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Advice needed

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by HollowHill, May 8, 2011.

  1. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

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    This will be my first year burning. Haven't even purchased stove yet. Have a lot of tops on my land from last year's logging off, but I'm having a devil of a time trying to find anyone to cut and split it on shares. I realize I'm running out of time to get it anywhere near seasoned. So, I've been scanning Craig's List and came across the following: $80/face cord, six available, cut and split last May. It's cut into shorter lengths than would be ideal - 12" to 16" instead of 18" I'd like. Should I go for this? It might buy me a little time until what else I get (either my own or more bought) seasons. Thoughts? Thanks.

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  2. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    I'm not surprised on what you have found on shares, wood is very easy to find in CNY for anyone with the equipment and willing to do the work. $240/cord is a lot of money for firewood here.
  3. ecocavalier02

    ecocavalier02 Minister of Fire

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    i would think you should be able to buy a cord of wood right now. maybe some maple or something for a 180 bucks or less a cord and would be ok to burn come fall. but save your money and buy a saw and start looking and start finding some wood.
  4. Wood Heat Stoves

    Wood Heat Stoves Minister of Fire

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    The shorter lengths should be OK. I have a stove that takes 24" wood but I find it really helps to have the wood cut shorter when trying to add wood.
  5. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    I think Bobby's $180/cd is about right. I would deliver out of my own stock for that depending on how far you are. I've seen a number of ads like this go by lately as well. Just would need to be able to pick it up or another $75 gets added to the $175 he is asking for it.


    http://syracuse.craigslist.org/grd/2353581581.html

    For Sale Ash firewood... The stack is 12ftlong 4 ft high and 40" wide (two rows of 16"-18" long pieces).... Totaling approximately 3 face cord of firewood... Stack is 100% ash and cut and split two years ago... We have decided not to use our fireplace anymore so looking to make room around the yard... You pick up or add $75 local delivery charge.... Questions please ask...

    Attached Files:

  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Yes the $240 is high. However you have to weigh it all to see if it is worth it for you. First, you have no wood ready. Second, you have no takers on cutting on shares. Third, this wood for sale is, or should be, excellent firewood. A cord might last you until Jan. 1 depending upon what type of fall and early winter we have. Weighing everything, it might pay you to get a cord or even 2 as that would buy some time but might also make a big difference next winter and that is the bottom line; will you have good fuel so you can stay warm next winter. Prices are relative. Sure, most things you buy you can go cheap or pay a little extra. In my experience I have almost always came out on the wrong end when I try to go cheap, but everyone has to look at his own situation.

    So you have no takers on the share cutting. Perhaps it might be time to perhaps hire someone to do some cutting? Perhaps let it be known within the neighborhood that you need some wood put up for next winter. I have to think with our economy that someone very likely might need some dollars and very well might bite. You would just have to make sure you aren't paying too much and would also have to watch closely lest someone take advantage. Your idea of a cord of wood and their idea might be different and that should be understood right at the start. All aspects of the transaction need to be understood by both parties and one thing in particular would be the question; what if someone got hurt? I believe if you hire someone as a contractor that he has to supply the insurance and not you but you might want to check this in your state.

    Good luck.
  7. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the offer, Solar, but I live in the Cooperstown area, probably too far. I have no pickup truck so can't even offer to meet you halfway.
  8. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    My sister in law lives in Richfield Springs. The guy she buys from delivers reasonably dry and tossed into her basement. As I recall, it was less than $200/cd. I'll see if I can get his contact info for you.
  9. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

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    Solar,

    Thank you! That would be incredibly helpful. Really appreciate it!
  10. snowleopard

    snowleopard New Member

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    Hi Hollowhill,

    You are in a region where I think we have a lot of members. Someone may know a reputable dealer thereabouts. I can understand your reluctance to get a saw and use it yourself; it's not for everyone. Since no one wants to go on shares with that job, paying someone an hourly wage to cut it might be best. You may even consider buying that seasoned wood, and asking the seller if he'd like to earn some extra money. Then you help him while he's cutting, and get the wood cut to the length you want, and save a little by helping him with the labor. You might also learn a little by watching and asking questions. I suspect that there are a lot of cutters who would rather cut wood than stack it, load it, unload it. If you go with this guy, you might pre-mark the wood cuts, as it sounds like he's not into precision cutting. Perhaps even invest in that Mingo firewood cutter or somesuch. If you will be hiring people to work for you on this, you'll likely need to supply some of the tools, eventually buying a saw even if you won't be the one operating it, for example.

    You've said that since your husband isn't interested in the wood, you're on your own with that. I'm presuming here that he's still got an interest in the house being warm--i.e., helping pay the fuel bill--so this is more of a supplemental heat/ambiance/just-in-case situation than it is a winter's-coming-and-I'd better-be-ready as it is for some here. If that's the case, that takes some of the pressure off, and your approach to this can be a little more leisurely and thought-out. If the situation is a little more complicated than that--and they sometimes are--then you're going to have that hurry-hurry beat pumping in your ear, and driving your choices.

