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  1. fraxinus

    fraxinus Feeling the Heat

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    coastal Maine
    Go to vermontcastings.com. Click on Hearth. Click on Support at the top of the page. Type "rebuild" in the search box. Defiant Rebuild Top to Bottom PDF will appear. This will get you to what you want. For some reason, a more direct link does not.

    With the damper open and the Defiant in updraft mode, any ash clogging behind the fireback and/or broken/missing secondary burn tube would not cause the fire to die. Make sure the little cast iron tab is fully open over the air intake on the lower loading door side. Make sure the same thing is true of the thermostat flap. These are the air sources with doors closed and damper open. If the fire dies when you close the damper, lots of ash, etc., etc. behind the fireback is the most likely cause, although even this, unless it's really extensive, should not cause the fire to go out completely. Clean chimney with a minimum 8" flue?

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  2. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    how has your wood been split.
  3. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    hey fraxinus

    got a question for you. when you had your defiant did your stove smoke much when the secondary was was put on?
    my secondary is working. i turned off all the lights and looked into the secondary air hole and could see a whitish blue light. while i was starring into the secondary air hole if i slightly opened the baffle the light would go out and the little flame rumble i heard stopped. when i closed the baffle i heard the flame and the light came back. i see the light........
  4. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    hey spirilis

    just wondering what happened with you temp probe. was it ok with the oven test?
  5. spirilis

    spirilis Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    New Market, MD
    Direct link: http://www.vermontcastings.com/catalog/elements/files/2008/2003225_Rebuild_Defiant.pdf

    fbelec: still haven't tried yet. might do it tonight if I remember :)
    one thing to note- I burned a large split of kiln-dried firewood (Hot Sticks, from a semi-local logging company up in PA) in that Jotul after getting it hot from the WoodBrickFuel and it was running around 600-800F flue temp ~30min into the split's burn, so pretty well in the nominal range.
  6. fraxinus

    fraxinus Feeling the Heat

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    fbelec, re smoke: Not entirely sure about your question. Very little smoke from chimney when Defiant was running with damper closed. This assumed a good bed of coals and sufficient time in updraft mode to establish a good draft before closing the damper. Excessive smoke (always?) means incomplete combustion due to poor draft, green wood, too little air. People who bought Defiants for too small spaces tended to run them with the air shut too far down too much of the time. This led to an undeserved reputation for the Defiant as a creosote and smoke producer.
  7. spirilis

    spirilis Feeling the Heat

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    Doing the test now, with both flue thermometers (one I use on the Jotul, one on the Defiant). Will let you know in 20 minutes ;)

    Last night I burned a fair amount of woodbrickfuel downstairs, it didn't heat the house as well as I'd hoped, even with the basement door open and some fans going. Further underscores the need for the Defiant imo, as it's upstairs. But one thing was interesting--while much of the woodbrickfuel was reduced to glowing embers a couple hours into the burn, I tossed a few pieces of pallet wood in there. Holy mother of hell those burned fast! Flue temps rose quickly too, from ~600F to ~1000F with just 3 small-ish pieces. Wow--good stuff I bet for mixing with cordwood. I might have to score some free pallets from local shops if I can. I was toying with my hatchet, axe and new hand-saw in the garage last night splitting up my kiln-dried kindling and pallet wood into tinder & smaller kindling pieces so I can use it to start my woodbrickfuel easily.

    Also, I ordered some rebuild parts for the Defiant-- namely the tie-rod set and secondary air tube screen from woodmanspartsplus, will try to find the self-tapping screws at home depot or wherever, and score parts as needed. Thinking of starting this project next week sometime... knowing me it'll probably sit around disassembled for a while :)
  8. spirilis

    spirilis Feeling the Heat

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    Heh ok, both those Condar flue probe thermometers are way off. I've had the oven set to 450F for about 10 minutes, and both of them are reading 1600F. Not identical; one is around ~1500 and the other ~1700. The probes are not situated on top of the burners either. Not even remotely close to accurate.

