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.
User avatar
Wadhams Ironworks
New Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri. Apr. 01, 2011 7:38 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Vermont Castings
Stove/Furnace Model: Vigilant II

Post Sun. Jan. 22, 2012 12:42 am

Hey folks,
It's just a touch below zero (F) and I'm loving my 2310! I'm burning some Kimmel Nut and the VigilanII is begging me to let it run a touch over 700. I've burned everything from rice to stove coal in this stove (yes rice on top of 3" of pea in the fall will yield 18 to 20 hrs.) and I can say that the designers of this stove really got it right!

As the name, Vermont Castings implies, this stove is designed for the legendary new england winters! Some of the modifications I've seen on this sight make me cringe! The use of a full fire brick on the sides would probably work to tone down this stove, just like a restrictor plate does to the gasoline engines of NASCAR, for the milder winters south of the 40th parallel. Up here in the adirondacks, and places near, it just sends more BTUs up the chimney. The 60 seconds that it takes me to clear the ash from the fettle and the space near the triangle fire brick is a small inconvience compared to the benefit
(Read...BTUs) of having that extra 5 to 6# of coal in my stove. The glass windows of the vigilantII are what sold me on this stove. Try sitting in front of this stove when it's running at 650 or higher and you will know where most of the heat is transmitted from. The windows are an integral part of the design of this stove. Never mind the beautiful view of the fire they provide. The windows also provide valuable information as to what stage the fire is in (incomplete, free burn, decay). Blocking the window with some steel, ceramic, or any other obstruction not only voids the warranty but also compromises
the the operators ability to run the stove (much like like ice on a car's windshield or a banana in the tailpipe).
My point is that this is one of the best coal (base burning) stoves ever made! Until Vermont Castings makes a Defiant II, this will be my hand fired coal stove of choice! By the way I'm using this stove to heat 2500 sq. ft. of a 5000 sq. Ft. House, that's 92 years old (baloon framed, blown in, rockwool insulation). I ask alot from my stock Vigilant II but with the help of a little over 3 tons of coal, it never let's me down.

Visit Hitzer Stoves

User avatar
Poconoeagle
Member
Posts: 6403
Joined: Sat. Nov. 08, 2008 7:26 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Buckwalter & Co. , EFM520
Stove/Furnace Model: No. 28 Glenwood 1880, Alaska
Location: Tobyhanna PA

Post Sun. Jan. 22, 2012 1:54 am

welcome WI . good for you. my thought are if there isnt sufficient protection of the stove body from the intense heat of the coal fire, the life of the unit is compromised. thus the reason for the firebrick as most folks cant stay home and watch the stove 24/7. years past with "antique" stoves, there was always "Ma" or "Gramma" around to do the fiddling with the gizmo to keep the fire tamed in the belly of the beast....

then again there were the bucket brigade neighbors to save the foundation... 8-)
"Do it Right the First Time" dont leave it for the next guy, as YOU may be the Next guy!!

User avatar
Wadhams Ironworks
New Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri. Apr. 01, 2011 7:38 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Vermont Castings
Stove/Furnace Model: Vigilant II

Post Sun. Jan. 22, 2012 9:21 am

I Definitely think that the firebrick is an integral part of the Vigilant II stove. It comes with what we call "split" firebrick up here. Without it the stove can and will warp thus damaging the unit. I was just referring to using the full 2 1/2" thick firebrick instead. The larger brick would increase the thermal mass of the stove but at the expense of the maximum heat output the stove is designed to produce.

I'm really excited to try some Reading Pea today, as the temps are supposed to be "warming up" into the 30's. I'm not sure about the 13,000 BTUs/pound figure on most anthricite. I think those numbers better represent good WV bituminous which I have burned with great success in the Vigi II. I have a bunch on hand that I use in my forge but up here in the north country bituminous is more expensive than anthricite as the demand for it is low and is only used by hobbyist blacksmiths. I think that I paid $380/ton at Black Rock Coal (montpelier,vt) for the last ton that I bought. Bituminous is a bit (haha) more work but it really put out some heat in my Vigi II. After all the Vigi II is desidned to burn bituminous and is factory modified to burn anthricite.

