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Deep south woodburners...how much do you burn?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Intheswamp, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. Nic36

    Nic36 Feeling the Heat

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    Dang it Bspring, you beat me to it. That's what I was going to say. I have several years' worth saved up as well.

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  2. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    Aw man. Ya'll are talking about the "big freeze" coming and I'm sitting down here with a cute little ol' Jotul F3CB sitting in the box with a box full of ss flue and "fixin's" and suddenly the mason that "knows his stuff...been doing it for years...etc" and came highly recommended has suddenly vanished....I guess I need to call Fox Mulder and let him investigate an alien abduction. ;-(

    Ah well, I went into it this season as a planning/preparation time. I've still got a hearth board to construct, masonry work to be done, and some heat shields to fabricate. In the meantime I'm trying to start a woodpile. Currently I'm figuring on buying 2-3 cords of oak to get a start (I think I may have found a good, fair-priced source...probably water oak). I've also got plenty of beetle-kill pine that I can cut for quicker use and I've got some feelers out for scroungable wood.

    I'm disappointed in the first wood guy that delivered...$75 and a little of 1/4 cord with some forks and crotches that I won't be able to use...he was supposed to bring me some more wood to make a face cord (16" length) but haven't seen him...??? Interestingly, after the delivery I talked with the guy (his sons delivered) and he thought he had told me $65 and had told his son to collect $65. Well, when I gave the money to his oldest son he didn't say anything about me giving him too much. I guess he figured I was tipping him $10 for stacking less than a face cord! ...or he figured he was getting over on me. :-( Anyhow, I'm hoping this new guy will be better...he seemed to know a little more of the basics (like what a cord measures...duh) than the first guy.

    Anyhow, ya'll have given me a good idea of what to shoot for in regards to how much to get stacked and drying for a few years ahead. I figure if I start out with 2.5-3 cords that would put a me at least a couple of years ahead and allow me to add to it with my own sweat equity.

    Thanks,
    Ed
  3. jackofalltrades

    jackofalltrades Member

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    Loc:
    North MS
    This is my first year of burning wood with the Morso 2110. It is a brand new home of 1600 sq ft. It is tightly insulated with spray foam insulation and the best Pella Windows. I am in Northeast MS close to Tupelo. It looks like I will be burning about 2.5 cords this year. That is face cords about 16" wood. Although; I will say it is an abnormally cold winter those far. I burn oak of all kinds, pecan, and some hickory. I expect, after a year or so of practice and more normal conditions to get by with no more than 2 cords and think 1.5 will get it a lot of the time. I burn wood fulltime. I do have a central unit heat pump, but it has never been on with it set at 64 degrees.
  4. pyper

    pyper New Member

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    I'm near Greenville, SC.

    I have 1600 sf. It's pretty well insulated and reasonably tight.

    We put the stove in last year in December, and probably burnt 1/3 a cord.

    This year we have burnt about 1/4 a cord so far, but at maybe half of that has been rounds under 2". I figure we'll probably burn 1/2 cord by the time we're done. We did keep a fire going most of the cold snap a few weeks ago. Mostly I light a fire of sticks in the morning and let it go out, and then build a real fire in the evening. Half of the house stays pretty cool, no matter how warm the room with the stove gets.
  5. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    That's sounding pretty good!! Less than a full cord of wood and burning fulltime!!! That well insulated house is paying off!!!

    Ed
  6. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    Have you tried pointing a fan at the stove to move the air to other parts of the house?

    Ed
  7. jackofalltrades

    jackofalltrades Member

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    Intheswamp, what formula were you using to come up with the figure of 3/4 cord from the information that I had in my post? I know there are some around but I was wondering what you were using.
  8. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    I based your usage on the 2.5 (face) cord statement. There are 3 face cords (splits 16" long) to a full cord. Divide 2.5 by 3.0 and you get .8333...a little more than .75 or 3/4.

    I guess I tend to be simple minded with my thinking...that's what my wife tells me. %-P

    Ed
  9. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    Hmmm, I think this winter might be going to raise the wood burning amounts a bit for the deep south burners.

    Here in south Alabama the prediction is the upper teens Thursday and Friday mornings, low twenties for Saturday morning and still below freezing on Sunday morning....then the usual warm up and rain.

