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EPA says...

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by blacktail, Jun 30, 2014.

  1. blacktail

    blacktail Minister of Fire

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    "What You Should NOT Do:
    DO NOT burn freshly cut green wood, or kiln- or oven-dried lumber.

    BECAUSE: The high moisture content of fresh wood hinders hot, clean burning. Kiln- or oven-dried lumber vaporizes too fast, leading to excessive pollution and creosote buildup, with its associated fire hazard."
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We all agree that green wood and treated wood shouldn't be burned. But lumber will "vaporize" too fast? Isn't framing lumber just fir and hemlock dried to something like 12%? And if wood "vaporizes" too fast, doesn't that mean it's burning hot and polluting less? What am I missing here?
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2014

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  2. chrispr1

    chrispr1 Member

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    You're missing that you shouldn't take advise from office-dwelling bureaucrats. I've burnt framing lumber scraps mixed with my traditional supply and never had any problems. Vaporizing wood...now that's funny.
    Fred Wright likes this.
  3. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, it's been mentioned in some threads here that super-dry wood doesn't burn as cleanly. Maybe if the wood off-gasses (vaporizes) in a more controlled fashion, the secondary/cat can catch more of it, resulting in a cleaner burn. But if you can burn real low, like you can in the cat stoves, they should be able to handle dry wood pretty well, I'd think ...
  4. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Believe it or not...
    If wood is TOO dry such as kiln dried stuff, it can off gas at a rate that exceeds the reburners (tube or cat) ability to burn up. This allows unburnt gasses to exit the stove.
    Yes - TOO dry of wood can burn dirty. It can also over fire a stove.
    Its all about control.
    Seanm, bholler and Fred Wright like this.
  5. Seanm

    Seanm Feeling the Heat

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    I had this happen to me year before last. I purchased a cord and a half of lodgepole pine on the cheap that had been stored in a dark garage for six years. Some of it was ok but some was nasty to burn especially when the stove would get up to temperature. It was embarrassing to have black smoke billowing out my chimney. Also before the glass would darken (something that is rare for me) I could see what I can best describe as strings of creosote wafting around the firebox and the bricks and baffle would turn black. After awhile I learned to use this very dry wood just for kindling.
  6. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

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    Well I've learned something new today:)
  7. WiscWoody

    WiscWoody Minister of Fire

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    I won't burn any treated or green wood but some dimensional scrap is nice to get the stove going and build some embers fast at times.
  8. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Iv had 100 yr old lath boards smoke in my 30 if i had the air open too high. Trick is to burn em a little slower. Nothing gets past the reburn chamber in the harman though,not even 100 yr old dry lath.
  9. tsquini

    tsquini Minister of Fire

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    I have burned excessively dry birch. While the stove was getting up to temperature the bark created thick black smoke. Once the stove warmed up it did much better.
  10. WiscWoody

    WiscWoody Minister of Fire

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    There's lots of Birch up here and I've used Birch bark to start fires in the stove. After the 2007 drought, Birch trees have died and fallen amass and the wood decays fast but the bark stays strong. I can just pick it up and shake out the decayed wood leaving rolls of bark which is sap rich and burns well.
    tsquini likes this.
  11. blacktail

    blacktail Minister of Fire

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    Interesting. I never would have thought to load the stove up with lumber, but mostly because when I get lumber scraps it's 2x4s or smaller. I've burned lumber scraps from from time to time on start up to get things going. Winter before last I had a big supply of 5/4 decking scraps and used a few each time I started a fire. My fire pit has been getting a steady diet of old fencing lumber recently.
    I just noticed this was written specifically for non-catalytic stoves.
    http://yosemite.epa.gov/R10/airpage.nsf/Indoor Air/WoodStoves
  12. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    Mixed with regular splits particularly those that are not quite prime moisture content wise- works fine. That's my story and I am sticking with it.
  13. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    It is not advisable to burn treated wood in your stove. You may be releasing dangerous chemicals into your stove and the air, some of which finds its way back into your house for you to inhale. I burn mostly old lumber from home demolition,but not painted ,stained or treated lumber.
    WiscWoody and Jags like this.
  14. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    Note: nothing with paint, stain, or preservatives are used in the stove. just plain cutoffs and such
  15. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    That's really the thing. Extremely dry wood is more difficult to control, especially if it's cut into thin boards (as it tends to be). The EPA has to craft recommendations for the average person who will read them, not for the highly skillful artisanal woodburning geeks you might find here.

    I burned a bunch of 2x4 scraps late this past winter, and found that it worked very well to stack them carefully with minimal air gaps and then light the stack from the top. Filling the stove with randomly-oriented KD scrap and then lighting it from the bottom would be a very bad idea.
  16. johnpma

    johnpma Member

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    My grandfather was a contractor....we burned anything that gave heat. It amazes me what the internet, and government has done to something so simple as burning wood for heat!!
    chrispr1 likes this.
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Most of us are not burning in grandpa's stoves or driving fuming gas burners anymore either. Cleaner air is a nice improvement.

    PS: Clean air regs for stoves and cars went in before the internet was around.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2014
    Grisu, WiscWoody and Jon1270 like this.
  18. blacktail

    blacktail Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, I know. I didn't say I was burning treated or painted wood.
  19. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    5/4 decking is treated wood. I get a lot of this stuff as well and i dont quite know what to do with it. I just uncovered a pile of treated lumber ,and some 5/4 decking that was buried for about 12-15 years. Most of it still looks like new.
  20. blacktail

    blacktail Minister of Fire

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    That's great. Cedar decking is untreated.

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