Hey VC! Sounds like you are getting the hang of your VCDW. I utilize a magnetic thermometer placed on the door(as someone else, and the manual recommend), and it works out well for me. My cat temps usually run 1100F +/ 150F, and door temps around 450F. The only time I have to adjust the secondary(cat) draft is when I run smaller loads or less than perfect wood. I run a non VC variable speeed blower on my stove and it really pulls the heat off of it. Enjoy your VCDW, I know we do!