    Tossed my Rutland magnetic surface thermometer in there too; might as well. Also, I get my new IR thermometer today from amazon... that'll be neat.

    edit: I am happy to report, that my Rutland magnetic surface thermometer is quite accurate. Reading just a tad above 450F. I might take those Condar thermometers back to ACE and complain and see if they'll give me 2 new ones... heh
  9. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    you should take em back. they not a hundred degrees off, they're way off. just think if you were to run your stove at 4 to 500, which is normal because they are not on the stove top where they would run hotter, at that point you would be smoldering your fuel and caking on the creosote.
  10. spirilis

    spirilis Feeling the Heat

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    yup. Think I'll try taking them back tonight. Unfortunately I'm fairly certain I threw out the receipts and packaging, so I'm not sure what they'll do for me... but I'll give it a try. At least I'll buy some sheet metal screws to go over the fluepipe holes I drilled.
  11. spirilis

    spirilis Feeling the Heat

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    Just got my IR thermometer. Wow this is one cool toy! It'll come in very handy when I'm deciding where to put insulation in the attic, and understanding the thermal characteristics of the house in general... like what parts of the house heat up the most when the wood stove is running :D
  12. lascommbes

    lascommbes New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Eastern NY
    I'm in the process of rebuilding my Defiant II which is in bad need of a little TLC. The last two users had used it improperly.
    The thermostat is broken, the lower baffle is in two pieces, the upper baffle has a chunk out of it, the upper fire back is warped, and the lower fire back is cracked.
    Woodman's parts plus has kits with both fire backs and both baffles, but claims these are special order parts and no returns. but for an extra $30 dollars I can buy these parts indvidually and have the ability to return them if they don't fit. Any advice and or expierence with this would be helpful. Would also appreciate any info on where to get gaskits and cement.
  13. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    welcome to the forum.
    you should be able to get the cement and gaskets at woodmans also. the rebuild manual says in it. " you may need to grind new parts slightly to fit your stove." so they should fit close enough.
    that stove will need almost 400.00 dollars with just the firebacks and gasket kit and cement. i went thru 1.5 buckets of cement. if the damper or anything else is bent or warped it might be time to call it a day. i just went thru craigslist up here in mass. and found a few epa stoves for cheap. for example a catalytic defiant encore was selling for 350.00. a late 90's woodstock soapstone for 800.00. my point is don't get to deep. anyway good luck and let us know if you need any help. and let us know how you made out.

    frank
  14. lascommbes

    lascommbes New Member

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    Loc:
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    Thanx for the info. Well I'm already in it a little... I bought a defiant Ia for $100 a few weeks ago. I was heading home saw it on the side of the road, it looked like my defiant II thought I could swap parts and have one complete stove - wrong! I am able to use the right front door which was cracked on mine and the handles as well as the thermostat assembly and the thermo flap. the real selling point I thought was the fact that the chimney came out of the top not the back like mine which meant I could move it back and regain a foot or so in my converted garage. This was not the case as most of the parts are not compatible. The problem is while its not too late to cut my loses and buy a newer stove, I have the fever after hours of research and reading the forums to see how my stove really works. I've already used it in its degrading condition for two years and it worked fine to heat the whole house, but I definitely had to adjust and monitor it constantly to keep it burning properly as this is our only source of heat. I can get all the parts I need from woodman's for about $340 after spending the better part of today making sure nothing else was cracked or warped. I did find the gaskets and secondary air screen under the defiant Ia listing on woodman's. I haven't ordered anything yet as I'm still undecided and the cold is knocking on my door.
  15. spirilis

    spirilis Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    New Market, MD
    Did some basement work, notably taping up the cleanout door with foil tape and pulling off the Jotul's stovepipe and inspecting things a bit. I was able to return those Condar flue probe thermometers this morning and bought some sheet metal screws to go over the holes. That IR gun thermometer is cool, can't wait to use it on the stoves... gotta give the Jotul a good short burn to help dry out the new cement on the stovepipe, but the Defiant might be ready for a go. As a side note, I noticed my car's heater vent sits around ~140F when the heater's running at full blast like it was this morning. Heh, that IR gun is cool ;)
  16. spirilis

    spirilis Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    New Market, MD
    My fiancee mentioned it was gonna get cold tonight, hinting that... hey we should have a fire ;)

    Decided to fire up my beast!

