Berlin wrote:....I've heard good things about the DS machine stoves w/ secondary air.
I've tried a number if different bit coals in my DS 1500, using the "DS Newstyle" door with the secondary air controls. I have discussed this with the folks at DS. They do not recommend burning bituminous in their stoves. I talked with them about my experience burning bituminous. They only recommended against bituminous becasue they are under the impression that the emissions are more corrosive than those of anthracite. I think this is just a case of mis-information. I finished up the 2012-2013 burning season with bituminous. I finally cleaned my stove out in October of this year just before I started burning again. There was no rust to be found in the stove. The soot in the bituminous seems to form a protective layer.
Berlin wrote:Many high volitile coals burn very well in hand-fired stoves provided they have 1. large size (lump) and 2. low coke button.
I can vouch for sticking with large lumps only when hand firing high vol bit. Initially I tried some that was about the size of nut anthracite. That stuff was very difficult to control, kind of like all-or-nothing.