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  1. #1
    Platinum Member Scotty Dive's Avatar
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    Yanmar 2020D

    Default Woodstove Recommendatiosn for buying used model

    Currently have a free standing Vermont Castings Vigilaint I bought used and has been great for us for the last 7 years. It is located in the basement and we burn about 5 face cords a year. We just added an addition and I think the stove needs to be rebuilt and its probably a little small now for the space I want to heat. Its rated for 50K BTU and handes 18 inch logs.

    I would like to purchase another used stove and would appreciate any recommendations on stoves that I should keep my eye open for when prices come down in the Spring and Summer. I have plenty of hard wood so pellet or coal is not a consideration.

    Thanks,

    Scotty Dive
    Yanmar YM2020D "Git er Done Too"
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  2. #2
    Platinum Member westcliffe01's Avatar
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    SE MI
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    Bobcat B200 TLB

    Default Re: Woodstove Recommendatiosn for buying used model

    I don't think buying a used woodstove is a good idea, except under very narrow circumstances. Ask yourself the following questions: Do I have to have my install inspected by a building inspector ? Does my install have to meet code requirements ? Do I have a homeowners insurance policy ? If you answer yes to those questions, you will be far better off by buying a "budget" new stove like an Englander that trying to get some (potentially pre EPA and non UL listed) stove by all those different people and companies.

    Stoves do not last forever and more often that not, it is not financially viable to rebuild them. That particularly applies to any stove made by Vermont castings in the last 10 years. They have an awful reputation in the business, their new stuff is not make like their old pre-EPA stuff was made.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Scotty Dive's Avatar
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    Default Re: Woodstove Recommendatiosn for buying used model

    I rebuilt this Vigilant when I bought it and I am looking for another pre EPA Vermont Castings like the larger Defiant model. Rebuilding was pretty straight forward. I do not have to have the install inspected in my town. But I should have been more clear- I do not mind an older model and its probably what I prefer using the assumption that they built them better back in the day. I just cannot to afford the brand new ones out there and the lower cost ones - Home Depot Northern - just don't look like they will last. The Vigilant I have shows almost no signs of wear and I would expect it to burn another 30 years!
    Thanks,

    Scotty Dive
    Yanmar YM2020D "Git er Done Too"
    Pictures! http://s139.photobucket.com/albums/q...t=dfc00199.pbw
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  4. #4
    Elite Member Baby Grand's Avatar
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    Windsor, CT.
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    L3240GST, B2320HST, B5100D & G5200H

    Default Re: Woodstove Recommendatiosn for buying used model

    That's a shame about VC - I grew up feeding a Vigilant that my dad bought in the 70's. That was a beautifully made stove.

    We just installed a pair of Jotuls. An F118 in the basement as the primary and an F602 (tiny one) in the living room. They heat the place nicely.
    Westcliffe01 makes a good point about getting your ducks in a row regarding code inspection and insurance. Don't want a rude surprise if you ever have to sell your place or file a claim. Also, from my personal experiece - make sure your chimney is healthy. Get it inspected. We had to have ours relined - very expensive - but it had badly cracked flue tiles.
    That's the problem with trouble.
    It always starts out as such fun."
    - Randall Brown

  5. #5
    Super Member dave1949's Avatar
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    Industry, Maine
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    New Holland TC40

    Default Re: Woodstove Recommendatiosn for buying used model

    Ditto westcliffes comment on Vermont Casting. Pre-EPA is all I would look at from them. I had a 1995 after-burner catalytic converter VC, they are expensive to refurb. Did throw heat like a son of a gun though.

    But, pre-EPA is getting you pretty far back in time now. The Jotuls with their very simple tubes over the firebox EPA-rated stoves are very good. I used a #3 Jotul and was very happy with it, but that is smaller than what you need.

    Maybe if you watch Craig's list and local bargain hunter issues, you will find someone who moved from wood to gas or to pellets, and have a good stove to sell with not too much burn time on it.
    "Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end ..."

  6. #6
    Elite Member
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    Virginia
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    1949 farmall, 1961 Fordson Dexta, 1986 Duetz Allis, 2001 Kubota.

