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Assistance Selecting Stove

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by isipwater, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    Alright, I am making a little progress. I finally got my first wood delivery. It is oak that was cut and stacked sept, 2012. Click here for a helpful resource on making a firewood rack without using tools (not that I am opposed to tools). I tried it and it worked well. The wood is stacked in a location that gets sun and breeze all day. Now I just have to make the final choice on the stove. It is between the Pacific Energy Super 27 or the Lopi Endeavor. Here are the photos of the wood:
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2014

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  2. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    Those are awesome looking racks which are putting my pallets to shame. ;em However, please consider that the oak will have dried only for one year beginning of this winter; that will hardly be enough. See if you can find some faster drying species like ash or maple, those should be ready after a year of seasoning.

    Good luck with your stove purchase. Both your choices should make you happy.
  3. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks for the compliment. I have read elsewhere that oak can take up to two years to dry. Do you know if this is always true?

    All the firewood suppliers in my area say their wood was cut in the spring of this year.

    My oak seems to have that drying knocking noise when two pieces are banged together. Is there anything else I can do to dry it faster?
  4. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    Unless you live in Arizona or Texas with summer temps above 100 F and almost no humidity I would give it 2 years if not 3.

    That's normal; it is almost impossible to buy truly seasoned wood. A few options:

    - Try pallets: Most stores are happy to get rid off them and they burn well. It is a real chore to cut them up, however.
    - Find some pine: Stacked and covered like above that may be just ok for burning this winter.
    - Eco- or Biobricks (e. g. from Tractor Supply): More expensive than cord wood but not a lot more if you buy them in bulk.
    - Find kiln-dried wood (or build yourself a solar-kiln): again, expensive option but possible
    - Get some low moisture wood species like ash, dry it as well as you can and mix it with any of the options above.
    - Trade: See if you can find someone (from here) who lives close by and has lots of seasoned wood. Offer to buy like 1.5 cords of green wood from your supplier for 1 cord of seasoned wood of your trading partner. Good would be a trade of 3 cords green wood for 2 cords seasoned wood.

    To dry wood faster you can build a solar kiln (e. g. here: http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/WoodDrying/wood_kiln.htm ) or make small splits, stack them like you did with lots of sun and wind exposure. You can buy a moisture meter ($20 to $30) to test how far it is along. Take a few splits, re-split them and take a reading of the freshly exposed surface. Less than 20% is ideal but you can also get by with wood in the 20% to 25% range. Many people in their first year burn marginal wood and are very disappointed about their new stove. So you need to be aware that the stove will not burn as well, you will loose more heat up the chimney and you need to clean the chimney quite often. However, if you give that oak above another year you will really be happy with your purchase.
  5. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    Frustrating as all get out last year with the "seasoned" wood I bought for my first year. Gave up after one month and bought envi-bricks. I now have about 10 cords in the backyard. I'm good for this year (I let the wood from last year season) and 2 years from now. Next year will also be challenging.
  6. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    I called both Travis Industries and PE who told me that burning the Envi bricks will void the warranty. I bought two pallets anyway and plan to be careful, not to over fire. My stove should be fine, right? The Envi bricks don't have any glue or binders. What do you think?
  7. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    Regarding moisture meters, any recomnedations on brands or models? I have notice a wide range in price for different models.
  8. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Get a low buck model for firewood. It is a different story if you were making cabinets. Before you get all itchy and twitchy - get your meter, repslit a few and give them a test. Then you will KNOW what you are dealing with.
  9. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    They say that because those bricks are really dry and when people are not careful with the air they may overfire the stove. Get a stove thermometer and keep a close eye on it and you will be fine. There are quite a few people here who used them in their stoves without problems. The other thing you can do is mixing them with your not so dry wood to get an "overall" moisture content of 20%. Won't be great but you will get by.

    For a moisture meter I got that one: http://www.harborfreight.com/digital-mini-moisture-meter-67143.html
    Less than $20 with shipping and it does the job. The only thing I don't like about it is that it uses button cell batteries. However, they seem to last quite while.
  10. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Dry wood (or bio bricks) on bottom, less seasoned wood on top, you'll do okay.
  11. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    Today I picked up the hearth plate. Comes from Morso, is 40" by 48", 2mm powder coated steel.

    [​IMG]
  12. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    You were right. Got the moisture meter and tested the wood. Almost every reading was 36 - 37%.

    [​IMG]
  13. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    I would actually put also a few on top to get the flu warmed up quickly. That will reduce the chance for serious creosote.
  14. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    That is not too bad. You should have great wood next year. Of course, does not help you this year. Any luck with one of the alternatives I mentioned?
  15. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    Yes, I ordered two pallets on the large Envi blocks. This makes me nervous because I will be voiding my warranty but I have read a lot on the forums about how to be careful not to over-fire. I will be taking it very slowly and conservative with the Envi's.
  16. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    As long as you mix them with the wood, you shouldn't have a problem. I haven't used the bricks but I did have some wood around 30+% that I had to burn along with my 20%. What I did was get the fire going well, secondaries burning and flue temps hot, with the best wood and then slowly add the worst wood. It wasn't the best efficiency, but I burned clean that way with no creosote in the flue.

    It doesn't take long for the water to evaporate in a hot stove with an active fire, but if you try to heat the stove with moist wood, you will have problems.

    I tried sprinkling pellets sometimes, but that didn't work too well.
  17. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    This is why people like the top-down method of starting. The secondaries and flue can get hot right away while the rest of the wood ignites.

    Edit: Don't underestimate the value of splitting small. That will significantly decrease drying time. You may want to split some of that oak again
  18. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks, I was thinking of resplitting as well. I am waiting for a 36" Fiskars from Amazon.
  19. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    Yes, I can't get a good fire going with the Envi's and then add some of the oak, hopefully, all will balance out!
  20. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Plan on frequent inspection of the flue for the first season. The Envi bricks may get the fire going, but it is going to be cooled down by all that moisture. If you can get a cord of dry wood or easier burning wood like ash, go for it, but check it on the truck before accepting. Look for checking on the ends and resplit, then check for moisture on the fresh grain. In the meantime cover the tops of your stacks.
  21. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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