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New Member
Jan 4, 2018
Upstate NY
Hello I am new to the forum, but decided to join recently. This is my first wood stove so I am out of my element. That being said any advice is appreciated. I recently bought an old Vermont Castings Defiant that was casted in late 1970's. Very beautiful stove; solid nickel handles, intricate patterns and a flue casted into the top plate.

Sadly it appears the previous owner didn't do much research. Saw the new models had a spark screen and bought a screen. Tried leaving the doors open for a beautiful fireplace setting. And cracked the outer back plate. *I only know this after talking to a sage. Also when I picked it up he gave me the screen saying it came with it.*

So after finding the cracks I sanded them down to bare metal, drilled holes at ends of cracks; cleaned with acetone and applied JB Weld High Heat. Just getting the stove pipe installed from wood stove to chimney; VC Defiant oval to round short adapter, elbow, 8" straight pipe, elbow; 8" to 6" reducer, 6" straight pipe to chimney. Chimney flue offset ~ 16" from center of stove. Wood stove is ~ 16" from chimney to heat shield. Thanks for any advice!

P.S. Will be welding the back this spring, for a more permanent fix. If anyone has a spare back plate. A friend in need is a friend indeed haha
You are in for a steep learning curve. Defant's need good draft and rarely does a 6" flue have enough. If its a single piece back plate, it didnt crack because of how it was operated as much it was a design defect (they had recall to convert them to a two piece fireback . Not worth trying to fill or weld the cracks as the heating and cooling will cause it to flex and any repairs wont last long. Unless the bypass system is functional with a solid fire back, it will put out plenty of heat but will also eat plenty of wood.

The reality of if it is a single piece fireback , its not worth rebuilding which requires upgrading to a two piece fireback and that requires a lot of other parts and the cost is more than the stove will be worth. If its two piece back, its less expensive. When you replace it do it right, take it fully apart clean out the old mortar and reseal it. While you are at it figure out how to clean the area behind the fireback when its back together and make sure you clean it whne you clean your chimney.

Yes they did come with screens and could be run like a fireplace..
I definitely have a steep learning curve. I have to continue recovering ground to make sure the material is properly taken in. Case and point, I jumbled up what I was told. I apologize for the confusion as I am still soaking everything in.

I was told by the expert that leaving the side door wide open for a period of time will fracture the exterior shell. It is #2 on the blown apart diagram that fractured. Sadly it wasn't the fireback and that is in perfect condition. (If it does fracture woodmens parts plus said they have a 2 or 3 piece fireback, I believe.) These photos are the before and after I will warn you that I did not sand down the excess so it is by no means a finished look.
Wow, I have never seen a cracked back panel. I expect there are plenty of them sitting around its just finding them. You may just pull it off.