Vigilant Stove Help

Re: Vigilant Stove Help

PostBy: franco b On: Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:08 am

What I like about the Vigilant is that the designer was not afraid to try many different things.

I have to give him A for effort even though I think some things could have been done a bit differently and better.

The ash pan is a clever innovation but because it swings out it had to be made smaller to clear the corners. I would prefer the full size pan with a simple loop on the front into which a nice fat handle could be slipped to carry one handed.

Most antique stoves had way undersize ash pans that need to be emptied twice per day and with no convenient handle.
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: Vigilant Stove Help

PostBy: nortcan On: Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:35 pm

franco b wrote:What I like about the Vigilant is that the designer was not afraid to try many different things.

I have to give him A for effort even though I think some things could have been done a bit differently and better.

The ash pan is a clever innovation but because it swings out it had to be made smaller to clear the corners. I would prefer the full size pan with a simple loop on the front into which a nice fat handle could be slipped to carry one handed.

Most antique stoves had way undersize ash pans that need to be emptied twice per day and with no convenient handle.


You'r right Franco, they did try instead of just "wait"" for the perfect solutions. And all was not perfect for them but some great ideas were found then.
Also correct for the swing out device taking some place to work but the ash pan is deeper than most competitors ones so at the end the pan gets more loading capacity.
I'm shure if the 2 VC founders were still alive and owning VC, all the these imperfections would be gone since a long time because they were ""interested "" to improve their products. And a plus, they were originally and completly: Made in USA.
nortcan
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Stuart,Peterson/ Grander
Stove/Furnace Model: Sunnyside/ Golden Bride

Re: Vigilant Stove Help

PostBy: dcrane On: Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:59 pm

I have to give VC credit for surviving...thriving even, but they were, are and always have been a wood stove company first and foremost. Their target market was and is and has always been the "majority" / the "masses" and as such they gear towards what some may call "fluff" (similar to Yodel). They pushed and produced anything as swiftly and as quickly as could be made (they owned their own foundry here which about the only reason they did not import from china). Gas stoves, wood stoves, coal stoves, fireplace gadgetry, inserts, sexy tall elegant legs (for no good reason), enameled colors for every woman out their!, roll top dust covers the list goes on and on. These elements were done for marketing more then function. Im not going to get into my experience with the founder to much here but surfice to say nobody liked him and anyone that worked their knows this, even Dealers hated him for not allowing them to sell VC's since they wanted every nickle themselves and could not see how a dealer network and reps would be better for the customer as well as for them (the tipping point was when his company was getting so many customer complaints, warrenty issues, etc. they then decided to use a dealer network because they had to). They refused to develope/design and were hellbent on NOT doing that to improve their stoves but rather making kits, retro fits, etc. to fix the problems.

I guess the simplest way to describe it is that VC is the "nestle" of chocolate (your never going to get gourmet chocolate from them) but you will get what the majority of folks want (most the people who are serious coal burners or have serious backgrounds in stoves would not be buying a VC I'm sorry to say). That does not mean they are a bad stove or a bad company though... they give the people what they want to see!
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

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Re: Vigilant Stove Help

PostBy: franco b On: Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:42 pm

dcrane wrote:sexy tall elegant legs

That sold a lot of stoves and it helps sell a lot of other things too. 40,000 stoves a year and each model the best looking in its class. You can still see their influence in stove design today.

It wasn't just looks either, they tried their best to improve combustion as well. The stoves were more complex than others, in some cases probably needlessly so but the interest and effort was there. There was also the mystique they developed in tying their stoves to tradition and making VC buyers a big family with their own newspaper.

I do respect your father's effort in producing a basic stove that works pretty well for less than half the price of a VC. I don't think you can criticize the VC ash pan when the Crane had none though.
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: Vigilant Stove Help

PostBy: franco b On: Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:59 pm

nortcan wrote:I'm shure if the 2 VC founders were still alive and owning VC, all the these imperfections would be gone since a long time because they were ""interested "" to improve their products. And a plus, they were originally and completly: Made in USA.


I agree that the original founders had the right mind set to make a better stove. I feel sure that if the coal stove market had not been so thin as to not justify the making of a stove not using what they had in wood stoves they would have come up with something really special.
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: Vigilant Stove Help

PostBy: dcrane On: Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:32 pm

franco b wrote:
dcrane wrote:sexy tall elegant legs

That sold a lot of stoves and it helps sell a lot of other things too. 40,000 stoves a year and each model the best looking in its class. You can still see their influence in stove design today.

It wasn't just looks either, they tried their best to improve combustion as well. The stoves were more complex than others, in some cases probably needlessly so but the interest and effort was there. There was also the mystique they developed in tying their stoves to tradition and making VC buyers a big family with their own newspaper.