    Started the fire quickly using two WoodBrickFuel teepees, 10 bricks total. Got 'er up to 500F griddle-top temps (using the IR thermometer) pretty fast, like in ~45min I guess. Added a total of ~6 more bricks on top, and I've had it running with the air control lever about ~3/4ths to the left, with the secondary air port open for extra air. I see now why they call it a creosote factory; right now the griddle-top is at 650F, but when I opened the side loading door, the mass of woodbrickfuel was mostly dark/glowing red, and just seconds after opening the door the whole mass ignited into an inferno. Fact of the matter is, it's maintaining those 650F temps with a lot of smoldering sawdust bricks, not much secondary combustion going on there... and probably outputting tons of smoke as a result (not going outside to check, probably won't see much anyhow since it's dark out).

    Tried secondary combustion again, no go. Didn't see a blue flame through the secondary air port, and a little smoke smell started to infiltrate the room (think that griddle re-gasket job I did was a bit shoddy... gonna try again after I rebuild the beast)

    Anyway, for shits & giggles, here's the current temperature stack (courtesy of my IR gun thermometer):
    660 griddle-top
    500 front door
    450 side door
    360 right-side casting
    490 flue-pipe (~4in away from stove)
    460 center of the rear casting
    130 brick hearth behind the stove
    84 central-air thermostat (got my box fan on its lowest setting, in the hallway, blowing cool air towards the living room)
    107 ceiling of living room
    105 couch near the stove
    98 wall adjacent to basement stairwell (hot air must pass by this wall on its way to the hallway)

    Note: The Rutland magnetic thermometer on the left side of the griddle-top reads ~575F right now. Griddle now reads 670 (just checked it a few minutes later). Primary air control is almost all the way shut, by way of the thermostat bimetal coil... Maybe I should close that secondary air port? Nahhh

    My fiancee is quite happy, and says it is literally a sauna in here ;)
    It feels great!
    Would love to see what an EPA-certified stove would look like in this room... maybe someday I will have one ;) although if I rebuild the beast and get that secondary combustion working, I might not bother, with this house anyway.
  17. spirilis

    spirilis Feeling the Heat

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    Gave secondary combustion yet another try (griddle @ 650), still no go. Turned out all the lights, no light at all from the secondary air port. Griddle-temp dropped to ~570 when I opened the damper again.
  18. spirilis

    spirilis Feeling the Heat

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    It was starting to look like the woodbrickfuel had peaked (wasn't going above 550F anymore), and it lost about 1/3rd of its total volume since the first time I added some, so I added about 4-5 more bricks. Griddle-top dropped to ~470F after I raked some of the "coals" (glowing sawdust) around, especially raking the area in front of the lower fireback (exposing the air ports a bit better). Central-air thermostat at 87F now, I turned on the HVAC fan to get some of the heat drawn away from the upstairs and hopefully push it downstairs a bit. Opened the air control all the way, trying to get it back up to ~550 or so before I shut it down to ~1/2 for the night. Managed to burn myself too (had gloves on one hand when I was raking the coals, forgot to put a glove on the other hand when I closed the door; accidentally bumped the cast iron with my thumb... ouch)
  19. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    you might need to rebuild that secondary tunnel. you can see some of it thr the smoke hole if it is on the top. if you can get the smoke shelve off you can see the whole thing. the smoke shelve is the piece of metal directly when you look into the stove from the smoke port. now that i rebuilt mine i can see secondary thr the air port. one other trick to make secondary work is to build your fire up against the right side baffle so that any smoke has to go thr the fire then if it makes it thr the fire it burns in the secondary chamber. secondary is fussy you need the plate temp around 600 to make it work. and when engauged the plate temp will drop a bit. smoke smell could be the cooking plate or like my stove the spot where both front doors meet at the bottom. i think i have a slightly warped front right side door. so i put a small piece of gasket in that bottom spot and have not smelled anything since.
  20. spirilis

    spirilis Feeling the Heat

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    Ah very cool, good to know. I won't try secondary combustion again until the rebuild, as who know what's back there; creosote, fly ash? Secondary air tunnel is probably screwed for sure, so, I'm looking forward to that rebuild.

