Since I live practically on top of enormous reserves of bituminous coal, and relatively far away from NEPA, I've always wanted to burn the local stuff for about 20% of the cost of anthracite here. I've also got a grand plan for a house and shop setup kinda like GregL, but the shop would instead be a 2500 sq.ft. hangar on enough land to have a grass airstrip. First trick is finding the land....but that's another discussion.
To that end, I've been corresponding with Dan at Will-Burt regarding the residential stoker model they still manufacture. Note that it was quoted to me at approx. $4500, and that doesn't include the boiler, which I don't have a cost on yet. Needless to say, it's probably going to make an Axeman look like a bargain. But, if I can burn $50/ton coal, well.....that's like $3 per million BTU - that's one step above free in my book..... Dan has been most responsive and helpful with information and I've been very impressed. It's hard to find that in today's companies.
Anyway, I've attached a Zip file with a bunch of drawings, specs, information, and a Word document of some of the e-mail text from Will-Burt. It's some excellent information. What you end up with is a commercial (Burnham) boiler with a max output of about 240K Btu running on the Will-Burt stoker. This isn't something you'd use to heat a little 1500 sq.ft. ranch house, but anyone with a decent heating load could manage it, especially on the lowest of the 3 feed rates on the stoker. The Will-Burt stoker is very similar to the Iron Fireman that GregL uses to fire Bertha. I believe that Will-Burt may be connected to the Iron Fireman unit in some way.
So, anybody that has a good supply of bituminous coal (and a hefty bank balance) - here's what you need to do to set up a system to burn it efficiently and automatically.