BIG BEAM wrote:some of the coal on the side of the fire box doesn't burn but I move that to the middle after I shake.
I noticed the same thing Don & found banking a deeper pile in the middle worked fine. (When I shut down there was quite a bit of barely burned coal on the side too.... Pretty easy to reclaim it though)
I just ended my "part fill" experiment & filled the TLC up, since it looks like it's going to remain cool enough at night to warrant a fire.
I thought the low fill procedure worked fine in accomplishing the quick clean out/restart procedures for Fall/Spring burns though & allowed full usage of the shaker grates & quick (no firebox reconfiguration) switch to "Winter Mode" just by filling the stove up..