Hi, I have 2 Warm Morning 523's and they are a great and inexpensive stove. Are you burning anthracite or bit coal. Tha procedures will be different. I simply crumple up about 5 sheetes or so of newspaper and pack it itn the bottom then add fine split kindling and then larger pieces and after a good fire is going, I add a couple of scoops of coal and later some more and so on. You will see when the coal catches and just keep adding. I leave the ashpit draft wide open at first and the manual damper wide open. After it has caught well, temper these settings. Your stove will hold 100 lbs of coal and I have run mine for 3 full days without touching it and can bring it back to full load. A lot of people worry about the corner flue bricks being broken out but if you are burning anthracite, you needn't worry. With bit coal it would be another matter. They are very expensive to replace and not readily available. I think they are one of the best although not real pretty. Cheap to buy and easy to operate. Do make sure you have a manual damper and a borometric one too, manual on first then the baro above that. Oh yah, when you do shake down, get a straight poker and "stab the coal from the top straight down then shake and stab and shake and stab till you get some red hot coals dropping into your ash pan. If I can help any other way, let me know.Oh yah, welcome to the site.