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Greenhorn questions...

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by mrplow, Oct 18, 2010.

  1. mrplow

    mrplow New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    Messages:
    23
    Loc:
    Seattle, WA
    Good morning all,

    Last Thursday, they installed our new wood burning fireplace insert (a Lennox/Country Performer C210). We're planning to start using it to supplement heat in the house, with the intent of avoiding use of the furnace for all but the coldest nights. My in-laws have quite a bit of land near Bellingham, WA, mostly covered with broadleaf Maple and Alder trees. I enjoy splitting wood by hand. The in-laws have enough seasoned wood for us to use this year (they don't heat with wood), and about 2 cords worth of cut rounds waiting to be split for next year.

    Questions for the experts:
    1. What should our target temperature (of the stove) be? I gather we shouldn't go above 800 degrees to avoid overheating the stove, but is there an ideal temperature for efficiency? How hot should we fire it up before turning down the damper for the evening?
    2. I'm assuming that the broadleaf maple is going to be the best heating wood, with the alder coming in second... Is there any point to harvesting apple wood? I have a friend who owns 80 acres of dead apple orchards, but the wood looks pretty small, and I doubt i'll run out of wood from the inlaws any time soon. Then again, I know that Apple is a highly sought after firewood...
    3. How good is the Fiskars Super Splitter? Will it replace my 8 pound maul and wedges? What's the largest round (or thickness of half round) you'd recommend splitting with it?
    4. Anything else I should know?

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  2. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    3,448
    Loc:
    SE MI
    Welcome

    1- I have no experience with your insert. I would say 550-650 °F is a pretty average 'cruising' temp for most modern stoves and inserts. You'll learn what works best for your system.

    2- Maple is your best bet. Some maple is better than other maple, depends on what you have. Apple is first class firewood, but usually a real PITA. Small and lots of brush, especially if it's from an abandoned orchard.

    3- Fiskars won't replace anything, but it has its place and will compliment what you already have.

    4- Keep reading. You'll learn more than you want to know.
  3. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Messages:
    4,040
    Loc:
    Central PA
    I agree with jeff_t, apple is nice but there are only a few nice rounds per tree, the rest is crotches and Ys. If you have lot s of trees to choose from and don't have to clear the brush, then go for the apple, otherwise, it is probably not worth the effort if you have another source of wood.

    I have a Fiskars splitting ax (not the super splitter, mine is lighter) which is a great all-around tool. My kids can't really handle the maul because it is too heavy, but they do great with the Fiskars. I can handle the maul just fine, but also like the Fiskars for a change. Fiskars have short handles which take some getting used to.
  4. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Messages:
    10,825
    [Questions for the experts:
    1. What should our target temperature (of the stove) be? I gather we shouldn't go above 800 degrees to avoid overheating the stove, but is there an ideal temperature for efficiency? How hot should we fire it up before turning down the damper for the evening?

    Check your manual and also get yourself a stove thermometer.

    2. I'm assuming that the broadleaf maple is going to be the best heating wood, with the alder coming in second... Is there any point to harvesting apple wood? I have a friend who owns 80 acres of dead apple orchards, but the wood looks pretty small, and I doubt i'll run out of wood from the inlaws any time soon. Then again, I know that Apple is a highly sought after firewood...

    Here is a btu chart for firewood, http://chimneysweeponline.com/howood.htm


    3. How good is the Fiskars Super Splitter? Will it replace my 8 pound maul and wedges? What's the largest round (or thickness of half round) you'd recommend splitting with it?

    Quads is a plain maul swinging fool, check some of his post and ask him about Fiskars.

    4. Anything else I should know?[/quote]

    Burn down your coals before reloading, I wasted some good heat last year before I started raking the coals forward and burning them down. I burn down the coals until my stove top temp is 350-400 degrees depending on the wood I'm going to reload with.

    zap

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