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Guestimate on Wood Use?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by daveswoodhauler, Sep 18, 2008.

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  1. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Here is the situation. I work from home 3 days per week, so I'll be burning about 12 hours per day, 3 days per week. And then another 15 or so on the weekends, depending if we are home or not. Total burn time per week is about 50-52 hours or so, give or take.
    Wondering for thoughts on how much wood I will go through if I burn from November to March (5 months). Have a Lopi Answer insert with blower, well insulated home built in the late 90's. Have about 1 1/2 cords seasoned for over a year...mainly oak...and another 2 cords seasoned only about 7 months....mainly maple. Usually throw on a few splits every 2 hours or so, and keep the temp appx 400-425.
    Just tying to get a gauge of how much folks burn that are not heating 24/7?
    Also, the maple I have that is only 6-7 months dry seems to burn very well after a bed of ashes from the seasoned stuff....ok to mix in the not so seasoned wood every once in a while?/Maybe 1 per every three/four of the dry stuff.
    Well, gotta go out and check the wood pile now...its been a few hours :)

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  2. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    3 cords should get you there
  3. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    3 cord is more than enough for what you describe,but why are you not burning when you aren't home?
  4. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    3 cord is more than enough for what you describe,but why are you not burning when you aren’t home?

    Well, mainly because we have three small kids and it seems likes every weekend we are taking off somewhere, and when we do thermostat goes down to 60. (Can you see how much my wife loves me in the winter) I'd heat with wood on the days I am not home, but that would leave the Mrs's to tend the fire, and with a 5, 4 and 1 year old and school, pre-schooll, etc...probably not going to happen....will try my dambdest though!

    Anyway, the firebox is pretty small on the insert, and after running some tests with wood/air control etc....we can probably only get around a 3-3 1/2 hour burn with it.

    Thanks Adios....always appreciate your posts...and the kiln pics were great.
  5. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    The Answer has a 1.6 cu ft box- which isn't big, but should get you much bettah than 3.5 h. They claim 8 h, which means 6 good hours for most folks (unless burning pine that will get you less, or osage or black locust or something that will get you more).

    Get a good coal bed, load it to the top with dry hardwood (oak if you have it), let that heat up for a half hour, and shut the air right down all the way. The secondary burners will keep it going well and you'll get a longer burn. If worried about the kids around it- then that's another story, but this will keep you warmer at night this winter as well!

    Back to your question- most people get by on 3.5 - 5 cord a year. Since you will likely be burning less than the 24/7 folks- you will probably be safe with 3 cord.


    Glad you liked the kiln pics! It's good to come some place where people like fire as much as I do!
  6. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the info. I have to admit, I haven't loaded it up to the gills yet, as I am still doing some smaller fires to get the paint smell out...most I have done is 3 splits or so in the firebox...when the lady is out and I can keep the windows open ;)

    Question, on the 6 hour burn time...would that be based on the surface temp of the stove vs actual flames? (Sorry for the nob question) i.e. just a few coals left after 6 hours, and kindling to restart?..maybe surface temp at 250 or so?

    Being a rather newbie, I am sure everyone has thier preferences...so should I just go with a surace temp to tell me when to add more fuel in? (I don't want to add if not needed, and I am not burning for ambiance...just want to get the most efficient burn....but not build up the creasole in the chimney.

    As always, thanks.
  7. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    i go more by room temps!
  8. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    You might get more smell each time you push it to a higher temp. Next chance you get- get a real heavy fire going in there (without overfiring) if you've done reasonable break -ins.

    First overnight fire I ran in my stove- our eyes were stinging that night when the afterburners kicked in and we were in bed.

    I dunno on the 6 h- just a guess. Most people mean that it still has a few coals and is giving out some heat.
  9. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Adios is telling the truth (for once ;-) ). If you have already done your "by the book" break ins, its time to crank 'er up. Get a bed of coals, load that sucker to the gills, let it char, then tune it down and settle in for a nice burn cycle. I would also bet that a 5 to 6 hour burn should be expected using hardwood. Meaning that you will get useful heat with the ability to reload and crank it back up.

    I personally go by stove temp when evaluating my burn (also stack temp). After some experience you will get the feel for weather conditions versus what kind of heat output the stove should be making.
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