Vermont Castings Original Defiant Question

Rosalyn

New Member
Jan 26, 2014
1
Minnesota
I have used and "collected" older vermont castings stoves since the mid-1970s. They are great! The Defiant I am currently using appears to be a Defiant I from the one piece fireback and baffle, but I am wondering if anyone knows the significance of the numerals 12345 embossed on the top of the stove near the thermostat. Just curious.
Rosalyn
 

SailBadtheSinner

New Member
Feb 12, 2014
1
New England
New member here. In 2013, we purchased house which included a Defiant I. With the help of this forum and a downloaded owner's manual, I have become more comfortable with each use. I am now burning in the horizontal mode which has impressed me with the heat output. Here are my questions:
1. I'm burning in the horizontal mode, and have reached a point where I want to add more firewood. What are the exact steps to go from the horizontal burn to vertical burn, and back to the horizontal burn?
2. Everywhere I've read has stated that the stove top temperature should be 500° before switching from a vertical burn to a horizontal burn, but I have been switching at about 400° and have not encountered any problems that I'm aware of. The stove top temperature, in most instances, will reach 600°-625° range in a short amount of time. I just have to learn how to use positioning the thermostat lever to hold the temperature to the mid 500° range. So what problems could I be causing by going to the horizontal burn at such a low temperature?

Thank you,
SBtS
 

72Rover

Member
Dec 29, 2011
54
East VA
I took your advice today and removed the stove pipe and iron plate (Bear to get out) to remove the ash that had accumulated behind the fire back. All was going well till metallic objects of some sort started plinking their way through the shop vac hose. Upon closer examination it seems to be semi metallic stove putty of some sort. I am guessing this is not supposed to happen under normal circumstances. Under the putty, which is now in pieces. there is what looks like screen door wire mesh material.

I have really opened up a can of worms or more likely my check book. HELP...Some of you old stove horses please clue me in to what I have uncovered in my ROUTINE cleaning and what I need to do now.

Also upon closer inspection I noticed a hairline crack running vertically up the fire back from top to bottom. If I remember right my father in law had his old original fire back replaced with the new and improved two piece fire back. My guess is that I am going to have to cart the stove in for an overhaul at the local wood stove shop.

Any and all input welcome.
Well, I'll wager you have uncovered something that I'm planning to do with my VC Resolute once the season is over. In another, concurrent thread, I was looking for a way to mend a gap between castings in the secondary burn passage. My best idea was to use refactory cement - the 'metalic' stuff you heard clinking in the vacuum - but with a "matrix" of fiberglass screen to keep it place 'til it cured. Someone else must've rebuilt it in the past and used that technique, which I thought I just 'invented'. The local VC dealer, plus a friend who owns a stove shop in the Charlottesville area, had never heard of such, but I guess someone else came up with the same solution to a similar problem.

Not using the secondary burn capabilities in your Defiant is like only driving is 2WD, even though 4WD low range is available. (And I drive a 42 year old Land-Rover with 16 forward speeds and 4 reverse....) When it's burning correctly, nothing but heat vapors exit the flue. If you get significantly less heat in secondary burn, the passages are likely partially blocked with fine ash.

I've never rebuilt my Resolute, but it's not rocket surgery. If you are reasonably adept about taking things apart and re-assembling them without any leftover and obviously unnecessary parts, then rebuild it yourself.

Cheers
 

BrotherBart

Modestorator
Staff member
What kind of help and what VC stove do you have?
 

Dugan848721

New Member
Mar 30, 2015
29
valatie ny
I have a 1977 vc vigilant parlor stove. I've been in this apartment for over a year, I run it great but I still have problems and questions, problems are I never get more then 4hrs before it.needs a.huge pile again. is that normal?
 

claydogg84

Minister of Fire
Sep 9, 2013
1,792
Salt Point, NY
Picture 1 is your secondary air port, correct. Picture 2 is of the main air control lever (the lever in the back - It has a chain that connects to the lower air flap). What is your question?
 

Dugan848721

New Member
Mar 30, 2015
29
valatie ny
well my questions is how do I use this stove the proper an rite way? with the controls? 2nd is I hear people tell me I should get around 5-8hrs before refilling the stove again, is that true? I am only getting 3-4hrs out of the stove.
 