    Default Re: Woodstove Recommendatiosn for buying used model

    Can't beat a good ole country brand stove, ole T-Tops really burn well and hold a fire for a long time.

    mark
    red tractor
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  7. #7
    Silver Member
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    NE Connecticut
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    Branson 3820i

    Default Re: Woodstove Recommendatiosn for buying used model

    Quote Originally Posted by mjarrels View Post
    Can't beat a good ole country brand stove, ole T-Tops really burn well and hold a fire for a long time.

    mark
    I would not even consider a newer stove. The pre EPA woodstoves were far better. I have a Fisher steel Papa Bear double door that is about 40 years old. It heats my entire gambrel cape post and beam home from the basement location. I relined it last year which was a simple one hour task. All you need are the firebrick and a 4 1/2 inch grinder with a cheap diamond wheel. The fisher has no gaskets to replace and nothing to wear out. A coat of Rutland stove paint and it is good as new. I personally prefer the steel stoves to the cast iron as they won't crack and son't burn out either. They radiate nice heat quickly. The Fishers are awesome, I have two of them.

  8. #8
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
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    Ohio
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    Kioti DK 40-Massey ferguson 135-Ventrac 4500 Diesel

    Default Re: Woodstove Recommendatiosn for buying used model

    I have a Old Timer, Don't know who makes it but it is made from 3/8 thick steel. Been here since 1978. Here is a ad from my area http://classifieds.cleveland.com/?cu...sification=For Sale&orderby=date_created:d
    Murph ------------

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
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    Mid-Coast Maine

    Default Re: Woodstove Recommendatiosn for buying used model

    I have a VC Defiant Encore I bought new in 1988, I have rebuilt it once, installed it in 5 different homes across 4 states. Presently it is the primary heat for my home in Maine. Cat converter could probably be replaced again, other than that it is still running great. I could recommend it, or the original Defiant. The more I use different brands of stoves... the more I appreciate my VC stove, I believe this stove will be with me until I am too old to put wood in it any more.
    Jim

    - '01 Husqvarna W4814- 48" walk behind lawn mower.
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  10. #10
    Platinum Member westcliffe01's Avatar
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    SE MI
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    Bobcat B200 TLB

    Default Re: Woodstove Recommendatiosn for buying used model

    I personally have installed 3 different stoves. The first was a corn burning stove, right (months) before the corn price shot up from $1.98/bushel to over $8/bushel... Bad timing. It worked great and with the built in hopper I only needed to touch it once a day. But with the price of corn, it was more expensive than burning natural gas.

    The next stove was a Morso 7110 made in Belgium. This was a very high quality stove and worked great, the only problem was that the firebox size was too small to support an overnight burn in my climate (SE Michigan and it was a fairly hard winter, unlike the last 3...) So I sold that to a guy who had a smaller home and got a Pacific Energy stove. Now Pacific Energy stoves are made by Canadians who have REAL winters and all they have to burn are those pine toothpicks that they grow there up north. These are very well built stoves, quality materials everywhere. No fragile ceramic insulation that you can break by knocking it with a log (seriously, that is what you find in the new VC stoves and others like Harman). One of the key features of the PE stoves is the huge firebox. I can insert 18" logs end on and still have room. This helps a lot with getting a good load of wood in there for cold days. I got one of the fancy versions with cast iron cladding, the T5. This basically turns the stove into a big convection heater and allows quite close install clearances. Clearances are a big issue on many stoves, including VC, Harman and most of the soapstone stoves which is why I couldn't consider them.

    The EPA 2 requirements have only 1 downside on current stoves and that is how the test is done with a minimum chimney height in a warm climate. This is referred to as the "Florida bungalow syndrome". What this translates to is that a system that is designed to work acceptably in the awful test configurations, when transplanted to a Northern climate with a full height chimney and high draft because of the low ambient temperature, will have too high of a burn rate without taking some external measures. Basically, in most cases in Northern climates you have to install a damper, sometimes 2 in the stove pipe above the stove. This counteracts the tendency of the stove to run uncontrolled because of the excessively large inlets, which are unavoidable because of the way the EPA test is specified. With this simple modification, one gets perfectly good long burn times, very clean combustion and in many cases over 80% efficiency. By comparison, the efficiency of a typical pre-epa stove is often half to a third of that and all that unburnt fuel goes into your chimney with some of it accumulating creating a risk of a chimney fire.

    I would never want one of those smokey, stinky old stoves any more than I want a car with a carb and points and choke cable and the attendant hassle with getting it started on cold mornings. Nor would I want to put up double the amount of dry wood or more.

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