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Posted By stevedar,
Jan 25, 2011 at 3:07 PM
You have to stop taking your frustrations out on that stove!
Did those chips happen by themselves?
Yeah it was like that when I bought it. The whole thing looks like it has measles. I think the previous owner overheated it badly.
I just wanted to close out the thread by saying thanks to everyone for so much good information! It really helped me a lot.
The expensive refractory gizmo finally arrived a few weeks ago. I got it put back in being oh-so-careful and everything fit very, very snugly. I did NOT replace the cat - the guy at the fireplace shop gave it a look and said it was fine, but he had already seen how much I paid for the refractory so probably didn't want me to flip out.
The side part that started this whole adventure was repaired along with a brand new damper with a pin on both ends that holds nicely in place. I put some of those push-on metal rings (not sure what they're officially called) behind the linkage and the linkage once you get it lined up right seems pretty firm as it has a bar in there to keep it snug. Anyway it all worked beautifully.
Struggled a few evenings over the stove pipe, but finally got it all set up nice and then repainted it. There is some gaps around where the oval piece goes into the stove, but I asked the guy at the stove place (I had the neck piece with me and did a trial fit with the pipe before I left) and he said not a problem. It's sort of weird though because when it's first firing up I can see the flames through the cracks - they're that wide.
I bought a thermostat/thermometer. With my other wood stoves, I never felt I needed one, but from this group I began to see that at least for a VC stove, it's important. First fire went very well with a nice progression from kindling to small branches to larger pieces. It seemed useful to get it started by opening the door and then letting the latch hit the lip of the stove which allowed for the door to stay ajar about 3/4 of an inch. It took quite awhile for it to reach the 350 - 600 degree range, but it finally did and at 450 or 500 I went ahead and shut the damper. I then would keep an eye on it and if it got up to 600 I would start to back off on the air with the right hand knob. People have said that these stoves are hard to operate, and although they take some babysitting, I would say the controls are pretty intuitive. Both pulled to the front is wide open, push to the back to damper down. Once it came up to temp though it used surprisingly little wood and continued to just radiant, so I think it's working. Never really overfired so not worried about air leaks - in fact, if anything, it's too air tight because it often requires a cracked door to keep the fire going well. No back puffing or anything like that. Have had two fires total and will do one more today just to make sure it is nicely broken in.
I've uploaded a few picks - and thanks again to everyone who helped me get through it.
Glad everything worked out OK. Just follow the routine maintenance and it should treat you well. I noticed on mine that with 24/7 burning after a full season I needed to replace the door gasket and sometimes the griddle gasket. If you eventually find that the draft control starts to become unresponsive, that's a likely cause.
A thermometer is a must have to operate this stove. Many folks have one on the pipe also.
That's a great looking stove, enjoy it.
Looks awesome I have always loved those stoves!
Nice job. That is a very sweet looking stove. Hope you get many years of pleasure and warmth out it.
Man, all of this seems a LOT complicated..I have used wood stoves..and they just get good and hot and heat the house...
I thought I was getting a Cadillac of a woodstove when I bought this Defiant Encore.... now I am beginning to wonder if it is a money pit..could easily post it and sell it fast for more than I paid.. hmm... I am wondering if I need to just go ahead and buy the refractory and catalyst or sell the stove for a different type... decisions decisions.....
Maybe it is because I didn't buy a used/abused stove, maybe I have been lucky. I don't find owning my stove complicated or expensive. I bought my VC Defiant Encore new in 86 when I lived in NM, ran the stove for 11 years, until I moved to Phoenix, didn't install it there. Moved to MA, installed it there and ran it for 5 years then moved it to ME where I have been using it since as my sole source of heat. I have a mini-split heat pump for the shoulder seasons. I fire it up sometime in Dec and it runs nonstop until sometime in March, I clean the ash pan every few days when I reload it. When I reload it, I fill it with wood, crack open the ash pan catching it part way open with the pan latch. When the wood starts to catch, close the ash pan door, wait for the griddle temp to get over 500dF, close the damper, wait a minute for cat to catch, set the thermostat control to the back and ignore it for 8-10 hrs.. repeat. I burn just over 1 cord of wood a season in my 1200 sq ft house. I have replaced the cat once, redid all the gaskets once, yearly check the bolts for the fireback. Last time I checked the cat I noticed that the refractory box had a crack in it so I might have to address that this summer. I have used other wood stoves at my friends homes and the more I used their stoves... the more I appreciated my VS E!