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hickory- thumbs down...

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by shoot-straight, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    check your system from foot of stove to chimney cap and make sure all is well.

    don't make sense that hickory ain't throwin awesome heat.

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  2. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    Are you mixing it or trying to burn full loads of hickory? I'd try some softer woods mixed in like cherry or soft maple. If the coal bed is small maybe it's just taking too long get going good. I've burned shagbark after just a year and it was some of the best burning wood I've ever placed in my stove even after only a year. The only thing I don't like about hickory is the sparks when I opened the door.

    How are you determining it's not producing the heat you want? Are you using stove top temp, house temp, seat of your pants?
  3. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    1st time I've heard of Hickory being bad wood.
    Stranger things happen though,
    May be right, just needs another year or 2.
    God luck.
  4. mecreature

    mecreature Minister of Fire

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    i like more them 1yr on hickory
  5. Ralphie Boy

    Ralphie Boy Minister of Fire

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    What kind of meter? many meters have a setting for wood and a setting for masonry. If so, maybe your meter is set on masonry.... Just kinda thinking out loud. Like I said, I've never had bad burning hickory.
  6. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    Everything says wet wood except the meter. Have you used the meter much? Maybe it's giving a bad reading.
    When did you get it all split n stacked? I too would not expect hickory to be ready in less than a year.
    I would give it two summers or a good year & a half if stacked in fall.
  7. golfandwoodnut

    golfandwoodnut Minister of Fire

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    Not questioning your wood knowledge, but that kind of ash sounds like it is poplar. That is exactly how that reacts. A picture would help verify.
  8. bluedogz

    bluedogz Minister of Fire

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    I've been having exactly the same problem with pignut CSS 1 year.
    Sure does smell good, though.
  9. HardWoodW

    HardWoodW Member

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    dang just wondering if there's a difference between pignut and shagbark cause as I read this I'm sitting here getting toasty next to my "January wood" which is shagbark. I prefer the way it burns over ash but not the way it splits.

    Attached Files:

  10. WOODBUTCHER

    WOODBUTCHER Minister of Fire

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    I've burned Pignut and Shagbark seasoned 16 months and more.
    I get the best coals in the morning....huge clinkers.....some still resemble the shape of of a log.
    A few nights ago during our cold spell I barley fit 2 gigantic chucks of 3 year old shagbark into the Oslo........after about 10 minutes she was hauling at about 650+.
    Are you sure you got Hickory, how small you splitting?
    I leave some splits real big.....half rounds and big quarter cuts.

    WB
  11. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

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    The only thing I have ever burned that burned hotter than hickory was hedge. Not sure what's going on.
  12. cptoneleg

    cptoneleg Minister of Fire

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    One yr from alive blow down the MM is not right it don't get down to 17 in one yr, if it was standing dead maybe

    just needs 2 more yrs.
  13. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    That would be my guess also, the reading is not right.
  14. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    did you miss the part where he said he fresh split it and read 17%?

    But I did think that maybe it wasent dry.
  15. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    im thinking too the meter may be off
  16. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

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    Shag bark hickory is the best wood I've ever burnt. Not much around anymore.
  17. shoot-straight

    shoot-straight Burning Hunk

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    there you go.
  18. shoot-straight

    shoot-straight Burning Hunk

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    i have re-stacked my remaining cord of hickory to burn next year. it can wait.

    couple of other things. again... im sure its hickory. im a biologist by trade, i know my trees darn well. its certainly not poplar. if it was, i wouldnt have sweat so much cutting and splitting it. i am burning 1 YO red oak now- it burns 100% better than that hickory.

    thanks for all the input.
  19. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Usually one year old Red Oak (cut from a live tree) wont burn very well either.
  20. shoot-straight

    shoot-straight Burning Hunk

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    oh i know. just putting things in perspective.
  21. Boog

    Boog Minister of Fire

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    Shagbark and its cousins are the dominant trees in my woods. Burning 3 year old ash and pignut now, a beautiful blend to layer up a furnace load with.
  22. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    Earlier this season, I wrote an almost identically titled post. I have hickory and oak cut in early 2011, immediately split and stacked, I expected the oak would need more time, but was relying on the hickory for this year. Most of that hickory will barely burn. Luckily I have some year old cherry that is burning great, and I keep a few splits of hickory near the insert to dry faster. When added to the cherry, those splits are fine, but on their own, just smoke and never really take off.

    What does that meter read on other wood you have, any dried lumber? New battery?

    TE
  23. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

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    A basic moisture meter is not going to account for the different wood densities and grain structures. A moisture meter works by measuring the electrical resistance between the two metal prongs and using a lookup table to convert that to moisture content. However, not all tree species will have the same "lookup table". Hickory is notably different than other woods by about 2.5 to 3x. Thus, you can be reasonably sure that the moisture meter you are using might be accurate for some hardwoods, but not for hickory.

    To really know, you would need to spend about $200 on a moisture meter that accounts for the wood species. Or, you could buy a rather inexpensive multi-meter, hammer two nails into a piece of wood 1-1/4" apart, measure the resistance with the multi-meter, and convert to moisture content with the US Forest Service lookup table. There are several threads that describe this - I've done this myself on hickory and it gives a much better indication of moisture content in the hickory.

    My own hickory stash burns incredibly hot. My normal stove top temps are 550 degrees with four large logs (all hard maple). With substitution of half hickory logs, I'll get up to 600 or 625 degrees. Frankly, I simply do not load four logs of hickory or else my stove top temps would exceed 700 degrees for an extended period of time, and I don't like doing that. If you are not seeing great temps with hickory, then it is simply not dried as much as you think. Wait longer, test better, and try it again later. Don't waste it now when it is not ready.
  24. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Isn't it just based off of spec. gravity so Hickory is not that much higher than black locust or some of the oaks.
  25. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Been a while since I read about it, but I believe that Hickory structure is different from other woods. There is much more cellular structure that goes through the diameter of the wood than longitudinally, so the wood both dries and burns differently. I find that my hickory, which is quite dry, burns both really hot and really quickly...the latter surprised me. But I attributed it to the different structure...after I read about the wood. As I said, read it quite a while ago, so am being a bit vague :)

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