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Firewood length vs. stove dimensions

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Jon1270, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    First I want to congratulate the OP on scounging PRE-BUCKED firewood. You are a journeyman of the scrounge if your biggest issue is the person felling, limbing and bucking your wood is not getting the length correct. You will become "master" of the scrounge when you get them to CSS it for you. A "Jedi Scrounge" when it is all cut to specified lengths!!

    Me, I am in love with the perfect stacks shown here with every piece within +/-" and exactly the length you want. I am a little too willy nilly at this and just eyeball everything. Most get pretty close but plenty are short and few a little long. Fortunately the 30NC has a cavernous fire box and those that end up too long get thrown in on an angle durring the day when I am at home. In a perfect world the 2" shy of tight is what I like and gives me the opportunity to load up easily enough. I do not think having the splits near touching the sides on an EW load would cause any harm but getting them in there while reaching past the raked forward coal pile is a bit of a challenge and I find in uneccessary for the extra 1/3hr or so of perfect burn time.

    For the OP the concensus here is that on a NS load with the splits outgassing into the glass you will get dirty glass. Beyond that it also contributes to more ourspill of ash if I load them beyond my doghouse so I try to keep everything inside the doghouse if at all possible. As long as you can safetly close the door(no cramming) I do not believe there is an issue to either the stove or you.
    bag of hammers likes this.

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  2. gerry100

    gerry100 Feeling the Heat

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    Sharpie mark on the saw the desired distance from the bar tip.

    Quick and accurate enough
    steelstring and nate379 like this.
  3. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Yes . . . more for ease of loading . . . or rather so I don't get a piece in and then discover that due to the ash build up it doesn't quite fit and I have to pull out a split that is already smoking.

    As for efficiency and burn time . . . I may lose a few BTUs by not packing in every square inch of the firebox . . . but the place is warm enough and I'm getting decent enough burn times that I don't have any regrets.
  4. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Nope . . . well unless you have a split too close to the "glass" . . . and then generally the worse that happens is it interferes with the air wash and you get some smoked up glass until the next burn.
  5. gerry100

    gerry100 Feeling the Heat

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    a few inches extra clearance for E/W loading assures you can get the beefier pieces in easier, important whe you're loading a burning stove.

    You may be reducing total burn time slightly but as long as you're burning the wood completely and efficiently you're good.
  6. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    Yes great score there. I do believe if I had stopped the power line clearing crews and ragged on them for leaving 6' or 8' logs, I would have been part of / under the next pile...
  7. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

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    Only takes a few times of having to pull one out to start being a bit better about not even bringng those in. Have a 'new' stack from where I pull out once I think will be a bit close.
  8. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    Completely freehand is tough, but when you've got a chainsaw bar of known length already in your hands, much easier, at worst you only need to eyeball the extra few or shorter few inches, if this not accurate enough, you have bigger issues. Many of us here do have those issues...

    Sizing splits for an insert with narrower rear is even worse. To get a good fill, I need two sizes for n/s and two more for e/w.

    TE
  9. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Though I mentioned above that I can fit a 21" to fill the box optimally, most of my wood supply is in the 16-18 range.

    With that wood what I do is stack a couple 16s vertically on one side of the firebox and then fill with more 16 horizontal E/W up against the opposite wall to make full use of the space.
  10. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Vertical? Hmmm.... now we have another direction. N-S...E-W...and U-D (up-down).;lol
  11. Lumber-Jack

    Lumber-Jack Minister of Fire

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    My stove has a 18" square box, and I follow the same rule as Jake and the others by cutting my wood 2" shorter (that's 16" for those not good at math). This allows for some wiggle room when trying to stuff the wood in the stove. Nothing more frustrating than trying to stuff a chunk of wood in a hot stove, only to find it's 1/4" too big on one side, and you have to pull it out again after it's already starting to ignite. <>
    Also I live on a city lot, and cut my wood out in the bush, and don't like hauling the chainsaw out at home to cut random pieces that are slightly too big, so I'm pretty anal about cutting them right the first time. I'm not a very good guesser, so I use a small measuring stick for measuring the length of the rounds when bucking up my trees, and try to get them as exact as possible. If someone offered me a cord of dry wood that was cut into rounds that were all 1" too big, I'd be a little reluctant to take it.
  12. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    My wife would definitely agree and reminds me often... ;lol