    We have several members living in your general neck of the woods, including some dealers (I love that word for people who sell wood stoves to wood stove junkies such as we are made of), who might be able to steer you towards a reputable wood seller. Expect to pay more with the good ones, and to be more likely to get what you pay for. Like Dennis, I've learned that going with the cheaper sellers isn't always going to be a bargain--once I get off here, I've got to go outside and finish sorting the load I bought where I specified 18" and got everything ranging from 12-25. Live and learn. I think I got shorted, too, but until I finish sorting and stacking I won't know. Paying my ignorance tax.
  11. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

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    Check the Pennysaver too. They have a firewood section.
  12. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

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    Hi, SnowLeopard

    We are trying to make the cut over from oil to wood, making the wood our primary source of heat and oil a distant back up. The cost of heating this place with oil has gotten beyond our means. So, yes, I do feel like my back is up against it. And, unfortunately, I'm not well situated equipment-wise or physically to cut wood (stubborn, impatient, novice, uncoordinated to the extreme, mechanically inept). I figure I can stack and split (using the Logmatic splitter, which doesn't require hand/eye coordination, just the ability to pound ;)), but cutting is asking for disaster. If I can just get this year's supply in hand, I think I have someone who can cut this fall for the next season, with me splitting. So, as so many before me, I just have to get over this hurdle, or so I like to fool myself...
  13. Exmasonite

    Exmasonite Feeling the Heat

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    hmmm...

    Do you feel comfortable cutting or have any experience with it?

    My one thought would be the following:

    1) Buy protective gear
    2) Order a truck load of log length lumber
    3) Rent a saw for 1-2 days to cut up logs
    4) Rent a splitter for 1-2 days to split

    Here in NWCT, i can get a load of 4-5 cord (1/2 truck load here) delivered for $400.... Figure saw rental of $50, splitter rental of maybe $80-100.

    Not sure on how much you're going to burn but if you do the above plan, you could get 1.5-2 yrs of wood processed.

    If you're willing to part with some of the wood, you may be able to convince a fellow board member to come over for the cutting +/- splitting. Upgrade that lumber load to a full load (8-9 cord) and give away 3-4 cord...

    Just an idea.
  14. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    If you don't want to cut/haul your own firewood that pretty much means you're buying it. And, buying wood pretty much means getting ripped off. Ripped off means you got less wood than you thought you payed for or it's greener than you had believed based on your reading of the ad.

    Let's review

    1) Assume all bought firewood is as green as Saint Patrick's Day regardless of any advertisement to the contrary

    2) Your idea of a cord will almost always be bigger than the sellers idea



    EDIT: I have no idea if $240 per cord is reasonable or not
  15. snowleopard

    snowleopard New Member

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    Well, that "we" is a good sign. If you're in agreement about the goal, then maybe he'll pitch in with you with the firewood. I did kind of pick up a note of acute concern, but it wasn't quite jiving with your husband's hands-off attitude--so thanks for clarifying. Not trying to be nosy, it just helps to see the larger picture. There's going to be plenty of learning curve this year with a new stove, without having to be your own woodsman as well.

    Spouses usually find their own ways of divvying up the division of labor, and working out who pays which bills and how they're going to contribute. If he's disabled and it's all on your shoulders, then it is what it is. If he's paying part of the heating expenses, then he's got a stake in lowering your bills with you, and might be persuaded by math, though not everyone is. Unfortunately, the federal tax credit is gone now, I think, and that takes part of the sting out of the purchase, but when you start running the numbers on your cost of stove/hearth/chimney/installation plus annual purchase of firewood, you might bring him on board.

    There are plenty of people who shouldn't use chainsaws. Nothing wrong with knowing you're one of them. Great that you've got a splitter and aren't afraid to use it.

    What stoves are you looking at?
  16. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

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  17. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

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    Not sure about NY but in ohio if you pay someone by the hour you have to also carry / pay workers compensation so if they get hurt your not liable for the medical bills. I'm sure
    workers comp. for a lumber jack would be pretty expensive.
  18. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

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    I wondered some about that. That is VERY good to know. Makes buying wood seem like the cheapest option by far!
  19. wkpoor

    wkpoor Minister of Fire

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    Not surprised no takers on the shares. Too many options where the guy with all the equipment gets all the rewards. I've had several offers for shares deals. Basically I get a little and land owner gets all his wood split and stacked for watching me work.....with my equipment, and if it breaks guess whos out?
  20. Loco Gringo

    Loco Gringo Feeling the Heat

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    Hallow, did I miss something or is there some reason your man cant split wood? Just asking mind you.
  21. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

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    He has a number of health issues, so I've taken over that aspect of things.
  22. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

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    Thanks to all for your ideas. I return to the drawing board re-invigorated. Bought the 2 cord of seasoned wood - split early last May, mix of hardwood, some of it oak (drat, drat, and double drat), I hope not too much. Hopefully will buy me and my new stove a bit of breathing room. Now, I just need to track down 6 cord of cherry or ash... Thanks again.
  23. snowleopard

    snowleopard New Member

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    How did you calculate the wood use you'll require?
  24. bja105

    bja105 Member

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    Since you can't do it, don't have a truck, no saw, and you have not yet bought a stove, I think you need to look into an Anthracite coal stove, instead of wood. Wood is a hobby, or a part time job depending on how you use it. Coal is easy, and still much cheaper than oil. Coal can be bought by the ton, delivered, or by the bag. No sawing off arms, much less storage space, comes from the mine seasoned, you get long burn times per load with a hand fired, or a stoker that you keep coal in the hopper and it burns based on demand. I don't think wood is your answer, with your limitations.
  25. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Best idea yet

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