Hello community. I've been very thankful for these forums since I was recently gifted a VC Aspen that I'd like to install in my new home. There's a wealth of knowledge here and I've learned a ton by reading through many posts. I do know about the issues with the Aspen, particularly the clogging of the primary air plate. I also know that it's not the preferred stove of this site. Truth be told, it was free and the issues don't bother me too much since I probably won't be using this stove for everyday heating. The question I have is whether or not I need to rebuild the stove. Like I said, it was gifted to me by my parents who used it as an everyday heater in their small 800 ft2 house. It's probably 15-20 years old and beyond replacing the door gaskets, it hasn't had much if any maintenance. When I got it, I decided to clean it out and replace some cracked firebricks (originals) so I took the top plate off and it was unsurprisingly full of ash. After removing the ash, I noticed that a fair amount of the refrac cement was cracked and loose between the left side wall and the secondary air channel and it just came right out (photo 3249). The cement between the right side wall and right secondary air channel was in better shape, but was still cracked (photo 3241). There are other places where cement is missing (ohoto 3242) and when I removed the firebricks and gave it a good clean, there were plenty of pieces of loose/dislodged cement that I found. Here's my question: Do I need to get this stove completely recemented, or is there an easy solution - some way I can fill in the obvious joints that need cement without disassembling the thing? If it's the former, I might just forgo the effort and $$ and buy a different stove because this one does come with design issues and it's undersized for our 1500 ft2 home. I do need to buy firebricks, flat gasket to put under the top firebricks, and a bottom heat shield to replace the DIY piece of sheet metal it currently has, so right now I'm looking at about $150 to get it up and ready to pass visual inspection. If I have to put too much more $$ into it, it might not be worth it. Also, if it does need to be rebuilt/recemented, is this an operation that I could do myself or does it require someone with skill and experience? Thanks, and looking forward to hearing your advice.