Vigilant II Is Just Humming Along!!!

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.
franco b
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: V ermont Castings 2310, Franco Belge 262
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Coal Size/Type: nut and pea
Location: Kent CT

Post Wed. Nov. 27, 2013 1:47 pm

Welcome to the forum.
Just make sure your stove has the gasket on the fettle or on the doors to seal the fire box from the ash pit.

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joeq
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Post Wed. Nov. 27, 2013 3:44 pm

Another welcome Rich. Nice looking set-up you got there. Also Happy turkey day. :)
I got coal in my Christmas stocking. (Yey!)
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coalvet
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Joined: Tue. Feb. 27, 2007 12:48 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane Model 404, Harman MK I
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: NG Boiler
Location: Rhode Island

Post Wed. Nov. 27, 2013 4:08 pm

Welcome to the forum Rich, I'm probably only minutes away from you. I also live on Aquidneck island. Let me know if you have any questions!

Rich
Been cooking coal with the Crane for over 30 yrs.

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nortcan
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Post Wed. Nov. 27, 2013 5:57 pm

Welcome to the forum RichW. Nice set up you have there.
If you can, just send some photos showing you stove from a closer shot...

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Rich W.
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Posts: 208
Joined: Tue. Nov. 26, 2013 10:29 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Castings Vigilant Multi-Fuel (coal for me); Vermont Castings Vigilant 2310 in the shop
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: System 2000 Oil Burner; VC Resolute Woodstove (sold) Jotul 8 Woodstove (sold)
Location: Newport County, Rhode Island

Post Thu. Nov. 28, 2013 9:25 pm

Thank you all for your warm welcome! If this were a text message, I would have to begin it with “OMG!” What took me so long to discover burning coal for domestic heat? I picked up just a few bags of nut coal so that I could get to know my new (to me) old (just rebuilt) Vigilant. Having read most of the posts here and having watched Youtube videos of others, I considered myself ready to fire it up. Long story short, I set a fine fire last night, dancing blue flames, 400-500 degree griddle, and tremendous duration (14+ hours); refueled late this morning and enjoyed our Thanksgiving with guests in a warm, cozy house with 33 degree weather. Wow! I did not have the gasket material needed to block the air around the fettle, but will buy it this weekend, and install it as soon as I can convince myself to allow the fire to die. Thanks for emphasizing that modification, Franco. I have a couple of close ups for you, Nortcan. As you can see the stove is (or at least was until last night) very fresh! I plan to increase the size of my hearth and I need to work out my routine and my technique, but I’m underway, thanks to all of you!
Thanksgiving update 2013 065.JPG
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Rich in RI

franco b
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Posts: 8450
Joined: Wed. Nov. 05, 2008 5:11 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: V ermont Castings 2310, Franco Belge 262
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Modern Oak 114
Coal Size/Type: nut and pea
Location: Kent CT

Post Fri. Nov. 29, 2013 12:01 am

Looking at the picture you might not need that gasket on yours. There just has to be a decent seal to prevent air from bypassing the grate. If you have good control and a good fire leave it alone.

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VigIIPeaBurner
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace
Location: Pequest River Valley, Warren Co NJ

Post Fri. Nov. 29, 2013 12:16 am

Hello and welcome Rich. Your Vigilant looks like a beauty :)

Don't hurry to shut down to install the gasket below the fettle. It's not as important on your model as it was for efficient coal burning on the older coal kit multifuels. It might help keep the glass clean longer on your model but shouldn't make it burn coal much better. The interior of my model 2310 is much the same as yours and I've run over 40 tons thru it with out those extra gasket. Enjoy the heat and long burn times!

Edit - Franko B beat me to it ;)
3 Videos: Chavez can shov(el) it . . . & he's @ it full time now!

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nortcan
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Location: Qc Canada

Post Fri. Nov. 29, 2013 7:50 pm

VigIIPeaBurner wrote:Hello and welcome Rich. Your Vigilant looks like a beauty :)

Don't hurry to shut down to install the gasket below the fettle. It's not as important on your model as it was for efficient coal burning on the older coal kit multifuels. It might help keep the glass clean longer on your model but shouldn't make it burn coal much better. The interior of my model 2310 is much the same as yours and I've run over 40 tons thru it with out those extra gasket. Enjoy the heat and long burn times!

Edit - Franko B beat me to it ;)
Hey Vigll, do you really meant 40 tons a year? :) :D :lol: If so I send you a new rope gaske kit.

