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A beginner guide to woodburning...

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by MountainStoveGuy, Sep 4, 2006.

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  1. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    I would say wood burning for dummies, but that might get copyright infringements.

    What tip, trick or technique do you use in the process of heating your home with wood. No aspect is realy off topic, fuel type, kindling, starting procedures, stove choice, how you split, how you stack, any thing a new stove owner might want to know. This list should be simple topics, that will make a neewbe heating there home with wood a pro in minutes. If this turns out good, mabey it can go up for the wiki.

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Wood Burning for Dummies.
  3. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    thanks bb, i edited my post to make it more PC
  4. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I think the most important thing is dry firewood. Lots of people don't burn properly seasoned wood. Split small, stack off the ground, and let it dry for 1 year. Try to get one year ahead on your supply.
  5. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    "Wood Burning for Dummies." aaaaaaaaaa PELLET STOVE!? Alright , Alright quit throwing rotten fruit at me .
  6. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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  7. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    Sweet, i will leave those links on my list.
  8. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Great post Graig . This is a super topic to have here on the forum MSG . Todd hit one of the Big ones most people make on buring green wood .
  9. Robbie

    Robbie Minister of Fire

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    Not sure if this will rate high (it does for my wife !) (please delete this if it does not apply to this thread), one of the most important things I have found that helps in this area is a log carrier made of canvas with two strap type handles that go all the way around the carrier.

    This has saved me tons of work (carpet !) by not letting a spec of bark or anything fall in the floor while loading my stove. Just leave carry bag on the porch hanging on a nail and load outside, then carry to the stove, gently set it down in front of stove, almost up to door so when you pick a log up it is in the stove before anything can drop off, bugs, and all. :)

    Just so new people will know what I am talking about, (link can be edited or deleted), here is a link of this amazing wood stove tool.

    Before this amazing tool, I dropped bark, bugs and wood from the door to the stove.

    (Note the bag can be bought by itself without iron frame.)

    http://tinyurl.com/nrjxm (tiny by mo)

    Robbie
  10. K31Scout

    K31Scout Member

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    I like the link to woodheat.org and the building a fire from the top down link. I'll try that with my next fire out in the pot.

    Robbie, I have one of those canvas log haulers and it's going on 10 years old. We got it as a gift and at the time I thought this is one useless piece of clutter that'll be in the next garage sale. I'm glad my wife took a liking to it because it's been a simple effective tool.

    Attached Files:

  11. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    Some people like fat wood, and most do not know what the term means..
    There are severl sources of fatwood, some are better then otheres. Fatwood comes from stups of loplolly pine trees in the south, when the trees die, all the sap runs down and settles in the trunk, what you are left with is a super impregnated tree trunk. Fat wood is little pieces of this trunk. The more pitch the fatwood has, the better it is as a firestarter. Not all fatwood is that great, some of the best comes out of georgia, some of the worse comes out of mexico.
  12. jabush

    jabush Feeling the Heat

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    I use fatwood almost exclusively to get my stove crankin. It lights so easily that once I establish draft...it's off to the races.
    I also use a canvas wood hauler since I don't stockpile wood in the house. I figure the dogs have to go out, so I grab wood as needed.

    To stay on topic...I think it's a good idea to tell beginers that they must establish a good draft before touching off their kindling. The first time I lit my stove, I wrongly assumed (I know...I know) that the smoke would have no where to go but up the flu once I lit the kindling and shut the door. WRONG!!! I still laugh at myself when I picture all that smoke coming out of the air inlets on the stove door. Then me trying frantically to open windows before the smoke alarms went off. Needless to say, I learned a quick smokey lesson on establishing draft. Oh...the direct connect to that cold a$$ tile lined chimney didn't help either!!
  13. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    Good imput!
    I would also add,
    welders gloves are handy in case that log rolls out of the fireplace

    start with small splits, they have more surface area then rounds, and are much easrier to start.

    Dont bank your stove and shut off the air, this is not the same appliance your parents used, if the glass stays dirty, then you are not burnng properly.

    If you havent bought a fire extinguisher, do it. Better to be prepared for a accident then not.
    (that one scares people, but what happens when that round rolls out of the stove, and on to the carpet?) this is a rookie mistake typically.

    If you burn hot and clean, make shure you sweep your chimney every 3-4 cords, if your glass constantly stays black, clean it every 1-2 cords.
  14. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    Brand new stoves, weither there enameled or not, cure when you fire them up. Soapstone stoves pop and sizzle as the moisture leaves the stones, cast and steel smoke as the paint cures on the outside. This stinks, and stinks bad. Its nothing to be alarmed about, but i would recommend you open a window and get out of the house for a bit. Some people report headaches from the fumes. This is true for all stoves! wood, gas or pellet!
  15. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    Ok this is OT, but this post will be choped up and edited anyway..
    Parenting for Dummies:
    dont let your 10 month old play with the phone, they will dial 911. I just had the cops show up!
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Oh my. Our younger son turned on and erased a tape in the VCR one day when he was about 1 yr. old. Yes, one does need to keep a close eye on them. They are really fast once they become mobile and often very curious.
  17. ourhouse

    ourhouse Minister of Fire

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    Been there done that MSG. My 2year old did that last year.
  18. senorFrog

    senorFrog New Member

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    How bout those little starter logs? Seem like they're mostly sawdust and wax. Are they OK to get a fire going in a modern wood stove?
  19. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    its best to burn the most natural stuff as a firestarter if you can, it doenst take much to get them going. I would recomend you use kindling and newspaper with various starting methods, or something natural like fatwood.
  20. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I like those little starter logs too.
  21. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Yes the fire logs are fine if and when you use them in small amounts. I wouldnt want to burn whole or half logs in the stove. I buy the full logs and slice them into 2" slices and then break the 2" slices into 4ths and put them all in a ole coffee can to store them in. 1 little slice (1/4 of a slice that is ) will start a fire and has enough power/fuel in it to burn long enough to get a fire going . I use about 2 full size logs worth that are cut up to last all winter for the stove in my house and the one in the shop.
  22. mtarbert

    mtarbert Minister of Fire

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    The post about a fire exstinguser was a good.....any suggestions of what type of extingushier I should have for a wood burner? Thanks
    Mike
  23. wtyamamoto

    wtyamamoto New Member

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    From what I've been reading from various sites, the best type of extinguisher is a dry chemical ABC - not to be confused with BC dry chemical extinguishers.

    I also understand there used be be a flare type product called Chimfex that worked by suffocating the fire with smoke. It is no longer manufactured as the plant burned down and the manufacturer has decided not to make them anymore - go figure. I understand they worked really well though - supposedly even firefighters kept them on hand.

    Chimfex was in the same classification as marine signal flares which put out a lot of smoke. I wouldn't use one without knowing, but does anyone know if the chemistry/construction was actually the same and just marketed in two ways?
  24. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I keep several ten pound ABC rated extinguishers in the house and garage. A class A rated one will take care of wood, paper and such but ABC rated will handle flammable liquids like gasoline and kerosene as well as electrical fires.

    When a grease fire tried to burn my house down this year one of those saved the house. The way that fire was going the fire department would have never have gotten here in time.

    Get'em whether you burn wood or not.
  25. ourhouse

    ourhouse Minister of Fire

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    BB when ever someone I know buys house I give them a 5 pound ABC extinguiser for a house warming gift. I usually try to mount for them to so it doesn't end up in the the box buried in their basement where they can't get when they need it.
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