User avatar
nortcan
Member
Posts: 3080
Joined: Sat. Feb. 20, 2010 3:32 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Stuart,Peterson/ Grander
Stove/Furnace Model: Sunnyside/ Golden Bride
Location: Qc Canada

Post Sun. Jan. 22, 2012 10:30 am

Welcome to the forum Wad.
Glad you enjoy your V2. The nice thing about this forum is that, If you want to put a banana in your tail pipe (like you said), nobody will hit you. :lol:
Last edited by nortcan on Sun. Jan. 22, 2012 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
nortcan
Member
Posts: 3080
Joined: Sat. Feb. 20, 2010 3:32 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Stuart,Peterson/ Grander
Stove/Furnace Model: Sunnyside/ Golden Bride
Location: Qc Canada

Post Sun. Jan. 22, 2012 10:59 am

Hi vmi1983.
In what part of France were you ""decades"" ago? Did you like that country and did you got time to visit?
For the French question, just try some words and you will see, it's like riding a bicycle, you never forget it :up: and you know it's not always easy for me to write in English but If I had the choice, the English would be my first one language. Here on the forum, peoples are very kind and never :lol: to my English.
Salutations et a la prochaine.

User avatar
Wadhams Ironworks
New Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri. Apr. 01, 2011 7:38 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Vermont Castings
Stove/Furnace Model: Vigilant II

Post Sun. Jan. 22, 2012 11:10 am

Thanks for the welcome! Judging by some of your posts Nortcan I gather that your house is super efficient and tight. What sort of chimney do you have? If it is a large masonry chimney that is not built to an exterior wall that would really explain the super efficiency of your system. I think that you are burning almost 1/3 of what I am AND you're about an & hour and a half north of me. WOW!

User avatar
nortcan
Member
Posts: 3080
Joined: Sat. Feb. 20, 2010 3:32 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Stuart,Peterson/ Grander
Stove/Furnace Model: Sunnyside/ Golden Bride
Location: Qc Canada

Post Sun. Jan. 22, 2012 11:27 am

Wadhams Ironworks wrote:Thanks for the welcome! Judging by some of your posts Nortcan I gather that your house is super efficient and tight. What sort of chimney do you have? If it is a large masonry chimney that is not built to an exterior wall that would really explain the super efficiency of your system. I think that you are burning almost 1/3 of what I am AND you're about an & hour and a half north of me. WOW!
I have an almost interior centered 6" StSt insulated chimney. And yes the house is like you descibed it. Plus I have a special warm/hot air remover system in the faux-foyer to send that warm air in the entire house. All that help and like I already said in a previous post, the cheaper BTU are the ones you don't use.
The priority when I built the house was not the look but the solidity and the insulation. When building a new house, these items are not a big problem and not much more expensive, but making an already built house more insulated and air tight is an other thing.

User avatar
VigIIPeaBurner
Site Moderator
Posts: 2293
Joined: Fri. Jan. 11, 2008 10:49 am
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 Sun. Jan. 22, 2012 11:41 am

Wadhams Ironworks wrote:Hey folks,
It's just a touch below zero (F) and I'm loving my 2310! I'm burning some Kimmel Nut and the VigilanII is begging me to let it run a touch over 700. ...>8--8<...I ask alot from my stock Vigilant II but with the help of a little over 3 tons of coal, it never let's me down.
Welcome aboard WI :) Really glad to hear that you're having a great time with the results you get out of the 2310. In the 'cold' weather we get in NW NJ, I like to run it flat out and with the right coal, it's not that difficult as you describe. I second your opinions about the glass doors. We have a glider positioned about 6' away from the front doors. That chair is were one warms their knees after an excursion out into the cold. Try working on loading the stove while standing in front of the doors and you'll be pulling your jeans away from your legs when you step back because of all the heat radiating through the glass :o They are a bit of trouble to keep clean of ash but I've found that a horse hair brush on the end of my Cougar Ash Vac will do the trick, just don't dawdle while the brush is in contact with the glass ;) My last nightly 'chore' is to walk into the stove room and check out how well lit the room is from the beautiful red glow coming from the 2310 :)

