With all the complaints, I wish I knew what the problem was :?: :!: ;) After all, as the add (and eelhc) states: It's so simple a CAVEMAN can do it :D :lol: :D :lol: Must be hard to get up the hill on the learning curve or I just figured out how to use a wheel. I've never had another stove to burn coal in. So to say, I cut my teeth - and I still have em, and I really don't have major issues with the Vigilant. It is my main source of heat unless it's really cold or I have to be away for longer than a day. Then I'll light the stoker :P
Kidding aside, it probably has a lot to do with coal quality and draft. Learning coal/Vigilant took me most of the first year. When people have comments about a stove they love, they state the model. What model/vintage Vigilant did you have :?: That information is paramount to relate your statements to the current model 2310. There have been a few variants over the ~35 years the Vigilants have been manufactured. What model did you have Oliver Power, BM-80 :?: We need to talk apples to apples to maintain an accurate relationship to the model commented upon as the Vigilant has evolved. You know evolution .. happened to the caveman :lol:
Sorry for the thread drift. It's about managing ash in a Vigilant - what ever the vintage, it needs to be spoken to.
SAU wrote:VigII is the vigilant man. I didn't see the ash buildup on your front grates like I get on mine, Vig. So far I'm recharging twice a day but it hasn't been real cold. Like eelhc, I have to clean out the front grate with the slicer because it becomes plugged up and from my limited experience, the stove must have that breathing area open. With PRB bit mine seems to run at about 700 for six hours or so and starts to drop off after that.
I've had a few of occasions where I ran it hard overnight while I was gone on 12 hour shift work. I've been able to get it to refire every time, but once I decided to clean it out because it just wasn't burning as well as it had been. I found some pretty serious clinkers in there which is what prompted me to use the slicer much more often. If the stove has never burned as hot as it should then I imagine you have a different problem but if it started off hot and now it just isn't the same I would try letting it burn out and see just exactly what you have laying on top of the shaker grate. I know a lot of the guys here say not to poke the fire, but I'm finding that if I poke down at the front of the fire, at the same angle that the front grate will force you to, and go all the way through the shaker grates as you are doing so, I think you will find the stove is more efficient. sorry about the run on sentence but you'll figure it out if you read it slow. :oops:
VigII, do you ever have ash buildup in the front grate like I'm explaining?
I've seen the ash build up there and only occasionally do I give the front grill a good shake with the hook on the end of the knife after I shake the fire half way down the grill. I do as in the video every other day or so, depending on how many Lbs are going thru it. I agree SAU, if you see the drop in heat output over several days, it's time to look closer to the grates. Somethig(s) is plugging it up.
I don't poke before a small recharge or shaking. Even then, I concentrate it around the sides and edges to push ash, not more that once or twice in the middle. Do you do full in/out strokes with the handle? When I shake down, I occasionally do short strokes, say 20 or so, so as not to rattle the fire. It sometimes bridges when I do this: the fire won't settle in the fire box. Sometimes it's one side or the other, other times it's the whole firebox that bridges. When this happens, I finish the shaking until the handle feels "loose": not too much going thru the grates. Watch the fire height and the pan. Then I open up the front doors, clear the ash below the grill like in the video and do a good poking along the grill support (below bottom of grill) down into the grates. There shouldn't bee any fire in that spot then. You can see if there's any clinkers in there and that's the time to break them up. Mostly I've found if I burn too hot too long, I'll get clinkers. If I don't do anything different than in the videos, I don't get clinkers but just hard single pea coal size chunks. Most of the time now, I'm running 640 - 700 for the duration of the burn. I close the internal damper shortly after blue flames appear and when the stove is at least ~400 after a full recharge.