    Given my tendency to produce the dog's breakfast of split lengths, I might just have to try the jharkin "up-down" approach :) (start hiding / burning the evidence)
  13. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    If you have a bunch of splits that are too long, you can trim them in a sawbuck. Plus, the chunks burn real good. >>
  14. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Very true . . . since I eye ball most of my wood when I buck it up I occasionally get a long split or round in my stack . . . I tend to put those aside and either cut them down a bit on the chop saw or wait until I'm doing a reload after a long night and know there will be room in the firebox . . . even if that means having to put the wood in diagonal. ;)
  15. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    How 'bout when bucking 40" diameter rounds to 20", using a 42" bar in my 064 AV? More than a few inches to eyeball. :p
  16. wkpoor

    wkpoor Minister of Fire

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    Split length is pretty much a non issue when your firebox is 30". With that said I do waste a lot of space since the average split is 16-20". I started doing them 24-26" last year as that is the longest my splitter wil split. I rarely worry if there is 12" space left in front. FB is 5.5 cuft so what the heck.
  17. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    I wish I could take credit for my scrounging savvy, but in my area that's the way it is more often than not. I've been getting almost exclusively urban and suburban yard trees that have been taken down by tree services. The tree guys buck them up to make it easier for homeowners to get rid of them, because many city dwellers who only want wood for an occasional recreational fireplace fire don't even own chainsaws. A neighbor across the street is having a white oak taken down in the spring, and I'm tickled at the prospect of being able to *stop* the tree service from bucking it all up for me. But then the tree stands between house and garage, and the trunk will have to come down in pieces anyhow lest it crush something expensive.

    I've got about a cord and a quarter of black locust I picked up recently, and the lengths are all over the place. I'm half-tempted to set up a stop on my chop saw and lop them all to the perfect length, but that would leave me a bunch of stubby chunks that would be hard to stack for seasoning. I wonder how a load of ~4x4x4 pieces would burn.
  18. wkpoor

    wkpoor Minister of Fire

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    I have been able to negotiate with the tree service guys to limit how much they cut. If you let them go at it you'll have every length imaginable along with angle cuts and all kinds of goofy chit. Sometimes its such a mess I pass. Guys with OWB don't care so they are glad to get it.
  19. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    I should be so lucky!

    TE
  20. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I'll be doing that on Saturday, this time a 50"+ ash, and a bunch of 14" - 20" maples, oaks... all hurricane Sandy blow down. The 064 AV will only get used for the ash, all else will be the Echo 510EVL.
  21. gerry100

    gerry100 Feeling the Heat

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    With a sharpie mark on the saw case , my eyeball and practice, 95% of my pieces come in 18-21 inches ( 22" EW firebox).

    The few that are longs go in on the diagonal during the day.
  22. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    I can get 22 inch splits in my PH.
    bag of hammers likes this.
  23. nellraq

    nellraq New Member

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    I've got about 17 cords of wood that I cut to 21" for my Oslo -- works great. But...I put a BK Chinook in the basement last fall which takes 18" wood max.
    Racked by brain for awhile and finally worked out how to cut the wood down to 18". I put together about a 4' long firewood rack with 2 x 4's and those plastic support pieces you can buy. I put a cargo strap across the bottom, fill the rack with wood (making the ends even on one side), then tighten up the strap as much as I can.
    Then, with an 18" stick, I mark a few of the pieces on the side that I'm going to cut. Then I cut along the line and voila...I have a bunch of 18" wood.
    It takes about 1 hr to buck up about 1/4 to 1/3 of a cord this way. And, yes, the leftover chunks burn real good!
    Berner and rideau like this.
  24. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    Only one way to find out for sure :). My guess is probably really good / hot (smaller chunks)...?

    Maybe be great to toss a couple in when you burn up the uglies - fill in the gaps...?
  25. Berner

    Berner Member

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