I apologize before hand for my lack of understanding of all terms and words used in this forum. We are relatively new to the coal stove world, but let me tell you, we really LOVE our stove. So bare with me. We moved into a house last year that had a brand new Kodiak gravity fed anthracite stove. No manual, no instruction booklet. The little old Appalachian woman we bought the house from just basically told us "Just shake the grate a couple times a day, fill it to the top, and watch it cook all winter!" Well, we are from the Midwest where you burn wood and corn, so needless to say, we had many a cold mornings and long battles with this stove last winter, thinking thats all we had to do. Well, we almost chucked it and bought a wood stove, but we thought we would try one more winter, and I think, with reading this forum constantly and alot of trial and error, we may have educated ourselves enough to not freeze our butts off anymore! It may be a keeper! So now to my question...this stove really cooked when we first lit it up. The stove would have an awesome glowing bed and really keep the house warm. Well, it seems over time the coal bed eventually narrows to only the width of the gravity fed shoot, with lots of unburnt coal and fly ash on the sides of the bed. I realize the inside of the stove, the grates, are in a funnel shape, with the round grate at the bottom we shake and rake with. But truthfully, I think thats really not very effective, because of coarse all the ash is going to fall through the center first, right? I know from research on this stove it can put out up to 100,000 BTU's, and I have seen it do that, but for about the first week its going and then its the narrow bed the rest of the time. We keep the bottom vents all the way open all the time, and the Barometric Draft thingy on the chimney always stays at 4 unless its the beginning of the cold season and we open it all the way up until the fire is a'cookin. Are we not shaking it enough maybe? I am still unsure of the definition of raking when it comes to this stove, isn't it really the same and shaking the ash down? We do shake it down until we have a bunch of red coals in the ash pan so I think we are doing that part right. We have found the only way to really fix it is to not fill the stove for a day, shovel the sides out and just keep putting the coal from the edges on top of the bed, and let it burn down until there is a small coal bed again and then fill it and start pretty much all over. But surely there has got to be a way around doing that every couple of weeks! Any advice would be greatly appreciated!