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Go for this year, or wait a year

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Holzstapel, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. Holzstapel

    Holzstapel Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2013
    Messages:
    106
    Loc:
    New Jersey
    Ever since Sandy hit us, we have been stockpiling wood. I was mentioning to the wife last night about the need to season the oak we have for a year or two or three before we burn it. Most of the wood we have already split from Sandy is not oak. Its mostly Maple, Pin Oak (is that right?), Poplar, and other wood which im not quite sure the species, but i know its not red oak. I picked up more oak last night, still have the tree in the neighbors yard, and gained access to another employees yard "filled with downed oak trees".

    The wife suggested if we should wait another year to get the woodstove and this year focus on gathering wood, splitting it, stacking it and building a wood shed. We both agree that the whole woodstove/gathering thing will become a hobby for us. I love to gather and split and she can stack wood better than anyone i know.

    We dont really need a woodshed this year, we can stack the wood on pallets which we both have access to. I can also order a few cords of wood for this winter and stack that as well.

    I'm thinking we could get the stove this year, use it as much as we can this winter with the wood we have seasoned to help offset the cost of oil and then be really ready for the following winter with well seasoned wood.

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  2. USMC80

    USMC80 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2013
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    842
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    New Jersey
    Get it for this year. Poplar, ash and other hardwoods if already stacked and split will burn just fine this winter
    Holzstapel, Shane N and zap like this.
  3. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    Southern IN
    I say "go for it," too. You don't want to rush your stove decision but if you've already done your research, you should be able to come up with at least some wood that will be dry enough by winter. If you split it medium/small and stack single-row where the wind can blow through the stacks, that Poplar for sure will be dry enough. The Maple, if it's soft Maple (Red or Silver,) dries fast as well. Pin Oak is in the Red Oak group so give that a couple of years in the stack, at least.
    You said you like to "gather" wood. If you have a wood lot, or have friends that do, look for standing dead wood with the bark falling off and small branches broken off. Not Oak...White Ash is better for this. It should be pretty dry already, especially the upper sections of the tree. Or you can talk to a tree service about dumping some soft Maple they need to get rid of at your place. Even fresh-cut will dry pretty fast. A cheap moisture meter, available at Harbor Freight or online, can be very helpful to separate out the driest wood and stack that to burn first. Once you get ahead, and get more of a feel for the different woods, you will be able to tell about how dry it is without a meter.
    Holzstapel likes this.
  4. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    So Cent ALASKA
    Get the stove.
    Sooner you heat with the wood you have , the more $$ you save.
    Holzstapel and Backwoods Savage like this.
  5. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Just do it.
    Holzstapel and Backwoods Savage like this.
  6. Trooper

    Trooper Guest

    What they all said. Maybe I'll have my wife get some woodstacking tips from your wife :) Good luck on the stove purchase & install.
    Holzstapel and Backwoods Savage like this.
  7. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    I also say get the stove. Worst case is you don't burn 24/7 but perhaps burn only on weekends. Even doing this can save you a lot of dollars and you'll have a very comfortable weekend to boot. This will also spur you on to make certain you get well ahead on your wood piles. Shoot for the 3 years ahead. It is tough getting to that point because it takes a lot of work. But once you are there, it is easy from that point on as you simply replace every year what you have burned so you are continuously 3 years ahead. The benefits of this are super too. It will take less wood to heat your home and your stove will operate as it was intended. It is a winning situation all the way around and no creosote either.
  8. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

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    If you can afford it now get it and burn whatever you have.
    Get it broken in real good for that oak;)
    Holzstapel likes this.
  9. Trilifter7

    Trilifter7 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Messages:
    452
    Loc:
    Beavercreek Ohio
    I also say get it now, But def take your time on deciding what stove you want. You have plenty of time right now so do your homework and arrive at the stove that you will be most happy with. You could still get it in by fall and like Dennis said... It will only get better from here as your wood gets better.
    Backwoods Savage and Holzstapel like this.
  10. Macpolski

    Macpolski Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    67
    Loc:
    South Jersey
    I concur with deciding on a stove and getting one installed. Since Sandy, you should have some burnable firewood by this fall. Burning with wood beats burning with oil any day of the week.
    Holzstapel likes this.
  11. Holzstapel

    Holzstapel Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2013
    Messages:
    106
    Loc:
    New Jersey
    Thanks for all the support and advice everyone. We are having fun planning, researching and talking stoves with people. Plenty of time left to get it done this year and we still have a few local dealers to check out.
    Backwoods Savage and Trilifter7 like this.
  12. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    I'm in with the group, get it this year, if you don't, you will be saying to yourselves " we shoulda got it last year, what were we thinking" it's a lot of fun burning and your lucky to have a wife that will join in....keep researching your stove options and pull the trigger before it gets cold out....good luck
    Backwoods Savage and Holzstapel like this.
  13. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    No surprise here . . . I agree with everyone else.

    Many folks in their first year of burning get a stove and start gathering wood right now . . . not that it works exceptionally well with these EPA stoves . . . but the good news is you're slightly ahead of those folks with the wood gathering . . . and there are some tips and tricks (i.e. pallets) for burning semi-seasoned wood that can get you by in the first year.

    You may not be able to burn all the wood you have (i.e. the oak) and may not be able to burn the entire winter, but you might be able to supplement things with weekend or evening fires . . . and if for some reason another storm comes in and leaves you without power and heat at least you would have something halfway decent to keep warm with vs. having some wood but no stove.

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