Hi Dialdirect, the thermostat control on a hand fired stove will control the amount of air to the fire. Most of the time this is air OVER the fire, that is, into the firebox above the fire. This works good for wood fires, but not for coal.
Check out the thermostat control, if it controls air into the ashpan area, which provides air to the fire from underneath through the grate, it should work fine. If the thermostatic control is above the fire, then make sure you can shut it off [for burning coal] and control air to the ash pan area with some kind of air control. A combustion fan in the ash pan would be ideal.
Hope this helps, Greg L..