1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

FireWood ????'s

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by LJ4174, Oct 7, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. LJ4174

    LJ4174 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Messages:
    98
    Loc:
    South Eastern PA
    OK, so I was going to bring this up in another thread, but didn't want to hi-jack it... My RSF Opel 2 Fireplace and chimney will be installed next Friday, I will have a little finishing work to do on it, but I want to get this baby burning. Other than in a burning barrel or a camp fire, I have never burned wood before for heating my home. So if anyone has any tips for me or can point me in a good direction for information it would be great.

    Now, the question of firewood. I get the whole seasoned thing and was going to work with my neighbor cutting and splitting wood, but he's gotten sorta weird as of late and with my family and the 400 other projects I have going on, finding the time to cut and split wood is challenging. So I'm thinking of just buying it at least for this winter, so this brings me to a few questions. I see a lot of ads for seasong hardwoods. How can you tell it's seasoned??? I know you don't want to burn pine and I'm pretty sure I could pick that out, but how do you identify woods and what you are actually getting? Last but not least, how much wood or how many cords do I need? I have a 4 year old 2400 sqr foot home. This fireplace is supposed to be real efficient, but I have no idea. I'm thinking of getting 5 cords. Thoughts on this or anything would be a HUGE help...

    Thanks...

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. sapratt

    sapratt Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    394
    Loc:
    Northwestern, Oh
    Any wood is fine to burn as long as it is seasoned. Oak or Pine they both will work just pine burns faster than oak.
    Look at the ends for cracks that is one way of telling if it is seasoned. Another and better way is to buy a moisture tester
    that will give you a better idea of how well the wood is seasoned.
  3. FISHBONZ

    FISHBONZ New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Messages:
    31
    Loc:
    Kirkwood, MO
    I am only a second season stove owner so I am sure others can give you some input.

    First. The first couple of burns should be lower heat to break it in. Also, keep your windows open as it will smell pretty significantly as oils burn off and the finish cures.

    As for the fire wood. I went to a tree service who cuts down trees all summer and splits the hardwoods for burining and turns the rest to mulch. They had a huge stack that has been aged for over a year. You can tell if it's properly aged by it having a grey color (not a fresh cut of wood look, almost dirty) as well as the sound it makes when you bang it against something hard like a rock, concrete or another log. It should sound hollow like a ball bat not dead like a wet log.

    My stove is not the primary heating source so I bought 1 cord of wood. It was split and delivered to my driveway for $225.00. It constists of Oak, Cherry, Hickory a;; hardwoods.

    Good Luck
  4. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    744
    Loc:
    Chateaugay, NY
    It would be waaaaaaaay to late in the year to use any wood cut recently. At this point you have no choice but to buy some.

    as for heating your whole house, there are alot of factors that come into play, including layout, insulation, placement of the fireplace, etc. 2400 sq ft is ALOT to heat with a fireplace insert. I have 2000 sq ft with a central forced air furnace and am looking at 7 cord.
  5. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Messages:
    3,700
    Loc:
    CNY
    LJ4174 you'll get the hang of ID-ing wood once you start cutting it but as a new wood burner it's more imp that you can ID seasoned wood.

    For now your best bet might be to solicit dealer recommendations from friends that buy wood...if a dealer does right to your friends he'll do right with you once you ID yourself as a... ' friend of so&so;'s that recommended your wood' etc...

    ...that's the wood you want to buy even if there's a $10 difference from another dealer you looked up in the Pennysaver. As far as how much wood you need ...just check with your neighbors that also burn wood. I think you're on the right track getting 5 cords to start. If you have the room consider buying wood in log loads...it's a real easy take and convenient to work.
  6. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
    4,417
    Loc:
    Northern MN
    Getting commercial seasoned wood that really is seasoned can be a challenge, especially with current high demand. Probably the best way to tell is to split a few pieces and check interior moisture with a moisture meter. I would look for moisture content of 25% maximum and less is better. Absent a moisture meter, follow several of the rules of thumb and see what happens.

    If you stack split wood and open air dry yourself, with good air circulation, green wood might be OK after one summer of drying depending on the wood and size of splits, probably is good after two summers of drying, although some woods can take longer, and after three summers of drying you are welcomed into wood heat heaven.

    Wood sizzling when it burns is not a good sign, although individual pieces that picked up rain or were the bottom layer of a stack close to the ground might do this too, and that's not a problem. If most everything sizzles, smokes, and just doesn't want to burn, leave it alone for another summer and burn it when its ready.