    Stay warm.
    Ed
  10. Nic36

    Nic36 Feeling the Heat

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    Decatur, Alabama
    It's turning out to be a cold one. All the predictions were a mild winter. The lows here for the next couple of nights will be around 11 and 12 degrees. The extended forecast is not much better with most of the lows in the 20s. I will be very curious to see how much I have burned by Spring. I still don't think it will be a cord. I've got plenty, so I'm not worried about it.
  11. scottandlorig

    scottandlorig New Member

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    Most of my family are from Alabama and I have spent a lot of time down there and I don't know anyone that has a wood burning stove. Some with gas witch is plenty enough to heat most homes down there. That doesn't mean people down there don't have them I am just saying personally I don't know of any, and I know a lot of good old boys in the deep south.

    Roll Tide!!
  12. Nic36

    Nic36 Feeling the Heat

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    You're right, most people don't heat with wood down here anymore. The mild winters over the last several years has something to do with it I'm sure. Plus, people don't want to deal with the hassle and mess of burning with wood. I prefer it that way. It is much easier on those that do heat with wood here. Usually, wood is free for the taking. I have asked about storm-downed trees in my area when I was scrounging for wood like Ed. Everyone I asked said I could have it, because no one wants it, and I'm doing them a favor by cleaning it up. With weather like we have been having lately, I'm loving every minute of it. $50.00 a month power bills are great too.

    Who knows though, if the winters start having bite again and the economy doesn't pick up, there may be a resurgence of wood burning here again.
  13. Coach B

    Coach B Member

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    I guess it varies a little from area to area because there are a lot of wood burners around me here in southern middle Tennessee. I would guess nearly half the folks in my immediate rural spot are regular burners. Obviously, not many at all in town, but out in the countryside its a different story.
    War Eagle and Go Big Orange! Sorry, couldn't resist. :)
  14. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    <chuckle>...and the rivalry continues! :) Congrats to Auburn...now if Troy can pull off a BCS title.... :bug:

    I was coming back south from Montgomery last night, about a 60 mile drive for me, when I started the temp was 32F...when I got home it was 27F....a pretty good drop for an hour. Troy right (our local NOAA reporting station) is reporting 17F @ 7:04am. Pretty cool for south Alabama.

    I know there are a few wood burners in the area but haven't really talked at length to any of them. So for I only know of one that has a stock of (presumably) seasoned wood. I'm going to stop one day and talk with him/her a bit. The local "wood guy" around here knows how to run a chain saw, run a splitter, and load a truck....I don't think he knows much about what moisture content means nor how to measure wood. He burned me once...won't have the chance again. There are a good many firewood ads in the local trader/sales papers and on CL...luckily I hit on a good one the first time I risked CL(not the "local guy"). What I do have new this year is a local cabinet shop that is on the way to work installed an OWB. The 24" logs lay beside it and they simply saw off a round and split it when they need to add wood....it's *really* the mother of all smoke dragons...I know some of the neighbors have had to complain by now...it's BAD. There are a few house chimneys that I see that are emitting smoke (C/S last week?) and there very well could be some clean burning going on that I haven't detected. Seems most of the burning is indeed in the more rural areas.

    I think you may be right, Nic. The economy may nudge/force more people to start burning wood. The problem is that if it's a financial constraint that makes them start burning then they probably not be using an EPA stove and who knows about their chimneys. Kind of scary in a safety kind of way.

    Yesterday driving into Montgomery I naturally was scanning for firewood...looks like somebody's keeping the road edges, etc., pretty clean. ??

    Ed
  15. pyper

    pyper New Member

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    My neighbors have been burning wood in their fireplace this year. In the past they only did that when the power was out, but now they seem to be doing it regularly. So just one anecdote, but it seems to support your line of thinking. We were snowed in the first half of this week and I ran the stove 24/7. Worked out better than I expected (our house isn't a good layout for heating with a stove).
  16. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    The economy probably is what is prompting them to burn more this year. Also, with this lengthy cold spell I think it's got a lot of folks thinking of other heat sources. I know our last power bill was high and this next one will be even higher...and this is with a geothermal system (no heat strips, pure geo). I'm sitting here with a stove in the crate waiting on a mason...and the temps are dipping into the freezing zone each night (not recommended for masonry work, I think). Anyhow, for now I'm working on the 11/12 and 12/13 season...figuring right now on 1.5 cords per year. Once I get this in then, I'm going to start scrounging pecan and oak as I find it. I've also got a friend of my that might bring me some logs. :cheese:

    Ed
  17. Nic36

    Nic36 Feeling the Heat

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    My advice is not to become too over eager on buying wood. You should be able to find all you will ever need for free. I've picked up a lot along the street and asked if I could have the wood from fallen trees on peoples' property. Everyone I asked was delighted for me take it. Before installing my stove, I was worried that I would not have enough of a supply. I realize now that wood here is terribly easy to find for free. You just have to be patient and keep your eyes open. Tell your friends to keep an eye out too.
  18. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    Good advice, too! Right now, there's a lot happening that's keeping me from doing much scrounging. Hopefully that will change pretty soon. I got the last wood delivered today, this will put me ahead a good bit and I can scrounge as able without the pressure of *having* to get wood. I'm beginning to put some bugs in people's ears that I'm looking for down trees/limbs. I've been looking around a lot lately. Seems everywhere I go I'm looking at trees...both standing and fallen. I would love to get 5-6 years ahead.

