I'm still learning the ropes with my 116. I started out with nut but was able to come up with stove size too and I like using both at different times. I'll use the stove size when I want to build the fire back up such as when I reload and then top it off with nut for the extended burn. I've been using Kimmel and Blaschak in both sizes. The stove size stuff from both companies are about equal but the Kimmel nut size has been much cleaner and more consistent in size. I could live with either but the Kimmel gets the nod because I don't need to drive out of my way to get it.
If anything, I think I tend to shake too much based on the amount of unburned coal I'm finding in my ash. I also seem to get bridging with almost every full load that I burn up. In the morning I'll shake down and find that only some of the ash comes down leaving the top burning layer of coal untouched. I have to poke it down with the shovel. I'll then get a little more ash out and only then see the glow in the ash pan from the live coals above.
Eventually I'll figure out what works best with this stove. I'm still learning every day and enjoying the process very much. The good folks here on this forum deserve a big thanks for sharing their thoughts and knowledge. I'd never have attempted this without the help.
The weather here in Maine has been so mild I haven't had a fire going for 4 days now. Looks like we'll be back to winter in another day or so.
Oh, I should add that last week I found I could barely move the left pair of grates and had trouble shaking down that side. I finally let the stove go out to see what was going on. I was surprised to find a fist sized rock wedged in the grates! Not sure if it was a KImmel rock or a Blaschak rock.