Long-time reader, but first time writer, and I've got some questions concerning a big Buck stove that my Wife and I got with a house we purchased that was built in 1961. We moved in about a year ago, and the house was equipped with this older stove. The stove is merely sitting just inside the fireplace without any flue at all. We had the chimney cleaned and inspected prior to moving in, and the chimney guy said that there was a light coating of soot, but nothing serious. and that the clay liner was in great shape. He recommended leaving the Buck stove out and simply using it as an open fireplace since everything was still intact to use as an open fireplace. According to the neighbors, the previous owners when they were younger, would use the stove with the doors open and used it like an open fireplace. Well, we ended up placing the stove back in the fireplace, and actually using it to offset the oil heating costs last winter. Nothing really wrong has happened, and we've thoroughly enjoyed the warm heat it provides, but have a few questions. First involves the damper. The arm that you pull out the front to close the damper has 3 notches on it but it won't pull out to the third notch, likewise, the damper won't close all the way...it only goes to about a 45 degree angle. Second, is there supposed to be some kind of gasket on the doors of this stove? Closing the air vents at the bottom does not seem to make a huge difference...probably because of the first issue somewhat, but the doors are rather leaky, and lots of air gets through them. Third, A few weeks ago, I heard a loud clacking noise coming from the fan, so I let the fire burn out and I pulled the stove out and inspected it. There appears to be a metal plate welded to the back of the stove in the same size and shape as the fan hole. Two of the welds holding the plate had come loose, and the circular metal plate was not contacting the fan blades. I put some washers on the fan to move it out, and solved the issue, but I'm curious about this plate. Was this a "hack" modification by the previous owner, or some sort of diffuser or heat shield installed by the manufacture that's supposed to be there? I'd take it completely out to keep it from causing future issues, but worried it will cause bigger problems if it's gone. Fourth, not really a question, but an observation: previous owner had a fireplace grate sitting in it which appeared to make the fire too high. Likewise, I built a fire one time on the bottom of the stove, and the stove made much more heat, I imagine beause there is much more surface area for the fire to warm up. Plus, I could see the flames flying out the top of the stove, and going up the chimney, so that was lost heat. I cut the back two legs off the fireplace grate, so it sits at an angle with the front high, and the back low. This makes the logs tend to roll towards the back, and air can get underneath so the fire can get plenty of fresh air...Worked even better Wife wants to move back to an open fireplace after we upgrade the central heating to natural gas. She likes to be able to see the fire. I like the additional free heat the wood stove provides. Can glass doors be added to this stove maybe and make a nice compromise? If that's so, I may spend the extra money and get the flue lined too.