Hope I'm not hijacking anyones mojo
but its official, I am up and burning coal in my VigII, started it last night at about 6:30. Thanks to all of the fantastic knowledge on this site I knew what to expect and what to look for. Of course I still stayed awake half the night worried I'd burn the house down or kill us all with CO (I do have 2 CO detectors and bought a 3rd one today) but my wife says I'm a little OCD so go figure
Those blue ladies seem to take a little encouraging to show up, but it acts funny, to get them to start I have opened the ash pan door, and the griddle a little, then after 5-10 min. they kind of disappear on me only to come back when I close both the griddle and the ash pan door? Still a lot of learning to do I guess.
Anyway had it running about 450 over night last night, shook it down in the morning and reloaded took about half an hour because I was waiting on the blue ladies. Got home tonight and warmed it up a bit before shaking and poking at the fettle then reloaded again, looks like I have my thermostat set wrong the only way to get it past 450 was to move the handle way to the left, maybe about 20-25 degrees off of horizontal. I am guessing that means my chain is quite a bit too long
I did manage to push it to 700 but the living room/kit. was getting so hot the dogs were panting
More work to get the heat moving around the house over the next few days. (I have a 2 story with a central stair case) I may cut a hole in the sofit above the stove and tap into the upstairs cold air return .
When I got the 1992 VigII, it was missing the ash clean out covers, and mice had nested in the the gas passages , If the passages are clogged up that is a big problem. But even with well cleaned stove and all the ash covers, there was a more hidden problem. Like I said, all the cement seals were leaking so the
SYTEM was not close to air-tight. I had to keep the air inlet almost wide open to get to a 650-700 F temperature at the top of the stove. But the sides were not producing much heat, and no fans or other tricks could heat the 2200 sq ft house entirely, all the time---24-7. Basically, there was an over abundance of air being sucked into the stove. Yet the stove did burn coal, and fairly well. In other words, since the air inlet is supposed to be closed at about an 1/8 inch (once
the fire got going strong), if I closed it down, the temps would drop and I feared it would go below 400 F because the gauge kept plummeting I never wanted to lose the fire, so I kept it wide open.
I incorrectly assumed I had a chimney with a bad draft, never mind that it is only 22 ft tall
I am pretty sure there may be a few leaks left not attended to until the end of the season, but most are sealed as the stove air inlet now operates
similar to VigII's and Wadham"s, plus there is an outpouring of heat. This is distinct from just having heat hit the top.. It's radiating from the sides, front corners, front as well...
what I believe is occurring is, the heat is moving slower into the side vents, and down through the passages, which creates a longer heat path and thus a more efficient output of heat. I am not sure exactly, perhaps someone else can articulate this more clearly, (I am still in stove school).