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Burning the 'bacon wood'

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

  1. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Nemo is the name of an adorable little clown fish, not a blizzard.
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  2. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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  4. Hearth Mistress

    Hearth Mistress Minister of Fire

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    I don't know if you are knocking me or agreeing with me - I don't need all the fancy math, never my strong suit, it is a lot simpler in my mind....let me explain ;)
    Bottom line is, 125 gallons of oil, minimum deliver at 3.70/gal = $462.50
    That 125 gallons lasts about 5 weeks, if i'm lucky, with the thermostat at 68, me in wool sweaters, 2 pairs of socks....cold!
    That same $400 i could use for a cord of wood, if I buy Kiln wood, lasting just about 2 months, not using other wood, burning almost 24/7 and be WARM and darn right hot most of the time. Granted, my little stove doesn't go full blast all night so the furance kicks on around 3:30 a few times until I get up at 5:30 and fire the stove back up on my nice bed of coals.

    I don't know about BTUs for wood or oil or even know how to figure it out. All I know is I'm warm and Mr.Oil man hasn't been here since last April ;)
  5. mfglickman

    mfglickman Minister of Fire

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    Something similar happened to us last year, we were sold a "seasoned" cord by a company that values its reputation. When I called to tell them that at least half the wood was clearly split in the past few days the owner called me back, very apologetic, and gave us an SUV full of BIO brick sleeves to help get us through. Saved his reputation with me, for sure.

    We found a listing for free seasoned wood on CL that was a little hard to get at (down a muddy slope and the people didn't want their grass to get tracked up by truck or wheelbarrow...tricky) but also helped to get us through. It was a guy clearing out his parents' wood at their house, as they were no longer burning. That came up in Feb/March last year so don't give up hope!

    We also scoured Craigslist and called sellers and found "green" wood for $125/cord delivered in Spring - for next year...and continued to scrounge. Our wood this year is much better, still not premium, but we're getting there...

    Good luck!
  6. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Was agreeing with you! ==c

    Your math is the same as mine:
    oil: $463 / 5 weeks = $92.50 / week
    kiln wood: $400 / 2 months (8.7 weeks) = $46 / week

    So, you cut your bill in half! I was predicting a savings of only 36%, based on some very shady math. :p
  7. Hearth Mistress

    Hearth Mistress Minister of Fire

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    I love the sarcasim here but it's been a long grueling day and I couldn't be sure. To be honest, I didn't ever sit down to do the math. I'm warm so I'm happy, and when I'm happy, the household is happy ==c

    You know what it's like to live around here in an old drafty draft hole of a house. I could crank the thermostat to 72 burning through 3 gallons a day and still be cold, it was ridiculous.

    No more, wood heat s good heat, especially living in a stone home, no more mold or dampness either ;) Plus I also have mad ax skills for when the zombie apocalypse comes! :p
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  8. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    These are my two primary reasons for heating with wood. ;hm
  9. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    I have noticed that the wood that was at the bottom of the stack doesn't dry as well as the rest. Note to self--instead of burning those, put them on top of a stack that is seasoning for next year. ;)
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  10. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    Yeah. And the stuff in between - anything questionable gets tossed aside for the next year too (or the outside fire, if I find one with enough punk on it, etc.). I probably spend a lot more time than I should cherry-picking the stuff that's going into the house. If nothing else, an excuse for spending more time outside, with the dog, getting some air, and all that good stuff....
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  11. littlalex

    littlalex Member

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    Right on Sister, Right on!
    Littlalex
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  12. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

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    Could almost carve some of those quotes in wood and hang them over the hearth.

    +1 on the drafty old wood house — but my wife loves it. She prefers it not airtight and likes it a bit cold.

    Our T-stat says 62, but I think the temp in here is around 67 downstairs. 70 something upstairs where all the heat migrates to. Maybe we should move all the downstairs rooms upstairs and the bedrooms downstairs, then we could be cool at night, and warm while we downstairs, instead of in pullovers ;)

    Do you have a stone home now?


    I'm finding this holds true for a lot of things we do with fire wood.
    (He's old enough, and trained enough, to know to stay well away when the saw is out, though.)
  13. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    Been burning some of the not so seasoned wood and think i have a plan that is simple for the day time at least and curious if it makes sense. I split the wood down to 3 or 4 inches on a side if the outside reads around 14 to 17% on MC and find around 22 to 25% inside. Put it in the sun room with the woodstove for a couple of days where it is between 70 and 80 something for about 18 hours a day and run a fan if the stove is 500 or over and the air blows over the stove then the wood stacked very loosely about 5 feet from the stove.


