Vermont Castings Vigilant 1 (1980) conversion

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Jobu75

New Member
Sep 10, 2021
8
Manchester, CT
Hello. New here.

I just bought a house and the wood stove was a big selling point. Upon inspection, I discovered that this stove is set up in the coal-burning configuration. The previous owners had been burning wood in it it would appear, but I've been doing a lot of research and it doesn't appear to be the most efficient thing in the world burning wood. I don't want to burn coal, so I'm wondering...if I took out the ashpan, front grill, the movable bottom grates, and the fire bricks on the side, would that make this stove more efficient for burning wood? A rep from VC sent me a manual detailing how to convert it back to wood burning, but it would appear one of the previous owners made some mods and the parts do not appear to match up entirely. Plus, the job looks like a real bear. The grates, ashpan and side firebricks make the firebox on this thing really small. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated, as I'm looking forward to a nice cozy winter with my stove. Photos below.

IMG_3056.jpg IMG_3057.jpg IMG_3060.jpg IMG_3061.jpg IMG_3062.jpg
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,455
South Puget Sound, WA
It will help a little but the wood burning Vigilant had a secondary combustion system which is necessary for the most efficient burn in the stove. And the air routing is different for wood vs coal so the best results will be from making the full conversion.

Note that the hearth needs a 16" non-combustible extension in front of the stove.
 

Jobu75

New Member
Sep 10, 2021
8
Manchester, CT
It will help a little but the wood burning Vigilant had a secondary combustion system which is necessary for the most efficient burn in the stove. And the air routing is different for wood vs coal so the best results will be from making the full conversion.

Note that the hearth needs a 16" non-combustible extension in front of the stove.
Grand. I think I’m gonna have to take this thing apart to assess the situation. It looks like the previous owners might have a frankensteined hybrid version setup here. About that hearth extension…that’s a major bummer.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,455
South Puget Sound, WA
The raised hearth helps. A basic hearth extension can be added. It doesn't need to be fancy. Something like this will suffice.
 

Rebekkahz

New Member
Oct 23, 2021
2
Vermont
Hello. New here.

I just bought a house and the wood stove was a big selling point. Upon inspection, I discovered that this stove is set up in the coal-burning configuration. The previous owners had been burning wood in it it would appear, but I've been doing a lot of research and it doesn't appear to be the most efficient thing in the world burning wood. I don't want to burn coal, so I'm wondering...if I took out the ashpan, front grill, the movable bottom grates, and the fire bricks on the side, would that make this stove more efficient for burning wood? A rep from VC sent me a manual detailing how to convert it back to wood burning, but it would appear one of the previous owners made some mods and the parts do not appear to match up entirely. Plus, the job looks like a real bear. The grates, ashpan and side firebricks make the firebox on this thing really small. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated, as I'm looking forward to a nice cozy winter with my stove. Photos below.

View attachment 281795 View attachment 281796 View attachment 281797 View attachment 281798 View attachment 281799
Would you mind forwarding on those instructions on how to convert back to wood?
I find myself in a similar situation
 

NoPaint

Feeling the Heat
Jan 2, 2009
269
USA
Could I get a copy of that PDF by any chance? Need to remove my coal conversion now too.