1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)
  1. spirilis

    spirilis Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    450
    Loc:
    New Market, MD
    The side door wasn't open long, just did that to get the new bricks burning quickly... I was watching it the whole time :)

    Haha it's a bit excessively hot, I will say. I am going to try using 5-6 bricks in a teepee and see if that gets up to operating temp... it should heat up slower & cool off sooner than 12 of them. I guess my measure of success is whether the thermostat still reads >72F when I wake up at 6:30AM. Last I checked it was still at 82, and it's 4AM... lol (so using 12 of them at 6:50PM still throws soft heat at 4AM the next morning, also good to know)

    Fair enough regarding the firebrick, sounds like I should forget about that. As for the smoke pipe, I can't really take it off without moving the whole stove (working on a setup where I can lay some wood in front of the hearth so I can put a floor jack underneath and lift it/move it around, that'll help me out) as the stovepipe has a pipe damper in it, and the handle bumps against the thimble when I try to push the stovepipe back (it's a short stovepipe, horizontal going directly into the thimble)

    Also a good call on the stack temp & closing the baffle... I'm curious though, wouldn't that snuff out any flames coming off the fuel mass? The manual mentions how horizontal burn mode works, and how during horizontal mode it just takes the combustible gases from the bottom of the mass and passes them under the baffle on the right side, but I'd think that would be asking for creosote. The woodbrickfuel might burn cleanly when it's up to temp and has enough oxygen, but it still outgasses (and fast, as it's ~6-9% moisture content according to the mfr of the bricks) so I'd think it's still liable to generate creosote if you don't give the flames a chance to form...
    Dunno, all this could be moot when I go clean the chimney.

    Either way, I'm almost guaranteed to have another fire in the beast tonight, so I'll try some of these tips :D Thanks!

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. fraxinus

    fraxinus Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    325
    Loc:
    coastal Maine
    spirilis:
    I'm going to add my two cents to some of the cautions you've already received.

    Leaving the side door open a crack creates a powerful draft which produces an effect like a blowtorch. This is a guaranteed way to warp the casting directly across from the loading door.

    Extremely dry compressed wood products like those you're using were not widely available when the Defiant was manufactured. You have no way of knowing if the stove was designed to accomodate the intense heat these products produce. I would be very careful in using them. Warpage and cracking, especially because of the Defiant's relatively large castings, could be a very real problem.

    Everything about a stove from the materials used to the geometry of the firebox is designed to work together. Adding things like firebrick and even a damper in the stove pipe are really not good ideas.

    If you haven't done so yet, download the original Defiant manual from the VC website and abide by its recommendations and cautions. This is/was a very well made and designed stove, but needs to be used as the manufacturer intended - not just for the well being of the stove, but also for your personal safety.
  3. Rangeley

    Rangeley New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Western ME
    I got an older defiant last winter an it seemed to work great. The old owner took great care of it. I have one question. On the lower left corner of the door side there is a little air control. Just a small round hole with a simple control over it. Does this send air to the same place as the thermostat flap? I can't find this in any manuals. Thanks
  4. fraxinus

    fraxinus Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    325
    Loc:
    coastal Maine
    Rangely:
    They direct air to different places, but at the moment I can't rememberwhich is which with complete cetainty. I think the hole with the cast iron cover (which is always left open) is the primary air source while the thermostat directs air through the tube you can see at the base of the loading door and the secondary ait tube between the fireback and rear casting. The thermostat operates when the damper is closed to control the rate of burn.
  5. spirilis

    spirilis Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    450
    Loc:
    New Market, MD
    Hm, ok, good call. I have the manual, maybe I should study it over again. So keeping the door open even a few minutes, at full operating temp, is definitely not a good idea I gather, due to stress on the castings...
  6. spirilis

    spirilis Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    450
    Loc:
    New Market, MD
    The small air hole with the cast iron cover that pivots off to the left is the secondary air feed, used for secondary combustion mode (i.e. the internal damper closed). The thermostat flap in the back feeds the primary air tubes--both the tube on the side and the little holes in the bottom of the fireback, if I'm not mistaken...
  7. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,659
    Loc:
    northern massachusetts
    correct on the primary air is the flap on the back controlled by the lever and chain. the secondary air control on the left side is to be open only when you close the damper above the side loading door. if left open the primary has no way in controlling the air and the stove will get hotter than the manual says it is safe to do. did it once when i first starting running this stove, and again last night. i fell asleep on the sofa. and forgot to close it from last nights burn. the stove making expansion noises jarred me to get up and see. caught it at 750 degrees
  8. spirilis

    spirilis Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    450
    Loc:
    New Market, MD
    oh wow, what are you burning btw? (what type of wood, how well seasoned)

