Let's talk Vermont Castings

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Corie

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2005
2,441
Camp Hill, PA
Good Morning everyone!

I quietly watch the forums and I've noticed a bunch of questions/concerns about Vermont Castings, especially new 2020 unit launches. When HHT acquired Vermont Castings, my team and I took over R&D of all new models. We're really proud of the launch of the recent Aspen C3 and Dauntless and I'd like to answer any questions and provide supporting data on testing performed to make sure these units are more reliable, easier to operate and last longer than VC designs of the past.

Also, to members that might still remember who I am: Hi everyone, glad to see so many familiar names still posting.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,761
South Puget Sound, WA
Thanks Corie! It's great to know that you are working on these projects. Many users reported that the previous generations of the Aspen did not stand up well and weren't very good heaters. Too bad, because it's a popular form factor and the Aspen is an attractive stove. What changes were made? The Dauntless appears to be a revived Resolute. Is that correct? Does it still have a refractory package secondary combustion package? What changes were made with this stove?
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,281
Ottawa, ON
Looks like both of you guys joined the forum on the same day.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,761
South Puget Sound, WA
Looks like both of you guys joined the forum on the same day.
That's the day the new forum started. We were both on the earlier BBS one a while before that date.
 
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Corie

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2005
2,441
Camp Hill, PA
Aspen C3 - We pulled the ash pan from the old unit, created a special bimetallic start up air system to allow easy startups and boost air as the fire dies, but took the stove to single burn rate since it is so small. It's a surprising little heater than actually burns MUCH longer than makes sense. Efficiency is up, much more simple construction and gasket seams versus furnace cement on the previous model. Pretty unit combination bottom airwash/coal bed air system, all linked to the bimetallic boost.

Dauntless - Shares main combustion system with Intrepid Flexburn. Better refractory, better engagement of access cover (much improved over Encore and Defiant models), better blower and also the cooking grill and swing out ash pan of the other models.

I think the most important piece to both units is that they've been through our rigorous, bordering on ridiculous reliability protocol which requires months of continuous over firing (constant feed of kiln dried 2x4's) without degradation of combustion systems, iron and operational controls.

These units look like old VC, but we've design and tested them to be more durable, more reliable and require less maintenance.

I know that sounds like a sales pitch - But those that know me know I wouldn't be standing behind products my team has designed if I didn't truly believe in them.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,761
South Puget Sound, WA
That's great news. There is a good market for smaller stoves. I owned the original Resolute which was a great stove. It pained me to see it go downhill so badly with the Acclaim . I am glad to see it getting a proper upgrade.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,641
central pa
Aspen C3 - We pulled the ash pan from the old unit, created a special bimetallic start up air system to allow easy startups and boost air as the fire dies, but took the stove to single burn rate since it is so small. It's a surprising little heater than actually burns MUCH longer than makes sense. Efficiency is up, much more simple construction and gasket seams versus furnace cement on the previous model. Pretty unit combination bottom airwash/coal bed air system, all linked to the bimetallic boost.

Dauntless - Shares main combustion system with Intrepid Flexburn. Better refractory, better engagement of access cover (much improved over Encore and Defiant models), better blower and also the cooking grill and swing out ash pan of the other models.

I think the most important piece to both units is that they've been through our rigorous, bordering on ridiculous reliability protocol which requires months of continuous over firing (constant feed of kiln dried 2x4's) without degradation of combustion systems, iron and operational controls.

These units look like old VC, but we've design and tested them to be more durable, more reliable and require less maintenance.

I know that sounds like a sales pitch - But those that know me know I wouldn't be standing behind products my team has designed if I didn't truly believe in them.
Is this the same flex burn system that has been out for a while now. Or has it been revised?
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,281
Ottawa, ON
Is this the same flex burn system that has been out for a while now. Or has it been revised?
Still a downdraft system.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,641
central pa
Still a downdraft system.
Yes I know that. Which you all know my feelings on that. I was asking if it is updated from the first flex burn stoves I have been working on for a little while now. Or if it is the same.
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,061
Indiana
Yes I know that. Which you all know my feelings on that. I was asking if it is updated from the first flex burn stoves I have been working on for a little while now. Or if it is the same.
Same question here. I’m definitely not a fan. The asspen was a very poor heater, and the others had very poor durability. It would be hard to convince me otherwise. Each time there was a redesign all these claims were made.
We sold VC for over 30 years, totally dropped the line a few years back because of durability and warranty issues. It would be very hard to go back..
 
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Corie

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2005
2,441
Camp Hill, PA
I'll be building a small outbuilding (~200 sq. ft) in spring 2021 and will be looking at the Aspen C3 (also the Jotul F 602). Where are these VC stoves (the ones sold in Canada) manufactured? Cheers

All Vermont Casting stoves are made in Pennsylvania, with castings all still poured at the Vermont Castings foundry in Randolph Vermont.
 
