franco b wrote:
I would much rather have the rocking grates than the circular grate of the Alaska.
Ok, I'll bite. What is wrong with the Kodiac grates? I have had rocking grates before, but only burned wood. This is my first year with coal so I have nothing to compare to. I am happy with the Kodiac, but then I may not know what I'm missing.
One thing I notice is clinkers do not lock up the grates or cause any problems. When a clinker hits the grates it just gets ground up and falls into the pan. About two or three times so far I had something hard in the grates, could have been a clinker or maybe just a lump of coal. I just wait a little while, whatever it was will be consumed, and then the grates work normal again.
You can't accidentally dump your fire either like rockers could. My biggest complaint is I must poke the fire nearly every day and ash builds up in the corners of the firebox. I don't have the screen behind the glass door, so I wait until the hopper is empty then poke at it through the glass door. The manual says to poke it through the load door on top, but this works for me. I use a three foot stick of 1/2 inch all thread. Not because it is the best tool for the job, I just happened to have it laying around. It takes about a minute to pull the ashes out of the corners and poke the fire. This will cause the bed to drop several inches and then I refill the hopper.
BTW, I have red ash coal and during the cold spell I kept the stove over 500 degrees F and used about 70 lbs in 24 hours.
I saw a post by William where he said he likes the "triangle" grates the best, and how with them you never need to poke the fire.
I really like the top loading feature, I can dump coal into the stove straight out of a 5 gallon plastic bucket. Fast, no shoveling and no dust, just don't let the plastic bucket rest on the edge of the load door frame. The plastic melts then it tries to pull the gasket out of the door the next time you open it. My other complaint is the ash pan hangs up when it is full. I will fix that this summer by knocking the sharp corners off the back of the rails that support the ash pan. An easy fix but I can't do it without shutting down. I really don't understand how the factory let it leave like that.
Anyway, I like to hear what more experienced people have to say about the grates or the stove as a whole.
BTW, an easy way to build a heat shield out of sheet metal is to use the porcelain insulators from an electric fence as the spacers. Just run a screw through the metal and the porcelain then into the wall. Leave the metal about an inch off the floor so air can flow underneath, up the wall and out the top.