A Different Vigilant II Coal Stove

Modern and vintage hand fired coal stove are similar to a wood stove and in some cases can burn either. They need to be regulated and fed by hand usually every 12 to 24 hours depending on your usage. They require no power to operate making them ideal for rural settings with long power outages.
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nortcan
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Post Mon. Feb. 22, 2010 8:02 pm

As a new member, l would like to share my coal burning bad :mad: and good :) experiences.
After more than 20Y. of wood burning, l decided to burn anthracite and sold my Everburn wood stove.After years of researches(this forum is a gold mine),l bought a new Vigilant ll coal stove. l removed the restriction plate and realised that the stove had a lot of weak points in the conception. The stove didn't heat very much and was worst after a couple of days of burning. l tried all l could but it never worked correctly.So l decided to do some modif. to the stove. Nothing to do! This year l decided to get back to wood burning but tried for the last time a few modif. :idea: More than 12 modif. some minor some major.With the same house, same chimney, same anthracite(chestnut), the stove became perfect. Much more heat with a lot less anthracite, no more ash build up and no shut down (excepted for a video). l even asked my daughter to perform the 24h. process in the video to show how it was easy to burn anthracite now. The stove must be safe to use and now it is even safer and bullet proof. Now all my family love burning anthracite.(l apologize for my English).
Salutations.

2 Videos: A Different Vigilant II coal stove
Part 1 of 2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LuJhV96RK0
Part 2 of 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPwjPsNnc9k

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coalrunner
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Hand Fed Coal Boiler: harman sf 260
Location: frostburg Md

Post Mon. Feb. 22, 2010 8:25 pm

thats great you didnt give up as it seems that you really enjoy your stove now.sometimes you just have to give it some time to find how it best works for you.

Pete69
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Stove/Furnace Make: Baker/Vermont Castings/Chubby
Stove/Furnace Model: fireside /VigilantII/Chubby
Location: WNY

Post Mon. Feb. 22, 2010 10:50 pm

How about some close up pictures of the modifications and how they were made.

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cntbill
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker A70/A90 at my sisters... EFM AF150 Project
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Warm Morning 400
Baseburners & Antiques: Radiant Gem 22 by Floyd, Wells Co.
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Buck - Nut and Stove
Other Heating: Fireplace
Location: Reading PA
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Post Tue. Feb. 23, 2010 1:32 am

Very nice video, your modifications are quite interesting and looks like it is much safer to use, and it seems that your daughter even likes tending the stove ;) Makes me want to trade up my Vigilant and add your mods.

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stonyloam
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Stove/Furnace Make: vermont casting
Stove/Furnace Model: vigilant
Location: Western NY

Post Tue. Feb. 23, 2010 10:21 am

Adding that expanded mesh screen looks like a GREAT idea. Adding a couple of inches of mesh to the front of my Vig. 1.0 (insert) would go a long ways toward keeping stray coals from falling over the top of the front of the insert. I may have to fool around with that a bit myself. :D
Terry

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spiker
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Post Tue. Feb. 23, 2010 10:56 am

I have seen strong mesh available at Walmart in the camping section, to be used as an outdoor fire grate. It looks like the one in these videos. It is just a 20 x 30 inch sheet of the mesh, for $ 20. I have scouted it out to use in potential modifications. My numbers are approximate - from memory.

Another source of mesh is wire gutter shield meant to keep leaves out of the gutter, that is carried at all hardware stores for around $ 10. It is not as strong and would not have as long a life, depending on how close it is to the fire.

So far, my 6 in deep fire bed has worked fine, but I have just started to use this stove, and next winter when I need to run it hotter, I may find that I need a deeper bed. Then I might use a mesh extension to get a couple more inches height. I have a front loader, so I cannot close off the entire front.

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nortcan
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Location: Qc Canada

Post Tue. Feb. 23, 2010 7:53 pm

coalrunner wrote:thats great you didnt give up as it seems that you really enjoy your stove now.sometimes you just have to give it some time to find how it best works for you.
Now the stove runs 24-7 since 2 months with no problem at all. I think I will be relax for a while.
Salutations

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nortcan
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Stove/Furnace Model: Sunnyside/ Golden Bride
Location: Qc Canada

Post Tue. Feb. 23, 2010 8:04 pm

Pete69 wrote:How about some close up pictures of the modifications and how they were made.
I will try to show more details of the modif. But you know when you begin to mofify one place you discover that you have to modify a few others around and test. Sometime it looks simple on a picture but when you have your hands in the stove it is an other story (specially when the stove is in the livingroom luckily my whife is very torelant).
Salutations

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nortcan
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Post Tue. Feb. 23, 2010 8:25 pm

spiker wrote:I have seen strong mesh available at Walmart in the camping section, to be used as an outdoor fire grate. It looks like the one in these videos. It is just a 20 x 30 inch sheet of the mesh, for $ 20. I have scouted it out to use in potential modifications. My numbers are approximate - from memory.

Another source of mesh is wire gutter shield meant to keep leaves out of the gutter, that is carried at all hardware stores for around $ 10. It is not as strong and would not have as long a life, depending on how close it is to the fire.

