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  1. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    Will get it's first feeding of the year this weekend. It's all decked out with new gaskets and a vacuumed out back chamber. Rockin' that 1977 technology.

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  2. littlalex

    littlalex Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Messages:
    108
    Loc:
    Hewitt, NJ
    Digging it -- doing first real burn with the same beast. This year much better prepared than last year when I did intermittent fires. This year will do all wood when it's freezing and lower.

    Wood all set, my knowledge much better from hanging here and my own screw-ups. Actually cleaned the stove for real this year and unlike last season getting horizontal burns and have more control of the old girl.

    Stove still too big for this space so I have a door cracked open and a small 9" fan on the floor kind of deflecting some of he blast from giving me an indoor sunburn.

    Enjoy the warmth, colder weather on the way.

    Littlalex
  3. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    1,459
    Loc:
    Southwest NH
    BB- as with women, I was very happy with the new stove until the old stove came around again (in your post) and I began thinking "Wow, she looks great, what was I thinking". Enjoy the old girl, I had many years of great warmth around the VC Defiant and Vigilant....and although I still sometimes second guess myself, I always come to the realization "Well, they took the other stove away, too late now".
  4. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Jul 22, 2008
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    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA

    Good to hear. Too much stove is always better than not enough. It makes eating ice cream in January more comfortable. The horizontal burns will give you a longer burn time and you should use less wood.
  5. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
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    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA

    This will probably be the fourth and last year with the Vigilant. So, I'll have the same second guessing as you did next year when I'm getting ready to start up with the new stove.
  6. littlalex

    littlalex Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Messages:
    108
    Loc:
    Hewitt, NJ
    Aah - It's good to have stove comrades. I have already noticed the decreased wood use after one day.

    Littlalex
  7. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    3,732
    Loc:
    Just Outside the Blue Line
    Just fired mine up for the first time last week. I got real sad because I wanted one of these beauties for about 30 years and only finaly one in near-mint condition just two years ago. I'm sad because I already agreed to sell it to the landlord when we leave here. Some cow hand is not only getting my house, he also gets to use my gal to stay warm at night. I meant the Vig, not Lady BK. :shut:

    I have her dialed in good by now. Even with the poor natural draft this time of year, I get that flue temp up to 600º in no time and she draws real nice and throws out some serious heat with that 12 month-old black birch. Let her run for about half an hour with the bypass open, fill her up, char the load for about 10 minutes and shut her down and she goes right into secondary mode, with flue temps stable in the 400º range.

    I'll eventually discover the joys of a cleaner and more efficient stove, but these things were the best to be had in their day. Burn 'em hot and they burn smoke-free, and the heat? Well, all I can say is we've never been warmer in the last 21 years than we've been in the two years we've had this stove.
  8. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA

    The Heat really is something. The Encore actually comes close to the same feeling. You know the feeling when you are close to the Vigilant, maybe eye level with it, and you need to squint due to all the heat that the stove is throwing at you? Yeah, I got that from the Encore last night.

    I've always wondered what the Old Defiant felt like and operated.

    Also, it's kind of weird using the Vigilant less this year. The previous three years it was the first stove to be lit. Now it's the last.
  9. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    1,603
    Loc:
    Texas- West of Houston
    BrowningBAR, did you also replace the gasket in the back where that 45 degree angle connector fits to the back of the stove? That connector is oval shaped on top. I need to replace the gasket where that piece fits against the back of the stove. Not sure what size gasket I need.
    I only noticed it last winter with a fire raging in a pitch dark room and I could see light coming out there.

    Thanks!
    Ken
  10. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
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    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA

    I did replace it, but I can't tell you the size due to all the gaskets I had around here working on the Encore and the Vigilant at the same time. I'm pretty sure I used 3/8.

    And light shining through that connector really does need to be replaced. Mine was pretty shot, but it still provided a tight fit.
  11. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    Jan 10, 2010
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    1,603
    Loc:
    Texas- West of Houston
    I'm not sure there is any gasket material at all in there anymore. Other than the griddle gasket that I replaced last year, I doubt there has ever been any gaskets or caulking replaced since it was new in 1985. We've only been here about five years.
  12. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
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    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA

    You should get a flashlight into the firebox and see if any light shines through. If it does, break out the furnace cement. Also, while you have the flue collar off, get a shop-vac hose down the back chamber and suck out all the ash build up (you'll need to close the damper to reach the area).
  13. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
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    1,459
    Loc:
    Southwest NH
    I've always wondered what the Old Defiant felt like and operated.

    Well, permit me to tell you what it was like- as my father is still burning the one he had when I was living at home- it was HOT- DAMN HOT!

    The family room in the basement became my bedroom when my parents built their addition- and guess what came with it- the Defiant. I slept approximately 10' from that mighty beast and lost 10lbs of water weight each night :)

    Great, great heater that one was......and still is! I will have to post a pic next time I go home to visit.
  14. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
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    1,603
    Loc:
    Texas- West of Houston
    I've done the light leak test. The only leak is at the aforementioned 45 degree connector on back of the stove.
    The stove was professionally cleaned just prior to last burning season and I've kept it raked out with a sawed off yard stick, which fits perfectly back there through the back right opening (for horizontal burn.) However, I'd definitely clean it out once I had it opened up.

    Any particular tips on disconnecting from the flue?
  15. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    1,459
    Loc:
    Southwest NH
    Watch those screws, especially if you think they have never come out. They can be a bi---!

    Good luck!
  16. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
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    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA

    I would take Remkel's advice as it sounds like he's talking from experience. For me, the screws unscrewed easily. My setup is a top vent which meant I disconnected the flue collar, thenI disconnected the first section of single wall pipe, and removed the collar with pipe as one piece.
  17. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    1,459
    Loc:
    Southwest NH
    Yup, when I went to turn my collar from a rear discharge to a top discharge it took an impact drill to remove the screws. Creosot, some and some rust were the culprits hanging onto the collar.

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