New Coal stove that looks as good as a VC Vigilant

Re: New Coal stove that looks as good as a VC Vigilant

PostBy: whistlenut On: Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:38 pm

When it's 25 below and the wind is churning up a squall, who the hell cares what the heating source looks like? Either it does the job or not. End of story!! MY .02.....
Not many drive a Ferrari to the grocery store, but the groceries seem to make it home in the ole Chevy, Ford, Dodge,......you get the idea.
Like the 'drop dead gorgeous chick' you think will be the 'do all, end all' in your life....pretty shallow of you.
I happened to visit a large 25 year old stove shop who REALLY knows stoves (mostly wood up here) and we got to joking about the Vermont Casting's beauty, but the need to be careful not to crack it with temps above 1250 degrees, when steel stoves can take any thing you can dish out and laugh at the temps you force it to endure. All that glitters isn't necessarily Gold!

Don't get me wrong, I do own a Vigilant ( Defiant and Resolute also) and do admire it every day...and the comments are always the same...'beautiful stoves'. My friend just got a new Soapstone Stove for the past heating season and burns wood only. That IS a beautiful stove also....and extremely efficient, too. Pricey at 2800.00 ouch! 47k BTU...

If the choice were mine, Hitzer, Alaska, Keystoker, Gibraltar, Warm Morning, Glenwood's, Chubby Stoves, Harman all get the job done...very well in my opinion. I probably forgot many old timers, but the older Glenwoods blow me away when you see one up close and personal. Stunning craftsmanship......all that Nickel plating......AND they heat like nothing else. :!: :!: :idea:
whistlenut
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA130's,260's, AHS130&260's,EFM900,GJ&VanWert
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Franks Boiler,Itasca415,NYer130,Van Wert
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Yellow Flame
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska-4,Keystoker-2,
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Alaska,Gibraltor,Keystone,Vc Vigilant 2
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Van Wert, NYer's, Ford,Jensen.
Coal Size/Type: Rice,Buck,Pea,Nut&Stove
Other Heating: Oil HWBB

Re: New Coal stove that looks as good as a VC Vigilant

PostBy: carlherrnstein On: Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:35 pm

"but the need to be careful not to crack it with temps above 1250 degrees, when steel stoves can take any thing you can dish out and laugh at the temps you force it to endure"


1250* is dam hot, its a good color of red and is real close to the ash fusion tem of a lot of coals i cant imagine why anyone would force a stove to that point check this out scroll to the bottom. http://www.et.byu.edu/~larryb/Ash%20Fus ... res_1.html
carlherrnstein
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: combustioneer model 77B
Coal Size/Type: pea stoker/Ohio bituminous

Re: New Coal stove that looks as good as a VC Vigilant

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:39 pm

W-nut, the 2310 is firebrick lined. I haven't cracked anything yet in 11 years. Melted a few front grills running really hard but nary a crack to be found but then again, I'd never swing a hammer near it:)

Oliver - yes, the Vigilant sure does throw a beam. I'd imagine the burning fire box content is closing in on 1250*f - tops out my 1100*f IR thermom. It lights my entire room up when it's cranking along. Don't stand too close to the widnows because it'll melt your pants to your patellas. :D

Oh - FFred... chck my avitar ;)
VigIIPeaBurner
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace

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Re: New Coal stove that looks as good as a VC Vigilant

PostBy: freetown fred On: Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:11 pm

Gottcha, thanx. :)
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix

Re: New Coal stove that looks as good as a VC Vigilant

PostBy: LsFarm On: Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:04 pm

tmegg wrote:I owned a Chubby in the 70's and have had the 1st gen VC VIgilant (wood/coal) since 1985. Both of these stoves are cast I beleive and look way better than anything currently being made. If the Vigilant burned coal well I would'nt even consider a new stove. But lets face it, the Hitzer's etc are ugly as hell.


Everytime I see a cast iron stove I think, this thing is one overfiring away from the steel scrap pile..

Pretty cast iron is not the where-all and be-all that some folks erroneously assume..

Steel makes a very strong, forgiving box to enclose a fire in.

The ONLY reason that cast iron was used 'back in the day' was because that was all that was available that was inexpensive..
Steel used to be very expensive.. now that it's mass produced, and the labor to use cast iron is expensive, cast iron is expensive to make parts from.

Pretty, but fragile.. that 's cast iron.

While looking at many old stoves to find a baseburner or double heater to buy, I can't count the number of cracked, warped beyond use cast stoves I found.
And the sellers comments !! :shock: it's just a little crack, I've used it like that for years. :o

Anyway, Ugly is as Ugly does: if it's keeping you warm, it's a thing of beauty. If you want pretty, buy painting to hang on the wall.