Good idea adding some rice on top of some pea for Springtime fire control. Doing something similar works for me too when there's plenty of draft available. I just use what is available at the bottom of the bin by spring: various fines and such sizes that remain from buying in bulk not bagged. I've found that I rarely have to shrink the size of the firebox by using brick to occupy the real estate where the coal would burn. I do use brick to cut down the size of the firebox by ~50%. For the short time I do use the bricks that way, it concentrates the draft (not restricting) the draft through a smaller deep bed of coal with fewer available BTUs to release. With spring weather diminishing chimney performance, what draft is available is pulling unrestrictedly thru the thick bed. Once the blue flames appear and the internal damper is closed, all of the heat exchange area that VC built into the 2310 is available to radiate the heat into the room. I can attest it certainly is not going up the chimney. It works well for those Springtime days when the night temps aren't lower than the high 40's and the daytime temperatures might bump up to 70. I do realize you were speaking to eliminating the triangle of firebrick on the ledge.

You can be sure about the 13,000 BTU/Lb for sources of anthracite coal that certify that figure. Not all do, but from empirical results I can say there is a marked difference between UAE (Superior when they were in their deep mines) and Reading. There are many different veins of anthracite, each with their own characteristics. We in the NEPA area are fortunate to have choices of anthracite - much like having a number of good wineries and micro breweries nearby ;) It's impossible to get bored when you're obsessed! Reading as a company has many sources and through the years I've used their products there is a lot of variability. I've never burn bituminous other than in an open fire. I've read that there are bit sources that yield upward of 14,000 BTU/Lb, mostly attributed to the available volatiles (hydrocarbons) that the extra geological forces haven't had the time to wrestle out of it.
3 Videos: Chavez can shov(el) it . . . & he's @ it full time now!

Visit Hitzer Stoves

User avatar
Wadhams Ironworks
New Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri. Apr. 01, 2011 7:38 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Vermont Castings
Stove/Furnace Model: Vigilant II

Post Sun. Jan. 22, 2012 12:02 pm

nortcan wrote:
Wadhams Ironworks wrote:Thanks for the welcome! Judging by some of your posts Nortcan I gather that your house is super efficient and tight. What sort of chimney do you have? If it is a large masonry chimney that is not built to an exterior wall that would really explain the super efficiency of your system. I think that you are burning almost 1/3 of what I am AND you're about an & hour and a half north of me. WOW!
I have an almost interior centered 6" StSt insulated chimney. And yes the house is like you descibed it. Plus I have a special warm/hot air remover system in the faux-foyer to send that warm air in the entire house. All that help and like I already said in a previous post, the cheaper BTU are the ones you don't use.
The priority when I built the house was not the look but the solidity and the insulation. When building a new house, these items are not a big problem and not much more expensive, but making an already built house more insulated and air tight is an other thing.
It sounds like you really got it figured out. The coal is part of a system. I have a friend in Vermont that recently built a house, roughly 2,500 sq. ft. That he heats with a soapstone woodstove, burning nothing but 2" x 12" limb wood from logging headers. Under his foundation he has a foundation that is about 12 feet deep layered with pipe (in the style of modern in floor heating systems) and. sand in 6" intervals. He also has 3 sections of 150' x 24" colvert that is his geothermal air system. You are totally right track trying to "get back" the btus we're not using.

Have you ever heard of a French coal stove company called Deville? I have one that was purchased up in Quebec somewhere and I was trying to get more info on it. It is a coal fired cook stove that holds
about 80# of coal. It's firebox is thin sheetmetal and HAS to have water in it to be fired...obiously it is a boiler style stove. I was told that it can run up to 9 radiators. Sorry if this is the wrong spot to ask this question but maybe you have heard of it up north.

