I took your advice and waited until 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning. I was not able to sleep Friday night anticipating the following days test firing so I got up and slowly began the process. I used match light charcoal to start the fire which worked pretty well. You will all recall the large bulges in my fire pot due to the overfiring in a prior life. I used LARGE pieces of stove coal to block these areas and set the charcoal contained within them to start the fire. Upon good charcoal involvement I added two scoops of stove coal on top of the orange briquettes. Patiently I waited and sure enough, the coal came to life. Upon active ignition I added two more scoops of coal and allowed that to ignite, then a third. With the three applications of coal now well involved I 1/2 load the magazine with stove coal. The draft did not seem to be real strong during my testing however the fire did build and begin to warm the basement. The best I could get the thermometer attached to the front of the stove to read was about 300 degrees. This could be varied to some degree by cutting back on the air intact below the fire. Control was not real good and I think that is due to the fact that the body of the stove has some air leaks running vertically in its corners where the panels come together to form the main body. Certainly this can be remedied when the stove is disassembled to get the fire pot out. I do not know how to do that yet but that is jumping ahead. When I became reasonable confident that the fire was going to continue I filled the magazine to the top with NUT coal to see if it would continue to burn and discover how much of the NUT coal would find its way out the sides of the fire pot without burning. The NUT coal seemed to continue to burn although I had trouble maintaining a hot fire. Thermometer dropped to 200- 225 and did not matter what I did to try to fire it harder. The damper was closed at all times once the fire was established.The fire once involved and at its peak burn looked really nice through all the isinglass windows on three sides of the stove.
I shook the bed down three times during the day at about 5 hour intervals. Before I went to bed at 10:00 Saturday night I filled the magazine to the top and adjusted the air intact to about 1/2. When I got up this morning at 7:30, the fire was still going at a low level and the temperature in the basement had dropped off noticeably. Side note: when I started the fire the temperature outside was 26 and rose to about 50 during the day, settling back to about 42 over night.
Although I was excited that the old girl stayed fired the entire day, I was disappointed in the level of heat she put out. Yesterday was a mild day. I do not think that she can handle the winter for my space, at least to the level that I was desiring. But what do I know. This is only my third attempt at a coal fire. Returned to NJ at 8:00 a.m. Thanks for reading. What say any of you? Pictures to follow.