OK, I hope I don’t get too long winded…
The fire pot for the 403B is 15” in diameter and 9.5” deep. This depth dimension is from the bottom edge of the pot to the upper flange where the dome bolts on. The grate, which rolls on three ball bearings, hangs slightly lower. I have a custom wood grate for this stove, but I alternate between wood and coal and it isn’t needed. I use the coal grate. The fire pot is doubled wall construction. You will notice slots running along the sides. If burning bit coal, the stove is engineered to pull a secondary air charge at the draft entry and pull it between the walls of the pot. This highly heated secondary air flow is introduced into the volatiles distilling off the top of the coal charge and allows for more complete combustion hence more heat and less emitted smoke. When charging with bit, these slots are to be left unobstructed at the very top. When charging with hard coal, fill it to the top with a nice crown. Yes, these early stove manufacturers were ahead of their time. The better made stoves are quality and if they are restored properly can rival many of the newer ones. The Moores 403 was not not designed for wood primarily, but there is no problem burning it. Some people say that the direct impingement of the “licking flame” of a wood fire degrades the cast iron over time, but I have never seen evidence of this. Granted, you will not get long burn times with wood but if I am home during the day it is not a problem to drop a few pieces in every few hours or so. It loads easier if wood is kept no longer than 12”. If I fire on anthracite nut, I will get a beautiful even burn for 12 hours. I live in northeastern Ohio now and bulk coal is harder to get, but if I buy bag coal, the pot will hold about thirty lbs or 3/4 bag of Blaschak anthracite. You could probably squeeze 40 lb. in, but I never have. The fire can be controlled with amazing accuracy when burning coal. You can throttle back pretty far. The draft door on these stove was ground common with the ash pit and used no gaskets. If your stove is not rusted badly, this air tightness will still be. If I was burning wood primarily, I would fabricate some type of feed door gasket. The stove does have a tendency to pull air here, especially if the fire is high. With coal, it is not an issue. If I charge the stove at 9:00 PM, the central part of my home is still over 70 degrees when I get up in the morning around 6:00 AM. The back bed rooms are a bit chilly but this is a 2500 sq. ft home and it is a single floor ranch. Still, the master bedroom never drops below 65, and that is way at the other end of the house. Please note that I have a geothermal heat system in this home and seldom use it. I prefer anthracite. If I didn’t have an abundant source of wood, I would burn coal steady. The 403B ranges in weight from 375-410 lbs depending on model. There are at least five models of the 403B that I am aware of made between 1893 and 1925. (We are not even going to discuss the 403, 403A or any of the smaller 401 and 402 series.) The “A” and “B” designations are due to modifications during the manufacture run. I have a model 403A that will be restored and the differences between it and the “B” are subtle. Anyway, these stoves actually had names. Mine, “The Hag”, is fitted with corner adornments or pilasters. If I had a picture of your stove, I would be able to describe it more accurately. Add ons like pilasters increased weight. It was like buying a car, you could get adornments or extra nickel plating for extra bucks. It depended on your budget. Even though the stoves are heavy, they can be easily handled by two relatively fit individuals. You simply turn the foot rests upside down and use them for lift handles. It works beautiful! This stove was originally patented June 13, 1893 by The Joliet Stove Works in Joliet, IL. The company was actually founded by brothers William and Alexander Moore in Neenah, Wisconsin in 1857. There were several transitions and the foundry wound up in Joliet as the Joliet Stove Works in 1887. In 1907, the name was once again changed. It was renamed to honor the founding brothers as Moore Brothers Company. Later stoves will reflect this name on the castings. Anyway, I got to come up for air. Have a merry Christmas!