thanx for the input, I guess I'll but some bags of pea and see how it works. I can appreciate the "experimenting" part - it dis take me awhile to figure out just how much coal to add, how often, how much and how hard to shake it down etc. But all in all, a lot cheaper than oil, more steady heat, it gives me something to do twice a day, and a hell of a lot easier than wood without the creosote buildup on the heat exchanger! I'm a convert!!
I've been there for certain. Keep plugging at it during different times of the burning season and you'll come to know the moves to make your stove/coal size/chimney combination work. You've seen this earlier in this thread but I went through at least 2 55 gal. drums each of pea and nut over different times of the heating seasons. Thinking back,
it might have been double that volume because I tried it again a second year after I got more in tune with my stove/coal size/chimney. Stove/coal size/chimney characteristics and operator techniques have to change with the weather so it takes a while to learn when to do what when it's doing whatever outside.
After all, coal is Mother Nature's refined wood product.... why mess with Mother Nature