    4:40AM (got woken up by work, I hate being on-call with IT stuff) Griddle-temp is 220F, opened up the side and everything was burned down to a *very* small layer of ash except the last ~2-3 woodbrickfuels, which are now glowing embers with a tiny flame in the middle. Good show! HVAC thermostat reads 89F and it's very comfortably warm in here... temp has mostly evened out between the living room and bedroom, as it's only a tad cooler in the bedroom than the living room.

    Gonna have to score myself a larger ladder (12' stepladder should let me get on the roof from the deck) and a set of cleaning rods, as this baby's gonna need some cleaning I gather.
  21. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    you might be surprised. burning the fuel you burn and the hot temps. you might be ok.
  22. spirilis

    spirilis Feeling the Heat

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    I keep wondering, if it'd be worth the effort to reduce the Defiant's combustion chamber size a bit using firebrick, maybe some stacks on the far right side in front of the baffle... obviously not after I rebuild it, but right now since I can't use secondary combustion. Would be nice to get those temps up high sooner with less wood, so I can keep the upstairs at ~80F instead of ~90F during the night...
    I'd keep the area in front of the fireback clear, and have enough gap around so air from the secondary port can swing around (though I doubt it has to, as it's probably short-cutting into the primary air chamber anyhow), but it's a thought. Maybe I should put more effort into concentrating the heat from the downstairs Jotul stove and bringing it upstairs... lol

    (actually, had a funny thought about that one. I wonder if I could stuff a small one of those Chimney Balloons into my HVAC ducting, blocking off cold air from the air handler, then run my Register Booster fans to pull air upstairs through the ductwork...)
  23. spirilis

    spirilis Feeling the Heat

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    Came home to find my fiancee curled up on the couch. Thermostat said 75F, it was cold pretty much all day long today (in the 40's and rainy), but the house stayed pretty warm surprisingly. Wonder if the brick hearth distributed heat all day long?

    Anyway, I asked if she wanted a fire, and she got really excited :D :D So I started the Defiant with 10 woodbrickfuel's, let it get up to ~500F or so and added a large split of Hot Sticks kiln-dried firewood. Not long after she reached 600F griddle-top, I dialled it back to 3/4 open (secondary port open too) and let it cruse in the 500's. About 3hr after startup, the temps were starting to inch below 500 (fluepipe exterior temp still read ~420 or so, no visible smoke from the chimney) so I loaded 2 extra bricks and stoked the fire with the side door cracked a bit. It's an inferno in the living room and I am sweating like crazy. Thermostat reading 87F. That Defiant eats through some wood pretty fast, but holy hell does it throw the heat...

    Think next spring I am going to work on levelling out the back of the property so I can store a few cords of wood. Lots of oak & cherry available around here from what I saw on craigslist, so it'll probably be worth my while to get a bunch ahead of time. I think I'll keep burning this woodbrickfuel (or anything else like it) alongside though, as it really heats up the stove quickly and burns clean (last night's burn added maybe 1/2" of ash to the firebox...)
  24. fredarm

    fredarm Minister of Fire

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    87F!! I think it's too hot at 77F!
  25. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    if your stove is running 500 and you leave the loading door open you are looking for a meltdown or house fire. you'll get a lot longer burn out it if you cool it down. don't leave you secondary wide open. you are sending all your heat up the chimney. do you really like your house as warm as 85 degrees? wow that's hot. the way you are burning you'll need 8 or 9 cord of wood to keep that temp. sorry i'm a northerner. we die up here when it's 85 degrees :bug:
    other thing is if you setup a bunch of fire bricks on the right side your stove won't get as warm on that side and the whole thing might throw less heat. you want to heat the whole stove to get heat out of it. when you cool that stove off pull the smoke pipe out and look at your secondary tunnel. you'll be able to see it with a flashlite. and if you can't get the smoke shelve out use a mirror to see if the rest is good or bad. you might not see any secondary thru the air opening because of the fuel your using might not give the secondary chamber anything to work with if it burn clean like it suppose to. also if you stack temp is that high close the baffle and get more heat out of the stove because when you close the baffle you lengthen the time the hot smoke is in the stove. if the smoke pipe temp drops below 375 open the baffle.

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