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Big Fat Logs

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by mainemac, Mar 11, 2008.

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  1. mainemac

    mainemac Member

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    Maine
    Hello Fellow Prometheans

    Great forum
    I am new at this with a Regency Medium sized wood stove insert.

    My question is this : I have several big logs I simply cannot split by hand but not enough to rent a splitter

    Can you should you just burn that mother down?
    That is if I can stuff it in there is it safe ?
    Will it burn ?

    Obviously this is after a nice bed of coals are laid down.........


    Thanks
    :)
    Tom in Portland Maine

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  2. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    It sounds like the rounds are small enough to fit inside your insert, but too big to split...is that correct? If so then I'd say yes...I do it periodically. I have (well had really) a handful of 10" or so diameter logs that were damn near unsplittable (very gnarly wood, rounds are telephone pole straight, but the grains are like a corkscrew). I toss them into the stove for overnight burns. Works fine for me.
  3. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    If it fits through the doors, it gets burned.
  4. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Ditto... As long as it is well seasoned (remember it takes longer for a log to season than a split!) and you have a good coal bed, anything that you can get in the firebox will burn. The big splits or logs are great for all night burn sessions, especially in cold weather, however the usual tradeoff applies; the longer the burn the less heat you will get at any particular moment.

    As a note, if the logs turn out to be too big to go on the way they are, it is possible to rip them endwise with your chainsaw, (carefully of course) and often starting a groove partway down will allow you to then split them with a sledge and wedge.

    Gooserider
  5. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    I noticed that the larger pieces do not seem to give off as much heat...maybe cause there is less surface area then packing the stove with smaller splits? Burn it when you need less btu's...it could be the all day split!!!
  6. hh3f

    hh3f Member

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    Cut them in half again and then split them. You will burning chunks. These are good for weekends when your home. I save all my chunks and burn them in this manor.
  7. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    As I mentioned earlier there is a tradeoff - basically for the reason you mentioned, less surface area exposed for burning... Wood has a certain fixed number of btu's per pound, and the lbs per volume is pretty much a function of the sort of wood it is. If you take a big chunk and split it, the number of btus doesn't change. What does change is how FAST you can release those BTU's into your room - a bunch of small splits will burn and release their heat much faster than a big chunk. The total amount of heat released is the same, (minus stack losses) but since what you sense is only the "instantaneous" heat released, it feels like the big chunk is putting out less heat.

    Sort of like a light bulb - a 100 watt bulb will burn one Kilowatt/hour in ten hours, a 50 watt bulb will burn the same amount in 20 hours - the total number of photons put out will be the same, but you will say the 50watt bulb isn't as bright....

    I think big chunks are best as "over-night" or "away from home all day" logs - you don't need as much heat, but want a long burn to keep some warmth going and to make it easer to get the next load going.

    Burning chunks works, but is still a nusiance, or at least I find them so - they don't stack in the wood shed as nice, need a different container to bring them in, etc... I burn mine, but try to keep the amount of chunks that I make to a minimum. What I have seen with big tough to split rounds is to cut them into 4-6" thick "cookies" and split the sides off them to produce cross-grain "splits" that are the same size as normal splits plus a smaller number of chunks.

    Gooserider
  8. downeast

    downeast Guest

    Big butts and gnarly logs can be quarter cut. Get the butt on its side, then cut through the bark in 1/2; then repeat on the other side: quarters, or eighths. With a good, sharp tight saw you'll get " curly fries" --not the dust if you ripped the butt along the grain, top-down-- that can easily clog the saw. Take time to use the chain brake on before cleaning the "fries". Tight chain, newly sharpened chain, good oil, tight grip, brake on when clearing clogs.
    Once you're done the curly fry technique for the unsplittables, you'll do it just for the fry making. They can be used for animal bedding, packing for eBay, having a curly fry fight. The technique works great for larger hardwood butts such as oak. I do it now at the stump for unmovable bucks. The credit for the idea has to go to the Arboristsite group.
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