    I've been running mine with the secondary port open like that and the hottest it gets with my fuel charge (~10-12 woodbrickfuels at a time, last night it was 10 + a split of kiln-dried) is 620F shown via the IR thermometer. the rutland magnetic thermometer usually underreports the temp by about 50-100F I've found. the IR is a raytek MT6 minitemp thermometer gun.
  9. spirilis

    spirilis Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    450
    Loc:
    New Market, MD
    So, it appears tonight the stove isn't running so well, and I think the reason is that the chimney sweep folks came by this afternoon and reinstalled my chimney cap (they forgot to put it on the other week when they came by and redid the chimney crown...) I think that chimney cap is a bit shallow, not enough gap between the flue tile and the cap top, but that's just my perception glancing at it (might get a pic tomorrow)

    Even in updraft mode with the primary air open 100% and secondary air port open, I could not get the stove temp above 500 and I could see lots of visible smoke moving down off the roof and flooding the neighbor's front yard. Kept having to crack open the side door a bit to stoke it (bad, I know) just to keep it running. Right now I'm letting it coast down to embers with the doors closed, primary & secondary air ports opened (it's dark outside, so maybe nobody will notice the smoke... heh)
    Tomorrow I'm gonna look into getting a ladder so I can get up on the roof and take the cap off again... probably a good investment as I'll need it to sweep the chimney too. What a bummer, though.

    Far as I could tell the primary air ports were open, nothing clogging them, and the ash level was certainly low enough that it wasn't obstructing the side tube or the fireback air ports. Trying secondary mode just resulted in a steady drop in temperature, although I did notice the stove threw heat a lot faster from the stovetop. I may consider redoing the griddle gasket sooner rather than later so I can do that horizontal mode trick again without smelling smoke... (door gaskets are new, that's the only piece left, though I should try the dollar-bill test just for the heck of it). Also bought a new stovepipe, don't think I'll touch that part until a week or 2 from now though. Current stovepipe has a pipe damper in it, something I don't gather I need...
  10. Rangeley

    Rangeley New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Western ME
    Thanks for the info. I will mess around with it. Always open or only open when the lever is down. I had this stove in the basement of our old house. Sometimes I would load it after work and go upstairs for a beer and forget for a little while and that sucker would get ripping. I think I always kept the cast Iron cover opened.
  11. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,659
    Loc:
    northern massachusetts
    check the damper in the pipe and make sure that the handle is going in the same direction of the pipe. that will mean it is wide open. if it closes you'll lose draft.
  12. lascommbes

    lascommbes New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Loc:
    Eastern NY
    Well I bit the bullet and ordered the parts for my Defiant II today. tomorrow I'll finish grinding the old cement out of the remaining pieces and eagerly await the arrival of the new parts. I would greatly appreciate if anyone has any tips from their experience and/or any pitfalls I should watch out for During the reassembly process. I'll be following "Defiant: from top to bottom and back again" very closely. I have a question about the smoke deflector, what do they mean I need to replace it if I'm using the original left end? and what warranty dept. instructions?
  13. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,659
    Loc:
    northern massachusetts
    I have a question about the smoke deflector, what do they mean I need to replace it if I'm using the original left end?

    i'm lost there. where did you see that? i have defiant: from top to bottom and back again and i did not see that. i have the defiant 1. my left side had a separate piece of metal shaped like a triangle that fit between the one piece fireback and the side itself. for the longest time i had air leakage there. that part of the door that covers that area would get some cold air in and heavy creosote would build on the door. the directions did not say anything about what i did but it worked well. i cemented the piece in place. no more creosote on the door and no smoke leaking from that area when i opened the door.
  14. lascommbes

    lascommbes New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Loc:
    Eastern NY
    It says it at the end of step 6 last paragraph. There is a solid piece of metal in the upper left corner of the side load door but it's part of the left end and not removable, also there is no listing on woodman's or evidence that a separate part exists.
  15. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,659
    Loc:
    northern massachusetts
    mine is removable. separate piece. but then again, mine is a defiant 1. if you are having trouble with creosote on the door like i was then cement it up when you rebuild. i don't know if cementing up the piece or the side to the fireback is bad. i'm only sure that i can't hurt mine because i already have a bad fireback. i threw a bandaid on it for this year and the problem went away. originally i was sitting there force of habit.
  16. spirilis

