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How much did you invest in order to burn wood, and save money? Where is your break even?

Post in 'The Gear' started by mywaynow, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. NorthEast Allnighter

    NorthEast Allnighter New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2012
    Messages:
    8
    Loc:
    Connecticut
    I knew at some point in 2011 I would be purchasing a house. I have a couple friends that burn wood and I knew the savings so by April I had approx 5 cord split and piled from various scrounges. A search on Craigslist turned up a Big Moe Allnighter. I finally purchased a house in July 2011 and stacked the wood before I even closed at the new house (I knew my priorities!!) Part of the demolition and rebuild that we did included a wood stove install. I ended up renting a hammerdrill/jackhammer and put a 10 inch hole thru my foundation in the basement. Shortly thereafter I purchased Excel SS chimney pipe. My buddy dropped the 545 pound allnighter into the basement thru the hatchway with a mini excavator. A few friends and I did the mortor work around the chimney where it went through the foundation and installed the chimney up the backside of the house. Later came the splitter and a nice new MS362.

    Totals were:::

    Woodstove; $600
    Splitter: $1000
    Saw:$700
    Chimney: $2000
    ----------------------
    TOTAL: $4300

    My parents live in the same development and used to have the same furnace as I, from 1952. They would burn approx 1100 gal of oil a year for heat/hotwater. I through in a elec hot water heater so I could do away with oil. So figuring on about 800 gallons a year for heat, at $3.39/gal, everthing will be paid for before the end of next winter.

    But like another member said before, I just enjoy operating the saws, the splitter, and it is just as much a hobby as it is a money saver. If it were up to me I would buy an old beater truck with a dump body and a small tractor just for the wood (yes, even though i live on less than a half acre).

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  2. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,142
    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    2005, October

    Pacific Energy Super 27 $1400 + Insulated S.S. Chimney $1400 + Husqvarna Chainsaw, extra chain, chaps & safetey, etc. $500 = $3300
    (Heated 60-70% of large house, not garage, and not hot water.)

    Used this system for 7 years. Conservative savings in oil cost over those years is $14,000. Subtract system $3300 cost. Subtract wood purchased over those years. $2500 (Most of my wood is free, as long as I get my butt in gear and cut it!) $14,000 -$3300-$2,500= $8500 in total savings over 7 years.


    2011, October

    Wood Gun E100 S.S.Boiler and Smoke Hood $8400/ + 400 Gallon ASME rated buffer tank & del. $800/ + System equip. and installation $4000/ +Trade in Husqvarna and Upgrade to Stihl saw this year $300= $13,500.

    (Now heating 100% of large house, garage, and all Domestic Hot Water used for showers, laundry, dished and anything else.)

    Purchased $250 of wood for this season, cut the rest. Cut all wood for next season already. C/S/S already. Purchased $100 of slab wood for next year as well. Should be able to cut all wood from now on.

    Savings moving forward. Fuel oil is now over $4.00/gallon. $4 x 1000 gallons/year = $4000/year. Should have my return in 4 seasons. I hope. :coolsmile:
  3. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,142
    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    2005, October

    Pacific Energy Super 27 $1400 + Insulated S.S. Chimney $1400 + Husqvarna Chainsaw, extra chain, chaps & safetey, etc. $500 = $3300
    (Heated 60-70% of large house, not garage, and not hot water.)

    Used this system for 7 years. Conservative savings in oil cost over those years is $14,000. Subtract system $3300 cost. Subtract wood purchased over those years. $2500 (My wood is free, as long as I get my butt in gear and cut it! :lol: ) $14,000 -$3300-$2,500= $8500 in total savings over 7 years.


    2011, October

    Wood Gun E100 S.S.Boiler and Smoke Hood $8400/ + 400 Gallon ASME rated buffer tank & del. $800/ + System equip. and installation $4000/ +Trade in Husqvarna and Upgrade to Stihl saw this year $300= $13,500.

    (Now heating 100% of large house, garage, and all Domestic Hot Water used for showers, laundry, dished and anything else! :ahhh: )

    Purchased $250 of wood for this season, cut the rest. Cut all wood for next season already. C/S/S already. Purchased $100 of slab wood for next year as well. Should be able to cut all wood from now on.

    Savings moving forward. Fuel oil is now over $4.00/gallon. $4 x 1000 gallons/year = $4000/year. Should have my return in 4 seasons. I hope. :coolsmile:
    Still have P.E. Super 27 for back up.
  4. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Messages:
    8,426
    Loc:
    So Cent ALASKA
  5. WellSeasoned

    WellSeasoned Guest

    Ok, per my invoice I dug up, I'm in the hole until the end of next season. Then it will be profits so to speak.....
    Jotul f400 $1804.00
    Outside air kit $ 15.00
    Rear heat shield $ 119.00
    Round ceiling support 11" tall $158.74
    Class A 316L inner/430 outer $ 533.40
    6" non vented galvalume flashing/ alum storm collar $78.76
    6" rain cap ss 430 $82.96
    6" universal adapter $ 39.50
    6" telescoping section 40"/68" $ 188.32
    54x54 iron rock corner floor board $ 364.00
    Delivery & install $ 500.00
    6" ss roof support $ 67.10
    67"-114" ss band rith galvanized telescoping poles $ 107.80
    Stihl 170 $ 179.00
    Wagon for atv $ 40.00
    Fuel for atv / chain saw/ oil,etc. approx $ 50.00