I do respect your father's effort in producing a basic stove that works pretty well for less than half the price of a VC. I don't think you can criticize the VC ash pan when the Crane had none though.


I know im kinda bias here because this was exactly the world i was raised in so I was aware of a lot of things first hand that many did not witness. The fact is all these stove company's (owners) knew each other and were friends to one another... I can recall trips to Russo with my dad at 10 years old watching my dad and frank fire up stoves together in the parking lot, i can remember at trade shows the celibrations after in the hotels and remember the owners of heat and glo huge partiers and fun dudes! Vermont Castings was nowhere to be found and trips to their foundry were never like trips to Russo. Larry Trainer would even tell you that he and my dad enjoyed each other. Vermont Castings best inovations came from employee's after they left the company... Vermont Castings was never "on board" with anyone and Im sure its half the reason they went broke.

Vermont Castings were not into design/quality, etc. They were into making kits, retrofits, etc. in an attempt to fix issues (not redesigning their stoves). "people want a coal burner"...after seeing stoves like the Chubby or Crane "sure we can get em' a coal burner fast, heres a "retro kit" you can stick in a stove and BOOM SHAKALAKA = coal burner" :lol: Im sorry for speaking so frankly about things maybe nobody wants to hear but this was my world from the age of 5, I just dont want you thinking that Vermont Castings was some type of Pinacle of American quality, design, integrity and fairness because they were not. (I guess a better way of saying it might be "Leisure Line they were not") ;)

also... Crane Stoves always had large ashpans (the 404 had a welded handle on the front to be able to lift it out with one hand as well as angle iron risers so the bottom of the ashpan sat even to the bottom of the door opening), the Crane Coal Cooker had a one peice, one handed handle that attached to the ashpan to lift it out).

Im sorry for my Bias regarding the complaints about VC back in the day :( Im sure the sale of the company is what indeed saved them in the end and im sure they do a lot better now then they once did and you guys would know that end of it better then I.... OK big HUGS :bighug:
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

Re: Vigilant Stove Help

PostBy: franco b On: Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:52 pm

dcrane wrote: Im sure the sale of the company is what indeed saved them in the end and im sure they do a lot better now then they once did and you guys would know that end of it better then I.... OK big HUGS

I have no idea of what made them sell.

Thought you might enjoy a Crane ad that is well done and really shows off the stoves.
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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: Vigilant Stove Help

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:59 pm

dcrane wrote:I have to give VC credit for surviving...thriving even, but they were, are and always have been a wood stove company first and foremost. Their target market was and is and has always been the "majority" / the "masses" and as such they gear towards what some may call "fluff" (similar to Yodel). They pushed and produced anything as swiftly and as quickly as could be made (they owned their own foundry here which about the only reason they did not import from china). Gas stoves, wood stoves, coal stoves, fireplace gadgetry, inserts, sexy tall elegant legs (for no good reason), enameled colors for every woman out their!, roll top dust covers the list goes on and on. These elements were done for marketing more then function. Im not going to get into my experience with the founder to much here but surfice to say nobody liked him and anyone that worked their knows this, even Dealers hated him for not allowing them to sell VC's since they wanted every nickle themselves and could not see how a dealer network and reps would be better for the customer as well as for them (the tipping point was when his company was getting so many customer complaints, warrenty issues, etc. they then decided to use a dealer network because they had to). They refused to develope/design and were hellbent on NOT doing that to improve their stoves but rather making kits, retro fits, etc. to fix the problems.

I guess the simplest way to describe it is that VC is the "nestle" of chocolate (your never going to get gourmet chocolate from them) but you will get what the majority of folks want (most the people who are serious coal burners or have serious backgrounds in stoves would not be buying a VC I'm sorry to say). That does not mean they are a bad stove or a bad company though... they give the people what they want to see!


Sorry to say, I can clearly tell you haven't been around the Vigialant II 2310 or you wouldn't be classifying the owners of them as something other than serious coal burners. Just a quick question - how's that cast iron firebox holding up for you on your 404? Remember, the one you had to find a replacement for because coal fires burned the original out? Guess that wasn't too serious anyway, who needs a firbox :doh: (sorry, I ment to hit the 'huge huggie' icon). Not that I never considered buying one, I have looked at two 404s. I just couldn't find parts easily enough, thought the firebox looked weak and the design is a little busy. BTW, my firebox is going strong after 14 hard burning seasons @ 4-5+ ton a year. The front grill is the weak spot.
VigIIPeaBurner
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace

Re: Vigilant Stove Help

PostBy: dcrane On: Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:00 pm

franco b wrote:
dcrane wrote: Im sure the sale of the company is what indeed saved them in the end and im sure they do a lot better now then they once did and you guys would know that end of it better then I.... OK big HUGS

I have no idea of what made them sell.

Thought you might enjoy a Crane ad that is well done and really shows off the stoves.


