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)

First burn, and a few questions.

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by OldLumberKid, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    279
    Loc:
    Sandyland
    First burn (since about 1960s/70s coal fires) and a few questions.

    After having the chimney cleaned, L2 inspected, and finally re-capped and tested, finally got the first burn going.

    The insert project is going to have to wait for better fiscal times. So, it's old fashioned fireplace space-heater for now. Goes through wood quick and heat effect is minimal, but a valued back-up source, here in Sandy land. May not really help the oil situation a whole lot, but it's pleasant for sure. I think I could imagine how an insert would be a lot more wood-fuel efficient.

    Couple of observations, for a first timer:

    This was the closest feeling I've come to being in a ski lodge in Vermont, since, well the last time I was in a ski lodge in Vermont, which was a long time ago.

    Also, does anyone actually use a fireplace here?

    WHAT I DID BURN
    European White Birch — Smells very nice, seemed to burn hot and fast. But these were small 10" inch by 3"- 4" - 5" splits, so understandable? 10% MC reading in the face. Went through a bunch of them in a short time — maybe I needed to damp more? Thing was, by the end, the last two splits were left not completely burned — is that par for the course?

    If they are solid enough, I guess (?) I'll save the not-fully burned leftovers in a steel bucket outside.

    WHAT I AM NOT YET BURNING
    My own scrounged 4 month old split hardwood is still 15%-18% on the face and 29% inside a fresh split. I wonder how long this would take to get to an acceptable number if kept inside.

    I am tempted, however, to work one split of maple in with the fully dried wood, after I've kept it near the fireplace for a while and re-tested.

    EMBERS/COALS
    These are still crackling on the fireplace floor underneath the grate a few hours after the fire.

    Trust the ash pit? I will wait until all is good and done before using the ash pit. But I wonder -- how many fireplace users dispose of same day?

    [​IMG]

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. lopiliberty

    lopiliberty Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Messages:
    805
    Loc:
    Mineral County, WV
    Open fireplaces are probably the most inefficient form a wood burning appliance there is. Your losing 95 percent of the heat from the fire from up the chimney not to mention all the heated room air that is also getting sucked up the chimney. If you consider installing an insert or stove, I think a Woodstock Fireview would look really nice there
  3. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    279
    Loc:
    Sandyland

    Thanks Lopi ... yes, it was pretty clear, I do have insert envy, and that's the goal, when the $$ are in place. So ... yes I am definitely open to suggestions.

    This is the interim "cozy" weekender option, and interim backup thang.

    But it does make you wonder how they heated their houses, mansions, and places of work efficiently back in the day before inserts were invented, doesn't it?
  4. lopiliberty

    lopiliberty Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Messages:
    805
    Loc:
    Mineral County, WV
    I have often wondered the same thing myself. They must have used a **** pile load of wood every winter
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  5. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    4,091
    Loc:
    southern Indiana
    They froze, and they had a fireplace in every room. If they didn't, they all slept by the fire.
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  6. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,300
    Loc:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Here you go. Worth a listen.
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    27,333
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    Grandpa used to fill buckets with coals from the fireplace and put them in the kid's bedrooms to keep them as warm as possible at night. How they didn't die from CO poisoning I will never know. At the other grandpa's house when I was growing up you just flat froze under a huge pile of quilts.

    Ben Franklin invented that original Franklin fireplace, that has little resemblance to the ones called Franklins now, to get more efficient heat.
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  8. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    279
    Loc:
    Sandyland

    Let's not forget the folks in Alaska and the frozen north, where 3-Dog night was not just a band name but reality for keeping warm in adverse conditions.

    Mine is too old to jump up on the bed now and is too dignified to be anyone's furry hot water bottle (remember those?) but he will concerned to being a floor pillow once in a while.



    I'll have to check that out with tomorrow morning's coffee. Wife is listening to a detective mystery right now, that's been going on for hours and hours.
  9. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    4,785
    Loc:
    Schenectady, NY
    We have a fireplace that we light when family comes over for Thanksgiving or Christmas. That's about it. There is still ashes in the FP from the last fire... and they didn't come last year.

    I'd love to put an insert into my fireplace, but haven't because the wood trim would be too close to the insert. I don't think I have enough clearance to combustibles to be safe. That may be the case for yours also? It looks like you have about as much brick around the fireplace before the wood starts as I do. As much as I'd like an insert, I'm not willing to destroy a nice looking part of the house to do it. My hearth may be a bit too small also, although that would be easy enough to fix. I've thought a Little Cod or similar small stove might be neat in there though. A block off plate would keep the heat down in the room and the 4 inch liner would be a piece of cake to run up the flue. If only they built them with a large viewing window.

    Matt
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  10. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Messages:
    4,037
    Loc:
    Central PA
    When I take coals and ash from the stove I put them in a covered galvanized metal can.

    When the can is full I don't hesitate to dispose of hot coals and ash in the winter. Typically here there is at least a little snow and the ground is soaked and/or frozen. Scattering the hot coals on snow seems perfectly safe to me, and that is what I do.
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  11. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    279
    Loc:
    Sandyland
    You ever see one of those old castle fireplaces? Some of those bad boys were verging on 7-8 ft long, and were set up to take logs of close to the same length. By the time they got to the Downton Abbey era they were a bit smaller (see below). Maybe some of those large estates were as much about land as they were about firewood and hunting.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  12. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    279
    Loc:
    Sandyland

    I was glad to see my Behrens galvanized steel covered can was made in USA and not imported from across the pacific.

    In tighter suburbia, here, unfortunately there's not the room to toss in the yard, every yard of the yard is almost spoken for.

    Now I got to set to looking at why my ash trap door seems jammed. It's so tight I'm wondering whether the sweeps emptied it during their cleaning.

    I'm hoping the buckets were lidded !
  13. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,300
    Loc:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    From what I remember from that history show I linked above, the Franklin stove was more of a marketing innovation than an invention. Similar stoves were brought over from Europe. Franklin tweaked a few things, put his name on it and popularized them in the U.S. In fact, I think some of his "improvements" actually caused problems and people reverted to the earlier designs. But it's been a year or two since I listened, and my memory is hazy.
  14. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    279
    Loc:
    Sandyland
    Matt you might be right, I've got a wide 38" opening but only 6" to side trim and 6 1/2" to Mantle trim. That could be a problem for a lot of inserts I guess. I'm not keen on cutting back the wood work, and I know the wife won't go for it.

Share This Page