Vermont Castings Aspen C3 2022

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30WCF

Feeling the Heat
Aug 31, 2016
345
North Carolina
Looked around the forum rules, didn’t see anything against an ongoing review. ( only prohibiting promotions and bashings, this may contain both in the same post😁 )
I have a few other open threads on this stove, but since reviews on this stove seem very hard to come by online, I thought I would consolidate and try to get a decent review for this stove. I’ll have some questions along the way.
I’ll skip the standard YouTube unboxing video where you would see how nice the cardboard box was.
For reference, 1950s drafty 1100 sqf house in central NC. I’ll try to post up outdoor temps, stovetop temps and wood type and MC. Anything else, just ask.

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30WCF

Feeling the Heat
Aug 31, 2016
345
North Carolina
First thing to note is that a flue adapter is necessary with double wall pipe. I rigged up a thing to do some break in fires, but have an adapter on order. I’m not sure about single wall pipe, but I needed an adapter since the exterior of the double wall was the same diameter as the flue collar on the stove.

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I should have it tomorrow.
 

30WCF

Feeling the Heat
Aug 31, 2016
345
North Carolina
Bad news is the adapter is too big for the stove pipe and too small for the glue collar. Anyone have a clue what I need? My dealer steered me to a single wall adapter, and I thought I knew better so I ordered something else. VC is unresponsive to emails.
 
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30WCF

Feeling the Heat
Aug 31, 2016
345
North Carolina
Alright. A little more research and head scratching and trying to remember what I bought years ago. Duravent DSP I’m thinking. On the Duravent site I have options. I’ve emailed them, but wanted to see if anyone had experience here with the new Aspen. My choices are…

1) stove adapter

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2) flush stove adapter

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30WCF

Feeling the Heat
Aug 31, 2016
345
North Carolina
Next up is temps. 28 degrees at time of report.

Swept chimney clean from old stove today to get a fresh starting point to monitor from.

Started a fire around 5:00.
Once coals were established ( 7:00pm +\- ) I put on two large spits. An hour later I checked with two magnetic thermometers and one IR.
Stove top with IR was 725, double wall pipe was 330, pine wall behind stove was 123.
The two magnetic thermometers on the stove read 700 on the front just above the door, and 800 at the flue collar.
It was hot in the house with all ceiling fans on, and a small fan blowing cool air down the hall from the bedroom door. Even the bedroom was on the hot side. Spent about 2 hours with a window in the living room fully opened from the top with outside temps in the mid to upper 20s. Once things crumbled up, the temp in the house had come down and I closed the window.

It’s midnight and STT is 290-340 depending on where you are shooting it with the IR. Coals are piled high and glass is clean. About time for one good split and off to bed.
Coals before bedtime loading.
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Coals knocked around and one split on before bed. (12:02am) thermostat in the hall says 71* F.

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30WCF

Feeling the Heat
Aug 31, 2016
345
North Carolina
11:00am, 11 hrs after feeding. 200 STT. LP heat had kicked on at this point. Raked up the coals and cracked the door.

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A few minutes later, about 11:15am.

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30WCF

Feeling the Heat
Aug 31, 2016
345
North Carolina
Last night I had a good bed of coals. I raked a center trough all down the center of the stove. I put a large oak split on and it caught right on. This was around 9:00pm. This morning at 6:00am, the entire log was gone. I raked around the ashes and pulled a few 3-5 coals up. Although I could have blown some kindling to life, I started a new, top down fire. The stove top was around 150.
I think the center trough worked well if I was awake and just needed to catch something fast, but maybe went too fast for the overnight since this time I didn’t have good coals and was nearly a cold stove.
Enjoying morning coffee now, with 475 STT from two medium splits of Bradford Pear.

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30WCF

Feeling the Heat
Aug 31, 2016
345
North Carolina
Not sure I’ll ever need it, but beside the coffee can full of sand, there is a jar lid.
 

30WCF

Feeling the Heat
Aug 31, 2016
345
North Carolina
My stove adapter shows “out for delivery” on the tracking information. So since I’ll be taking it some stuff apart anyway, I thought I would clean again.
Here is how I’m protecting my wool blanket and baffle. I clean from the top.
Cast trivet in a bag over the collar to keep the bag from getting chewed up. I can go down until I hit a solid stop.
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30WCF

Feeling the Heat
Aug 31, 2016
345
North Carolina
Got the Duravent DSP stove adapter. Did a bit of trimming to the inside crimped section to get it to sit a little lower and let the tapered crimp fit a little tighter in the flue collar. Otherwise it’s a nice fit. Added new screws and installed screws to fill the old holes in the pipe where the old stove height was adjusted to with the telescoping liner.

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wjohn

Member
Jul 27, 2021
228
KS
Glad to see you got the right adapter. I didn't do double wall on my C3 so I didn't have any issues. With the right conditions and loading these stoves can have pretty good burn times.
 
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30WCF

Feeling the Heat
Aug 31, 2016
345
North Carolina
I have a few other open threads on this stove, but since reviews on this stove seem very hard to come by online, I thought I would consolidate and try to get a decent review for this stove.
My apologies. In my OP in this thread, I said reviews online were hard to come by. As I’m looking around the site, I am finding several good reads on this stove. My intended interpretation was to express that if you google the Aspen, all you get is a couple YouTube videos that don’t really give you that much and a bunch of online vendors and ads.

I’m enjoying reading through everyone’s posts in other threads and hope nobody took insult regards to the conversations here that I hadn’t yet found, or that I disregard the information.

