VC Dauntless FlexBurn Fire starting and maintining

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New Member
Feb 3, 2023
Hey VC owner! I decided to quit complaining about the stove I bought and decided to do a ton of research and worki hard to understand this stove and I believe I have finally nailed it for myself.

I thought I would share what I have learned and how to get the most out of your VC Dauntless FlexBurn!

These are my results and they might not be typical but so far this is working really well for me.

[The Kindling]
I have realized that this stove does require a little kindling to get going and a little extra patience to get a roaring fire up and running.
I am not going to state the obvious in any of this about dryness of the wood as we all well know under 15% is best!

First off I have 2 types of kindling.
1. Small "FatWood" kindling
2. "Chunking" kindling

The small "Fatwood" is about 5-6 inches long and 1.5 - 2.0 inches thick.
The "Chunky" is about 5-6 inches long and 2-4 inches thick or more
Pictures are provided below

I stack the "Fatwood" in the stove like the picture. If you need to add paper scraps to help start go for it.
Make sure this is as far from the glass as possible and pushed as far back in the stove as possible.


I light the wood !

I then push the air control all the way closed facing back, and then move about 3-5 clicks forward.
This has been the perfect control of air, not too much and not too little. You may have to adjust the clicks for your liking.
What I have found if there is too much draft the stove doesn't heat up very well, all the heat goes out the chimney with tons of flame.
By dialing this air control down it holds in the heat and you get coals very quickly, roughly in 20-30 minutes.

Now after you see the flames going well, not too high like a blast furnace but not looking like the flames are going to go out.
What your looking for is a nice slow to medium dance. Add the "chunky" kindling on top and push all this to the back of the stove
let this burn good and adjust the air control for more or less, but I leave it the same position to make it easy.

Now when you see this "chunky" kindling going well throw on your normal wood on top and actually push it back as far to rear of the stove as possible.
The furthest away from the glass as possible.

inside 1.jpg

You have already gotten over the hardest part of the Dauntless now comes the easy part.
Once you put in the regular wood wipe the glass off with a paper towel. The initial smoke will wipe clear easily.
I wipe my glass down every 7-10 logs and its staying extremely clear. But make sure when you load the stove you are pushing the wood to the back of the stove away from the glass

I have gone 12-15 hours without cleaning the glass and its very clear.

outside 1.jpg
outside 2.jpg

Now I don't have a CAT installed on my stove and I don't use the cat feature. I have the space for it behind but I'm not bothering to spend the money for something that I have seen people talk about and it doesn't seem to last very long.

How do you know you got a good burn going? look at the Inside of the stove with the log burning, the ceramic is nearly white and the bricks are white!
This is letting me know I have a complete burn and the creosote is not building up too much.

The tools I am using for the kindling is the Kindling Cracker to make the "Fatwood" and the "Chunky" wood.

Let me know if this helps at all. My stove temps seem to hover around 500-600 when I load it up with 2 pieces. The burn time is dependent on the wood, so I'm leaving this out of the equation.
This is about starting and keeping it going and keeping the glass cleaner.

The glass seems to be very clean using this method and my temps are good so far. There is very little "Tinkering" with the stove to keep the flame going and and this method seems to burning well with plenty of hot and coals for the next few pieces of wood.

I know this is not super all encompassing guide, but if it helps at least 1 or 2 people then great!

The ash tray below is not overflowing either, as the burns seems to be complete, I only empty it once every 24-36 hours.

Comments?! questions?! Let me know I'm doing everything I can to help!
Thanks! inside 1.jpg


New Member
Jan 18, 2023
Coos Bay, OR
My Dauntless and myself have been on a learning curve for the past six months. After heeding Woodsplitter67's advice have been burning much hotter than I did previously. I know now if the glass is getting coated with tar, I am not burning hot enough. I too have been burning in the 500-550 range.


Nov 7, 2008
Are you leaving the bypass open the whole time you have the fire going ? is that what you mean by not using the cat feature ?


Minister of Fire
Feb 23, 2022
Champion, PA
Did I just get a 24 hour burn on a VC Dauntless?
On Sunday earlier in the morning I put two medium splits in on top of overnight coals, cranked up the oven and let those burn down. I then put 2 very large pieces of red oak, another 1 larger than I normally would put in my stove piece, and a medium small to fill the top a little bit. They took awhile to catch but not as long as I thought they would. This was at around 11:30am Sunday morning. At NOON on Monday I still had coals and the griddle was too hot to hold my hand on for too long. The glass looks great.

I spoke to a dealer on Friday, not the one that sold me my VC but another one that I didnt go with because I didnt want to wait for them to get stock. The lady on the phone told me what I already know about burning hotter but as Ive also noticed as long as you have that great bed of coals you dont need to continue to burn hot you can turn it down pretty low. She also suggested I try the larger pieces too, and I was surprised I didnt smoke out the valley trying this. Im not sure how burn time is calculated, but I had my stove supplying heat for over 24 hours. I did run the stove on the second to lowest setting, what would normally turn the entire stove black when I was learning the stove. I was gone for most of the day skiing, then dinner then to a gathering. I didnt reload when we returned at night, I just went straight to bed and was ok with letting the furnace take over if needed. The furnace never kicked on.


Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
Woolwich nj
Are you leaving the bypass open the whole time you have the fire going ? is that what you mean by not using the cat feature ?

when people speak of this you can close the bypass.. without the catalyst being in.. doing this and keeping the temperature up.. not turning the air back all the way will allow you to burn a little cleaner.. you can also burn with the bypass open and adjust the air.. again not turning the air all the way back burning hotter and cleaner without overfiring the stove.. it is way better to put the catalyst in and not worry so much about if your creating to much creosote
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