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Burning bricks vs wood in your wood stove?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by griz7674, Mar 4, 2009.

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  1. griz7674

    griz7674 New Member

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    I had some wood given to me and I truly don't know what kind it is. I burnt a mess of this free wood and everything burnt great. However, today I grab some wood (not sure if it was different wood then what I had been burning) and it won't burn! I am getting no btu's off of this wood and it is taking forever to burn! It's as if I am burning bricks. Is there wood that is simply not a good heat producer and won't burn well?

    Also, my neighbor wants me to cut some locust tree's down for him and take the wood. Is locust a good burning wood or am I wasting my time (I have other oak tree's I can take down instead of the locust but it's a bit of a drive to get the oak).

    Bob

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  2. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    It's probably just not done seasoning. Some types of wood are harder to get going, but burn alright once they're going, and some have low btu's but burn just fine. My experience is that low btu wood generally goes up fast. If you're getting low heat and hard starting it's probably too wet.

    The BTU charts I just looked at had Locust higher than Oak, so I'd imagine it would be worth it. Probably take as long to season, 2 years or so. But I have no experience with Locust.
  3. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Locust is very good but takes a longer time to season.. Some have mentioned you need to add it to a hot fire as it's harder to light.. Here is a link to btu ratings of wood:

    http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/W/AE_wood_heat_value_BTU.html

    http://www.chimneysweeponline.com/howood.htm

    You'll need to determine which species of locust you're getting to get an accurate picture of btu's..

    Ray
  4. griz7674

    griz7674 New Member

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    The wood is very seasoned as it's been sitting for a minimum of 3 years. I have some pieces that are a solid 24 inches tall and 18 inches wide that I can split with one strike of my axe. Late last night I put some more in and those pieces burned fine. Not quite sure what the issue was!

    Bob
  5. bambam

    bambam Member

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    Locust "Poor mans oak"
  6. lexybird

    lexybird Minister of Fire

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    if its dry the lower btu rated woods usually burn hot and fast ,the rating is relative to the density on the chart ,but theres way more involved than just that to be good firewood . sounds like your poorly performing wood just isnt seasoned good but its hard to say considering it sat that long
  7. CrappieKeith

    CrappieKeith New Member

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    At the end of the day all wood properly dried will have 8,200-8,700 btu's per pound.
    It's probally too wet or maybe your flue has lost it's draft....clean it.
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Griz, please don't think just because wood has sit around for a time that it is seasoned. Naturally, you have to first ask, how was it just sitting around? On the ground? Was it a downed tree but had not been cut up yet? Had it sit in a wet spot? etc., etc.

    Let me give you a very strange but good example. If you've read some of my posts you will find that we have a wood pile large enough for 6-7 years (possibly longer now). The wood is always cut during the winter months. It is split usually in March-April. It is stacked before May 1 (usually). We then leave it uncovered over the summer and fall months but cover it in late fall or early winter (before the snow flies). We then cover only the tops of the piles. We've found this is the best way to season wood. However, during this winter we have had two pieces of wood that were not seasoned! Yes, they had a very slight sizzle to them when as they were starting to cook in the stove! Strange indeed, but that does happen every now and then. This wood of which I am speaking I know to be at least 4 years since stacking the wood.

    But getting back to your fire. What you have described is the classic example of unseasoned wood. It plain and simple don't want to burn because it is full of moisture.

    Good luck.

    Oh yes, on the locust. Todd, up in Wisconsin was glad to get through his as he found out it doesn't like to burn quite as hot as other woods. Still, I'd grab it and use it mixing with other wood.

