First off, I'd like to introduce myself. I am Cody from East Tennessee. I found this site a few days ago and have really found it to be useful. This is my second year burning wood in our home as a supplemental heat source. I say supplemental because our stove is in our basement, which leaks air pretty bad. I've cut a floor vent right above the stove, and across the hall from my return air intake. The initial thought was that the hot air would rise, up through the floor register, and then I could run the hvac fan to circulate the heat. This hasn't worked out as well as I hoped, but we are getting some supplemental heat and have cut our heating bill in half. Last year, I wasted $300 on a crappy Logwood 2421. The stove put out some heat, burned through twice as much wood as it should have, but did teach me a lot about the practice of heating with wood. This year I bought a large wood burning stove. This is the stove I bought for $300: Does anyone have any idea what sort of stove it might be? It is the identical size of a Fisher Grandpa Bear. I have looked everywhere, except the bottom, and can't find a stamping or tag anywhere. Someone mentioned that it might be a custom made stove. The welds are nearly flawless, which made me think it was a factory made stove. Here are my questions and concerns: 1.) chimney cleaning. We had it cleaned last September. I know its time to have it cleaned again, as I have never been able to find or be patient enough to use properly seasoned wood. Right now the best I've got is 8 month maple, which was a live tree that feel in a storm, and 2 month oak which was standing dead for 18 months. I just ordered the sooteater system. After using the search feature, it looks as if there aren't many complaints with these, but some people still use traditional brushes. My chimney is break, which goes from my basement, up through the main floor, through the attic, and extends about 3 foot from the roof. It has (i believe) terra cotta flues. How important is it to get the integrity inspected occasionally, considering this chimney was erected 60+ years ago? The local guys want $130+ for a cleaning and inspection. 2.) the damper. I'm still figuring out the intake/damper settings on this stove. The damper is a solid round disc. Someone told me I should drill a 1/2" hole in it to let it breathe a little more. Is this true? They said they had never seen a solid damper. I unfortunately have had to make 2 ninety degree turns with the 7" round pipe before it meets the flue opening, so when I close the damper all the way, I'm not getting as much pull from the chimney. The stove never really smokes, so I know I'm getting a decent pull. I am curious about the solid damper. 3.) backwall. The stove is currently about 5 inches from the painted brick chimney. I'm told that this is too close for that size of a stove. I looked at the pdf instruction manual for the old fishers and the grandpa bear shows something like 33" to brick surface. But it looks like another 6 inches of clearance and you are safe with a stud wall. 33" seems really excessive. I had thought about covering some of the brick with durock sheeting, in hopes that I could place the stove a little closer. Thoughts on that, and how much closer I could get with 5/8" durock heat barrier? 4.) wood supply. I usually keep 3 or 4 days worth of wood inside near the stove for 2 reasons. Ease of access and the thought that it may help to dry it out quicker. Is this a false assumption? 5.) size of the firebox. I've never dealt with this large of a firebox. Its nearly 30x30 in surface area. I've only built 2 small fires in it, but both seemed hard to get to a good roaring blaze going, and didn't seem to produce any significant heat for 30-45 minutes. Could this be because I'm not used to waiting on a large firebox? Maybe a few of you have some good tips for working with stoves of larger size? I really hope I didn't go against any forum etiquette by blasting you all with a bunch of questions and a long first post. I'm sure I'll have more as I progress through this winter season. Cheers, Cody "Grannyknot"