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VC Defiant Encore Cat. 2190 finally burning! New picture.

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by VCBurner, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Over the next summer or two I think I am going to close off the fireplace more that houses the Encore in an attempt to prevent the heat from sitting in the fireplace. It will probably improve my burn times since I will get more heat from lower temps.

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  2. Clarks ACE Hardware

    Clarks ACE Hardware Member

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    Nice looking stove.... and what a cool fireplace!
  3. tcassavaugh

    tcassavaugh Minister of Fire

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    i had a an old cdw cat stove i burned for years and never had a problem with it. just wanted a bigger stove with longer burn times. it still sits downstairs, which reminds me i need to put it on craigs list. Anyway, That old stove had two draft controls....one for the main fire box and the other for the cat. i would start a fire normally using some starter and kindling and small splits and let it get going if it was the first fire in the morning or starting it cold. i'd build the temps up, which takes awhile, until the cat thrmometer got to 500 then i would operate the bypass lever engaging the cat. after a bit, it would be crusing at @ 1000 degrees. you could regulate the cat burn by using the upper draft control for the cat champer. when you reload to put more on, open the bypass control or smoke will spill out big time. if the thermometer is below 500 when you reload, bring it back up to temp by burning with the bypass control open and when it gets to 500 engage the bypass and the cat should take off again. things/design may have changed....but principal remains the same. follow the zones on the cat thermometer and you should be fine. really not much different to use than old school stoves, just have one more "tool" to assist in the burn.

    jmho

    cass
  4. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Wow Chris the stove looks great and the fireplace is awesome! If it wasn't for the custom refractory lining in the VC's I would have considered them when I was looking to replace my old CDW.. I did look at them and while they looked great as VC's always do the innards just scared me away.. If VC ever gets rid of the custom refractory interior of their stoves I think people would be standing in line to buy them.. At least if I break a brick in the T-5 I would be out around $5.00.. Lifetime warrantees are only good if the company remains in business with the same owners unfortunately VC changes hands quite often..

    Ray
  5. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Interesting, like a new block off plate or a reflector shield of sorts? Do you have a rear heat shield on yours? I have heard they really create a convection chamber almost. Makes sense since a lot of the heat on that stove comes from the rear being that it is where the cat sits in the secondary burn chamber. I'll have to check out your posts to see if you have any pics. I remember seeing some of your set ups before but I don't think I've seen one of your current three stoves. I'm glad you've listed your current stoves in your sig again, I wasn't sure what you were burning in these days. If you don't mind sharing feel free to post one here :)

