hey i just stumbled across this thread and figured i would break it out of the wood work. this is my second year burning coal. i really enjoy the hotblast. i have not had any problem burning coal in it, except for the stupid grates. a few nites ago had a few buddies in the basement with a few beers, and i was loading with coal, shaking, and all that. they were intrigued with coal. they were watching the game at the table and i went over and gave her a shake. they hit the deck when i threw the handle across the room and screamed. broke the front stub off. not the first time. probably more like the third time in just over a season. not good
brings me to my next point. i also poke and slide from underneath with a small rod steel poker i made. i did this to limp it along till the weather warmed up outside. as i poked and slid, and after some liquid encouragement with my friends, i had a brainstorm
. what if i made these grates a slide type of grates, kinda like the big brother "clayton 1600?" the stove is cooling down now, in gonna do this tonignt. i will be sure to take pictures of my progress and post with my blackberry phone. my thought is taking my poker and "stabbing" it through the hole in the center holes of the grates. the poker is now the handle. if i can cut out some of the grates with my sawzall or something, anything to make the grates slide front to back an inch i think this would work. what are your thoughts and comments? and dont worry, no beer till i am done.