Just fired up my Kodiak for the first time ever, I grew up with wood heat so coal is a new experience for me which requires more patience.
Following the owners manual (I actually read it cover to cover except the Spanish part) I built a wood fire starting with newspaper kindling and some smaller chunks of wood. The thing roared to life a lot quicker than anticipated (the wood was super dry and a good draft in the chimney helped out here) then added about 10 lbs of pea coal (love that Santa Coal) that crackled and popped a little, left the grate over the ash pan and the shaker grate wide opened. The pea coal caught pretty quick so I added about another 10lbs which also crackled and popped. Being proud of myself I left it alone and went upstairs to put the kids to bed when the smoke alarms started going off in the cellar. Of course the wife freaked out and going back downstairs the cellar was filled with smoke from the paint burning off. so we opened some windows and got out the fans and about 20 minutes later has the house cleared out. Went back and added about 20lbs of nut coal, got out my lawn chair, shut off the lights and enjoyed a couple of beers watching the blue flame dance.
Last couple of morning's when I get up I shake it down, add about 10lbs of pea go make coffee about 20 min later add annother 10lbs of pea then do the morning stuff, by which time a good glow is going add about 20lbs of nut, feed the kids get them off on the bus and go shut it down before going to work. Today I left the vents cracked a little and I haven't been filling too much (book says to gradually build up the heat) so when I got home there was some glow but not as much as I thought so when I added the pea to the mix I put it out
I's ok though since it is pretty mild tonight in Central MA
and I am going to install the manometer tomorrow.