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Burning the 'bacon wood'

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

  1. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    It sizzles like a good breakfast..sigh.. makes me want to make an omelet.. LOL.. Doing it the best I can by burning hot and fast keeping the flue good and hot in spite of lowering stove temps. Better to not be as warm than make creosote in my mind. it has taken 2 hours to get the stove to 500and now digesting small sort of dry splits with a good hot flue temp to try to keep the crap out of there. It has taken a good bit to get the first floor to 70 something and stove room only 76 out of a usual 85.. Ok ten minutes later writing this while watching some tv and stove 550 and room 80 so finally starting to get with the program but have to keep feeding small splits to no overload with moisture and put the fire out.. At least it is close to time to finally take the barn coat off..big sigh there this is painful and suspect i have 8 weeks of re-splitting wood to make kindling sizes to stay warm and learn my lesson.

    I have an interesting conversation coming up Friday with the guy that sold me the last 1 1/2 cords 'ready to burn and seasoned' I called and got his wife ant told her their dog does not hunt and the wood barely burn s and not very happy at 190 a cord for what is sold as seasoned. I did let them know that most have an EPA sealed stove and using old smoke dragon stove versions of seasoned do not work any more as they have been selling wood for 50 years according to them and he certainly looked old enough to be believable.

    It will be interesting how this plays out.. on another note i have a chance to buy some wood cut last summer and stored in very larger piles in a metal industrial building I do not seen how it could dry out well with no wind or sun any ideas?. They are charging very premium prices for it at 220 a cord.I think bring my hatchet hand sledge and MM.. and if over 20% just pass on it. The other plan is to put an ad on Craigslist for wanted well seasoned maple or ash and see who needs a few bucks....
    dave

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  2. sailor61

    sailor61 Burning Hunk

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    I feel your pain. Considering paying the extra 125/cord for kiln dried.....not something I want to do BUT if I get a full cord and it burns properly then likely not any more money than if I continue with the semi-sesoned stuff.
  3. WoodpileOCD

    WoodpileOCD Minister of Fire

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    Hard lesson learned but not soon forgotten I'm sure. If you can afford it buy next years wood now if you haven't already.
  4. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    ...any possibility you can re-split to smaller pieces to get a hotter burn?
  5. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like you're worse off than me, but I was there last March. My solution was to just stop burning, and keep what I had already split and stacked for next (read: this) year. It's still not ideally seasoned after 10 months split and stacked, but it's a heck of a lot better than it was.

    What are you hoping the seller will do? I see an argument that leads nowhere, so I'd just sit on the wood for next year, when it will be much more ready. In the meantime, either buy some kiln-dried, or just stop burning for this year.

    I'm finding I can get away with mixing my 1 year oak with my 1 year softwoods, and I've been doing so successfully in ratios up to 50 - 60%. In fact, I'm actually finding out I get my cat's to light off more easily when 50% of my load is oak, versus all poplar. The oak being at 26 - 28% MC, and the poplar being under 20%, I'm not sure what to make of that.
  6. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    If nothing else the guy needs to know that new EPA stoves do not like his smoke dragon wood. He is an old timer been selling wood since a kid and now 70 years old. maybe an old non EPA stove will digest it ok mine sure does not like it. Maybe he will offer another cord that can burned next year as that will help with the fuel oil i will end up burning. I am going to split some of the smaller pieces that are 6 months old that read 15 on the outside and around 28 to 35 on the inside and store them by the stove and see if they dry out more. At least they will burn hotter.
  7. Augie

    Augie Feeling the Heat

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    Why pay the premium, if you have a sunny spot to store wood and a few bucks you can set up a solar kiln, you wood should be ready to go in 2-3 months. As a new Burner I plan on setting up a kiln for a couple of cords, I am guessing that cost will be about $40 for the initial investment but I should be able to use that twice this summer. So all of the unseasoned scrounge I have and $40 I should have 4 Cord of seasoned + the Pine, Willow, and partially seasoned ash I have will be ready to go next year.
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Resplit the wood and keep the resplits indoors for a few days. That will make a noticeable improvement in how it burns.

    As you have learned, right now would be a good time to get next season's wood, and maybe a stash for 2015 too.
  9. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    OK you have me interested how do you build a solar kiln?
  10. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    Ok splitting a little wood to check moisture. It snowed a bit last night and wood not covered. They are rounds about 4 to 5 inches in diameter. Some check / cracking on end grains brown not white measure 22 to 25 MC inside and 35 on the outside as the bark is wet. If they spend some time in a 70 degree room with a lot of sunlight do you think I really need to split all of them? I really do not have time to do all of them and don't want to be all kindling as well..
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I would resplit a days worth at a time and keep about 2-3 days ahead. Just split them in half, particularly the unsplit rounds.
  12. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    So, using your method, his wood will be ready to go in April or May? Just in time to shut down the stove! <>
  13. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    While it is a pain to split them will defer to your judgement I took the time to run some big very well aged through the band saw that were too long to fit in the stove. I will save those for several nights of overnight on the 20 degree nights. I still have about 20 of them and can get more it needed. I find it hard to believe no one has any maple around here as it grows like a weed and is everywhere. I bet several thousand cords fell down last fall during the hurricane.

    I am hoping the wood dealer that I got the last wet stuff from offers another cord to help with the fuel oil. The rounds I am splitting are from last falls load of unseasoned wood and has been sitting stacked for the last 4 months and was cut last summer.
  14. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    This is just so sad but we keep seeing the same thing over and over and over. This is why folks need to have a large supply of wood on hand and the time needed for it to dry. It surely is not fun trying to heat a home with green wood, especially in some of the cold weather we've had this year.

