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Vigilant, Coal to Wood ?'s

Post in 'Vermont Castings & CDW Dutchwest older Models' started by bond893, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. bond893

    bond893 New Member

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    Hi Everyone,
    I recently moved and the is an older, 70's-80's i think, Vigilant in our finished basement. The previous owner burned coal and swore by it, but we have no interest and would love to just burn wood. I know there was a conversion kit which I'm guessing is no longer available and they have you remove all the grates etc.

    After reading everything I can here, which is a lot, I went ahead and just fired it up with some logs with the grates still installed and seem to being going ok. I understand the firebox isn't as big and the wood will probably burn faster without sitting in a bed of ash, but are there any real problems with operating like this?

    I have had no problems keeping the griddle at 600-700 f and have had had it higher, 900 which scared me a bit, but its doing a great job heating.

    Any suggestions/advice? Should I remove the grates? Don't have the cash to replace so I'd love to make the best of it.

    I appreciate any and all help, thanks.

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  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Not a big problem burning like that, but removal of the grates will give you a vastly bigger firebox. If you can find a set of the coal grate instructions, that may help to see if you have to fudge anything once you remove them.....to put it back to near stock.
  3. defiant3

    defiant3 Feeling the Heat

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    Does it have the 3 rocking type grates or many horizontally-opposed grates?
    webbie likes this.
  4. bond893

    bond893 New Member

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    It has the 3 rocking type grates.

    I have the manual, and understand how to disassemble it all. What then? From what I gather from here, an inch of sand in the bottom?
  5. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, there are some manuals in the wiki, etc. for the old VC stoves......

    The 3 rockers is the old one.....so, yeah, remove it all.
  6. defiant3

    defiant3 Feeling the Heat

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    The only other thing is the primary air tube, which if memory serves was removed to install the coal kit. Woodmanspartsplus.com has them.
  7. dlj

    dlj New Member

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    It doesn't say anything about either removing or installing the primary air tube on this older model stove in my manual. You do want the left and right inserts and the ash fettle however to change the stove back to wood from coal. You can easily run the stove with the coal set-up, you just won't have the same amount of space to put in wood so your burn times will be shorter. You should be able to control the fire though without much problem even with the coal grates and sides in place. You'll need smaller wood pieces. They do work better for wood set-up for wood. Personally, I'd burn coal in it as it's already set-up for it. but that's up to you...

    dj
  8. defiant3

    defiant3 Feeling the Heat

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    Um, yeah so maybe you're thinking Resolute? Cause Vig.'s don't have left and right inserts? Or did I miss something?
  9. dlj

    dlj New Member

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    I have that vintage Resolute - the manual that came with it included the Resolute, Vigilant, and Defiant. In the manual it shows all the conversion parts for these stoves - as I don't have the larger two, I can't say for certain if in fact they have the parts mentioned. But I must ask - how would you put the three grate system into the larger two if they don't have the points of support for the coal grates and the space to run the shaker?

    dj
  10. defiant3

    defiant3 Feeling the Heat

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    Well the Defiant never had a coal kit available. The Vig. did, and all the supports ar3e built into the coal parts themselves. Hard to explain, but it works. Don't all Vig. fronts have a shaker hole? Earliest ones may not, in which case just drill it I guess. I've never come up against that!

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