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michaelanthony
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Posts: 3989
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant 2310, gold marc box stove, vogelzang pot belly coat rack
Baseburners & Antiques: Home Sparkle 12
Coal Size/Type: Coal Contractor's stove, a little Kimmels 'nut
Other Heating: Very cold FHA oil furnace
Location: millinocket,me.
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Post Fri. Nov. 29, 2013 9:44 pm

I would like to welcome Rich and throw my hat in the ring, I am now enjoying the wonderful heat of a new to me 2nd hand Vigilant 2310 that Freddy (maine mod) helped pass along. It is truly a joy to fire up and watch. I gave her a thorough cleaning and she is purring like a kitten @ 350* or so! Also a thank you to Vigilpeaburner for his responses to me. There may be more but that's ok. I like to say "when your done learnin'-your done!
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VigIIPeaBurner
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace
Location: Pequest River Valley, Warren Co NJ

Post Sat. Nov. 30, 2013 8:50 am

nortcan wrote:
VigIIPeaBurner wrote:Hello and welcome Rich. Your Vigilant looks like a beauty

Don't hurry to shut down to install the gasket below the fettle. It's not as important on your model as it was for efficient coal burning on the older coal kit multifuels. It might help keep the glass clean longer on your model but shouldn't make it burn coal much better. The interior of my model 2310 is much the same as yours and I've run over 40 tons thru it with out those extra gasket. Enjoy the heat and long burn times!

Edit - Franko B beat me to it ;)
Hey Vigll, do you really meant 40 tons a year? :) :D :lol: If so I send you a new rope gaske kit.
Ha! :lol: Nah, it took me 13 years to bucket feed that tonnage thru my 2310. So far I've replaced two front grates, fire bricks twice, the front door gaskets and tightened down the latch strikes a few times. Stove keeps going strong and I expect it will keep on if the 33 year old Defiant wood burner is any example.
3 Videos: Chavez can shov(el) it . . . & he's @ it full time now!

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Rich W.
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Posts: 208
Joined: Tue. Nov. 26, 2013 10:29 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Castings Vigilant Multi-Fuel (coal for me); Vermont Castings Vigilant 2310 in the shop
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: System 2000 Oil Burner; VC Resolute Woodstove (sold) Jotul 8 Woodstove (sold)
Location: Newport County, Rhode Island

Post Sat. Nov. 30, 2013 9:24 pm

Cold (for coastal RI in November) last night...20 degrees. But this old stove did a heck of a job! So good that I went out for 500# of bagged nut today. I guess I'll keep it! I'm doing very well compared to some newbies I read about, but I would appreciate input on two topics.

1) Ash management: The advantage of the swing out ash door and the clever cover for lifting the pan is evident. Not having that feature on my stove, I banged out a cover last night (see photo below) so that I could at least carry the pan outside to the can without ash flying around. Question: Do you guys use multiple ash cans? One to use while the other(s) cool down? How do you manage your disposal?

2) Fireplace installation: Would I be better off piping the flue into the 8x8 masonry flue tiles (assuming coal only; wood only for lighting coal)? Or should I stick with the single wall stainless steel liner that I installed some time ago for the Jotul woodstove? Presently my flue collar is attached to a tee, which is connected to ovalized flexpipe to get through the fireplace damper, and solid single wall to the cap. Any thoughts are appreciated!

Cannot quantify all that I've learned from this forum, and how much I appreciate it!
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VigIIPeaBurner
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Posts: 2293
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace
Location: Pequest River Valley, Warren Co NJ

Post Wed. Dec. 11, 2013 10:19 pm

Rich W. wrote:Cold (for coastal RI in November) last night...20 degrees. But this old stove did a heck of a job! So good that I went out for 500# of bagged nut today. I guess I'll keep it! I'm doing very well compared to some newbies I read about, but I would appreciate input on two topics.

1) Ash management: The advantage of the swing out ash door and the clever cover for lifting the pan is evident. Not having that feature on my stove, I banged out a cover last night (see photo below) so that I could at least carry the pan outside to the can without ash flying around. Question: Do you guys use multiple ash cans? One to use while the other(s) cool down? How do you manage your disposal?

2) Fireplace installation: Would I be better off piping the flue into the 8x8 masonry flue tiles (assuming coal only; wood only for lighting coal)? Or should I stick with the single wall stainless steel liner that I installed some time ago for the Jotul woodstove? Presently my flue collar is attached to a tee, which is connected to ovalized flexpipe to get through the fireplace damper, and solid single wall to the cap. Any thoughts are appreciated!

Cannot quantify all that I've learned from this forum, and how much I appreciate it!
Welcome to the forum Rich W. I do find the swing out pan and nifty lid for the 2310 being just right for the job. I take the pan outside to the corner of the garage, about 4 feet away from the door. I carefully lift the lid off the 11 gallon galvanized trash can slide the uncovered ash pan into the can and slide the ashes out of the ash pan. I keep the ashcan lid angled against the can and positioned between me and my other hand with the ash pan that I'm empty. This way it helps the deflect any dust away from me. I put the lid on the can and quickly head into the garage to dodge any duststorm that might blow my way.

I let a full ash can sit for 24 hours before I empty it. To empty the full 11 gallon can, I slide a 13 gallon tall white kitchen bag overtop until the end slids all the way down to the bottom. I then carefully turn the bag and the can upside down so that I'm looking at the bottom of the Ash can and the open top of the bag. With my right hand to reach down alongside the can, between the bag and can, and put my finger underneath the top of the can. I do this so that a little air can flow down alongside the can to break the vacuum as I left a can of out of the bag. The weight of the ash keeps the bag on the ground and I slowly lift the can out of the bag keeping the bag straight and vertical as I go. It creates a little vacuum and keeps the bag sealed around the inverted top of the ash can. There's usually about 2 gallons of space above the top of the ash and the top of the bag. Tie up the bag and let sit outside for another 24 hours. After that it goes to Ash Can Heaven ;)
3 Videos: Chavez can shov(el) it . . . & he's @ it full time now!

