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  1. Coop0102

    Coop0102 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
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    Loc:
    Boston
    Ive spent some time reading the forums and think i have a handle of running my first wood stove this season. I would like to run this by all of you to see if anything looks out of whack.
    This is for using my 77 VC Vigilant
    -Ensure 2 inches of sand or ash is coating the bottom of the stove
    -The Air hole on the side should be left open when burning wood.
    -The rear flap should be opened when starting the fire and then left to regulate its self.
    -Twice a day (morning and night) run the stove in updraft burn around 500 degrees (stove top) for 30-40 minutes. This readies the stove for the days use and burns out any creosote buildup.
    -Should also use the stove for late fall early spring in updraft mode as the draft may not be able to sustain a side draft burn.
    -During colder months run the stove in updraft till 500 degrees stove top temp is met then you can load it up and switch over to side draft.
    -When adding wood to a side draft burn, be sure to open the damper a few min prior to clear out any smoke.
    -Once a week, using a shop vac, blow into the side air intake to blow out any ash build up.
    -Also remove ash when needed as it gets close to the rear air holes.
    -Check chimney 3-4 times throughout the season to ensure all is well.

    If there is anything else I missed, or if anything looks wrong please let me know.

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  2. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Sure as hell don't sound like a newbie. You certainly did your research! Well done.

    My only suggestion is be careful with the 2x per day hot burns. Some people believe that so long as they burn hot 2x per day, they can burn as cool / smokey as they want in between; this philosophy is not correct. My advice is to burn each fire hot. If you are afraid the stove will put out too much heat then load it with less wood, more frequently. The biggest problems these old stoves had was when they were loaded to the gills then turned way down to smoulder for 12 hours. Smaller, hotter fires are better than larger, longer, cooler ones in terms of preventing major creosote production.

    If the wood you plan on burning is well seasoned (cut /split / stacked) for 1 to 2 years depending on species, and your chimney is safe as are your clearances to combustibles on the stove, and the seals on that stove are up to par, then you are well on your way.

    Welcome, and I look forward to hearing updates as you start playing around.

    pen
  3. Coop0102

    Coop0102 New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Boston
    Many thanks for the feedback.

    Whats the recommended burn temp when burning side draft?
  4. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Here is a good range for most stove tops during the active parts of the fire. Once the wood starts breaking down, then the temps can fall off for hours and hours and it's just fine.

    [​IMG]

    To help keep an eye on both ends of things here is a decent range for temps ~ 18 up from the top of the stove on single wall stove pipe

    [​IMG]

    I'm not trying to persuade you to buy these thermometers (I have no stake in condar) but I do tend to agree with their scale more than other thermometers on the market.

    You could buy in IR temp gun if interested and just keep these scales in mind and then check the temp of the stove all over instantly, check the pipe, the frying pan before searing scallops, the cat, etc.

    You can also simply make some pretty good observations on how you are burning by simply walking outside and looking at what is coming out of the chimney. Little to no smoke during active burning is what the goal is. You'll always get some on a reload.

    pen
  5. Coop0102

    Coop0102 New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Boston
    Awesome man many thx.

    Im reading alot of these magnetic thermos are pretty inaccurate. Any suggestions on an IR Gun?
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    South Puget Sound, WA
    You definitely have a better understanding of the procedure than a lot of newbies. One correction:

    "-The rear flap should be opened when starting the fire and then left to regulate its self."

    Keep the flap open for starting the fire. Once the stove is burning well in bypass mode, the control gets set to just close the damper when the desired room temperature is achieved. The flap is attached to a thermostatic coil so you want it to self-regulate according to room temperature.
  7. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    I'd buy an IR gun that is rated for 900+ degrees, falls within your price range, and has a good rating on amazon.com

    I have this one which I am mostly happy with (especially for the price) http://www.amazon.com/IRT0421-Non-C...9Q9C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315365492&sr=8-1 My only complaint is that it goes completely stupid if I try and use it on a very bright/shiny surface like polished aluminum or polished stainless. Otherwise I trust it. I think BG has a better higher end IR thermometer. Maybe he'll share what it is.

    pen
  8. Coop0102

    Coop0102 New Member

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  9. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Start playing with it and let us know how you think it works in the gear forum.

    The price is certainly affordable.

    pen
  10. Coop0102

    Coop0102 New Member

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    Loc:
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    Will do, should be in sometime next week..
  11. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

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    I have this IR gun and am happy with it. Check against known temps it seems fairly accurate.
  12. Coop0102

    Coop0102 New Member

    Joined:
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    Awesome, glad to hear it. When check stove temp u just shoot it at the top, and pipe temps about 18in up from the stove?
  13. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    That's the beauty of an IR, you can shoot any damn thing you want!

    The temps I left you are for specified areas. Yes, I'll admit, I've crawled on the roof, taken the cap off, and taken shots w/ the "gun" inside. I may be sick to the extent of curiosity killing the cat but it's all a part of learning process.

    At the end of the day however, a single reading outside of what I left you doesn't mean a whole lot. What is important is what you are finding/seeing coming from and building up in that chimney.

    pen
  14. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

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    Thanks Pen, now I have some company. My wife now thinks you are crazy too!
    I have always thought that the actual temperature readings aren't as important as what they correlate to when running your stove, with your setup, in your situation.
  15. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    I might also suggest getting the stove hotter than 500 before shutting it down. I used to get mine to 600-650 without any issues.

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