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Challenge: more wood, less handling

Post in 'The Gear' started by Nofossil, Oct 4, 2007.

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  1. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    Loc:
    Addison County, Vermont
    Thanks for the clarification... I realized that using nofossil as a name might imply a 'holier than thou' attitude which is certainly not my intent. I use it because I also have a web site by the same name that I use to try and offer information to help people who are trying to do wood heat and/or solar on their own.

    I suspect that we're all getting older. I'm trying to be aggressively lazy so that I have all the labor saving techniques figured out while I still have the energy to put them in place. Thanks for the tip on craigslist - not a resource I've used yet, but I think now is the time to start.

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  2. Turner-n-Burner

    Turner-n-Burner New Member

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    http://burlington.craigslist.org/grd/444724995.html

    this what you're looking for? From what I've seen, PTO splitters are nearly as expensive as independent motor driven ones. you could probably find a splitter that runs off of your tractor's hydraulics for half that our less....

    At those prices, I'd much rather have a separate splitter and use the bucket of the tractor to move wood to the splitter. the ultimate log lift!

    BTW - if you need any more info on the wire totes, I have two in my backyard. (rain collection) If you need pics or dimensions, let me know!
  3. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    That's kinda what I'm looking for. I actually want to build one that sits crosswise just behind the rear wheels and tips up to vertical for use. I'd do PTO instead of tractor hydraulics because (1) the tractor hydraulics are miles away and hard to tee into cleanly, and (2) the tractor pump is pitiful in terms of GPM. A separate splitter means another IC engine to care and feed :-(

    If it wouldn't be too much trouble, I'd love dimensions and a picture - especially the spacing required for forks to pick it up. Do they stack?

    ..Thanks..
  4. eernest4

    eernest4 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
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    Loc:
    ct
    I used to just throw my spilt wood, at the log splitter, into a wheelbarrow and roll it into the basement and stack it.But now, I bought a 30 ft x 8 ft construction trailer to use as a drying wood shed,
    so I fill the wheelbarrow at the log splitter ,roll it to the trailer, put it in a shopping cart inside the trailer and stack from out of the shopping cart. no bending down to pick up wood off the floor.

    after a while drying, like when the basement supply is depleated,i take 5 gal plastic buckets with handles, lay them sideways on top of the stack and fill them with splits. Gravity makes the splits pack in tight and when the pail gets 1/2 full , I flip the handle to the middle and then continue filling the other side up.

    I take the pails into the basement 25 feet away, one in each hand and set them down until I run out of empty pails.

    I figure I can store 1/8th a cord of splits , just in the pails. I am in the process of making book ends for stacking the wood in the basement from the pails.

    Bookends are just a big L.... L oooooL .... , the weight of the wood stacked on the bottom of the L holds it upright, you need to put a 45 degree wood brace from the bottom to the side , front & rear , to make the L bookend strong. Advantage is they can be moved easily to store wood where ever you want , even next to the stove for drying the wood.

    So, from the pails into the L bookend storage, and back into the pails to feed the stove,
    unelse I make another set of bookends and leave them 4 ft. from the stove , permanemtly

    Sounds good to me, so i will get around to trying it, sometime this winter.

    I am still wiring the trailer and basement storage section with lights. Just finished a concrete
    floor 1 week ago , for the basement storage section and need to replace the door as it wet rotted out when I had the dirt floor.

    And I have to cement up, cement sides and bottom, the outside drainage ditch as I just found out it was leaking a small amt of water , only when it rains hard, into the basement.

    I couldn't tell before because the dirt would absorb the water , but now the cement floor shows the leakage.

    Ever since I got a wood stove, I been working my butt into the ground with home improvements
    but the 7,000.oo a year I dont spend anymore on fuel oil is sure sweet. Every time the oil truck drives by, now, I give him the bird.

    He stoped and say, Why you give me the bird and I said because I dont need your rediculeslly overpriced oil any more. So he said, What did you do, buy a wood stove ??
    and I said YOU BET YA, I SURE DID.!!! :)
  5. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Damn! I got tired just reading about all the work you guys do!

    Possible improvements -

    1) Get the trees cut before they're too big for the furnace. This nearly eliminates splitting.
    2)Put the furnace where you can plunk down the wood aka, away from the house, thus discouraging ticks and other pests in the house, and keeping the Mrs from complaining about the mess. This is a great stress relieving technique after dark.
    3)Stacking wood saves very little room. If space is an issue, buy more land - preferably land with oak, hickory and hard maple on it
    4)Attach a canopy to the room with the furnace, to avoid introducing new moisture to your fuel, while sustaining air movement.