    spirilis Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    450
    Loc:
    New Market, MD
    checked it already, it's ever so slightly offset (you have to turn the damper knob horizontal, then clockwise like 15 degrees or so to make the plate perfectly horizontal) but it should be in wide-open position now. either way I haven't touched it for weeks. Got my new ladder today, don't feel up to going up on the rainy roof yet though... maybe later :)
  17. spirilis

    spirilis Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    450
    Loc:
    New Market, MD
    My back was finally up to it today so I went up on the roof and removed that chimney cap. Haven't fired the Defiant yet, but the Jotul is looking fabulous. Last weekend with the chimney cap installed I was able to fire up the Jotul and get it to temp, but once I dialled the air back to ~1/2 I had a lot of trouble keeping flames in the firebox. Tonight it's having no trouble; it reached full operating temp (top casting around 650, fluepipe 6in away 550, fluepipe 18in away ~400) within 30min. I'm sitting here in the basement with my laptop watching the stove, it's open about 1/2 and there are very strong flames shooting up off the fire mass. I'm thinking the chimney cap was the culprit; I tried the Defiant yesterday with the chimney cap on, after blowing compressed air into the primary & secondary air ports (to clean them out, in case my intakes were clogged) and it still didn't draft correctly; closing the doors resulted in smoke drifting down from the chimney into the neighbors' lawn. It's getting too warm during the day to try the Defiant again, but my opportunity should come soon enough. For now though, the Jotul is showing positive signs that removing the chimney cap helped my draft.
  18. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,659
    Loc:
    northern massachusetts
    spirilis if you ever get to rebuilding that defiant don't make the mistake that i just discovered tonight. when putting the top on use rutland cement or if a other brand be careful how much cement you put in the groove of the top. don't over do it. i've been having trouble when i switch to the damper closed position for the secondary burn there was more smoke coming from my chimney than if i left it in updraft. and that was because i put to much of that sandy thick cement in the groove of the top, and even thou i pounded the s#%t out of the top with a rubber mallet and got all 290 pounds of me on top of that stove the top is sitting about 1/2 inch higher than the top of the damper when closed. so i have a good fire going and close the damper and that dampers the fire a little so that i get a small secondary flame in the side chamber but have a lot of smoke leaking around the damper. now i debating if i should pull the top or wait til next year.
    nothing ever goes smooth.
  19. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,659
    Loc:
    northern massachusetts
    how did the chimney look? clean. dirty.
  20. spirilis

    spirilis Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    450
    Loc:
    New Market, MD
    Oh yuck.... good to know. Didn't even think about that, since that furnace cement is thick in consistency I guess it would hold it kinda high (bought a small tub of furnace cement to redo my pipe joints, as that fireplace mortar crap doesn't do the trick; fireplace mortar keeps going brittle and snapping off under the heat expansion of the pipes)
  21. spirilis

    spirilis Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    450
    Loc:
    New Market, MD
    Didn't have a flashlight so I couldn't look far down, but the top of the chimney was clean. The clay's interior was black (exterior was clean, and the crown was newly rebuild weeks ago so it was clean), but, no visible buildup or caking on the interior, and I could still see scrape marks from the last chimney brush that went down there. The cap itself was clean (no visible buildup or caking of soot/creosote), just black in color.
  22. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,659
    Loc:
    northern massachusetts
    if you ever get up there again bring a drop light. my chimney is all outdoor. i have noticed that there would be more buildup about 1 foot from where the stovepipe comes into the chimney to about 5 feet higher then tapered off as it got to the top. that is just my exp. most people have it at the top because they have insulated chimneys and it doesn't cool off until the top where it can condense. it seems to my chimney that it squeezes out the creosote in the first 6 feet.
  23. spirilis

    spirilis Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    450
    Loc:
    New Market, MD
    I was just thinking about that... especially since my flue is ginormous (12x12) and all outdoor, it's probably all building up at the outlet of the stovepipe. I'll have to rig something up (got a 100ft extension cord, that should do the trick)
  24. spirilis

    spirilis Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    450
    Loc:
    New Market, MD
    haha wow, so after about 1.5hrs that mass of 5 woodbrickfuels was reduced to a semi-large mass of glowing embers. let it sit like that for a while at 1/2 air, just went back down and it was almost dark. opened it up completely, raked the charred sawdust and coals to the front and it's starting to ignite again with very hot glowing coals near the air intake, although it's well past halfway burned through. still though, that burned pretty fast with the better draft...
  25. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,659
    Loc:
    northern massachusetts
    how many bricks did you buy? how much is left?

Share This Page