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Rich W.
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Posts: 208
Joined: Tue. Nov. 26, 2013 10:29 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Castings Vigilant Multi-Fuel (coal for me); Vermont Castings Vigilant 2310 in the shop
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: System 2000 Oil Burner; VC Resolute Woodstove (sold) Jotul 8 Woodstove (sold)
Location: Newport County, Rhode Island

Post Thu. Dec. 12, 2013 3:39 pm

VPB...

Thank you for the reply; I'm sure that you can tell that I'm trying to ramp up on the backs of those of you with experience! I didn't know that you could buy the little galvanized ash cans until I overpaid for a nifty black set up with an attached shovel (which I did not need). Then when I started thinking about the smoldering time frame I realized that I needed two: one to fill while the other is cooling. So now I have one of each. Your dust cloud management trick is useful...I'll try using the cover as you described. I've been shoveling the ash from the cans to the empty coal bags because they're heavy and on hand. I wish the opening were wider so that I could dump the can as you described. I've been double bagging the ashes because the coal bags have small holes in them from banging around with sharp pieces in them. The bagging method you described is exactly how I empty my shop vac. Again, I'll use your technique.

On another subject, since I last posted I tried to take the stove down to idle during a mild spell. After nearly losing the fire, two things came to mind. 1) next time I'll open a window and keep her burning, and 2) this spring I'd like to try your firebrick trick to make a narrow, smaller, but tall fire. Has this proved to be a good solution that you continue to recommend?

Thank you again!

Rich
Rich in RI

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Mizitman
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Joined: Thu. Jan. 16, 2014 9:17 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant 2310
Coal Size/Type: Nut

Post Fri. Jan. 17, 2014 1:15 am

Hello guys,
My name is Troy I'm from Wilmington, DE

Im new to the forum and new to wood/coal burning. Been going through the posts here and getting a lot of useful information. The wife and I recently bought a house in June that has a Vigilant 2310 in it our house is just shy of 2,000 sq ft. We have been burning wood in it so far this winter. Started burning around middle to end of Oct. We went through 2 1/2 cords of wood that brought us up to last weekend. So we were stuck with the decision to get more wood or give coal a try.

I talked to a local shop guy about the benefits of coal vs wood. So we decided we wanted to give coal a try instead of buying more wood. Since we could pick up a ton at the same price we would pay for 2 cords of hardwood it made the decision a little easier. So I picked up a ton on Saturday and started burning coal on Sunday I purchased Reading Nut Anthracite coal. I had no problems getting the coal fire going. I do however have a problem of it going out in the morning when I would try and get it setup for the wife to burn all day. I have had to restart it almost each day this week.

The first two days I thought it had something to do with my gaskets since I had a worn/torn gasket on the right door. I had been calling around the shops but no one carried the right sized gaskets. I did finally find them online and ordered them. They came in Tuesday. So I took the day off of work on Wed and I replaced the gaskets around both windows and both doors and around the griddle. I also replaced the latch pawl assembly on the right door since the old one was a little loose and wouldn't tighten properly.

I then got a fire going and got it loaded with coal. I definitely noticed a difference in the way the fire was after fixing the gaskets and making sure the front door was more secure. However in the morning I still had what I thought was a decent amount of red coals. When I tried to get the thing going again it basically went out on me again.

After reading through a lot of the post's here I found a few things I may have been doing wrong. I watched the 2 videos from Vigll and realized I was not putting in enough coal. I also noticed that I may have been messing with it to much opening the doors that it wasn't getting it's proper heat. I don't have anything handy that I can use that tells me the temp of the griddle. So I can't tell you what temp the stove is getting too.

If you could give me any pointers on what I should purchase to get the readings that would be great. Also I made sure to fill my stove more tonight up to the top of the firebricks. I will let you know how I make out tomorrow.

Also I found that the notch in the slicer makes it really handy to pull the Ashpan front (Plate under the fettle) off to get to the grates.

If there are any tips you could give me that would be great.

thanks,
Troy

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Rich W.
Member
Posts: 208
Joined: Tue. Nov. 26, 2013 10:29 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Castings Vigilant Multi-Fuel (coal for me); Vermont Castings Vigilant 2310 in the shop
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: System 2000 Oil Burner; VC Resolute Woodstove (sold) Jotul 8 Woodstove (sold)
Location: Newport County, Rhode Island

Post Fri. Jan. 17, 2014 7:04 am

Are you sure that your stove is a 2310? It sounds like your ash pan lifts out as mine does on my Multi-Fuel, rather than the swing out/lift out style on the 2310.
Rich in RI

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