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Q&A Convert Vermont Castings to Coal Stove?

Post in 'Questions and Answers' started by QandA, Jan 15, 2003.

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  1. QandA

    QandA New Member Staff Member

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    Question:

    Anyone rememeber Vermont Castings' old Vigilant coal and wood burner?? They used to market it in the seventies and even, into the early eighties, I think....could be wrong, tho. Anyway, I'd appreciate some details about what features it had that permitted it to use both fuels...obviously, it must have had a shaker, but did it require a 'basket' to suspend the coal off the stove bottom, or did it have an air feed from the bottom?? I recall that Hearthstone used to have an optional kit that enabled the H-II to burn coal...the H-II's air supply was, indeed, from beneath the fuel via the the ashpan, and hence, IMHO, somewhat already adaptable to burning coal.



    Answer:

    There were actually three versions of the coal option. The first set up was a coal "kit" to retrofit the wood version. It consisted of 3 rotating bottom grates surounded by 4 other grate pieces to form a basket design to hold the coal in. It also had a hopper that would fit inside of the top griddle plate that had a cover and a small door that was hooked in to the bottom of the griddle so when you lifted the griddle the hopper door would lift as well so you could load the coal in. The funny thing about that piece was that you had to have the chain positioned just right or when you lifted the griddle, the whole door assembly would lift up as well. There were various adjustments to that kit such as a special gasket that was added to the front grate to seal bypass air coming up along the front doors. All of the side grates had to be cemented in to "seal" the basket from any bypass air. It wasn't a very good design. The bottom grates had welded arms on them that would hook to a linkage which was hooked to the arm that came through the front of the stove to shake the grates back and forth to let the ash into the pan below. The hole would get elongated, the arm would wear thin, and the nickle plated curved shaker handle would break it's tip.


    The pre warning of the upcoming EPA regulations led to VC's newer design, The Vigilant Multi Fuel which could burn both wood and coal in the same system. This was a good improvement for coal burning but was lousy for wood. Because of all the grates and ashpan filled the same firebox size as the original Vig., it cut down the amount of space for the wood. This design consisted of 16 reciprocating grates(8 high and 8 low) and would shake from front to back. This design was also surrounded by firebrick and the hopper was an option. All of the coal components had cromium added to the casting to give it more strength under the higher temperatures. It had pretty much the same shaker linkage system. The fronts on both the wood and Multi-fuel stoves were pre-drilled for the shaker hole and there was a steel bushing added so it didn't wear as much. The connecting loop on the rod was twisted in a different direction and there was confusion sometimes when replacement parts would go out wrong and customers were using the wrong rod hook up because they looked so similar. This unit was later called the Vigilant Coal stove when the regulations took over.


    The newer design( and I think the current) is pretty much the same as the previous but the 16 grates were changed to allow more space in the coal basket. The grates had a bow to them that dropped down further for more space. I ran this stove for a while and besides the initial fire taking forever to start up as most coal stoves do, the ease of handling and the long burn times were great.


    ....Answered by Mike H. on the HearthNet Forum.....

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