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Got Ripped Off By a Firewood Dealer - Any tips for Drying wood quickly?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Parkview154, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. Parkview154

    Parkview154 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
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    Hi All,

    I know it's a bad idea to burn wet wood in an insert, but I got burned by a local firewood dealer and now I'm not sure what to do. The outside of the wood reads 16-19% on the moisture meter, but the inside is 30-35%. I tried burning it, and it puts the fire right out. The outside will char, but mostly it will just smoke and smolder even with the damper fully open.

    I guess it's bound to happen every now and then. The guy was very reasonable at first and offered to come pick up the wood and refund my money and I offered to load it for him. After I hadn't heard from him in over a week, I contacted him and he no longer wants to accept the wood back.

    I can argue with him all I want, but I doubt it will get me anywhere. Now I've got 2 cords of chunk wood in my front yard killing my grass that I don't know what to do with. Is there any way to dry it out quickly so it can be used this year?

    Thanks!

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  2. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    Put it inside. Use fans and a dehuidifier continuously. Split the bigger splits into smaller ones.

    It's sad but it certainly happens more often than not.

    Andrew
  3. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    If you don't have a dry place to store it for now, at least get it split and up off the ground asap (use some old pallets, or something) preferably where wind and sun can get on it all day. Small splits.

    Don't mean to offend your sensibilities, but after some really sad stories here recently about woodstove mishaps, the temptation to be piling any of it on / near the stove comes to mind. Please don't ever go there.
  4. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    +1 to Hammers contents: no piling near or on the wood stove!

    Where are you living hammers?

    Andrew
  5. mfglickman

    mfglickman Minister of Fire

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    Last year I mixed with bio bricks to help compensate for wet wood.
  6. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    If it is that dry already you can find the driest pieces to get started then keep a basket near the stove so that it dries by the time you reload. Do not keep them close enough to catch on fire but close enough to dry. I have had to do that in the past and it works decent.

    Pete
  7. egclassic

    egclassic Feeling the Heat

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    I would recommend to always check the wood BEFORE you accept it with your MM. If the seller takes offense, tell him he can take his wood elsewhere!
    All summer, I drive past a guy's house who sells firewood, on my way to the boat ramp, and noticed he had alot of big logs ready to split. So last weekend I drove past and saw him just now beginning to split it. I feel sorry for those who buy this wood in hopes to burn it this year. If I buy wood, I always take my MM and Fiskars with me.
  8. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    In our experience when you buy they will say the wood is 1 to 2 years dry. If you ask was it split for two years they will either look at you like your an idiot and explain that is was down two years so its dry split or not or lie to you. We have only found one truly honest firewood dealer.

    Pete
  9. etiger2007

    etiger2007 Minister of Fire

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    Sorry to hear that , not sure of your yard situation but thhat is why most on here get three years ahead so if this does happens it not too big of a deal.
    Pallet Pete likes this.
  10. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    It's a pain, and you will use more, but you can burn wet wood. You will need smaller splits as others have mentioned and you will need to leave the stove door cracked open longer, but it is possible.

    It just sucks to do. Good luck!
  11. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    Yeah i do same. My apologies if I offended anyone and didn't mean to sound condescending to anyone, especially the OP. I guess "near" is pretty vague in my previous comment, and common sense applies, but it's just that those stories / tragedies scare the crap out of me.

    I'm on the Ontario / Michigan border, at the top end of the I-75 SS Marie. Actually my place is about 40 miles north, on the shoreline of Lake Superior. We have quite a few neighbors from Michigan, Louisiana, Florida, etc. that know and love the area.
    BrianK likes this.
  12. mcollect

    mcollect Member

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    My first year the same thing happened to me. I just split it into smaller splits and stored it in the basement with a dehumidifier on in a small room. I stacked as to get the most air circulation going. In two weeks it was fit to burn, not great but well enough. I also brought all my woodshop scraps in to help the fire along. Old pallets also work to help the fire keep going. But please check chimney for Creosote often!!
  13. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    I had lunch with a friend today and I was telling him how wood heating is considered "green" because its carbon neutral and a renewable resource. He was dubious so I was doing a quick Internet search to send him a link. The photo below was in one of the first articles I found. That wood seems to be stacked awful close to that stove:

    Attached Files:

  14. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Yup I would never put it that close it is just asking for a house fire !