    I cut, split, and stack my own wood, and I dry everything three summers. Wood heaven is a very warm place to be. I've heard it's freezing in wood hell.
  7. 11 Bravo

    11 Bravo New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Messages:
    202
    Loc:
    Yankee Springs....in SW Michigan
    If ya buy your wood, the key word is "seasoned". I got burned my first year buying some seasoned because the tree was dead for a year or so and split only 3 weeks prior. Needless to say, I had a tough time burning. I drop, split and stack standing live maple, oak , and elm in April and it's perfect by October, but it's stacked in the open sun and air that 5 months.
    You might have a tough time finding real seasoned wood in October. Best of luck.
  8. sweetheat

    sweetheat Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Messages:
    230
    Loc:
    MDI/ME
    try to purchase all hardwood. ask if it is mixed. seasoned will cost you more $. ends will show dry splits. moisture meter by delmhorst works good. the real test is in the fire. do you hear a sizzle or smell creosote? if so it's wet or green. To get through this winter with an insert I'd buy 6 + cords - 4X4X8=1 cord. after break-in, a couple of slow fires, start with dry kindling and do not be afraid to let it rip. heat everything hot in the start-up. their are temp gauges to tell where the temp is, put these on the stove or pipe. try to get ahead with the seasoned wood. the wood I bought this spring won't get used for 3 years. the wood I burn now is 3 years seasoned. if your burn is hotter you will have a more complete burn and also reduce emissions. good luck. sweetheat
  9. LJ4174

    LJ4174 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Messages:
    98
    Loc:
    South Eastern PA
    WOW!!!

    Thanks for all your replies, they are a HUGE help... I'm off work today so I can finish up some siding work that I had to do to make room for my fireplace. Anyway, part of my plan today is to call around about some firewood and ask all these about what kind of wood and how long it's been seasoned, etc...

    The fireplace I'm putting it is this:

    http://www.icc-rsf.com/en/rsf/The_Opel_2_fireplace

    It's not an insert, but a factory built fireplace with a firebox, etc, etc... It has a blower and can be hooked up to my forced hot air heating system if need be. It is rated for 3000 sqr ft and supposedly burns real effecient. I guess it's the same concept as a wood stove, but this one just goes into the wall, if that makes sense. My house is very open and I felt very comfortable when the dude from the stove shop came out to see what they needed to install this. I asked him about hooking the fireplace up to my heating system and he said I wouldn't need it, but if I decided on it how I'm installing the fireplace I could add it later. He said there was no sense spending the extra $1000 for it... Anyway... That's my story with that...

    As far as corded wood. My neighbor's house is slighting bigger than mine, say 2800 sqr ft, he has a vaulted ceiling in his family room where he has his jotul wood stove and he claims he burned 4 cords last year, however I he got a late start and I don't think he was burning seasoned wood, so I'm not sure... I'm hoping to find someone I can rely on for getting wood and getting goog wood. There is a guy that deliveres logs on a 53' truck and then you cut and split them. It is supposed to give you 12 cords, so that is something I might do too, however that's not going to work this year...

    I split about 4 cords with the neighbor over the summer, the wood was down for about year and we just split it. Still green... We got another 4 cords that were down and cut, just needs split, but this stuff was down for over 2 years and cut into 18" ish peices, just need to split it... However, as I mentioned not sure if I'll be using "his" wood or just getting my own...

    Where can I get one of these humidity testers for the wood???

    Again, thanks for all the replies...
  10. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    6,419
    Loc:
    S.NH- Mass's smoking section
    Cracks/checks in the end of wood are not an indication that it is dry. Cut oak in the summer and you'll have checks in a few weeks, but it may need a year or more to dry.

    I think we're splitting hairs on whether that's a fireplace or an insert. It goes into a fireplace, has a firebox, claims overnight burns, and has a blower... so does my insert. No matter, most people burn 3.5-5 cord in a year. Good insulation in the house makes a big difference in whether the stove keeps up or not. If you have a source, you might look into pressed bricks/logs as they will at least be guaranteed to be dry. It seems like there's a national shortage of dry wood for sale right now as people rush to try and beat the oil man to the punch this winter.
  11. the_dude

    the_dude Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Messages:
    298
    Loc:
    Southern WI
  12. kenny chaos

    kenny chaos Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    Messages:
    1,995
    Loc:
    Rochester,ny
    With the increase in the price of firewood and the decrease in jobs, every handyman around here is selling some firewood. Little to none of it is well seasoned. If you have doubts about the little guys, check out the guy on the highway who for years has had mountains of firewood piled up, you'll find he does such a great amount of business because he has a good product at a fair price.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page