A newbie here with one wacked-out rig you are going to laugh at, I promise. I was given a pretty nice looking antique coal-fired stove from the mid-1800s. Looking at it taking up space in my garage one day (and probably after too many beers) I thought to myself "hey, why not rig up one of those Amish greenhouse heaters". Long story short, I have baseboard heat in the upstairs of the garage, an "open" system with tank, and lines running through the firebox of this stove. No pump, no circulator, no electricity. Works pretty good.
Problem is I have no idea how to work this thing to get a HOT fire. I can get it stared, but I am a little cofused with all the instructions I have been reading. Can anyone tell me how to make a HOT fire? I can get a decent bed of coals going, then I add a small amount of coal at a time ( I am using Anthracite nut coal). Today I spread the coals around the box with a poker (OK, learned that was the WRONG thing to do). It seems like I can only get a softball-sized patch blazing hot while the rest of the box remains cool. Dumping more coal was the first dumb trick of the day. How is it that, accoring to the directions I read, you have to be so careful putting in small amounts at a time to ensure they start to burn, but once they do it seems like the directions tell you to go ahead and dump a lage amount in. I did that this afternoon and now I have 6" of coal that is only burning in the middle. I'm not getting that hot, all around the firebox fire I have been dreaming of. Any ideas? Thanks!