ash build up in my vermont coal stove??

Re: ash build up in my vermont coal stove??

PostBy: SAU On: Fri Nov 28, 2008 9:31 am

This last batch of coal has a lot of trash in it. It must have came from the lower seam, I dug quite a few rocks out last night.

o What percentage do you estimate that shaking the grates helps clear the bit ash?

I fill her all the way to the top of the bricks which yields about a tray of ash. I shake more than you guys with the good coal because it just doesn't seem to breath well with a light shake. The ash in the front seems to ooze out into the grill rather than fall straight down. I'm still not sure what the mechanism is, but the grill will be filled nearly to the front if the fire hasn't been tended for a while. and it will almost pack in there, shaking the grill won't knock it all down to the grate. The ash is very powdery like talcum but it has a bit of adhesion to it.

o How much do you have to poke/knife the grates?I've never seen bit ash first hand. Is there much of a difference from anthracite ash? I know there's variation to hard coal ash, just wondering if in general there's a difference between the two.

I've recently found that if i clean the grill out each time I reload it burns better, I pull the plate and slice the lower grates once a day or so to clear the clinkers and with this load the rocks. When I cleaned it out last night, I shook the ash down then shook the crap out of it just to watch the mechanism work on the clinkers and rock. I had to shake the heck out of it to get the trash to clear, so there is little doubt in my mind that slicing is absolutely necessary.

o Do the clinkers look/form differently than those formed in an anthracite fire? Others have posted pictures of them but I don't think I've seen any from bit.

looks just like the stuff that I've seen posted here, up close it looks a bit like dirty molten glass with sand and trash in it.

I'm thinking about going to my mine to grab some lump coal to mix in with the nut size I'm getting from the north mine just to experiment a little. The south mine has a slightly better quality, 8700 BTU vs 8300 and lower ash but I can just pull under a hopper at the north mine rather than shoveling it in at the south mine. Yep, I'm lazy.
SAU
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Vermont Castings/Nordic Stove
Stove/Furnace Model: VIGILANT II 2310/Erik Jr. HH

Re: ash build up in my vermont coal stove??

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Fri Nov 28, 2008 6:56 pm

SAU wrote:I'm thinking about going to my mine to grab some lump coal to mix in with the nut size I'm getting from the north mine just to experiment a little. The south mine has a slightly better quality, 8700 BTU vs 8300 and lower ash but I can just pull under a hopper at the north mine rather than shoveling it in at the south mine. Yep, I'm lazy.


That's not lazy, that's using the ole "clinker" between your ears :lol: :!:

I just looked and your weather hasn't been too different from mine in NJ. I'm going thru ~ 35-45 Lbs a day and taking out two nearly full trays. I don't have to knife or use the rod every day. Maybe every second to third day. Are you getting more that that?
VigIIPeaBurner
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace

Re: ash build up in my vermont coal stove??

PostBy: SAU On: Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:49 pm

Well, I shouldn't say that I use the slicer every day because I don't tend the stove as well when I'm working. It's been about a month since I let it go out last time and I had enough clinker and rock to pretty much cover the grate when I let it die this time. I'm starting to be able to tell when it's getting plugged up, and where it needs a really good slicing because the fire will be low in that particular area. I can also look at the grates and know when there is something big in there because the grates get cattywampus. Wonder why the spellchecker didn't like that word ;) . My coal hod weighs about 20 pounds full. It's not a terribly scientific measure but I am probably burning between 100 and 160 pounds with the weather we are having. I store the coal in two 100 gallon stock tanks out in the garage. So far this season I have went through five heaped 100 gallon stock tanks plus a couple of wheelbarrows. I started burning in October and judging by winters and springs past will continue to burn until sometime in May. I'm definitely going to have to do your mild weather set up by the time spring rolls around. December - February will be the true test of coal only heat. I expect to fire up the Nordic upstairs as well in those months when it gets really cold because the Vigilant is having a hard time keeping up with the sub 20 degree temps we have had. When it goes below 0 I don't think it will keep up. On the other hand I am learning to burn the stove more efficiently all the time. Heating 1750 sq ft pretty well for the time being though. I still need to rework my stairwell to allow heat upstairs, so I should get a huge boost with that.
SAU
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Vermont Castings/Nordic Stove
Stove/Furnace Model: VIGILANT II 2310/Erik Jr. HH

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Re: ash build up in my vermont coal stove??

