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Trying to make a decision which stove VC Defiant or VC Vigilant both non cat

Post in 'Vermont Castings & CDW Dutchwest older Models' started by CSH, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. CSH

    CSH New Member

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    I picked up 2 used stoves for a recently and trying to decide which to install. One is a VC Defiant from roughly 1987 no model obvious but solid doors without glass. The Vigilant is a model 1977. I read some old threads and did a light test. The Defiant had 2 spots on either side probably 1/2" where light was visible the Vigilant had none. Both need gaskets. How bad is it to repair the areas light is visible with the Defiant?

    The chosen stove will be supplemental heat for a 2800 sq ft house. The stove will replace a very abused (previous owner of the house) Old Timer stove that has serious issues. There is an 8" stove pipe present. This stove is located in a full basement at the base of the stairs if it matters.

    On the Old Timer topic should I send this thing to the scrap yard? Or is it worth the effort to try and find someone that has the desire to repair it?

    Your input is requested. The fuel will likely be in the form of ecobricks or similar with some seasoned hardwood.

    Thanks in advance!

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  2. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    hi CSH
    with the area that you are trying to heat your best to run the defiant. the defiant is just slightly bigger. made for a little more square footage heating. it also takes a 24 inch log. if your 1987 is like my 1978 it's rated at 60,000 btu to the vigilant's 50,000 btu
  3. CSH

    CSH New Member

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    Thanks fbelec! Now how difficult is it to fix the leaks where I can see light? Is it pulling the sides off, cleaning old stove cement and adding new? I'm new at the wood stove repair game. And I'm sure it is much easier on paper.
    CSH
  4. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    throw me your email address and i'll send you the manual and rebuild papers. it's three pdf files.
  5. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    it's not hard. just dirty.
  6. CSH

    CSH New Member

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    Will do. I will send a private message once I find out where to do it. I'm not afraid of dirty. I'm more concerned with the weight.
  7. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    heaviest part of the stove is the top. if you can handle the top your allset
  8. CSH

    CSH New Member

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    I can handle the top. It's been slow since I had unplanned surgery on my dominate hand. Looking at some documentation on a few sites this may be a Defiant 2. Working on the top I discovered the griddle is removable?! There are two broken bolts I the groove that go to two pegs that hold it in place to a gasket I wasn't aware of. Should this move regularly and if so why? It's an oval maybe 14" long and 5" wide at the widest point.

    Obviously not for top loading...
    Thx!
  9. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    that is the cooktop. that heats faster than the rest of the stove. you do want that bolted down. i had a backpuff that blow the cook plate that you have there up and air born just enough for it to come down one side first and fell into the burning stove with my steamer. that cook plate on my stove does not come bolted down. i had to make something for it.
  10. CSH

    CSH New Member

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    Ah ok thanks! It appears much easier to put this in place before the top is on. Now to continue the wire brush routine as time permits.
    CSH
  11. CSH

    CSH New Member

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    I'm still working on my rebuild. In the rebuild manual it refers to metal screen. Is this a special type of screen? I haven't seen it sold where I sourced a few parts that needed replacement when I found a crack.

    Any advice? We didn't find any screen when we took this thing apart. It is also apparently a defiant II after looking at the baffle.

    Is the metal jacketed griddle gasket better than the type that goes in the doors? I bought a big roll so should have gaskets for the life of the stove. It just looks like a bad design on getting that griddle gasket changed every year or every other.

    Thanks!
  12. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    that griddle gasket is very tuff stuff. i think it is used because it will take heat better. that cook top gets hot quicker and hotter than the stove itself. when i had that problem with the cooktop falling in the stove the gasket fell in also. i couldn't find it in that bed of 6 inch coals. when the stove finally cooled down i found the gasket wiped it off and put it back in place. as far as the metal screen goes what i pulled out of my stove looked like regular metal screen and that is what i put in mine. so far so good. that secondary channel that the screen sits in is a very strange area. this last time around i used a bit to much cement in that area and it smudged itself and i had lumps of cement all over that channel. i seen that thru the air hole. i think they should have redesigned that channel with a pipe. i may try that idea the next time i have it apart. which should be this coming off season. my fireback is in 4 pieces. i managed to seal it up with 1 inch rope gasket some cement a metal plate and bolts. when i've done that screen in the past i have got it in place then stuck in a really long flat bladed screw driver and mashed it down in place.

    one more hint if you haven't got this far yet. in the corner where the secondary air inlet is and the rod that ties in the top. i always sealed that up. some of us were discussing that when the primary air flap would close it would smother the fire just enough to cool the secondary down and the stove would start back puffing when the secondary would try to light again. a few of us was talking about some how keeping the primary air flap from closing all the way. i used to prop a metal shovel to keep it open 3/8 to 1/2 inch and it would be fine. this time around i omitted some of the cement around the rod and left a hole between the primary and secondary air. if used as a updraft stove and the secondary air hole was closed it would not affect the stove but when used as downdraft it would let in just enough air for the secondary to work all the way thru a closed primary air hole. i've done alot of gasketing in my stove so that once it got a secondary going it would not smoke out the chimney.i found that the propped shovel was making the middle right side of the stove where the secondary fire is glow slightly and it just started to turn white. overfiring.

    hope i help:)

    frank
  13. CSH

    CSH New Member

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    I am still confused on the screen. Is this like what would be used on a window? I see aluminum screen but would think it would deteriorate at high temps pretty quickly. Is this fine screen or the larger where a pinky tip could get through?

    Sorry to be dense!
  14. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    no your not being dense. it is a strange set up. you must have seen a little when you took your stove apart? when i took mine apart i know it was the first time for it. the owner of the house had the stove installed and used it for the first 6 years and then it sat until i bought the house. my stove had what looked like typical metal window screen so that is what i used. if installed right it will be encased in furnace cement. it is shaped into a V pattern with the tops of the V having horizontal wings that will sit in the cement channels on the back wall of the stove and the fireback. i forgot to say that the screw driver i used to flatten out the cement and screen is very long and is inserted into the secondary air inlet. if done right you shouldn't have to do that step but i just wanted to make sure it all got a connection.

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