    With all the movements saved, you now have energy in your elbows for bending them . . . you'll just have to decide if its Wild Turkey, Johnny Walker, or Rolling Rock. And now that ya got the canopy, you can bend your elbow out there a bit while showing off your new system to your buddies.

    Jimbo
  6. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    Loc:
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    It's a lot of work being lazy!

    I kinda like it as a plan, but I also like tending the fire without going outside. Too many tradeoffs. I do think I've saved enough movements to justify a little Wild Turkey, though.

    Stacking is to keep it covered while allowing air circulation. The gasification boiler that I have is really efficient, but it likes it's wood dry. If I had a barn, I'd just dump it in a big pile.
  7. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    all this talk of efficiency . . . .

    has anyone ever looked at mean temp, [] of heated area and volume of wood used for any of these systems? I'm a firm believer that sales materials lie.
  8. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    Loc:
    Addison County, Vermont
    I'm heating 3500 square feet, domestic hot water, and a large hot tub in Vermont with an average (so far) of less than 4 cords per year, and not all prime hardwood at that. I have no baseline of other wood heating alternatives, but I suspect that's pretty good.

    There are two major sources of inefficiency that I know of:

    1) Releasing unburned fuel up the chimney - this would be visible as creosote and smoke
    2) Losing heat up the chimney in the form of hot flue gases

    The gasification boiler does very well on both counts - no visible smoke, no creosote, and flue temperatures under 300 degrees at full output.

    My brother does have hard data on a conventional wood boiler and his home-made gasification boiler. He actually weighs his firewood and keeps meticulous records (I was going to say logs, but that would start another whole series of misguided posts) of amount burned vs. outside temperature.

    I don't have his data right now, but I believe that he's burning about 30% less wood. Sone of that is improved heat exchanger, but it's fair to say that a lot of it is gasification.
  9. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I have the 205,000 btu/hour version of nofossil's boiler, and if I burn only 10 cords this winter (my first one with it), I'll be very happy. That's what I can fit (dead stacked) in my barn around the boiler. Last year with a Royall 6150 I burned 13 full cords. (This is all dry wood, at least 2 years old). The year before that, 16. The year before that, 21. I think you can attribute the drop in consumption with the Royall to a combination of improvements in piping and insulation and experience operating the boiler.

    I'm currently wasting a lot of heat with the EKO because I don't have my storage tank hooked up--yet. It'll happen eventually. Zenon says you use up to 40% less wood with a storage tank, and given my current rate of wood consumption, I'd say that sounds about right.

    One more barely related point: People like to make apples-to-apples comparisons between wood heat and oil or nat. gas. But it's not an even comparison (probably not even close) because the wood burner is going to be a lot warmer all winter long than the fossil fuel consumer. Put another way, you can spend $1,000 on oil or $1,000 on wood, but the wood guy is going to be a much happier camper in general than the oil guy. When the ratio gets more realistic (say $500 for wood vs. $2,000 for oil), it gets even sweeter.
  10. Larryj24

    Larryj24 New Member

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    Loc:
    New York
    I just read a couple of posts in this thread about only having to stack once and saw the pic of the guy with the forks on his tractor. The rack is interesting, but the easiest way to stack wood once and move it with forks would be on FREE PALLETS. In fact, around here, this is how alot of firewood is now delivered. 1 pallet= 4x4x4 or 1/2 cord. 2 pallets to a cord. Why reinvent the wheel? If you have a machine with forks on it, just use pallets and when they are shot...BURN THEM! If you store them where you split them, just leave them on the pallet. If you need to move them, put them n the pallet, use some plastic wrap and move all you want. Don't try to store them with the plastic wrap though. Another way would be on the pallet and then use plastic strapping to secure it to the pallet. This you can leave on as the bands are only 1/2" wide.

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  11. drmiller100

    drmiller100 New Member

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    life is short.

    touching wood makes it much shorter.

    figure out some bins. either pallets with sides, or buy some bins, or use your bucket.

    if you use pallets, throw the wood into the pallets/bucket that doesn't need to be split. then dump it into a huge pile. take the split wood, split it, throw into same pile.

    throw a tarp over it in rainy season. make the tarp out of clear visqueen so it cooks well on sunny days, and don't seal the bottom so breezes come through.

    then use the bucket to throw wood under the porch all winter long. either on pallets, or in bulk.

    i have a 50 cubic foot bucket for my skidsteer. 9 feet wide, 4 feet deep, pretty easy to get a stack of 1.5 tall in it.
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