LsFarm wrote:Can you show a photo or a link to the other grate you describe??
Not really, the only pictures I have are the ones you can see on the eBay listing. But, one of those shows the bottom door, on which you can see the places to put a square wrench to shake the grates. I didn't try to shake the grates--it looks like if I'd try shaking them empty (or without the other grate in place), I could raise them almost vertically and let anything above them drop into the ash pan.
But, with a load of coal or wood there, I wouldn't expect that to be a problem.
LsFarm wrote:How many square feet of house are you heating, and what are you useing to heat it right now??
About 2000 square feet. The last two (mild) winters, I managed it with a (big) Gibraltar coal / wood stove in the living space. In colder winters, I use a coal fired boiler in the basement. It is an odd thing--sort of a self feeder, but nothing like you see in American stores--it came from England. It can only burn rice coal, the coal tends to bridge and stop feeding, allowing the fire to go out, and I worry about getting repair parts for it, or with its age, having it start to leak. To keep the fire from going out, I have to poke through the coal feed area every 2 to 3 hours, more often if it's very cold (and calling for more heat).
The brand name is Trianco--if you've ever seen or heard of one, I'll be impressed.