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Corie

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2005
2,441
Camp Hill, PA
Yes I know that. Which you all know my feelings on that. I was asking if it is updated from the first flex burn stoves I have been working on for a little while now. Or if it is the same.

The Flexburn system in the Intrepid and Dauntless is different than the Encore/Defiant. It is still downdraft (and likely always will be to keep the VC brand pillar of top loading). But these new flexburn systems have less pieces, better access cover engagement and are 100% removeable from the front, without the need to loose the damper frame or try to slip refractory pieces underneath it.
 
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Corie

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2005
2,441
Camp Hill, PA
Same question here. I’m definitely not a fan. The asspen was a very poor heater, and the others had very poor durability. It would be hard to convince me otherwise. Each time there was a redesign all these claims were made.
We sold VC for over 30 years, totally dropped the line a few years back because of durability and warranty issues. It would be very hard to go back..

I'd happily share the results of reliability/durability testing with you, along with user feedback on the new Aspen C3. These new units are really good, we've leveraged the talent of the Harman design team to improve Vermont Castings and will continue that to improve brand image in the future.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,761
South Puget Sound, WA
If some of these revised stoves are in the hands of users. Send them here. I'd love to hear their thoughts and burning experiences with the new Aspen and Dauntless.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,641
central pa
I'd happily share the results of reliability/durability testing with you, along with user feedback on the new Aspen C3. These new units are really good, we've leveraged the talent of the Harman design team to improve Vermont Castings and will continue that to improve brand image in the future.
I wouldn't be bragging about getting input from the team that designed harman woodstoves. They were far from reliable or easy to run or maintain.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,761
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, their VC clone, the Oakleaf, sucked. But the folks that ran the TL300 were/are pretty happy with their stoves and did not report excess maintenance.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,641
central pa
Yes, their VC clone, the Oakleaf, sucked. But the folks that ran the TL300 were/are pretty happy with their stoves and did not report excess maintenance.
In my experience the oakleaf was slightly easier to run and a bit more durable than the tl300. Not sure why their internals were just about the same. The whole downdraft design is problematic in many ways.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,761
South Puget Sound, WA
Interesting. As soon as the Oakleaf came out we started hearing about issues with it. Not as bad as the Leyden, but there were some grumpy people that found the stove hard to run. I was thinking of Seasoned Oak who has had the TL300 for years. Regardless, you see a lot more Harmans than we do on the west coast so I believe you when you say that you've had to work on too many of them. The afterburner packages in these stoves are their Achilles heel. If the Dauntless solves that issue it will be a major improvement.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,145
Downeast Maine
The Intrepid looks like a nice little heater. We considered it at the store, but our own VC experience along with several threads on here steered us away.
 

Styx

Member
Feb 4, 2017
15
Illinois
Good Morning everyone!

I quietly watch the forums and I've noticed a bunch of questions/concerns about Vermont Castings, especially new 2020 unit launches. When HHT acquired Vermont Castings, my team and I took over R&D of all new models. We're really proud of the launch of the recent Aspen C3 and Dauntless and I'd like to answer any questions and provide supporting data on testing performed to make sure these units are more reliable, easier to operate and last longer than VC designs of the past.

Also, to members that might still remember who I am: Hi everyone, glad to see so many familiar names still posting.
How is your current wood insert compared to a old winterwarm 1280? I have one that I’m considering replacing or possibly having it rebuilt. Do you know of any shops that would overhaul a winterwarm? I’m located outside of Chicago in Illinois.
Thanks
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,761
South Puget Sound, WA
I'd invest in a new insert.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,761
South Puget Sound, WA
Any recommendations?
That question has a lot of "depends". Depends on what fits, what heat is required, what burn time, what aesthetic considerations, cat or non-cat, mantel clearances, etc. Tell me more about what you want and describe the current setup including whether there is a proper stainless liner in place and if so, how tall is it? Pics are always welcome.
 

Styx

Member
Feb 4, 2017
15
Illinois
That question has a lot of "depends". Depends on what fits, what heat is required, what burn time, what aesthetic considerations, cat or non-cat, mantel clearances, etc. Tell me more about what you want and describe the current setup including whether there is a proper stainless liner in place and if so, how tall is it? Pics are always welcome.
My current Insert (Winterwarm) has plenty of heat for what I use. I’ve been heating the entire house that past two weeks, it keeps the house plenty warm but it’s only dropping down into the 30’s at night. I would like something with a similar look. It is the fireplace system so the insert sits in the “energy cabinet” insulated steel with two vents that come out the top. That cabinet is surrounded by solid masonry And a coarse of brick behind the cabinet in front of the wall. pipe is insulated 8”.

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