Greg L
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: New Coal stove that looks as good as a VC Vigilant

PostBy: warminmn On: Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:03 pm

There are quite a few cast iron European stoves if that fits your taste. I'm pretty careful how hot I get mine and it rarely hits 600. 400-500 being its sweet spot. It would only hit 1200 if I left the ash door open and then it might not.
warminmn
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby Junior, Efel Nestor Martin
Coal Size/Type: nut and stove anthracite. Soft coal
Other Heating: wood

Re: New Coal stove that looks as good as a VC Vigilant

PostBy: franco b On: Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:20 pm

LsFarm wrote:The ONLY reason that cast iron was used 'back in the day' was because that was all that was available that was inexpensive..
Steel used to be very expensive.. now that it's mass produced, and the labor to use cast iron is expensive, cast iron is expensive to make parts from.

Cast iron was used because it is the best material for stove or boiler. It resists the corrosive effects of heat better than almost anything else. Look at all the Cannon heaters that were frequently heated red hot and still survive. Steel has been mass produced for over 100 years.It was mainly used in cheap stoves.

Yes cast iron is expensive today because of the many restrictions on foundry's. Quality machine tools are all cast iron. The best boilers where complex flue passages are desired are still cast iron. Steel works best where a simple configuration is desired and it can be protected from heat by fire brick. I doubt that many antique stoves cracked from heat but more likely from careless handling which in many cases had very thin castings, especially in some of the ornate antiques. Cast iron is still used on the doors of most stoves because it is the best material and lends itself to a bit of styling better than steel.
franco b
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: V ermont Castings 2310, Franco Belge 262
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Modern Oak 114
Coal Size/Type: nut and pea

Re: New Coal stove that looks as good as a VC Vigilant

PostBy: grizzly2 On: Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:19 pm

I know what tmegg means. I was heating with a Jotul #3 woodstove before I bought my Hitzer and switched to coal. The Jotul had a cream enamel finish and an ornate door. I do miss its beauty and the beauty of a wood fire for that matter.

I would call my Hitzer plain, not ugly. It is just a square black box. It is also one heck of an easy to operate labor saver. The Jotul is in the garage awaiting installation this summer. As I had said in a previous post, I bought my Jotul back from the person who bought my house last summer. I love both my "children" and wouldn't want to part with either of them (even if one is more attractive than the other). :lol:
grizzly2
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 30 - 95
Coal Size/Type: pea and nut/ anthracite
Other Heating: Jotul #3 wood stove in garage. Oil backup in house. Electric backup in house.

Re: New Coal stove that looks as good as a VC Vigilant

PostBy: whistlenut On: Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:39 pm

I read the comments, and I stand by the original comments I made. You can turn a cast rig from 'Jewelry to Junk' with a simple crash. Your back won't like moving them either! Fragile us as fragile does.
If you like cast, go for it. ...and yes, the fire brick sure help save a 'normal fire' from damaging the stove, however the open clean out door....forgotten for an hour or two, and there will be an incredible hot smell coming from the chimney area. Choices....... we must all live with what we know to be true.

Not my first trip to the rodeo either.....or the junk man either.
Speaking of old cast iron boilers.....that was then, this is now. Strip one down, break it apart, and perhaps you will think differently about them. :idea:
whistlenut
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA130's,260's, AHS130&260's,EFM900,GJ&VanWert
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Franks Boiler,Itasca415,NYer130,Van Wert
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Yellow Flame
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska-4,Keystoker-2,
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Alaska,Gibraltor,Keystone,Vc Vigilant 2
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Van Wert, NYer's, Ford,Jensen.
Coal Size/Type: Rice,Buck,Pea,Nut&Stove
Other Heating: Oil HWBB

Re: New Coal stove that looks as good as a VC Vigilant

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:37 pm

W-nut, I don't know this to be true. Move them, loaded them, and unloaded them. No problems. VT to NJ. 4 models in total, two of my own. Clocked 34 years so far and nary a tear has fallen like has been shed when the famous brass bell cracked. Wood fired, coal fired and even 30+ years on a CI oil burner. Dad had a CI oil burner for over 40 and no crack killed it like the lack of steel parts did. To be certain, they aren't made for a fumbler to take out on the basketball court, bounce they don't, they're made to burn in :D And yes, I'm familiar with that hot chimney smell be it from a door open too long or a stuck log resulting in turtle-shelled galvanizing on the stove pipe :shock: No problem, it keeps on keeping us warm.