OMG Franco! PM please....
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

Re: Vigilant Stove Help

PostBy: dcrane On: Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:14 pm

VigIIPeaBurner wrote:
dcrane wrote:I have to give VC credit for surviving...thriving even, but they were, are and always have been a wood stove company first and foremost. Their target market was and is and has always been the "majority" / the "masses" and as such they gear towards what some may call "fluff" (similar to Yodel). They pushed and produced anything as swiftly and as quickly as could be made (they owned their own foundry here which about the only reason they did not import from china). Gas stoves, wood stoves, coal stoves, fireplace gadgetry, inserts, sexy tall elegant legs (for no good reason), enameled colors for every woman out their!, roll top dust covers the list goes on and on. These elements were done for marketing more then function. Im not going to get into my experience with the founder to much here but surfice to say nobody liked him and anyone that worked their knows this, even Dealers hated him for not allowing them to sell VC's since they wanted every nickle themselves and could not see how a dealer network and reps would be better for the customer as well as for them (the tipping point was when his company was getting so many customer complaints, warrenty issues, etc. they then decided to use a dealer network because they had to). They refused to develope/design and were hellbent on NOT doing that to improve their stoves but rather making kits, retro fits, etc. to fix the problems.

I guess the simplest way to describe it is that VC is the "nestle" of chocolate (your never going to get gourmet chocolate from them) but you will get what the majority of folks want (most the people who are serious coal burners or have serious backgrounds in stoves would not be buying a VC I'm sorry to say). That does not mean they are a bad stove or a bad company though... they give the people what they want to see!


Sorry to say, I can clearly tell you haven't been around the Vigialant II 2310 or you wouldn't be classifying the owners of them as something other than serious coal burners. Just a quick question - how's that cast iron firebox holding up for you on your 404? Remember, the one you had to find a replacement for because coal fires burned the original out? Guess that wasn't too serious anyway, who needs a firbox :doh: (sorry, I ment to hit the 'huge huggie' icon). Not that I never considered buying one, I have looked at two 404s. I just couldn't find parts easily enough, thought the firebox looked weak and the design is a little busy. BTW, my firebox is going strong after 14 hard burning seasons @ 4-5+ ton a year. The front grill is the weak spot.


If you ever burned a VC to the temps a Crane is burned to warp a firepot like that it would open up at the seams. I will agree that a more circular firepot would prove to hold better or a gusset at the center (but this would take away from a 404's ability to be min. depth into living room or hearth and/or would not allow it to recieve horizontal logs (something other true coal stoves have trouble with)... so it was deffinatly something that was investigated, tested and thought about long and hard... a crane 404 firepot will last forever if the stove top temp never goes above 650%... the fact a Crane can burn and run safly at 1200% is something many people take advantage of :lol: (i dont suggest you try that with your VC)
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

Re: Vigilant Stove Help

PostBy: franco b On: Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:55 pm

VigIIPeaBurner regularly runs his stove top at 700 degrees and has done it for years.
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: Vigilant Stove Help

PostBy: dcrane On: Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:59 pm

franco b wrote:VigIIPeaBurner regularly runs his stove top at 700 degrees and has done it for years.


yea...he should be fine with that, I do about the same.
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

Re: Vigilant Stove Help

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:07 pm

I've placed my stove through the paces, no seams have split. They're well joined and thru-bolted too. Franco is correct, my unit operates at max design temp of 700 + about 80% of the season and it just cruises for 14+ hrs a load. All gaskets are original except the twin front doors (lasted 12 years). I trust you mean degrees, not percent. When measuring degrees, it's important to note where the temperature is taken, through what material (cast iron radiates more heat), measured through how many layers of material and how far above or beside is the actual surface of what mass of burning coal when you are quantifying temperatures. The Vig will burn a log placed in the firebox horizontally too, like the 404 will - both good designs. Remember, you pointed out that the Vigilant began with the internal design of a wood stove many years ago. The newest version will also burn bit coal. I'd rather shrink the size of the firebox and stay with coal. I'm serious that way.
VigIIPeaBurner
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace

Re: Vigilant Stove Help

PostBy: dcrane On: Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:30 pm

Ive never had a new Vig2 but thats the one with the grate system taken directly from the 404 (Im just not sure all that clanking, dbl front doors, flapper doors, HUGE ashpan lid, etc. dont make more dust then nessisary?) Is this the same unit as you or is their a newer one?
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

Re: Vigilant Stove Help

PostBy: carlherrnstein On: Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:25 pm

Slicing the grates is not always needed, I only have done it when I get a rock bigger than a golf ball jammed it the grates. Note I'm burning soft lump coal and the ash is really fine like talcum powder and some thin pyrite slag looking junk.
carlherrnstein
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: combustioneer model 77B
Coal Size/Type: pea stoker/Ohio bituminous

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