    South Alabama used to have great expanses of hardwood/long-leaf pine forests...sadly the paper companies pretty well have strip-mined miles and miles of forest land....when we were teenagers me and a friend came up with the notion that our kids would probably think that pine trees naturally grow in rows. ;(

    Anyhow, I'm working on getting the word out that I'm looking for wood! :)

    Ed
  19. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    Checking in to see if any more southern wood burners have got or are getting an idea on their wood usage. Looks like this year's burning will be on the high side for most people...worst case scenarios are good to plan for.

    I've been figuring on one cord per year (oak) forecast but think I'm going to up that to at least 1.25 cord. With the standing dead pine I have that could be used as a buffer should usage go past my forecast. I'm planning on getting some pine anyhow for possibly shoulder season and for burning down oak coals so it'll be available if needed.

    I'm curious...how well does pine store over a period of time? Most of my storage will be uncovered (maybe some scrap tin on top) but off of the ground. These dead pines are in the 8"-14" DBH range and will be split in quarters...smaller tips will be kept as rounds.

    Ed
  20. jlove1974

    jlove1974 Member

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    this winter has knocked my seasoned wood supplies down considerably. I am now dipping into my 'campfire' stash, which is old oak limbs and rounds.
    I have also begun to break up pallets to augment my burning, since I have a decent source of oak pallets at my job.

    Sure will be nice to have that ash that I put up last month all seasoned and ready to go at the start of next winter.

    Hopefully the divination by the varmint this morning will ring true and we'll get an early spring. It can't come soon enough for me
  21. pyper

    pyper New Member

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    Termites & carpenter ants. If you can keep them out, it stores just fine if you use something to keep the rain out.

    10 years ago, long before I had a stove, we had a 12" pine cut down. I kept two rounds on the porch for a while to use as end tables, but 5 years or so ago my wife got tired of them and dumped them in the woods. Well, this fall I ran across one, and it was pretty well eaten and rotted, but I split it and dried it and it kept us warm one night. :)

    The ants seem to prefer hardwoods over pine.
  22. ChillyGator

    ChillyGator New Member

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    NorthFlorida
    I'll be cutting 2 cords minimum this year.....for 12/13.....hoping for a warm February :coolsmirk:
    Had a few dry pieces of Pecan that I burned last week, caught easily, no popping, burned down to fluffy ashes with few coals, most of my stack is still 24% + moisture after 6-7 months.
  23. DonNC

    DonNC Member

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    I have to guesstimate based on very short usage and wacky weather. Last Jan and Feb we barely got out of the 20's.... Today it was 70

    Based on less than ideal wood this year, and this drafty house with no wall insulation I expect to use 2.5-3.5 cords of wood next year. The house is 1200 sq feet and the stove is the primary.
  24. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    Ditto on the hog...I think everybody could use an early spring. If it is going to be an early spring then this winter is ending with a ROAR!!!! From what I hear the ash should be fine by next season.
  25. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    Ants are something I've got to deal with here in south Alabama...more precisely FIRE ANTS. I've got the stacks up off the ground on 2x4's over cement blocks...1/2 cord to the stack. I know those blasted fire ants will want to bed up against some of those blocks...just gotta be sure and leave some feed out for them and maybe they want be a problem. Between them and the wild blackberry bushes I'm going to have fun.<groan>

    What you said about the pine is pretty much what I had figured from just dealing with limbs and downed trees through the years. We were raised up around here with the "pine is not firewood" mentality so we never really burned any of it. There's been some good firewood gone to waste down here...lot's of pine plantations that get thinned or either clearcut have *lots* of logs left laying around...easy pickin's. It doesn't take long for it to start rotting once it lays on the ground a while and the ants do indeed love to bed up in it. It always seemed to me, though, that the ants liked the pine better than the hardwoods but it makes sense that they wouldn't like the pine as much since it has the sticky sap/turpentine in it. I've got a log cabin I've been working on that has a 4' homemade Rumford fireplace in it that would be a good candidate for some long splits and logs of pine. We'll definitely be finding out how it does. Looks like I might need to be planning a shed for the future.

    Thanks for the info, very helpful,
    Ed

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