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Sun Nov 30, 2008 7:04 pm

I don't always have to clean the grill all the way but I do clean the slot below it. That would be the casting that the grill sits on. I use my dowel for this because it doesn't pull out any reds as easily as the notched end of the knife. With the dowel, I push the ash back until the flats of the grates are mostly bare. That way the air gets up across the glass and behind the grill.

When everyone knifes the grates, do y'all remove the plate casting that covers the area under the grates and above the ash pan? I do but only when the fire bridges and I can't get a good look at the center valley in the grates to see what's living there. Then I'll knife and/or dowel 'em till they move one :) That might be once or so a week, maybe longer.
VigIIPeaBurner
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace

Re: ash build up in my vermont coal stove??

PostBy: SAU On: Sun Nov 30, 2008 7:35 pm

Not getting any bridges with my coal but I do remove the plate when I slice the grates.
SAU
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Vermont Castings/Nordic Stove
Stove/Furnace Model: VIGILANT II 2310/Erik Jr. HH

Re: ash build up in my vermont coal stove??

PostBy: mrpete64 On: Wed Dec 03, 2008 6:33 pm

I think I "finally" figured out how to use my Vig.2 coal stove. I open the doors...remove the plate..and then clean between the grates. Then slice the coal..then clean between the grates...again!
Load it with coal. Let it burn for a while..and I am good to go.
I have noticed that for me nut coal works a lot better than pea coal. Next fall I will buy nut. I think it works better because it does not pack down and create a solid mass of coal. The nut has air spaces around it and that helps a lot in my coal operation.
I think shaking the grates, on this stove, is good for building up your right arm...an not much else.
The stove now holds a good 12 hours at around 500+ degrees.
So far...so good.

Thanks for all you help and support.

Mr. Pete--->
mrpete64
 
Stove/Furnace Make: vermont casting coal stove

new VC slicer

PostBy: mrpete64 On: Wed Dec 03, 2008 6:36 pm

Before I forget...my friend took my VC coal slicer and made one but much longer. It works soooooooooo much better being longer.
mrpete64
 
Stove/Furnace Make: vermont casting coal stove

Re: new VC slicer

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:52 pm

mrpete64 wrote:Before I forget...my friend took my VC coal slicer and made one but much longer. It works soooooooooo much better being longer.


How long did he make it and did the new one have the notch in the end too? Longer would be better - good idea!
VigIIPeaBurner
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace

Re: ash build up in my vermont coal stove??

PostBy: Devil505 On: Thu Jan 01, 2009 4:19 pm

Nice video VigIIPeaBurner ! Should be very helpful to many new people! :clap: :devil:

(My TLC also can be top loaded but I find that I get coal wedged between the front bars & the glass window if I'm not real careful to fill from just the back of the stove.)
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: ash build up in my vermont coal stove??

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Thu Jan 01, 2009 6:17 pm

Thank Devil. I hope it helps too. I too get some pea in front of the grill when I load it to the top of the brick. I could be more careful and place the final load by shovel on top, but I'm too lazy :) I just open the front doors and let it roll onto the lip on the front of the stove. That gives me a reason to the reload right once a day or so and do a low-poke like I did in the video and properly clean the grill. Then sit back and watch that big heap of coal glow that pleasing red as the dancers perform :) :D :lol:
VigIIPeaBurner
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace

Re: ash build up in my vermont coal stove??

PostBy: SAU On: Thu Jan 01, 2009 6:43 pm

I've been meaning tpo post this for a little while and nearly forgot.

When my ash tray is starting to pile up, I will slam the ash door a little to even out the ashes because they have such a propensity to pile up toward the back of the pan. That way I can squeeze a little more ash in and knock the front ashes out of the grill.
SAU
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Vermont Castings/Nordic Stove
Stove/Furnace Model: VIGILANT II 2310/Erik Jr. HH

Re: ash build up in my vermont coal stove??