    Once again I'll state; be 3 years ahead on your wood supply.
  15. Hearth Mistress

    Hearth Mistress Minister of Fire

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    It has happen to most if us, you're in good company here. Try getting some pallets, beer distributors, hardware stores etc will often give them to you. Cut them up and burn with you not so seasoned wood. Don't load the stove with them as they will go nuclear on you fast but they will get the stove up to temp and get that sizzle out. It saved us last year as we installed our stove last January and blew through the 2 cords we expected to need. We had some 4-5 mth css ash that was 25-28% range but we brought it in a days worth at a time, burnt it with a few pallet slats and were ok. Just keep an eye on your chimney, you may need to clean it more often.

    I second kiln wood but it goes for $400/cord around here. We scored a cord really cheap because someone was moving. It burns like a dream mixed with my year old ash and some black walnut no one wanted, so much so, I'm thinking of getting some more, just to keep mixing up. I figure it's still cheaper than a tank of oil :)
    Joful likes this.
  16. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Excellent suggestions. If you figure on 22 - 24 MBTU/cord for kiln dried hardwood, and 135 kBTU/gal. for oil, each cord is equivelent to approximately 170 gallons of oil. With similar appliance efficiencies, and oil at $3.65/gal., each cord replaces roughly $620 in oil.
  17. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    Burned a few of the splits I trimmed to fit stove last night 3 yr+ oak what a dream to deal with by most everyone's standards here a sissy load but about 1 cu ft in a 1.3 cu ft fire box to work with. Loaded at 11:30 fell asleep by 12:00 on the couch in stove room woke up at 4 am Stove is still 300 and first floor in the 70;s I need to find a bigger stove so i can heat the whole house on a 20 degree night to this level or get a smaller house that is the real goal. Woke up to Springsteen jamming on VH1... bone white fire box and clear glass a plus Life is good.. Good wood is where it is at!
    firebroad likes this.
  18. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    Oil is 142000 to 140000 per gallon at least #2 fuel oil most commonly used. Any decent furnace gets around 83% so 116200 delivered. I seriously doubt a wood stove can even come close to 83% on a long term basis is might have it's momet that it touch it but I would think the average is around 70 and possibly 65% . A wood fire is colder that an oil fire and the stack temperatures wildly different. The oil fire stack is generally around 275 to 300 with a probe and not surface temperatures. Wood averages 600+. Wood is a variable fuel load to load oil is a constant from one gallon to the next. Wood is still a lot cheaper but a factor of three is a bit over the top. I would believe close to 2 to 1 and leave it at that. If you cut your own or scrounge like I do every abondoned pallet or fallen limb is heat in my eyes it gets very reasonable though do buy wood and that gets me a 2 to 1 in my eyes.
  19. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Umm... $620/$400 is not 3:1. Not even 2:1. Your point is valid, although perhaps exaggerated, and in fact was already well-understood. I was just keeping the math simple, for the sake of illustrating a point without losing the casual reader.
  20. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    My thought was wood around here is about $200 a cord and the oil you quoted at $620 is 3 to 1 in cost but the savings is not 3 to 1 as the oil burner is more efficient than any wood stove I have seen to date.
    Joful likes this.
  21. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Yep! Also, there are a lot of costs associated with wood processing, which I'm ignoring. The $400/cord, and my given numbers, were solely based on justifying the kiln-dried, discussed above, not what the average guy would be spending on wood.
  22. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    I feel for you. I had to burn "hissywood" last year, supplemented it with Eco Bricks from TSC--they don't have them, at least not the affordable ones, this year. Like Hearth Mistress and others said, try to get some pallets, if you have a truck. They will help.
    I think a lot of wood dealers are not aware of what really dry wood is. When I told my guy that his "seasoned, ready to burn" splits came in at 35%, he seemed delighted!
    Luckily, I still have some 2 year old left, Now I have to get some for 2015. He seems to prefer coming out in the spring (his slower season), but I want to get it when the ground is frozen so I don't screw up my lawn hauling it back to the wood area.
  23. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    I am splitting some small rounds as suggested though checking them i don't think I will bother with the smaller ones as the 6 inch ones are 22% MC in the center and burn pretty well. i have some big splits in the pile to bring in and scored some 3+ year old oak to pick up next week. They are too long for my stove but I have a commercial band saw that will make short work of cutting some ends off. Maybe 5 minutes for a wheel barrow full. So 5 minutesa day to process as that is a bit tough on my back. They are talking about a foot of snow tonight so need to get plenty inside now.
  24. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    I forgot you folks are going to get "Nemo"! (Who comes up with these names?):) For what it is worth, I have no idea if this really helps, but even though I was burning less than ideal wood last year, I threw in those Kwik-Shot anti-creosote rods/canisters last year about every week, and when I had the flue cleaned, the guys said it was not too bad.
  25. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    This afternoon I am installing finally installing a better term a probe in the flue but rather than worry about what it is a foot from the stove I am going to put it about eye level so maybe 4 feet from the ceiling and only 5 ft of class A chimney after that. From the reading i have done if the flue is 250 to 275 very little creosote will form. I am thinking if in the 400 to 450 range with 9 feet to go it should exit at over 300 degrees and keep things pretty clean.

    The wood that is marginal I burn hot and fast and the good stuff aqt night and turned down to the air barely cracked and secondaries going well.
    firebroad likes this.

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