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Vermont Castings Vigilant reseal project

Post in 'Vermont Castings & CDW Dutchwest older Models' started by AllenF, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. AllenF

    AllenF New Member

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    I've got this stove completely apart (had some leaks at joints around top piece). I want to reseal it and clean it up and paint it. Any suggestions? Particularly, are all furnace cements about the same or are some superior? Are all water base or are some oil base? Also, regarding paint - any recommendation as to what's best? Has a crack most of the way across fireback (piece with 1977 cast in it). I used a couple of short pieces of 1/4 x 1 flat bar with two 1/4" bolts apiece to bridge across crack in two spots. I don't suppose the minute amount of air leakage through that crack will affect anything. Am I right? Oh, also I would think the furnace cement in a tube (for caulking gun) would be the best to use, correct? Thanks.

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  2. defiant3

    defiant3 Feeling the Heat

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    Hey kudos for taking this on, man! Listen I rebuild these for a living and have for 20 plus years. I like Rutland products, and no I don't like own stock in the company or anything, it just works. I haven't uused anything else in a while now. Rutland paint, Rutland furnace cement in caulking tubes, yer good.

    The problem you'll have with the fireback is not gas leakage. The damper sits right on top of it and as firebacks crack ,warp, and otherwise get misshapen, they pinch the damper especially when they've gotten hot and expanded. People will complain that their dampers weon't close when the stove is hot or sometimes pop themselves open after the stove reaches full temp. or other weirdness. Do it right and REPLACE the fireback now and don't think about it again for many long years to come. This rebuiling stuff is a barrel of laughs to be sure, but do you really wanna do it again next year?

    Happy heating!!!
  3. AllenF

    AllenF New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. Regarding replacement of the fireback, are parts available and, if so, from Vermont Castings or elsewhere? Also, I think I heard that there's a one piece and a two piece fireback. I guess mine would be called two piece since it's a separate piece from the back wall of the stove. I hope that makes sense. Thanks again - much appreciated.
  4. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    Vermont Castings does not make the one piece fireback anymore. As Defiant3 can attest, I just replaced my Vigilant and it had a cracked fireback (beginning at the reburn chamber and moving west across the fireback). the two piece fireback comes in a kit, and if I remember correctly you will also have to replace the two sides, but I could be wrong. The new sides come as part of the kit.

    As for the cement, I agree with Rutland products. They are pretty reliable and yes, I would recommend the tubes for the caulking guns. You get better control during application. Be certain not to use too much cement in the joints, and have a damp cloth ready for cleanup.

    As for putting it all back together, do you have the rebuild manual? I think I still have a copy I could forward to you.
    Have fun with the process.
  5. AllenF

    AllenF New Member

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    Thanks for the info. No, I don't have rebuild manual - if you can forward that to me that would be great. So you think my idea of two "splints" bolted across crack near left and right ends is not a good idea, right? The crack starts at top left corner of outlet hole (lower right) and then proceeds uphill towards the left to bottom edge of recessed rectangle. It then follows that bottom edge to the left corner of rectangle then goes downhill to the left about halfway to the left edge.
  6. AllenF

    AllenF New Member

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    By the way, my fireback is a one piece - not two. Just looked at parts prices and got shocked. What's your opinion about welding these? I know welding cast is no picnic and must be done carefully (preheating, peening, etc.).
  7. defiant3

    defiant3 Feeling the Heat

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    Won't solve the problem of damper pinch caused by the warping that goes with the cracking. Sorry. Still, compared to the cost of a new stove...
  8. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    What kind of pricing did you see? I saw around $350-$380 when I was doing my research.
  9. AllenF

    AllenF New Member

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    I found a fireback kit for $392. To buy just the two-piece fireback, the price was about $250. But I think, from what I've heard, that I would have to replace at least the two sides also if I went from one-piece to two-piece.
  10. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    That is the easiest way to do it as the new sides are slotted to fit the two piece fireback.

    I guess you are in the position I was in a few months ago (minus the creosote buildup in the chimney) of either spend the money on the rebuild OR bite the bullet on a new stove.

    Good luck with that decision :)
  11. AllenF

    AllenF New Member

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    So are you saying that it is possible to replace a one-piece fireback with a two-piece without replacing the sides? If so, what is entailed in doing so? Does some grinding have to be done, etc.?
  12. defiant3

    defiant3 Feeling the Heat

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    I've done it and it means a bunch of grinding, mostly so the new upper can swing into mplace and the damper retainere can do its thing. Still, I'd go with the kit. Ther's enough to think about w/o that and for the extra $ you'll only have to do it once. Plus the 3 boxes that make up the kit have the tie rods and cement and paint. The savings mmay not be as it appears. Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  13. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    +1
  14. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I am a Vigilant owner. Great stove, but if you are going to be spending nearly $400 on parts and/or welding you might want to think about putting the dear boy out to pasture. For a few hundred more you could grab an Englander 30 or a nice used stove.
  15. defiant3

    defiant3 Feeling the Heat

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    True. The Englander isn't top loading, and a rebuilt Vig w/new guts beats a used one that may develop "issues" though. Just some thoughts, really when you get much over 4-500 bucks it IS time to look at all options.

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