User avatar
nortcan
Member
Posts: 3080
Joined: Sat. Feb. 20, 2010 3:32 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Stuart,Peterson/ Grander
Stove/Furnace Model: Sunnyside/ Golden Bride
Location: Qc Canada

Post Sun. Jan. 22, 2012 1:19 pm

Wadhams, I know the name but don't about the stove itself. I saw one years ago in Montréal but can't remember of it. Maybe Franco could get the good answers or someone else.
Do you have some photos from that stove?

User avatar
Wadhams Ironworks
New Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri. Apr. 01, 2011 7:38 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Vermont Castings
Stove/Furnace Model: Vigilant II

Post Sun. Jan. 22, 2012 1:43 pm

Nortcan, I will try posting some pics later today. It is promising that someone else has at least seen one!
Vigipeapburner, I think that I had maximum heat output in mind when I made those comments. I do agree that the smaller springtime box makes for hotter fires and improved draft when the temperature differential is not optimal for coal burning. I hear great things about UAE. I'm thing about getting into the coal biz this spring. 2 20+ton loads (one pea and one nut) I just have to check with the local pemitting (town) to see if my concrete bin desigin classifies as a "permanent structure". UAE seems to be a safe bet for getting some high quality anthricite. Do you know what last aprils price was at the breaker? Just curious. I imagine that they have some sort of analysis documentation whereas other breakers are purchasing from multiple surface mines. That deep stuff is gold!

franco b
Site Moderator
Posts: 8443
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 Sun. Jan. 22, 2012 1:46 pm

Any boiler that relies on heat transfer from the fire box is a poor design. In burning any solid fuel the aim should be to burn the fuel as efficiently as possible, and that means keeping the heat in the burning mass, and then absorb that heat in an area separate from the combustion chamber or fire box. By sucking the heat out while trying to burn the fuel results in uneven burning in those areas contacting water bearing surfaces. To get any kind of complete burn it has to be run very hot to compensate for the heat loss from the fire pot, so some areas will get too much air while other areas starve.

An ideal stove or boiler should have as little as possible heat loss from the fire pot, at least from the sides. How well this works is illustrated by Nortcan's modifications and also by the thread on Rocket mass stoves.

User avatar
VigIIPeaBurner
Site Moderator
Posts: 2293
Joined: Fri. Jan. 11, 2008 10:49 am
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 Sun. Jan. 22, 2012 3:18 pm

Wadhams Ironworks wrote:...8<...UAE seems to be a safe bet for getting some high quality anthricite. Do you know what last aprils price was at the breaker? Just curious. I imagine that they have some sort of analysis documentation whereas other breakers are purchasing from multiple surface mines. That deep stuff is gold!
Their price is steady through the year. Currently it's @ $165/ton picked up at the mine.

Washams - I sent you a PM. Check the upper left and you should have a 1 for "New Messages"
3 Videos: Chavez can shov(el) it . . . & he's @ it full time now!

User avatar
Wadhams Ironworks
New Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri. Apr. 01, 2011 7:38 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Vermont Castings
Stove/Furnace Model: Vigilant II

Post Sun. Jan. 22, 2012 9:50 pm

Testing the pic posting waters...Here's the Deville cookstove boiler. Closer inspection makes me believe that water does not surround the entire firebox.
Attachments
2012-01-22_20-13-10_71.jpg
Deville stove/boiler

User avatar
Wadhams Ironworks
New Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri. Apr. 01, 2011 7:38 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Vermont Castings
Stove/Furnace Model: Vigilant II

Post Sun. Jan. 22, 2012 10:16 pm

I was told by the person I got this from to NEVER fire this without water. I think the claims of 9 radiatiors are far fetched. Maybe a hot water sidearm into a holding tank. My apoligies for messing up this thread. Maybe it could be redirected to it's proper place?!? I appreciate any and all help.
[
2012-01-22_20-11-56_106.jpg
2012-01-22_20-08-57_829.jpg
attachment=2]2012-01-22_20-10-09_203.jpg[/attachment]
Attachments
2012-01-22_20-10-09_203.jpg

Visit Hitzer Stoves

Post Reply

Return to “Hand Fired Coal Stoves & Furnaces Using Anthracite”