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"Inherited" Vemont Castings Resolute Acclaim, need help using it.

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by IPTAK, Dec 13, 2010.

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  1. IPTAK

    IPTAK New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Alaska
    Hey, I'm new here, but I have been surfing around trying to learn before I posted. I bought a house and it has this stove in it but I am sure I am not suing it properly. A friend saw the instal and said it looked really nice, custom apparently (the vent stack). Anyway, I am a total newbie to using a wood stove and I am trying to understand the basics. I downloaded the owners manual but am still left with many questions. The stack/vent pipe has a thermometer in it, but from what I gather I should get another one to put on the griddle to help me decide how to run it. The main thing about the manual that left me wanting confirmation was about closing the damper. Is that not how the smoke gets out? I understand (now) you can get a second burn, but if I am reading the manual correct it says to close the damper (http://www.stovesandspas.com/pdf/resoluteacclaim.pdf) totally (I think once the griddle is over 400 degrees F. WHat happens as that falls though?).

    I can get a good fire going if I pack the stove. The heat it throws off is good for a while, but I have to frequently replenish the wood. I read about people getting heat for 6 hrs or more and I am no where near that. I am sure I am burning thru the wood too fast, but it seems to need that to keep the heat up. I fully attribute that to user error.

    I am open to any and all suggestions. Here is what I have been doing thus far. Light the fire, wood stacked up about half full with staggering for air gaps. Damper open, airflow lever on the bottom all the way to the right (fully open I believe), door open a crack. Fire can usually get roaring pretty good after a bit, then I close the door. Basically that is all I have been doing. Sometimes I will close down on the lever on the bottom, sometimes I need to open the door the again again to get it hot.

    Some specific questions I do have -
    can I really close the damper?
    What temp (at the stack, or the griddle) should I be looking to attain, and what steps should I take once I attain it?
    Should I always have a flame, or am I just looking for glowing embers?
    When is the proper time to add wood? I have read people here talking about the first burn, then reloading. I usually just add a piece or two when it looks low and there are not a lot of flames or wood left to get a good burn.

    We are in the single digits this week and I figure it is about time I get some of the value out of this stove besides the asthetics. Thank you in advance for any thoughts or suggestions. Oh, and I see that a lot of people feel this is not the best stove. This specific stove is several years old, maybe many years old. In any event, be that as it may, is is what I have at the current time.

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  2. dougand3

    dougand3 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Messages:
    872
    Loc:
    North Alabama
    Welcome, IPTAK.
    Yes, you can close the bypass damper once temp gets up to 400f or so. That makes the smoke travel in a downdraft direction thru the combustion box/refractory to burn the smoke up - produces more heat and cleaner exhaust. The stove temp will increase while the flue temp will decrease. A normal cruise temp is 400-600f. As temp gets up to 500-ish, start reducing intake air in stages (bottom lever - to the left reduces). Air at 3/4, 1/2, 1/4 works pretty well. Stove top thermometer on the griddle is very important to have. Glowing embers with lazy blue flames bouncing around box (secondaries) is a great condition. A 4 hour burn when front loading is fairly normal. For 6 hour burn - need to top load and fill it full. Make sure you OPEN bypass damper before opening front or top or you'll get a face full of smoke. I add wood when glowing charcoal remains and temp starts to drop to 350-ish. You can add sooner and more frequently but you gotta tweak it into a smooth cruise each time = more work. VC has had a bad rep over the last decade but this is the best and most handsome stove - it's in my living room! It heats my fairly well insulated, 1400sf, fairly open ranch quite well.
  3. IPTAK

    IPTAK New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Alaska
    Perfect, thanks so much. Bought a thermometer for the griddle today. It's 2F degrees outside right now so it's a good time to supplement the furnace :).
  4. IPTAK

    IPTAK New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
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    Loc:
    Alaska
    WOW - what a difference!! Yeah, i was using it all wrong. MUCH better this way. One last question, what about as it winds down? So, once I decide I am done for the evening and I am goign to sleep or am going to let the fire die down how do I handle that? There was a little wood left last night with the vent on the bottom full open and the heat slowly was falling. Do I need to open the damper again once I stop tending to it (knowing the heat will fall below 400 and fie die out)? I just opened the damper and closed down the air intake but I am not sure of the proper way to "end" the brun session.

    Thanks again, it made an amazing difference!
  5. shawneyboy

    shawneyboy New Member

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    Loc:
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    Why not burn it all night long ????
  6. dougand3

    dougand3 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Loc:
    North Alabama
    "So, once I decide I am done for the evening and I am goign to sleep or am going to let the fire die down how do I handle that?"
    Do nothing. If the air is at 1/4-1/2, all the wood burns to ash
    "Do I need to open the damper again once I stop tending to it"
    No, it will die just fine.

    As Shawney inquired....why not load it up, get it cruising safely, air down to 1/4 and go to bed? Everybody else does.
  7. YankeeFarmer

    YankeeFarmer Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Messages:
    18
    Loc:
    North Central Connecticut
    Don't worry about ending the burn session. It'll take care of itself. I found the most important thing to do with the Resolute Acclaim was to make sure you had a decent bed of glowing coals at the entrance to the secondary chamber and the 400 deg griddle temp before closing the back damper.

    We just replaced ours 2 weeks ago with a Hearthstone Heritage, as much for appearance sake as for functionality. After 18 years the Resolute Acclaim is still in great shape, but needs a fireback and possibly a secondary chamber. I love that stove, and plan to repair it and find a spot for it.

    Jerry
  8. IPTAK

    IPTAK New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Alaska
    Thanks agan for your input. As for the why not let it go all night question, no reason really. I guess I was just concerned about the damper being closed knowing the temp would drop below 400. If I am understanding you all correctly it doesn't matter. Just trying to be safe as I learn about this thing. Wood stoves are totally new to me. Honestly I am amazed at the heat it can put out.
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