carlherrnstein wrote:I dont think you will be happy without a grate, you really need to have the air come up from the bottom of the fire with coal.
Absoulutely right. I was assuming that you had A grate, just not a shaker grate? You will NOT be able to burn ant coal in the unit with out a grate of some kind and a shaker grate is really essential. Raking is never going to cut it. Coal is not like wood and doesn't like to be disturbed as such. As mentioned without air from below and no way for the air to go anywhere but through the coal bed, again from below, you won't be able to burn anthracite coal. Bit coal is a different store and is "similar" but not the same as wood, but you still need a shaker grate.
Empire does make a coal version of their stove called the Cozyburn. You might ask them if your model can be converted.