A while back I was considering a small coal stove. I recently purchased a used Mk1. This little stove is great. I cleaned it up, vacuumed it out, installed the stove pipe, and now it is ready for winter. I disassembled the BAD45, and stored it away in the shed. It worked great, but did take up more space with the radiator, the radiator shelf, the piping and the location itself. I placed the MK1 on four bricks which I cemented in place.
The install went great to include the stove pipe. I went ahead and lit a fire in the MK 1 so I could experiment with the stove and see how it operates, responds to changes in the under fire air control, and which method would be best to start it with. I first used fatwood...but that was terrible and left all kinds of soot in the stove. The member who sold me the stove advised charcoal. I had a full bag of match light, so yesterday I started a fresh fire. First I covered the grates with a little ash, then some fresh pea coal. I then shoveled some charcoal from the bag, and placed it in the stove. I lit the charcoal, and waited for a while until the charcoal pretty much ashed over, and then threw a shovel full of coal in the center portion of the grates. I then waited for the coal to ignite, and I then fired some more coal to the left (waited again) and to the right. Within half an hour, the entire bed of coal was lit, and I proceeded to build up the fire. When the fire was built up, I closed the draft control until it was a hair open. The other fire, I had closed the draft control completely, and the fire died out. I then left the stove alone. About 13 hours later, I went to check on the fire. I thought it was going to be out, but to my surprise it was still burning. I shook down the ash, shoveled some fresh coal in the stove, and it is still running. I'm wondering if I should just leave it on until heating season is over.
I'm glad I experimented with the stove now and am comfortable with it, instead of waiting for the freezing cold.
The quality of this stove is great. The design and construction is outstanding. The only issue I have is the ash pan is too small to catch all of the ash when the grates are shaken. That requires shoveling out the remaining ashes. It's not a big deal for me at all as I used to shovel out far more ash than the stove would generate in 4 lifetimes from larger hand fired boilers. I would definitely recommend this stove to anyone. I will be looking to purchase another Harman Mk 1 in the very near future.