So far, my 6 in deep fire bed has worked fine, but I have just started to use this stove, and next winter when I need to run it hotter, I may find that I need a deeper bed. Then I might use a mesh extension to get a couple more inches height. I have a front loader, so I cannot close off the entire front.
I bought the w.mesh in a hadrware store. I wouldn't go for the gutter shield. The reason I placed that mesh was to stop the popping anthracite to fall on the floor when I was openning the front doors, it is not to have more more bed room. Gain bed room was exactly the opposite way I realised improvements. This morning I put 7 pounds of anthracite and the fire ran for 12 h. at 400F (it is not too cold now). At 8 tonight, I did what you see on the video and add 10 pounds for the next 12 h.
Salutations

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nortcan
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Post Tue. Feb. 23, 2010 8:31 pm

stonyloam wrote:Adding that expanded mesh screen looks like a GREAT idea. Adding a couple of inches of mesh to the front of my Vig. 1.0 (insert) would go a long ways toward keeping stray coals from falling over the top of the front of the insert. I may have to fool around with that a bit myself. :D
You are right, it is very efficient for the poping coal and it gives an other look.
Salutations

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nortcan
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Location: Qc Canada

Post Tue. Feb. 23, 2010 8:44 pm

cntbill wrote:Very nice video, your modifications are quite interesting and looks like it is much safer to use, and it seems that your daughter even likes tending the stove ;) Makes me want to trade up my Vigilant and add your mods.
Yes the stove is like a tank plus it is simpler to use. After more than 20 Y. of wood burning, I was looking for a simpler way to heat my house (2200 s.f. on 3 levels) so I tried anthracite. First year and half is was worst on all. I tried all I could then found the keys of my problems. Hope some stove builders will decide to improve anthracite stoves on many points. The more peoples using anthracite the best it is for everybody.
Salutations

BobQ
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Stove/Furnace Make: Vermont Castings
Stove/Furnace Model: Vigilant
Location: Chester CT

Post Wed. Feb. 24, 2010 9:59 am

I like your mesh screen idea! I have the same stove and thought I would tell you how I do it. I do the initial start the same with wood, once I have a good fire going, I open the ash pan for draft and put a full bucket of coal in, in about five minutes I fill a second bucket and watch for blue flames, after about five minutes I see flames so I close the ash pan and wait a minutes or two and close the damper. I always keep the air control in the same place, to maintain about 600 deg F in cold weather. About twelve hours later I open the damper and the front doors, I then use the slicer and poke between each slot until I get a little red coal, close it up and shake it about five times, I then put a full bucket of coal in and open the ash pan, while open I empty it out back, by the time I come back, two or three minutes, I have blue flame, I close it up and wait a minute or two and closed the damper and off the work I go. I use nut size coal and have much better luck with it then the smaller pea size, the pea size needed much more attention. I know everyone has a different set up but I find mine very easy, and takes bout ten minutes to tend, I do think the nut size coal and the ability to get the clinkers out with the poker are the secret! I am off to find some mesh!

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nortcan
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Location: Qc Canada

Post Wed. Feb. 24, 2010 7:11 pm

BobQ wrote:I like your mesh screen idea! I have the same stove and thought I would tell you how I do it. I do the initial start the same with wood, once I have a good fire going, I open the ash pan for draft and put a full bucket of coal in, in about five minutes I fill a second bucket and watch for blue flames, after about five minutes I see flames so I close the ash pan and wait a minutes or two and close the damper. I always keep the air control in the same place, to maintain about 600 deg F in cold weather. About twelve hours later I open the damper and the front doors, I then use the slicer and poke between each slot until I get a little red coal, close it up and shake it about five times, I then put a full bucket of coal in and open the ash pan, while open I empty it out back, by the time I come back, two or three minutes, I have blue flame, I close it up and wait a minute or two and closed the damper and off the work I go. I use nut size coal and have much better luck with it then the smaller pea size, the pea size needed much more attention. I know everyone has a different set up but I find mine very easy, and takes bout ten minutes to tend, I do think the nut size coal and the ability to get the clinkers out with the poker are the secret! I am off to find some mesh!
I must tell you to consider the mesh screen only for the retention of the crackling coal only and not to add more anthracite. I think it would be dangerous to do so. For my stove, the mesh was only the last upgrade and do not help for the performances of the stove. Good luck

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nortcan
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Stove/Furnace Make: Stuart,Peterson/ Grander
Stove/Furnace Model: Sunnyside/ Golden Bride
Location: Qc Canada

Post Sun. Apr. 24, 2011 11:00 am

Vig II made me think that I could update this post when reading his post for the front grill.

Since the modifs, the stove heat the house without any problem (2200 Sqr F.). When the shut down will arrive I could send some photos of these modifs. Actually the stove idles at about 200*F 24/24, 12 Hrs periods with 4 ant pounds, without having to modif. it for the wamer times. I don't even think to modif it for wood burning on these warmer days. 4 pounds for 12 Hrs, why bother with small wood fires?

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nortcan
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Post Wed. Aug. 03, 2011 12:40 pm

Hi. As said at one time, I come back with some details about the modifs made on/in my VigII. The story having already be said, I will concentrate on the way I did it. It's not an incitement for the VigII owners to transform theirs stove but just want to show you what was made. The majority of you can make these modifs but when beginning some modifs, we should remember that when making one modif calls very often for an other one...The most inportant thing to remember is: The stove Must stay as SAFE as before or even more. Don't start a modif project if you are not sure to be able to make it safely.
De retour bientot
P/S feel free to ask any questions.
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