Dugan848721

New Member
Mar 30, 2015
29
valatie ny
the stove is a power house, runs great, when I feel like I'm running it rite. I have a lot of confidence in this stove, although I'm not sure if I'm running it properly. it's blows a lot of blue smoke.at Times is that normal?
 

claydogg84

Minister of Fire
Sep 9, 2013
1,792
Salt Point, NY
There should be a rod at the top connected to a chain which then connects to the main air intake flap on the bottom. That flap is the main air control for the stove, which will also maintain stove temperatures. Is that assembly all there, and in tact? It's very basic, but effective when all in working order. It has a spring that simply retracts with the heat, so the hotter the stove gets, the more the flap should close. This prevents the stove from running wild and potentially overfiring. You're load sequence should be like this - Start fire with kindling and a couple small pieces of wood - the main air flap on the back should be at a full 90 degrees OPEN. Once that is burned down pretty good and you have some coals, load it with wood. Front doors should always be closed if you want useable heat from the stove. Once loaded full on top of the coals, leave the side door cracked to get the fire going - a stovetop thermometer is recomended so you know when to shut the door. Once you have the door shut (I was shutting the door at 500), you let the fire go for another few minutes until it hits 550-600, then close the damper as well as the small air port on the side of the stove. It should run in the 500-600 range for somewhere around 2 hours which will produce significant heat. Depending on the strength of your draft, you may need to leave the secondary air port open at all times. Hope this helps, let me know if you have anymore questions.
 

claydogg84

Minister of Fire
Sep 9, 2013
1,792
Salt Point, NY
the stove is a power house, runs great, when I feel like I'm running it rite. I have a lot of confidence in this stove, although I'm not sure if I'm running it properly. it's blows a lot of blue smoke.at Times is that normal?
These old stoves are bound to smoke. If you run it correctly and get a good horizontal burn (damper closed), you will get minimal smoke from the stack. I had the Defiant which is basically a bigger model then the Vigilant. You should also be able to achieve an 8 hour burn time with quality hardwood.
 

Dugan848721

New Member
Mar 30, 2015
29
valatie ny
everything you have said is great. al thought I am not getting 8hours. I'm burning ash wood mixed with SOME OKA and maple. not much, more oak then anything. is.that why I am not getting 8hr. with this ash an some oak and maple an Burch. I'm getting 4hr 5hr at the most. it's mostly ash. any answers man.
 

claydogg84

Minister of Fire
Sep 9, 2013
1,792
Salt Point, NY
everything you have said is great. al thought I am not getting 8hours. I'm burning ash wood mixed with SOME OKA and maple. not much, more oak then anything. is.that why I am not getting 8hr. with this ash an some oak and maple an Burch. I'm getting 4hr 5hr at the most. it's mostly ash. any answers man.
Do you have a stovetop thermometer? When I say 8 hour burn I mean there is plenty of coals after 8 hours to easily relight. 4 or 5 hours of good usable heat is normal for almost all non cat stoves.
 

Dugan848721

New Member
Mar 30, 2015
29
valatie ny
yes! I do have a thermometer on the top of the stove. after 4-5 hours I could use wood. I thought u meant 8hrs of wood burn. yes I can go 7-9hrs an have coals left. but with a wood burn I get 3-5hrs. is there a cat built in this stove
 

Dugan848721

New Member
Mar 30, 2015
29
valatie ny
also what state are you in? I'm located about 20mis south of Albany New York. I burned 2 and a half cord in the month of February. is that bad? my house isn't well insalated at all.
 

claydogg84

Minister of Fire
Sep 9, 2013
1,792
Salt Point, NY
It depends on how much heat you need. I live in Dutchess County, NY. I used 5 cord last year with my Defiant - Which is larger than the Vigilant. Your stove does not have a cat. What size home are you trying to heat? During extreme temperatures you will have to add wood more often. The term "Burn Time" is extremely misleading to the average consumer. A better term would be "Usable Heat Time". I consider usable heat around 300 and above stovetop temps.
 

Dugan848721

New Member
Mar 30, 2015
29
valatie ny
ummm. 1000sf-1500 not to sure. best I can say is 2 bed rooms dinning room living.room an kitchen, all on one floor. nothing under 500 keeps it warm. on a February cold freaking nite I need 700 to keep it warm. like rite now running.at 500 keeps the house at 70
 

claydogg84

Minister of Fire
Sep 9, 2013
1,792
Salt Point, NY
It sounds like your problem may be a drafty or poorly insulated home - Or both. The older Vermont Castings stoves are very capable heaters, and 1,500 sq ft should be no problem for that stove. This spring/summer you should look into sealing possible leaks and also maybe upgrading insulation where possible.