Question: Hi, This is my first post and I'm really happy to have found this resource. I just purchased an older stove. My guess is it's from right after Jotul bought Surdiac, because Jotul is stamped (crookedly) in ink on the information plate. I believe the stove is an MCK 616. There are four MCK and 3 Gotha model numbers on the plate, and the 616 number appears to have a dimple in its check box. I'm having trouble maintaining a burn, and I suspect it is due to inadequate shaking. There is a top-fed hopper suspended over the center of the firebox. The firebox is made up of two three sided cast pieces which fit together to form a box. In the bottom of the box is a frame which extends under the cast box on the right side and has two grates set into the frame. The grates are free and can be removed. Above the ash door are three small slots at about the bottom of the firebox which appear to be for shaking the grates. I've been inserting the flat poker into the slots and attempting to rock the grate assembly. The left side moves pretty well, but the right side does not move much at all. I've resorted to inserting the poker into the slots and sliding it back and forth to loosen the ash bed to get it to fall. I hate messing with the bed, but don't see an alternative. The tool for opening the hopper door and removing the ash pans has several other protrusions on it, which would seem to indicate other functions, like shaking the grates in some other way, but I can't see what this would be. My gut feeling is that I'm missing something very basic here, but I'm stumped. Before I resort to building my own shaker mechanism, I thought I'd ask you fine folks if you've seen this before and can offer an alternative. Thanks for your time, Bob Lambert Answer: Bob, you are missing something basic! The grates are not meant to move. The knife simply pushes in by hand above teh grates with a back and forth motion. Because of the weight of coal on top, this should do a good job breaking up the ash. I've used these stovew with good success. One trick is that most models use pea coal. Also, there may be differing hopper settings....lastly, they are designed for low-ash coal and poor quality coal makes them a pain to use.