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Dry-wood question

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by basswidow, Dec 22, 2008.

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  1. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

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    You guys probably get these questions alot and get sick of them.

    We got our Kozyheat Z42 installed last weekend. I had 2 cords of wood delivered - to get me started and was very disappointed with the landscaper (off craigslist). He was made to come back and bring a full measured 2 cords and replace some of what he delivered that was pure wrotten wood. One load was cherry and the other ash. The cherry - I got stacked and under cover - but the ash got rained on and is now under a foot of snow in the yard.

    The first burns - were tough to get going and made the glass black. It didn't produce good heat either. I was disappointed. Heath and Home told me my wood was wet. We cleaned the glass and got some dry wood from the Home Depot.

    Here come the quesitons:
    The store bought wood is kiln dry. This stuff is amazing. It's like petrified and lights like a match. No more issues. I like this stuff - but I don't like paying for it. It's like firewood for dummy's.

    1)Will this stuff harm my stove? I damper it down almost immediately. I am trying to mix some other wood in with it, but the stuff I have is not burning well.

    The landscaper says the wood is seasoned 1 year ( but I am sure he would say just about anything). I don't own a moister meter. The cherry - which was covered, I've brought some inside. It has set by the stove for 2 days and it still doesn't burn great. I brought some of the snow covered ash into my garage and will try and dry that out too.

    2) If this stuff doesn't burn well after being brought into the house for a few days, should I simply stack it for next year and try to find a better wood source?

    3) Should I store my wood in my garage or under a tarp outside is fine?

    I hope to get a saw for christmas and start cutting my own for next year, but until then, I need wood for heat.

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  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    1. Kiln dried firewood won't harm your stove as long as you don't run it wide open.

    2. Stack the Cherry for next year.

    3. Try stacking the Ash in the garage if you can vent it and see how it does.

    4. Look for a reputable supplier or go scrounge standing dead wood.
  3. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    burn the ash frist!
  4. Pagey

    Pagey Minister of Fire

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    I don't have access to any ash, but from what I've read here, everything indicates that your best bet will be the ash seasoning the quickest. I'd also recommend the small investment in a moisture meter. Do you HAVE to have one to burn? No, but I personally found the $20.00 investment to be worth the peace of mind. I now know that the pine I am burning averages 15-20% moisture, and the oak I am burning averages 20-30%. My glass stays clean, and dad and I were up on the roof over the weekend to do my first inspection after my new install last month. Everything looked really good, and I can only credit the moisture levels in the wood. My fires, cold or hot, take off really well (especially the pine), and once I'm up to speed and cruising well, I see only heat shimmers from the Class A.

    If you're going to mix in the wet wood with some dry, it would probably be a good idea to do more frequent inspections/cleanings of your system.
  5. deadon

    deadon New Member

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    I burn about 75% cherry. If cherry is well seasoned "aka" dry , the wood when split is a nice pink/cherry color evenly. If it is still green on non seasoned the outer wood just under the bark will look a light amber color and the inside will be a darker cherry with streaks of amber in it.
  6. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

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    I think I'll get a moisture meter from harbor freight - just for information.

    This cherry is darker. The dealer that sold me the stove - said to hit two pieces together and it should sound like a baseball bat - how's that for a test? I'm trying to dry it out. When I lay it out inside - you can see moisture in the grains - might be from the rain and snow, or it could be green wood. I don't know. The meter would help.

    I know trees - and can tell some wood by sight - but the ash - is unfamilar to me. It looks yellow to me. Most of it is missing bark. The only reason I think it's ash - the county inspector who approved my stove - told me.

    It figures - that's the wood I should burn first. It's buried in a foot of snow and ice. How long will that take - if I put it in my unheated garage and just stack a days worth inside the house?
  7. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    That foot of snow and ice won't make the wood that much more wet. Just brush it off and it will be fine. Most ash can be burned right after cutting but it just is not as good as if it has seasoned for a year. We've had almost the same results with cherry! Most complain about the moisture in cherry but even when I used to go to the north woods hunting and we lived in a big army tent, we heated with wood. We cut green cherry and used that for heat. We got along just fine. But, all things being equal, seasoned is much better for all types of wood.

    Go ahead and put some of that ash in your garage and also keep as much as you can in the house before burning. Just make certain there are no ants in the wood. Ash is well known as a wonderful home for carpenter ants! As long as you split the wood, you will know if it has ants or not. No ants, no problem.

    One year I cut a big ash and thought I had got all the ants. When I split some during the winter though, there was this huge colony of big black ants. We had 3 or 4 chunks that had ants in them. What to do? Well, we have too many wild turkeys here but I thought maybe I could use them. So I "borrowed" some of the wife's birdseed, drew a line from a known turkey path right to the pile of ants (they were frozen). Bingo. The next day we had a few dozen turkeys eating ants! Of course, they wanted to check out the wood pile for many days after, but they got the job done better than I could.
  8. lexybird

    lexybird Minister of Fire

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    next time he tells you that knock a large split off the side of his head and listen for it to sound hollow like a baseball bat sound
  9. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

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    Now that's funny....


    This is a great forum for us rookies. You all certainly shorten the learning curve. I still have so much more to learn.

    The Ash I had brought into my garage finally thawed out and I set about 20 pieces on the hearth by the stove for 24 hrs. This morning I burned 5 pieces of ash - and it burns well. It's only the cherry that is a problem. As far as I can tell, the cherry must still be alittle green. I topped off the stove with it last night and awoke to black glass again. So the cherry is the culprit.

    So we are going to burn ash and occasionally put a cherry log in when the fire is burning well. I hope to knock all of the snow and ice off the ash and put it in my garage tomorrow. After that, I am going on a hunt for some better wood.

    I did not cut this wood and I don't know if it has ants or termites in it. Heck I am at work now and as the logs warm - ants could be making themselves at home right now! I hope not. Merry Christmas all and thanks for the tips.
  10. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Around here it's mostly Black Ash and unless they were harvested as dead/diseased trees, the bark generally stays on it. I could recognise it by smell if you want to send me a split.

    I've never owned a moisture meter and can tell by the weight, feel, smell, and the hollow "crack" sound, how dry it is. I store my wood out in my shed with no walls so I get fine drifting snow on my piles and so drop the pieces on the concrete slab to knock off the snow and sawdust. It makes that nice "crack" sound every time.
  11. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    LOL

    I like the sound... guess I'm addicted to "crack".
  12. Outdoorsman

    Outdoorsman New Member

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    The fact that the Ash you bought is missing most of it's bark suggests to me that the guy that sold it to you was cutting down standing dead Ash trees.]

    Standing cured Ash like that is one of the best of fire woods. The Ash will serve you well this winter, unfortunately your Cherry sounds like it's green as heck. Put the Cherry back to dry for next year.

    I'd suggest you buy some more ash if you can find more that is well dried like that you have.
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