So I must have taken some crazy pills this morning. All I can think about is turning my already very efficient Englander 30 into an even more efficient wood eating machine. I've been day dreaming all day about hot rodding it. I guess I must be spending too much time on this site! Lets face it....the NC30 is a budget stove. Englander has great customer service and produces a great stove for the money but there are some improvements that can be made. The goal is to make a more controllable stove with a better insulated firebox. Here is what I am asking from Santa this year: Air Control Improvement There have been a number of threads lately on where the air comes from in the Englander 30, why it should be modified, and how to do it. Thread 1, Thread 2, Generally speaking....reducing or blocking the doghouse air gives the primary air lever greater control over the fire. This allows YOU to actually control the fire. Reducing the secondary air inlet some how improves the secondaries. I can't quite figure this one out...someone please tell me how! Ceramic Baffle Board Improvement The NC30 comes with two ceramic boards that sit side by side N/S on top of the secondary tubes. The problem is that they are cut undersized. Users report of a 1/4-3/4" gap between the boards. This lets alot of heat and fire go right up the flue which makes for a cooler firebox. Many people just get some door gasket and slide a metal rod inside of it. This is exactly what I've done...and it helps. But I want more. I want more insulation. My parents Quadrafire 4300/3100's (I might have the #'s messed up) have a 3/4" ceramic baffle board and 1" of ceramic fiber insulation. Their secondaries light up almost instantly. A few people on here have replaced their ceramic board with two criss-crossing layers on their NC30's to eliminate gaps. It seems like it helps a lot. Like this thread... Skyline Components (and others) sell raw stock for ceramic fiber board. This is the company commonly selling it on eBay. You'd want two 1/2"x24"x36" B12T12C boards. $27.36 a board. Click Here... Insulated Fire Brick Now we're going to get a little more crazy... Part of the reason I believe my parents Quadrafire stoves run excellent is because of the well insulated firebox. I believe these stoves use insulated firebrick. Hotter fires run more efficiently...right? Augie recently created a thread on Hot Rodding his Avalon Stove There happens to be a pottery store just an hour from me here in MA that sells insulated firebricks. $4.69 per firebrick. They need to be cut in half though....but at least I'll only need half as many. Sheffield Pottery Here is another source... Bailey Pottery Supply in NY Now Really Crazy....Ceramic Coatings Here is where it gets really silly. In the refractory furnace land....a coating exists called ITC-100. Its expensive but really improves performance in refractory furnaces. It significantly reduces fuel needs to produce the same temperature fire. Insulated Fire Brick (IFB) is very soft compared to normal stove brick. It can be damaged easily. ITC-100 hardens and strengthens the outer coating of the brick....giving it a much longer service life. It also does a very good job at reflecting radiant heat......which goes back to the hotter firebox with less fuel idea. The problem is that its expensive. $65 for a pint shipped. That is about enough to cover all of the firebrick and the ceramic baffle boards in the firebox. Best price is at Budget Casting Supply. Click the link for pricing and technical data. Also available at Baileys, link above. The point?!?!? Better air control and a better insulated firebox will allow you to have the same temperature fire but with less air. Less air means longer burn times. What do you think? Should I give it a shot? Oh wait...it will cost about $180 shipped to do all this. Yup...definitely day dreaming. But If Santa is out there reading this and wants to deliver the materials for the project I promise to post scientific results on Hearth.com!