Sad to say you might be right that many things aren't made as they use to be. They'd cost way too much to afford at today's wages if they were. Figure what a washing machine that was made in the 70s, built the same way now as then, would cost in today's inflated dollars. Wouldn't sell too many I'd bet.
VigIIPeaBurner
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace

Re: New Coal stove that looks as good as a VC Vigilant

PostBy: LsFarm On: Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:25 pm

franco b wrote:
LsFarm wrote:The ONLY reason that cast iron was used 'back in the day' was because that was all that was available that was inexpensive..
Steel used to be very expensive.. now that it's mass produced, and the labor to use cast iron is expensive, cast iron is expensive to make parts from.

Cast iron was used because it is the best material for stove or boiler. It resists the corrosive effects of heat better than almost anything else. Look at all the Cannon heaters that were frequently heated red hot and still survive. Steel has been mass produced for over 100 years.It was mainly used in cheap stoves.

Yes cast iron is expensive today because of the many restrictions on foundry's. Quality machine tools are all cast iron. The best boilers where complex flue passages are desired are still cast iron. Steel works best where a simple configuration is desired and it can be protected from heat by fire brick. I doubt that many antique stoves cracked from heat but more likely from careless handling which in many cases had very thin castings, especially in some of the ornate antiques. Cast iron is still used on the doors of most stoves because it is the best material and lends itself to a bit of styling better than steel.



Nope, cast iron was used becuase it was cheap. hundreds, maybe thousands of casting businesses.. I've owned dozens of cast iron parlor stoves.. from all over the place,, seems virtually every town had a blacksmith that could cast iron parts..

But cast does NOT make a good flat panel for a stove. Flat gives it problems of expansion.. the cannon heater you described is round,, so the expansion was more even, and controled. The flat panels will expand unevenly and crack,, I've passed up dozens of cracked stoves for sale.

How many steel box stoves are in the scrap pile behind the stove shops?? Not many,, How many cast iron stoves?? mountains of them..

Steel stoves do hold up just fine to the heat of fires. if overfired, a piece can be safely cut out and replaced,, you can't do that with cast iron.. just throw the stove away unless you want to pay more than the stove is worth to recast a panel.. and have the risk of yet another crack developing.

NOPE.. Mulit section boilers??? Cast is wonderful?? nope,, they corrode away from the inside or at the connections , and if you run one low on water, it cracks..
A steel boiler?? takes that abuse in stride..

Grates are the only good place for cast,, heavy, simple and as long as the ashpan is emptied and the ash doesn't touch and insulate the grate from the cooling incoming air, then they will last a long time with a hot fire right on top of them.. but that's the only real place to use cast.. anyplace else is a gamgle.

Greg L.
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: New Coal stove that looks as good as a VC Vigilant

PostBy: nortcan On: Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:46 am

Talking about nice stoves , I included some with the courtesy and permission of Ginger Creek Antique Stoves.
I agree with that, beauty is a personnal thing. All cars can go from Montréal to Québec and you can think that the car is nice or not but it does the job :roll:
All stoves can warm you up, nice or not! If you like the look of your stove 365 days/year, it's just a sort of bonus :lol:
Just take a few seconds to look at all the details on these stoves!
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Last edited by nortcan on Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
nortcan
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Stuart,Peterson/ Grander
Stove/Furnace Model: Sunnyside/ Golden Bride

Re: New Coal stove that looks as good as a VC Vigilant

PostBy: franco b On: Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:09 pm

This thread is about the looks of a stove. Cast iron is the easiest way to design in pleasing style. It is also far more durable than steel in terms of resisting corrosion. Like anything else the qualities of the material you are working with have to be considered. Antique stoves are much lighter in weight than modern cast stoves, about half the weight of comparable modern stoves. As such many were skating on thin ice considering the brittleness of cast iron, some sections as little as 1/8 to 3/16 thick, but store a steel stove in the conditions that many antiques were stored in old leaky barns for 100 years and see if any survive. Modern cast iron stoves by Coalbrookdale, Jotul, Vermont Castings, Efel and others don't seem to have problems with cracking on flat sections as long as they are not dropped in handling.

Concerning cast boilers the few dozens I have broken up were all like new internally with only very light corrosion in contrast with steel boilers which are very prone to leak especially around or in fire tubes. I think if you could inspect most plumbers houses I think you would find almost all cast iron boilers. At least that has been my experience. Heat it to 1200 degrees or let it run dry and there will be trouble no matter what the material. So don't do that.
franco b
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: V ermont Castings 2310, Franco Belge 262
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Modern Oak 114
Coal Size/Type: nut and pea

Re: New Coal stove that looks as good as a VC Vigilant

PostBy: dlj On: Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:28 pm

LsFarm wrote:
Nope, cast iron was used becuase it was cheap. hundreds, maybe thousands of casting businesses.. I've owned dozens of cast iron parlor stoves.. from all over the place,, seems virtually every town had a blacksmith that could cast iron parts..

