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  1. Heaterhunter

    Heaterhunter Member

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    I recently bought a VC Vigilant off CL. It is in great shape with minor surface rust. Started cleaning it up last night with the intention of painting it with flat black high temp but after looking at the results of the wire wheel I don't want to paint it now. Is that a bad decision? My VC Resolute doesn't have any paint on it and the cast still looks great. A friend of mine with a VC puts a coat of paint on every spring to cover up any hot spots that effected the paint job... Don't want to make more work for myself by painting but want to make the stove last as long as I can. Thanks in advance for any advice.

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  2. pen

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

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    Being cast iron, if you want you could use stove polish on it instead of paint. Hardware stores as well as stove shops carry it.

    Or, if you really want to try and go for he gold, season it as if it were a cast iron frying pan. In my experience, I prefer using Original Crisco or Lard for the task.

    pen
  3. Bone1099

    Bone1099 Member

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    Im thinking polish would give it a nice lustre. Not to mention that if you season it with crisco or lard you will have to stop at least three times to eat something and ultimately it will take all day and youll gain three pounds.
  4. pen

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

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    I can see that! Hope it comes out well.

    pen
  5. Heaterhunter

    Heaterhunter Member

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    Thanks for the input. I'm still wondering if it is bad to leave the cast completely untreated. I know it's not good for a cast iron pan unless you don't plan on cooking with it but what about this stove. Does it matter? It's not a basement stove. The room it sits in is dry and the basement underneath this room is dry. Will I still get rust in the summer when humidity is high if the stove goes untreated?
  6. geoxman

    geoxman Feeling the Heat

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    If it is left untreated it will rust. I seasoned mine with animal fat for a few days outside and it still looks great. I am not a fan of chemical's. good luck
  7. Heaterhunter

    Heaterhunter Member

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    10-4. Thanks.
  8. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    I left mine un-painted/treated. If I was going to do anything I would treat with crisco like I do all my pans but as far as leaving untreated you certainly will not hurt it. The inside has no treatment other than a lot of heat so it it is that humid the stove is going to rust from the inside - out.

    I just like the look after I hit it with the wire wheel. I will suggest if you plan to paint or treat with fat to do it outside and burn it real well with a short stove stack to get temps up high enough to set whatever you put on it well. If you do it indoors you will be dealing with a lot of burn off and stink.

    Treating with crisco would look the nicest(compared to paint) IMO

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  9. Heaterhunter

    Heaterhunter Member

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    Sounds good. Maybe some Pam from a spray can?
  10. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Try the stove pollish. It is made for that purpose and works well.
  11. Heaterhunter

    Heaterhunter Member

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    BobUrban, love the looks of the VC. I'll try and decide which way to go. I really don't have time to season the stove outside, wife is taking kids away for weekend so I can install. It would be bad if she pulled in the yard on Sunday and I had it out in the driveway burning with a tin of crisco next to it %-P
  12. pen

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

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    Can't tell you how many pics this site has seen of just what you described!

    I'd personally be doing it in the driveway and having a few coctails as I watched it burn in. That's just the kind of classy guy I am :lol:

    I should add however that my wife is a saint. Were she to walk upon this circumstance without warning, she'd have no clue what was going on but be considerate enough to ask if I had enough crisco to keep doing whatever the hell it is I'm doing.

    pen
  13. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    I am sure stove polish works great but it is also chemical so it will not only stink but possibly be toxic. I like the old school crisco method and raw steel will take it just like cast only the finish lasts better with cast. I use it on the firebox for my offset hog cooker because no paint lasts on there and it makes a nice, hard, shiny finish when cured hot.

    Here is a pick of the trivet I have on my stove to set my cast water pot on. It has been finished with one coat of olive oil. With two or three coats it would look, feel and perform like teflon. I did this to stop it from rusting if water spills or boils over. If you do it in doors the oil will stink but more like you are cooking. If you are patient and do not want to get it all lubed up at onece you can probably get it done with minimal repercusions in the house. Start on top because this will give you a better feel for how the crisco will react and save you the headache of it dripping all over. It will become hot liquid almost instantly depending on how much you flop on there. Think of it like a dollup of butter or back grease on the skillet you are going to cook pancakes on. It is exactly the same thing and actually both will work as well as crisco - just that crisco is a little cleaner typically. Iwouls start with a real small area to see how this will work "in house" and go from there. Don't worry about two toning as it will all even out - even if you do a little everyday over time. Get the stove hot and use gloves and an old cotton towel you do not care gets ruined. Dab it in the crisco and rub it on, smoothing and spreading out the liquid. It may take a couple coats to get the effect you want but let the fist soak in before adding more to the same area. Finished product will be hard shiny black and should last quite a while. The steel will actually soak it up and it becomes rather permanent although an over fire will burn some off just like paint.

    I have done a lot of this with pan and my outside stove with great results.

    Have fans and windows ready if it becomes a smoker and turn off alarms until you have a handle on how much is enough/too much at a time.