PostBy: stonyloam On: Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:18 pm

I have been using my old VC vigilant for 25 years now, and it only took about 17 years to figure it out, you gotta be a little patient. There are three keys to the old Vermont casting magazine models (in order of importance):
1: The slicer (is as important as the shaker): You must use the slicer EVERY time (Welders gloves are handy here) . Open the damper. Empty the ash pan, and when you put it back in only put it in 1/2 way (do not touch the shaker yet), and with the slicer held vertically clean out the ash behind the front grate. Shove the pan all the way in and close doors. Operate the shaker using short strokes until you feel resistance. At this point you have knocked a lot of ash off of the coal that still needs to be cleaned out. Open the doors and with the slicer held flat shove it all the way to the back under the front grate between the shakers and the coal and slice it side to side all the way across the width of the grate. You will feel the difference when all of the loose stuff is cleaned out. Close the doors, shut the damper and you are good to go.

2: Seal everything: Before the heating season (every year), clean the stove thoroughly and seal all of the seams with a good furnace cement. It works best if the surfaces are clean and wet when you apply the cement.

3: Empty the ash pan: Make sure to keep the ash pan cleaned out, if it gets too full you will do two things, the pan will be very difficult to empty without making a mess and if it gets full enough to reduce air circulation the grates can get too hot and warp, not good.

Hope this helps a little....

Terry
stonyloam
 
Stove/Furnace Make: vermont casting
Stove/Furnace Model: vigilant

Re: ash build up in my vermont coal stove??

PostBy: rewinder On: Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:11 pm

Hey Terry

Nice run down on the older Vig operation. I do much the same with mine except I clean out behind the front gate after i clean the side grates and slicing across from front to back under the front grates.

Sealing everything inside is the key, you're right.

Here's what I've done this year ( after a 20 year oil binge, not using it since 1986). I "glued" on a piece of 1/2" thick rutland soft sqush-able fiberglass gasket on each door, under the window bracket ledge. So it comee in contact with the lower protrusion of the front grate when closed. This seals up the front of the fire box at the door/ front grate, and makes all the air go thru the coal bed. With out this mod, it takes 1/2 to 2/4 hr to really jazz up a fire from a low state. With it, I canrevive a real wimpy fire to full glowing rage in 10 min.

Try it terry, you'll think it's a new stove!

here's a pic of the rope gasket glues just under the window ledge.

Hey how may pounds a day are you putting thru you Vig????

Yep. I warped a set of grates a long time age fron not keeping an air space under the grates and the full ask pan!

Paul
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rewinder
 
Stove/Furnace Make: VT Castings--early models
Stove/Furnace Model: Vigilant, and Resolute

Re: ash build up in my vermont coal stove??

PostBy: Pete69 On: Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:18 pm

With the help of the VC Vigilant stove owners on the form I knocked about 17 years off the learning curve on my new/used vigilant.
Thanks for your time!!
It is a real nice looking stove. I like the exhaust baffle design built into the stove. It's nice to know I'll have good radiant heat without the use of electric fans during power outages. I think the cast iron will absorb and radiate heat better than plate steel. the stove will also burn bituminous coal if anthracite ever becomes scares or too costly in my area in the future.
The shaker grates could have been designed more aggressively, but with the right know how it shouldn't be hard to overcome. Sealing the joints every year will need to become a new routine not needed on my other welded steel stove, but that will be done at the same time as spring cleaning of fly ash.
I'm not too sure that the new stoves will be of the same quality as the old ones after the recent buyout of Vermont Castings. I know the price of parts has already increased.
Pete69
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Baker/Vermont Castings/Chubby
Stove/Furnace Model: fireside /VigilantII/Chubby

Re: ash build up in my vermont coal stove??

PostBy: Pete69 On: Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:22 pm

Rewinder how did you fit inside the stove to take that picture? :?
Pete69
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Baker/Vermont Castings/Chubby
Stove/Furnace Model: fireside /VigilantII/Chubby

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