But cast does NOT make a good flat panel for a stove. Flat gives it problems of expansion.. the cannon heater you described is round,, so the expansion was more even, and controled. The flat panels will expand unevenly and crack,, I've passed up dozens of cracked stoves for sale.

How many steel box stoves are in the scrap pile behind the stove shops?? Not many,, How many cast iron stoves?? mountains of them..

Steel stoves do hold up just fine to the heat of fires. if overfired, a piece can be safely cut out and replaced,, you can't do that with cast iron.. just throw the stove away unless you want to pay more than the stove is worth to recast a panel.. and have the risk of yet another crack developing.

NOPE.. Mulit section boilers??? Cast is wonderful?? nope,, they corrode away from the inside or at the connections , and if you run one low on water, it cracks..
A steel boiler?? takes that abuse in stride..

Grates are the only good place for cast,, heavy, simple and as long as the ashpan is emptied and the ash doesn't touch and insulate the grate from the cooling incoming air, then they will last a long time with a hot fire right on top of them.. but that's the only real place to use cast.. anyplace else is a gamgle.

Greg L.


I know you don't like cast iron Greg, that's been pretty clear for a long time. But several things you've said above are just plain wrong. Blacksmiths worked in wrought iron and steel, not cast iron. Yes, there were a lot of small foundries.

There are many different cast irons with a wide range of properties.There are a whole series of cast irons that have been developed to be used in the fire box region of stoves. They out-perform steels so well that even you have had to admit above that they are much better to use for grates. All materials have their strengths and weaknesses. Steels are good for some things, cast irons are good for some things. Some areas overlap, some have clear preference of one over the other. Cast iron in all it's many alloys is an excellent material as are steels in all it's many alloys. The smart thing is to use the right material in the right place. Cast iron is a better material in the firebox region of a stove than steel is no matter how you cut and dry it..

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: New Coal stove that looks as good as a VC Vigilant

PostBy: Yanche On: Sat Mar 24, 2012 7:52 pm

dlj wrote:
LsFarm wrote:
Nope, cast iron was used becuase it was cheap. hundreds, maybe thousands of casting businesses.. I've owned dozens of cast iron parlor stoves.. from all over the place,, seems virtually every town had a blacksmith that could cast iron parts..

Snip ...

Grates are the only good place for cast,, heavy, simple and as long as the ashpan is emptied and the ash doesn't touch and insulate the grate from the cooling incoming air, then they will last a long time with a hot fire right on top of them.. but that's the only real place to use cast.. anyplace else is a gamgle.

Greg L.


I know you don't like cast iron Greg, that's been pretty clear for a long time. But several things you've said above are just plain wrong. Blacksmiths worked in wrought iron and steel, not cast iron. Yes, there were a lot of small foundries.

There are many different cast irons with a wide range of properties.There are a whole series of cast irons that have been developed to be used in the fire box region of stoves. They out-perform steels so well that even you have had to admit above that they are much better to use for grates. All materials have their strengths and weaknesses. Steels are good for some things, cast irons are good for some things. Some areas overlap, some have clear preference of one over the other. Cast iron in all it's many alloys is an excellent material as are steels in all it's many alloys. The smart thing is to use the right material in the right place. Cast iron is a better material in the firebox region of a stove than steel is no matter how you cut and dry it..

dj

To an engineer, "cast iron" as used by the public is a generic term. It's often misused and wrongly applied. When I was a child there were two foundries where many of my friends parents worked, Ingersoll Rand and Warren Foundry, both in Phillipsburg, NJ. We heated with coal and our manual draft damper need replacement. My parents friend cast us a new one. He just took the old one to work, used it as a basic pattern, enlarging the sand mold by hand as needed and poured it. Brought it home in his lunch box. I was impressed. In college (Lafayette) they offered a Metallurgical Engineering degree. Several of my friends would cast repair items in the college foundry for farmer friends. By adjusting the recipe they could get the physical properties needed. It's a good way to make complex shapes. Modern production methods produce amazingly accurate small parts.

The Warren Foundry founded in 1856 is still in business. Now known as Atlantic States Cast Iron Pipe Co. See:
http://www.atlanticstates.com/about/history.php
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
If you live withing several hundred miles of northwestern NJ you have seen trucks hauling their pipe. It's used on public water systems everywhere.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

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