    By the way - spray Pam works but is really messy and has junk in it that doesn't seem to look as nice. I have used it on my outside stuff because it is so easy but I do not at all recommend for in house work. JMO

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  14. Heaterhunter

    Heaterhunter Member

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    Good looking trivet. Like the looks of the top of the Defiant even more! Too much stove for me. The vigilant will be a little much but the family is quite happy about the extra heat. I didn't paint, just wirebrushed the stove and plan on doing the olive oil/crisco. I tried a little Pam on the top of the stove just to see how it reacts. I'll try the olive oil next. I certainly could smell it but like you mentioned, it smells like I'm cooking. Not bad at all. Thanks for all the advice. Here's a pic of the new install.

    Attached Files:

  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It cleaned up nicely and looks very nice.

    Will you be enlarging the hearth? As it is, the hearth is seriously undersized, providing inadequate protection. In the manual, VC recommends 12" beyond the non-door, stove side and 18" of hearth in front of both the side and front loading doors.
  16. Heaterhunter

    Heaterhunter Member

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    Yes I do have to add to the hearth.
  17. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    No matter what you use, when it's heated and "seasoned" it's difficult to impossible to go back to paint ! Stove black (polish) was made for cast, and has waxes and pigments to keep it black. The legs aren't going to get hot enough to darken and season the same as the hot surfaces. Extreme hot spots will burn off and not be consistant as well. Legs will stay sticky, and if you have animals, they will collect hair big time. (I had to due to cat hair) You can always wipe it off with the new inflamable mineral spirits warm, and stove black it cold. Once dry it polishes to a sheen. It's not as bad as the smell of curing paint and may need touch up from time to time, but lasts much longer than lard. It leaves the original cast iron texture visable and doesn't fill in intricate details like paint. Lard was normally for the cook top surface since it can be put on warm as it wears off the top. It was also for the machined surface that polish won't stick to.
    Cookstoves were routinely shut down Sundays for "stove black day" and fired for the rest of the week. Monday was wash day and the railroad was required to run "clean stacks". Washing machines and paint put an end to this misery!
    Here's polish on cast so it doen't fill in the surface detail; You can rub it down to look like almost bare cast, but it's protected.

    Attached Files:

  18. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    Here is varying amounts of stove polish to preserve a Griswold damper collection. I find it's best for the detail and shows if any are pitted from use. Most of these are new. I carry them to antique engine shows in rifle cases. You can see by dry polishing how shiny or dull you can control the finish on the picture of the dark 5 1/2" compared to 3 inch with wood handle. Far superior to seasoning them on the stove top. These have even seen rain and snow while on display. I keep WD-40 on the handle and polish the damper.

    Attached Files:

  19. Heaterhunter

    Heaterhunter Member

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    Wow, beautiful dampers. Polish looks great. So many opinions now I'm really confused(not a surprise). I better pour a cocktail and think about all this.
  20. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    HH - stove looks great. I too suggest a larger footprint for your hearth for safety reasons. I offset my stove/heart to give more room on the loading door side for just that reason. I would weld the front door shut it if wasn't so convenient for cleaning. Never use it otherwise. My plan is to complete the hearth to the walls on both sides - about 4' and add some inside walls of brick to have the stove set in between them. I will also extend the center out another 10" or so on an arch after I decide on which stove I will be upgrading too. Any stove I get will be front loading and the side walls will provide safe, clean wood storage on both sides of the stove. I have access to an unlimited supply of those 100+ year old pavers.

    Hope that all makes sense.

    Trivet came from a cast iron scrounge - I am a cast pot/pan whore and love to gather them on the cheap when I get the chance.
  21. valley ranch

    valley ranch Feeling the Heat

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    This all sounds good. I think a cup of coffee is in order....or a large brandy!


    That's not what I ment to say. Just after I paint a stove it looks great, more so to people who are not around wood stoves alot.
    Little by little a working stove looks like a working stove. Painting, polishing or seasoning once a year will keep a stove looking very nice, it seem I don't get to it that often, darn.

    I like seasoning, even paint, recently I just tried polish on a stove down at the other place, I like that too. Just wish I could get to it sooner, I usually wait until it has to be done. But when it's done it looks like a Christmas present.
  22. geoxman

    geoxman Feeling the Heat

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    I understand the ease of polish but the chemicals scare me. These are two I googled a while back

    http://www.imperialgroup.ca/userfiles/file/KK0059 Stove Polish Paste Black.pdf

    and Rutland even states it is hazardous by OSHA standards and they wont even give a percent which seems odd on an MSDS, which is a very basic list of hazards.

    http://www.rutland.com/back/msds/document_50.pdf

    I try to live my life 100% chemical free in eating and drinking and I was concerned with the leaching over time with high temps. People have seasoned cast iron for centuries with oil

    This was my first year with a cast stove, all others have been enameled, so I dug around. As long as you do enough coats of animal/vegetable oil and hot enough it will not be tacky so there will be no worries of pet hair. I cured my legs in the oven.

    It is not as even looking as paint or polish, some grey areas and some black, but my mind is at ease. I will re season the entire stove in the spring but in the meantime a light coat of bacon grease every month do the job...and smells great, just open the windows!
    Your stove looks great and like others have stated extend the hearth. good luck

    Great collection Coaly! I have a ton Griswold and Wagner cookware, other than my All-clad and Le Creuset it is all I use
  23. valley ranch

    valley ranch Feeling the Heat

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    I have to agree we only get on set of lungs and liver and if you lose one you've lost the other.

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