Older Vigilant stove...Am I safe?

Older Vigilant stove...Am I safe?

PostBy: BingeBob On: Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:49 pm

Hi,

New to the boards but i have been reading them for a few weeks now.

This is a pic of a similar stove that i found on google images. Mine is just like this but I have a (best of my knowledge) shaker handle built in to the front of the stove and a grate inside.
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Is the handle on the front lower left side of the stove and the grate inside the coal conversion kit or not? I have been looking online and cannot for the life of me find info about my stove.

This past week I burned about 1/3 of a 50# bag of Nut anthracite in my stove. It worked very well...My basement was about 92 degrees and my main level of the house was a comfortable 72. I started the stove at about 11am and gave it the last little shovel full of coal (about a 4 inch bed) at about 4pm. It kept us warm through the night but was cool at 430am the next morning which is fine by me since I wasnt expecting it to last past 8pm.

This is our first home and it came with the vigilant mentioned above and an older defiant on the main level. After 1 winter burning wood, I am excited at the prospect of burning anthracite as it is cheaper than buying cordwood in my area and requires less effort to keep going.

P.S. I live in New Hampshire

-Bob
BingeBob
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Vermont Castings
Stove/Furnace Model: Vigilant

Re: Older Vigilant stove...Am I safe?

PostBy: Freddy On: Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:32 pm

I can't tell by that pic. That is the correct location for the shaker handle, but it doesn't look like that on the one I had. Can you take a pic of the inside grates? The shaker grates are a series of grates, maybe 14 in all, when you actuate the shaker handle, the grates half go back, half go front, then vice-versa, thus shaking the ashes. If your grates are cast iron and alternate, them's the coal grates!

Tip: Coal likes depth. I found that it burns much better when filled than when half filled. It doesn't burn hotter, it just burns better and longer. Fill 'er right up to the top of the front grill. Under the grates on each side and one in the back, you'll find three little steel plates. They are a trick to replace so when you take them out, pay close attention to how they come out or you'll go nuts trying to get them back in. They should be removed every now & then to vac out the fly ash before it gets too deep. It's a nice stove, you'll enjoy it.
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: Older Vigilant stove...Am I safe?

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Fri Sep 18, 2009 8:04 pm

Does the handle cause the grates to shake inside the fire box? If so that is probably the coal conversion kit of which you speak. Do you have a carbon monoxide alarm in the room with the stove and on the other levels of your house? You should. Did they go off or even register? Obviously, the chimney has a draft but is it clean? Did the previous owner clean out the flyash? Does this model of stove have air tight gaskets around the doors? How do they look – all smashed down or in good shape? If you don’t know if they have been changed out you may want to do that. If you can answer these questions to your satisfaction then you should be good to go; at least I don’t know of any other reasons for the stove to be unsafe. Go for it, Lisa
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea

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Re: Older Vigilant stove...Am I safe?

PostBy: eelhc On: Fri Sep 18, 2009 8:34 pm

Perfectly safe... Check out my experience with the Vigilant...

Vermont Castings Vigilant I down... :( for now... :)

it takes a bit of work but once you get the hang of it. After a season of burning nut in a Vigilant I got hooked and bought a stoker.
eelhc
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman Magnum Stoker

Re: Older Vigilant stove...Am I safe?

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Fri Sep 18, 2009 11:40 pm

Looks like it is not the coal 'conversion' model...
The shaker went thru the body of the stove higher...
next to the door.
CapeCoaler
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove

Re: Older Vigilant stove...Am I safe?

PostBy: BingeBob On: Sat Sep 19, 2009 2:26 pm

I "edited" the picture using very high tech methods to show where my handle is...
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Utilising the handle does cause the grates inside to move back and forth. I have combination C/O and Smoke detectors throughout the house (former firefighter here 8-) ) The gaskets seem to be in good shape and no cracks in the glass. The only issue I can see is that one of my firebricks is cracked.

The other question i have is about depth. As mentioned before the coal should go right up to the top of the fire brick right? Is it bad if the coal touches the glass??? I was looking at the newer Vigilant II and it looks like it has a grate thingy that prevents the coals touching the glass.

-Bob
BingeBob
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Vermont Castings
Stove/Furnace Model: Vigilant

Re: Older Vigilant stove...Am I safe?

PostBy: rberq On: Sat Sep 19, 2009 3:31 pm

Coal should not touch the glass, but yes it should come to the top of the firebrick and you may be able to pile it higher in the middle. To keep a low fire going, you don't feed it a little at a time like you do a wood stove. You just get it burning well, fill it to the brim, then cut the air down to the appropriate level for the heat you need. You won't have any more cool stoves at 4am. It will take some practice, but I'm sure you will be OK since you already have proved you can get the fire going and keep it going. You will soon qualify for the one-match-per-year club.

Keep reading on the forum, especially about barometric dampers and about avoiding puff-backs (small explosions of coal gas). The more you have burned wood, the more you will appreciate the advantages of coal.

P.S. I don't think a cracked firebrick is a problem, unless it is a big wide crack with parts of the brick missing.
rberq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1300
Coal Size/Type: Nut -- Kimmel/Blaschak/Reading
Other Heating: Oil hot water radiators, propane

Re: Older Vigilant stove...Am I safe?