    Pete
  15. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    :eek: I don't know what kind of stove that is, but it doesn't even look side-shielded. Stove looks pretty hot, too.
  16. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    I see ads from dealers saying they're selling seasoned wood in log form :p I dont think they're being dishonest I think a lot of people, dealers included dont know what seasoned wood means, since there really is no definition it means somnething different to everyone.
    Id split smaller, stack near the stove and mix in either pallet wood or bio bricks, it'll get you through the year until next year when you can season your own wood.
    Pallet Pete likes this.
  17. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Pallets got me through my first winter. They can be had for free and their thin wood dries fast so don't load the stove without some of the cordwood. Downside is you'll be picking out nails from the ashes.

    Matt
  18. David Tackett

    David Tackett Member

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  19. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    Some have had some success with mixing wood like that with ultra-dry wood like pallets, or with commercial fire logs, or even pellets (spelled with an e), with some kind of device. Even expensive commercial products may still be cheaper than whatever you heat with now. It may even be possible to still find some good wood.

    Personally, I don't think I'd try to burn much of it unless mixed with something, and use it next year. If you do, split it really small and it will dry in the fire quicker.

    I don't know how long it would take for your wood to appreciably dry indoors near (outside of the clearance requirements) the stove. Maybe you could try it using a moisture meter and let us know!
  20. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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  21. wkpoor

    wkpoor Minister of Fire

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    I don't think you got ripped off at all. It is the buyers responsibilty to season the firewood. If he sold you good quality hardwood sized to your liking, then IMO opinion that is all the obligation he has. Since properly seasoned wood should be 2-3yrs old you can't possibly expect the seller to hold onto it that long. If someone does I hope they are charging accordingly.
    Joful likes this.
  22. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    That depends on how he represented it. Unfortunately, the term "seasoned" is so vague and without real meaning that it is kind of a buyer beware situation unless you specify a moisture content. I don't think it's at all out of line to ask about that and insist on a minimum number. They can always say no. Cord size is easier to determine and is the other way to be disappointed or even ripped off.
  23. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    Parkview154. Try looking around for some dry stuff. Pallets are usually dry. You can get them for free at many places.(Home Depot, Lowes, UPS stores, and many other businesses that take a lot of "stuff" in. Another good source is building supply places, other than the big box places like H.D. and Lowes. The smaller places usually have scrap around that they are going to end up throwing away and it cost them money to do so. Go to these places and ask around. Talk to people and you will find some dry wood. Remember if you are burning this type of wood, kiln dried, you do not want to overheat your stove. This can happen easily. Too much kiln dried wood and too much air and you can have a problem. Maybe you can find someone who sells firewood that actually has some dry stuff for this year as well. See if you can find someone that is selling Ash that has been c/s for three plus months. Ash dries quick, especially the white Ash. Then mix in some pallet wood or lumber scraps while you burn it. In the meantime get that stuff stacked outside somewhere so you can use it next year. Depending on type of wood, if it gets good airflow you can use next season. Keep looking around and chalk this up to an experience.
  24. wkpoor

    wkpoor Minister of Fire

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    I used to sell FW on the side. Me nor anyone I know plans on there being wood held back for next yr to sell as seasoned. Maybe other parts of the country have such suppliers. Even though grey wood should be considered a good thing most people like to see bright new freshly split wood.
    Joful likes this.
  25. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    I have been down the wet wood road before not to fun.

    That looks like a fire waiting to happen this is how bad things start.

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