Update.... the Godin has been running non-stop since first match.
The grate system really had me perplex, but using nut coal only, an elevated bridge of burnt cakey ash is formed , strong enough to support the coal bed and generally it is just about level with the top of the fire door. Below the bridge level, sooner or later some ash will accumilate. Thanks to chiefcamper, and others who have posted, I was able to develop a sensible method of removing the ash wwithout
lowering the front grill.
Generally, about every 24 hours, it's time to insert the "J" hook tool and turn it horizontal and pull the ash front to rear, and as the ash builds up over the grate I rotate the hook left to right and vise versa crushing the ash by appling force. A lot of this ash falls thru the round grate. Sometimes, I will close the fire door and shake down the remaing ash. I continue scraping and pulling until all the ash to the rear is cleared. This will ensure the far side of the fire pot will not get ash-bound,
and guarantee the fire will continue at a consistent burn rate. I leave a 1-2" layer of ash on the grate for protection.
Once the lower ash is cleared, it is time to rotate the hook end verically
and, starting from the rear of the bridge, rake ash from ceiling until I see some red glow. I move forward to the sides and then the the front.
Should I leave the bridge or poke thru and let it collapse?
Of course I need to empty the ashes and I do so before the procedure.
I have notice with my chimney system, I have to be careful to restrict the draft while performing maintanence... the MPD needs to be
closed and I limit clean outs to say 4 miutes max. I have not had an over-fired stove condition but I need to be very careful. Lastly
I drop in 15lbs of coal, depending.
I think I am burning about 30 lbs of coal per day on days were the temps are in the 30s + .. On the frigid sub-zero days, more like 45+
whic means I recharge the stove at mid-day.
The stove puts out heat. With the IR gun, I am measuring 750 and the hottest point, but generally I'd say 710 arounf the burning coal.
The exit flue runs at 350, above the MPD, about 225 and near the elbow, under 200. This is with the air-inlet at 3/4 open.
I can idle down the stove by 1/2 to 1/3 by restricing primary air. Thius coming week, it will warm up, I read as high as 40F, so we'll see
how the Godin reacts to warmer temps.
Overall, the Godin is not as tempermental as I had imagined... in fact it is very reliable, very consistent, easy to maintain unit. If I had a smaller home, I would use it as my primary heater.
Any comments or questions will be greatly appreciated.