Vig V1.0's are a slightly different breed of stove. Techniques that work in others with different style of grates do not work well in them. I will probably get into a little more detail the necessary, but here goes. The grates on a vig rock back and forth and are flat on top, so are not really good at clearing ashes, but they work well to settle the loose ash and and move it down. The real clearing work is done with the slicer. That is the flat metal wooden handled tool that hopefully came with your stove. It is designed to be pushed in (horizontally) below the front cover of the insert above the grates to clear the loose ash. There is a photo of one on page 2 of this post, if you do not have it : Older Vigilant stove...Am I safe?
. You set the grates so that they are flat , and then work it back and forth to remove the ash. A little more about how I use mine in this post: Vermont castings vigilant 1 difficulty burning coal
. Just shaking will not do much good, gotta slice. If you don't have one you need to buy or make one. A piece of good solid flat stock about 1/8 inch thick and 3/4 inch wide maybe 14 inches long with a insulated handle should do it. good luck.