    When burning either on a good bed of coals or kindling fire I put in 2 or 3 loosely but in a way that they will fall into each other after burning for about 1/2 hour. They light fairly easy with air wide open but after a few minutes really want to take off so when this is happening for about 5 minutes i bring the air down fairly quick to get a lot of that haet into the stove and you can hear it popping and creaking and temps go up a good bit. When that is slowing down open to about 1/2 open let them burn for 15 minutes very slowly closing air to 1/4 open or slightly less. This will let the stove cruise for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours at 550F.

    Some of this is close to 1 year oak and some maple and some mystery wood as there is not bark or anything different about it for me to tell what it is. I also have some large splits that i have no idea what it is. Very dark brown seasoned over 2 years and just miserable to burn even though not wet as I split one and under 15% inside. It is like they just suck the heat out of the fire box and coals trying to get going. This wood is very heavy and dense and was equally miserable to split for me. i have gotten those going by tossing in a eco brick in with them, eventually they will burn.

    Is what i am doing make sense for the situation i am in currently. It is all burning clean and pretty hot so doubt if I am making creosote.
  14. NortheastAl

    NortheastAl Minister of Fire

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    Considering the wood you have, it sounds like the best way to go about it. I have kiln dried that I throw in there with the not so seasoned, if need be. I do have enough of the seasoned now and the not so seasoned I can let dry for another year.
  15. NortheastAl

    NortheastAl Minister of Fire

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    Just checked the price of oil, and its $ 3.95 a gallon. Gives me more reason to be happy when I wake up at night and come down to throw a couple logs in the stove.
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  16. Hearth Mistress

    Hearth Mistress Minister of Fire

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    Yes, it's an 1860's bank barn. The living room is all stone, which is where the stove it. The windows are at ground level so the critters outside torture my dogs :) Here is my stove and a pic I have of my dogs on the sofa but you can see the walls are stone, my fortress ;) (not sure why photo keeps flipping)

    image.jpg hm image.jpg
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  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I rotated the stove pic. Cell phone pics need to be taken with the phone horizontal to avoid flipping. Or open it up in your computer's photo viewer, rotate, resave and then post.
  18. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    I always wanted a stone house though it must be a bear to heat I would think. I have a couple of friends with them but make so much money they never talk or complain about much that is a problem in their life. To them 10 bucks and 1000 are not much different..sigh.. I mentioned to one I was going to be busy the other day splitting wood and their comment was why didn't you just buy it the right size..LOL.
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  19. dentman4411

    dentman4411 New Member

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    just plain funny:)
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  20. NortheastAl

    NortheastAl Minister of Fire

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    It's always a matter of perspective, isn't it? I'm sure you walked away shaking your head.
  21. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

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    Those pooches look pretty comfortable and happy ... guess they approve of the stove and the cushions for sure. I'm guessing they are not big shedders, probably hair dogs vs. fur, maybe? Mine sheds entire sweaters worth of fur 6 months a year, lol. He's not allowed on the new couch, but it's too high a jump anyway these days. He's happier on his orthopedic dog bed closer to the ground these days.

    Does that heat the whole barn or just a room or two? Those are interesting buildings alright...some are huge.
  22. Hearth Mistress

    Hearth Mistress Minister of Fire

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    It heats the whole house about 1,000 sq ft 2 floor but its a pretty open floor plan.
  23. Hearth Mistress

    Hearth Mistress Minister of Fire

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    Thanks! Im using an iPad to take the pics and access the forum. The photos are right side up in my files but as soon as I upload them, they flip, weird?
  24. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    Stone houses take a long time to heat up, then retain the heat for a long time. The reverse is also true. So they are great in the spring and fall if you live in a climate that seems to jump from summer to winter and winter straight to summer, like we do in Maryland. The biggest challenge is keeping up with the mortar pointing.
    1000 sqft and two floors? At least you are cozy:)
  25. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Who gave you that idea? ;lol

    Based on our year so far, and burning a lot of lower BTU woods ('cause my higher BTU woods aren't as well seasoned!), I'm on track for 5.5 cords of wood plus 800 gallons of oil for this year. <>

    Now I'm also burning "bacon wood," as I've gone thru most of the dryer softwoods, and started in on hardwoods split April, 2012. Still beats the 1400 gallons of oil I burned last year!

    My advice, based on plenty of recent experience, for burning less than ideal wood:

    1. Always put some softwoods under the the wet stuff, to help get it going.
    2. Don't put a big damp split in front of your secondary inlet, as the exhaust gasses will be too cool for secondary operation (or catalyst light-off).
    3. Mind your ratios... bigger / wetter splits requires more dry wood to balance out.
    4. If you run out of dry softwoods, start reloading your less seasoned stuff directly on a hot coal bed. Forget raking the coals forward to slow the burn... your burn will be slow.
    OldLumberKid likes this.

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