    Thanks again for posting, the picture I took of the midnight blue encore really doesn't do it any justice. I'll have to take some good ones another time, the batteries died before I could capture a good one this weekend! :-(
  6. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    I really love the way it looks too. It was so close to being in action in my house! It does an awesome job of heating his house too, he has great insulation in the attic so just about any stove would do well. It is hard to match the look of the VC's in my opinion. What scares me about the cat encore is how hidden the cat is in the back and the fact that you can't tell what's going on in the secondary chamber. In those stoves a probe cat thermometer is a necessity IMO. It is the only way to keep an eye on the cat. As far as the refractory housing on the old cats, they are expensive, but honestly people who damage them often can't tell or even know if their stoves are working properly. I believe lots of what goes on out there is due to lack of knowledge of operation. These are beautiful stoves and can be easy to use if you know what to do with them. The new 2n1 VC's may be a great stove, I think they would be better if the cat and non cat technologies worked together like that of a Progress hybrid. The parts inside may be risky, seeing as the fireback is now not made of cast iron anymore, if I remember correctly. Although, so far I have heard mostly great things about them. I think you made a good decision on the Alderlea, though, it seems to fit your style both in looks and heat delivery, being a convection heater. From all I've seen they are also pretty easy to operate.
  7. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Hi J, I wish he had been able to put the warming shelves with the dragon brackets on it. I ended up ordering them from CA. and they are a beauty. He would have had to pull the stove further out though, and the hearth would not have been 16" beyond the front. It fits perfectly in that chimney and the hearth extends 16" where it sits now. Very well proportioned, not a tight fit whatsoever so it doesn't look crammed in there and you can still see the sides on it.
    My father in law built that fireplace himself, along with another similar smaller one in the family room downstairs in his raised ranch. He's not even a mason, he's a union carpenter like myself. The chimney outside has some nice detail too! It has a matching archway in the brick chimney. The brick was reconditioned from a job where he tore it down himself and cleaned it all up! The marble hearth is wrapped with a piece of 1/4" brass, left over from another job. The wide oak floors in his house are gleaming and the diningroom has an inlaid detail with Brazilian Cherry, Mohogany and Purple Heart. The baseboards are 8" oak with a custom trim on top. He installed everything and even milled a lot of it himself in his wood shop that is in the basement. He works really hard to make his house look good and is meticulous about anything he does to the house. The family room in the basement is made of raised panels and so are the walls that covered the cement knee walls. The pine for the panels came from his back yard trees and went to a mill down the street, the owner became his good friend. He made all the panels himself and my wife and mother in law helped him hold them up as he nailed them to the ceiling. My wife also grouted the tile floor in the basement! When she was a young girl in middle school. The girder beam in the family room was replaced by a solid oak beam, which is beautifully finished in a gloss sheen. In the basement there is a fireplace and a hearth for a wood stove, with brick on the wall and slate on the floor. He built all of it. The house had electrick heat when they moved in and was newly built. Today he has a forced hot water furnace and baseboard heat, which he installed himself with the help of a hvac buddy. I could go on and on, some of the work I helped him myself, like his new roof and 8' oak bow window in the living room upstairs, which was really hard to lift on to the pipe staging we had set up to get it up about 8' off the ground! His old Surdiac 715 lays dormant after decades of good heating in the basement, it now will be replaced by a pellet stove. The Encore in the livingroom will be for evenings and times when he feels like having a wood fire.
    He's getting older and the mill down the road, which used to supply him with an unlimited amount of free wood, has closed down. His old friend passed on a few years ago and his kids were not interested in running a mill. We did a bit of tree work together, me and the FIL, enough to get us by for a while burning wood, but as many of us know, the wood doesn't last and you have to keep working. Neither of us have acreage and buying wood seems like a shame to him. He never owned a splitter and split it all by hand when he was younger working the grapple loads into fuel year after year. The last few years he's been borrowing a splitter that he always tunes up and changes the oil in exchange for the loan. This year he bought his first cord ever! He says it was a strange experience. He also tried a few different kinds of pressed logs and brick fuel which is good, he says.
    My father in law has enriched my life in more ways than he knows! He's not exactly the kind of guy you feel comfortable telling these things to. It is nice to see the Encore burning in his livingroom. The washer and dryer set he bought us in exchange for the stove are worth far more then the 1994 stove is today, even though it is in good shape. But that stove is a beauty! :)
  8. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Hi Cass,
    Thank you very much for posting. I owned a Vermont Castings Dutchwest Large Cat model 2461 myself! Loved that stove. I had it down to a science, as long as it was on the way to 300 I could engage the cat and it would light off! I found the stainless steel cat made it even easier to operate. Check out the link at the end of my signature, there are some pics of it in there as well as countless observations about that stove from different Dutchwest owners. When I told my father in law how to burn his Encore, it was along the same lines of what you just said. Build a bed of coals, load up and char the wood bringing the stove up to temperature then engage the cat and turn the air lever almost all the way shut and let the cat do the work. The thing about the Encore cat stove is there is no cat thermometer like the dutchwest. It is a much more complicated stove to really understand. It is supposed to be easy and having a griddle thermometer is really all that VC says you need because of the two thermostatically controlled air intakes that feed the secondary burn chamber/cat and the main firebox. The truth is with the Encore, that the cat temps can get really hot, some people report sustained extreme cat temps of over 1800 degrees that can often damage parts like the cat itself, refractory housing and cast iron parts around it, such as fireback, etc... So understanding the stove and its intricacies is essential to keeping this stove happy and extending its life. The good thing about my father in law, is he likes burning on the cooler end and the stove is way bigger than what he needs to heat the upstairs. It is rated to heat 1900 sq ft and the floor the stove is in is just over 1000 sq ft. So no worries about him pushing the stove to its limits.
  9. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    I could teach a child to operate this stove it's so easy.. You are right I totally prefer convection heaters and always will.. About the VC yes I agree the PH is head and antlers being a hybrid and a totally different animal! WS was a really good time with great people and I hope you can attend this year! I will get a room with 2 beds and your welcome to take one if you are interested in attending I will pick up the tab..

    Ray
  10. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Thanks brother, I might take you up on it Ray! I hope it doesn't fall on our anual Fall camping trip again. I must admit, that weekend was better than some we had in the Summer and Spring. It's not often you get to go in the ocean in October and not freeze to death, at least here in MA. The WS BBQ must have been a blast!
  11. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Wow, just saw your picture, thanks for posting it. Is that a gray enamel? Sort of looks similar color to my Windsor. Beautiful Stove, is it in a fireplace?
  12. Excavator

    Excavator Burning Hunk

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    Central NJ
    Hi Cris, here are a few pics of my 1988 Encore (cat)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

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