Thank you all for the good advise, discussions, tedious research, and thorough descriptions and explanations.
 

30WCF

Feeling the Heat
Aug 31, 2016
345
North Carolina
Went 5.5 hrs last night on minimal ash. I had just cleaned the stove, lit a small top down fire to get some coals, which burned down for a few hours, then loaded it before bed. I suspect I may have had more coals if I had an ash bed, but it still was 200stt, and 71 in the house this morning, and the reload lit right off with the door cracked for a few minutes.
I kind of expected that big log to have more coals left.
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skitten

New Member
Nov 25, 2022
5
Sonoma county, CA
@30WCF
I see that blacked-out glass… that's been making me the saddest, and I've given up on cleaning it until I get the hang of this stove.

Are you having to keep the door cracked open to start the fire? I'm finding it pretty much kills the fire if I close the door in the first hour or so - still calibrating on that.

Also yours has way more brick than mine - is that how you originally got it?

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EatenByLimestone

Moderator
Staff member
@30WCF
I see that blacked-out glass… that's been making me the saddest, and I've given up on cleaning it until I get the hang of this stove.

Are you having to keep the door cracked open to start the fire? I'm finding it pretty much kills the fire if I close the door in the first hour or so - still calibrating on that.

Also yours has way more brick than mine - is that how you originally got it?

View attachment 303905


Have you tested the moisture content of your wood?
 
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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
4,025
SE North Carolina
@30WCF
I see that blacked-out glass… that's been making me the saddest, and I've given up on cleaning it until I get the hang of this stove.

Are you having to keep the door cracked open to start the fire? I'm finding it pretty much kills the fire if I close the door in the first hour or so - still calibrating on that.

Also yours has way more brick than mine - is that how you originally got it?

View attachment 303905
Those bricks don’t look correct. From the manual I just got from their website

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30WCF

Feeling the Heat
Aug 31, 2016
345
North Carolina
@30WCF
I see that blacked-out glass… that's been making me the saddest, and I've given up on cleaning it until I get the hang of this stove.

Are you having to keep the door cracked open to start the fire? I'm finding it pretty much kills the fire if I close the door in the first hour or so - still calibrating on that.

Also yours has way more brick than mine - is that how you originally got it?

View attachment 303905
No I close my door fairly quickly. I’m doing too down on a cold start. I have good draft and dry kindling ( 1/4” to 1-1/2” ). The only times I’ve had to keep it cracked for longer has been trying to burn wetter wood. I know some of my wood is damp, so I’m expecting the glass to be a little dirty for now. It does seem to get dirty as you let the fire die out regardless of MC of the wood. With wet wood, you have to make a slurry paste from ash and scrub the glass. With dry wood, a damp paper towel dipped in ash will wipe the soot off the first pass with the towel.
I’d check if your wood is good and dry or add more kindling. I can usually close my door in 3-5 minutes and still have good flames.sometimes I go about 15 minutes at the longest.
Those bricks don’t look correct. From the manual I just got from their website

View attachment 303912
This looks correct for my year model. It came with all the brick shown, already cut to size. I have the same drawing in my manual.
 
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30WCF

Feeling the Heat
Aug 31, 2016
345
North Carolina
@30WCF
I see that blacked-out glass… that's been making me the saddest, and I've given up on cleaning it until I get the hang of this stove.

Are you having to keep the door cracked open to start the fire? I'm finding it pretty much kills the fire if I close the door in the first hour or so - still calibrating on that.

Also yours has way more brick than mine - is that how you originally got it?

View attachment 303905
If you look at post #6, I had a good hot fire and good coals on reload. STT was still close to 300-350 on reload and the glass is clean yet. On reloads that are colder I have more soot. Also rather than loading a single large split like I’ve pictured in my reloads, some small stuff mixed in helps keep the flames up until that larger split gets going. I might suggest putting a 1.5x1.5 split on either side of your reload piece if you are trying to burn small fires reloaded over minimal coals. That will help the reload take off and keep the glass cleaner.
I also don’t think I’m usually running hot enough to get consistent secondary combustion which would help with that too.
 
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30WCF

Feeling the Heat
Aug 31, 2016
345
North Carolina
I wasn’t gonna light it today as it’s going to be warmer out, but just to verify my last couple posts….
I last stoked a fire last night about midnight with a couple medium small splits and went to bed.
8:30 I raked up the coals out of the ash and let them breathe a few minutes while I went out on the porch and picked a few dry pieces of kindling, then set them on the coals. In a bout a minute, I had flame and closed the door within five minutes. The flames grew from that point on, and will until the damper starts to close or the fuel runs out.
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Closed the door

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Five minutes with door closed.

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wjohn

Member
Jul 27, 2021
228
KS
Also yours has way more brick than mine - is that how you originally got it?

View attachment 303905

You are missing firebricks. They should look like 30WCF's photos. I can see someone just laid the side ones horizontally (they should be standing vertically, tucked behind the baffle support brackets) and I can't tell but your rear firebricks might be missing too.
 

skitten

New Member
Nov 25, 2022
5
Sonoma county, CA
You are missing firebricks. They should look like 30WCF's photos. I can see someone just laid the side ones horizontally (they should be standing vertically, tucked behind the baffle support brackets) and I can't tell but your rear firebricks might be missing too.
Yes I just looked at the manual and I am indeed missing bricks (side and back). Just emailed the dealer about it. I don't know if they install the bricks or it comes from the factory with them installed but I am annoyed.

How much might this affect performance?