    We like to mix our wood in the stove too. At present we burn a lot of white ash but we also mix in some soft maple. The maple burns hot and fast while the ash burns much slower. It works out quite nicely mixing that way.
  9. metz

    metz New Member

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    I'll take locust over oak any day. If we are talking black locust (I don't know anything about honey locust) it seasons faster than any other hard wood I have access to as it's moisture content is low to begin with. I don't know where people get two years to season. Hell, it'll even burn green not that I'm recommending it. Black locust will get a hot fire going quick. Get all that you can. I've heated heated my house for the last fifteen years on black locust almost exclusively.
  10. Chief Ryan

    Chief Ryan New Member

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    I've read somewhere that Locust is second to Ash as far as moisture content. I'm burning some right now that i split in the spring. It burns hot, no sizzle, lights fast and burns long. The only problem is that it coals a lot.
  11. lexybird

    lexybird Minister of Fire

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    for the most part it wont begin to dry until the wood is cut into actual stove length .THEN the wait begins ..ive cut down some cherry trees that i know have been knocked over for 3 years and once they were bucked and split they still pegged out the moisture meter over 35%
  12. karri0n

    karri0n New Member

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    I've yet to understand why so many people complain about wood that coals up a lot. A good amount of coals is the second criteria to btu content. This is a good thing.
  13. metz

    metz New Member

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    I have cut standing dead black locust and thrown it in my stove that week and it burned as good as my "seasoned"stuff. Again I am not promoting burning green wood just saying that black locust is a different animal than most.
  14. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    Can someone explain the differences between honey locust and black locust? Here's the locust I've got:

    [​IMG]

    It was very stringy when split and the grain was a yellowish green inside. I don't have a moisture meter but it seems to be drying nicely. It was cut and split back in December but it was deadfall. I think it came down sometime in October. I've got quite a bit of it that I bucked to 24" and split into large (approximately 4"x6"-some larger) pieces for long cold overnights. Think it will be ready by December '09?
  15. Creek-Chub

    Creek-Chub New Member

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    Well, then let me try to explain it for you. In the dead of a Michigan winter I was attemtpting to heat 2500sf with an Englander 30 - on its own. Single digits during the day, below zero at night. I managed to do it with well seasoned oak, but still had issues with coaling. Simply put, I could only burn so much wood before the stove filled with coals (and the temp of the stove dropped). Was I asking much more of the stove than was reasonable? Absolutely. However, when I shoveled out coals and re-loaded I was able to get the heat I needed to get the job done. Waiting for the coals to burn down would have resulted in an unacceptable drop in temps. Some of you fellas would have freaked at the amount of coals I shoveled out of the beast. Hell, I was using a full sized shovel and putting them into an old wash-basin, then dancing a jig to get that thing out the door. We stayed warm though...
  16. metz

    metz New Member

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    I'd burn it in Dec. 2009
  17. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    Badfish740,
    If the wood is dark on the inside like you stated it may be black locust. I've burned black locust but never seen any honey locust cut or split. What ever you have will be ready for winter 09 as long as it is not lying on the ground and gets a good supply of air.
  18. Chief Ryan

    Chief Ryan New Member

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    I'm not really complaining. They just take a lot of room in the firebox and you can't get wood in. The coals don't give off as much heat as the wood does.
  19. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Chief. I agree that the Fireview can fill up with coals quite fast. Here is what we do: About the time the wood has burned about 75% and it is all red but has not broken apart, we open the draft to about 2 (sometimes more depending on heat required). When it has fallen apart, we then open the firebox door and rake through the coals to get them to burn faster and then open the draft full. Usually by doing this when we reload the stove temperature is down to 350. In the cold of winter, once the stove is down to 350 we load up because we like a more even temperature in the house. If one doesn't mind a wider swing of temperatures, they you could wait until the stove gets down to 300 or even 250.
  20. ccwhite

    ccwhite Member

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    Steubenville, OH
    Take the locust .... excellent burning wood. Just one word of caution. It stinks. It smells bad when cutting and when burning. It doesn't bother me as 1. I have a lot of it. 2. It burns like coal. 3. My wood furnace is in the basement.
  21. Chief Ryan

    Chief Ryan New Member

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    Yep that's what i do. And how did i find that out?......from you!! Back in the fall when it first started happening you told me what you do and it worked. Some guys said to put a small split on top of the pile of a softer wood that doesn't coal that much to keep a hot flame on the coals.

    Locust just seems to coal more than the other wood i've been burning. It's just a very hard wood that holds together better than others.

    Thanks Backwoods
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