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Sat Sep 19, 2009 3:47 pm

That's right fill it up right to the top of the fire brick but not touching the glass. In my Harman I slope it from rear to front ending just under the glass. Firebricks are cheap, you can get them at any stove store. I have seen them at the Lowes, too. They cut easily if you need a specific size. The only other thing that comes to mind is that you may find that the handle you have doesn't shake the grates enough to really clear the ash. That's important or your fire will smother. If this happens, you may want to try a "slicer." That's a poker/bar that fits between the slots of the grates. People use them to poke hole in the ash and create airways; they really loosen up the ash and break up clinkers. Most of them are home made. I took a threaded 1/4 inch piece of steel rod and put a handle on it. There are many posting about using them in the archives for you to check out.

It sounds like you are set - enjoy the heat. Lisa
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea

Re: Older Vigilant stove...Am I safe?

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Sat Sep 19, 2009 7:57 pm

If it were the Vigilant II, the ash pan would be in a separate doored compartment below the stove's double door ash lip. The II also has a front grill that keeps the coal mass from touching the glass in the twin doors.

There are a number of forum members that use the older versions and I'm sure others that haven't will chime in :) Look for member rewinder's http://nepacrossroads.com/member/rewinder/ posts. He's added a bit of gasket material along the front of the door/grates to seal up any gap that might allow air to bypass the fire. You can check out my crude videos linked below if you have the time. They might help.
VigIIPeaBurner
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace

Re: Older Vigilant stove...Am I safe?

PostBy: skyking On: Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:33 pm

Hi all, first post here.

I have the original Vigilant and have been burning coal with it for 4 years now and I love it. I just wanted to add that as VigII said about the grill in front of the glass, the original Vigilant has it too. I'm not sure if a conversion kit would have had it, but mine does, and was sold as 'multi-fuel' in the early 80's. I load it up from the top of the grill back to the top of the firebrick and get 18+ hr. burns in the dead of winter heating 2400 sq. ft.

If you need to get the part, I'm pretty sure woodmanspartsplus.com has them. I have replaced all my shakers, shaker rod, and some other parts all purchased from them. Prices are good too.

Hope that helps.
skyking
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Vermont Castings
Stove/Furnace Model: Vigilant

Re: Older Vigilant stove...Am I safe?

PostBy: BingeBob On: Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:42 pm

Wow...that website has pretty much anything i could ever want...I could build a new stove piece by piece from there!!!

Thanks!!!

I am currently loading her up for the night. Its supposed to drop to about 36 tonight. Still got some playin to do to get it just right though.

Thanks for all the tips guys!

-Bob
BingeBob
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Vermont Castings
Stove/Furnace Model: Vigilant

Re: Older Vigilant stove...Am I safe?

PostBy: dlj On: Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:55 am

Bob,

Reading through the posts, it doesn't sound ike you have the coal hopper insert. (I think the older Vigilants had one, I have a Resolute and it has one, so if the Vigilant didn't have one, somebody that knows should let it be known...) Anyway, the coal hopper insert is really desireable. You can fill these up and let them burn over night without any problem at all.

I'd highly recommend you get the coal hopper for your stove.

dj
dlj
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Castings Resolute
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Baseheater #6
Coal Size/Type: Stove coal
Other Heating: Oil Furnace, electric space heaters

Re: Older Vigilant stove...Am I safe?

PostBy: rewinder On: Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:30 pm

B Bob

first where in Rock County are you, I', in the exeter area

Doen your stove grates ( three of them) go from side to side and rock like a cradle, or do they from front to rear ( many individual grates, like 12 or more?) and slide front to rear also

If there's no firebrick and 3 rocker grates it's the older style like my Vig & resolute-- kit insert that convert from wood burning.

Fi the 3 grat style you have to have the drop in hopper to get a long burn, cause the actual firebox is too smal, volume wise , to hold enough coal without the majority dropping down as it burns.

In coldest weather, vou have to tend it every 8 hours to keep the top surface area in the 450 - 500 deg range

warmer weather much longer tent times, and even in 50deg days in late fall, the stove will rum 18 hrs with no tending, withthe thermo flapper set down low


Hey if you're in the area call me-- PM message me and we'll talk or come by and see my 2 old burners!

Paul
rewinder
 
Stove/Furnace Make: VT Castings--early models
Stove/Furnace Model: Vigilant, and Resolute

Re: Older Vigilant stove...Am I safe?

PostBy: rewinder On: Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:35 pm

Hey Bob, forget everything I posted before-- I just re-read you other post and see that you do have fire bricks and grates that go front to rear.. It's the older version of the new VigII that VigPeaburner has. that model had the ash pan under the grates, unlike the new version which has a seperat door under the hearth

Will burn much like VigPeaBurners, except ash pan will not hold near as much.

No front grate to keep coal off the glass???
rewinder
 
Stove/Furnace Make: VT Castings--early models
Stove/Furnace Model: Vigilant, and Resolute

Re: Older Vigilant stove...Am I safe?

PostBy: BingeBob On: Sat Sep 26, 2009 6:43 am

Yes, i do not have the hopper. I started this bad boy last night at around 830 because our temp was supposed to drop down to close to freezing last night. This was the most coal i have ever loaded into it.

I got the first layer of coal going pretty good, loaded her up to a couple inches below top of firebrick and adjusted my airflow in to low. Woke up this morning at 420am (yes...im the only schmuck waking up before 5am on a saturday) and it hadnt burned through the top layer of coal yet! It was still hot with little blue flames and bright orange coal on the bottom. I checked my air flapper and it had sunken closed as it does when it gets hot...And then i gave it a shake to clear the grates.

Before i started it up last night i re-checked the gaskets and they do look pretty new (they are white)

-Bob

PS. I am in the hampstead/sandown area
BingeBob
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Vermont Castings
Stove/Furnace Model: Vigilant

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