sand is supposed to be here today. It was only a few bucks so it's not a loss if it doesn't work. Thanks for that second link! It might be the answer.
When I was a lad, anthracite was $5.00 a ton. Of course, we lived over a coal mine in the semi beautiful Scranton area. Could it have gone up that much?
I love Scranton. The anthracite museum and train museums are killer!! I have never bought coal but I'm glad I don't need 1 ton. @Dennis-LaRock says $160 a ton haha
@gunrunnerjohn that's a handy little gadget. I might pick one up just to have. My only question: if the coal I have just happens to have bits of iron in it, will that still work?
I appreciate the help guys. I got a quote back to have springs made and it was quite expensive. So it looks like my best bet is to stick with the magnets and find suitable coal.
On the upside, the unloader concept works. I just need to work on the design. So I'm on the home stretch if you don't count figuring out Arduino programming for the sensors and whatnot.