    .......................................grand total: $4327.58

    oil doesn't kick on at all. Electric went down alot, oil prices expecting to sky rocket, wood is free. wood heats me twice, healthy living, wife dresses less with higher temps, smells awesome, cooks one mean a$$ ribeye steak.
  6. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,963
    Loc:
    southern ontario
    2004 fireview +34'Excel pipe installation $4200
    Tools & safety gear, racks,ash bucket etc etc etc $1000
    2011 PH & install& ship & Customs$3000
    Total$8200
    Cost of my hydro, each stove has paid for itself first year of use. My wood is free--I cut/s/s trees we lose to weather, and trees that need to be cut. Hydro is going out of sight here, plus they've added 13 % sales tax. Then they've kindly given us a four year 10% reduction in power bills: translates to 3 % tax instead of 13 for the time being. Oh yes, and somewhere along the line they started multiplying our power bills by a factor of 1.092 to pay for the power they lose in transmitting the power to us. Then they put us on time of day metering this past year, and now our off peak power costs more than our melded rate before, while on peak is double the old rate...plus the new taxes. I built a great clothesline. Have a clothes horse I use to dry clothes in front of the stove nights in the winter. Cook on the stove. Heat water on the stove. Put a timer with two sets of pips on my electric water heater. Got an energy star refrigerator.
    Heating this house to 68 on the first floor and much lower upstairs with electric would cost at least $75/day.
    Wood after first year with a stove: couple hundred a season for gas, chains, files, oil, new tools and toys.
    And such a better life style, such a comfortable, cozy home. No worries about weather...my stove does everything but pump water.
  7. katwillny

    katwillny Guest

    We have a natural gas furnace which is somewhat efficient and compared to folks burning oil its more affordable. For us here is more of a life stilo that we choose to heat with wood and wood pellets. We love the warmth of our home and I personally love the smell of wood. I want my children when they go off to college and eventually when they have families of their wood to think of their parents when they encounter the smell of firewood. So I dont really know if i can put a value on the values that we are trying to instill in them. But with all that said, below are this years expenditures.
    Englander Stove NC30 - 500
    New Chainsaw 150
    3 fiskars axes 100
    1 cord of wood 175, since then i have picked up a great deal of wood
    I guess teh only thing that i can make a financial comparison is by asking my neighbors an friends for an estimate of the util bill. I asked last year and on two occasions their bill was almost 3 times higher than ours.
  8. Angelo C

    Angelo C Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Messages:
    89
    Loc:
    Peoples Republic of NJ
    well there are always three sets of "books" to keep when considering costs or "value"

    One set for the Government
    One set for the Wife..
    and One set for me...

    Ne'er the three shall meet. I can afford to heat with the Natural Gas that is available and when I'm too lazy to load the fireplace I dont. I sell enough wood to heat the house with the proceeds. I will never recover the costs of all the Trucks/ trailers/ saws splitters/ tools I feel I "NEED" nor do I care. This is a hobby for me. It keeps me sane in an other wise insane world I live in where the cost of a phone and its service is greater then some of us spend for food and heat.

    Welcome to New Jersey ----who's your attorney and therapist???
  9. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    888
    I am unaware of any point at which burning wood will save you money over heating oil or propane. When you factor in the cost of a log splitter, several chain saws, accessories for the chain saws, a wood stove, accessories for the wood stove, gas and oil for the chain saws and log splitter, cost of hatchets mauls axes etc for splitting the smaller stuff, cost of wood racks, cost of gasoline to go scrounging, cost of hydraulic fluid for the splitter, oh fork it, I could go on and on. My opinion is that if you're looking to save money by burning wood, there are better places to invest your money.
  10. hobbyheater

    hobbyheater Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    Messages:
    1,006
    Over 31 years

    Initial boiler cost and boiler repair $ 8,000.00
    Wood splitter $4,000.00
    Two saws $1,600.00
    One chimney $ 700.00
    House insurance surcharge $ 300.00
    Cost to collect firewood gas, chains etc.
    $30.00 per cord x 155 cords. $4650.00

    Total over 31 years $19250.00


    Projected consumption of furnace oil over 31 years $122,625.00


    Savings burning wood over 31 years $ 100,000.00

    If one wanted to you could include one complete rebuild of the wood splitter at around $ 4,500 .00. I did not include this number because I make the splitter available to two charities wood cuts each year where it splits 60 to 100 pickup,loads over two weekends a year .

    The price of furnace oil was also difficult to figure out as it was $.45 cents a gallon in 1980 and $ 5.60 a gallon today.
    THe oil boiler also provided our domestic hot water , and burn around 1,200 gallons per year .
    The insurance surcharge for having wood as our primary source of heat has only been charged the last two years .
  11. Beardog

    Beardog Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    Messages:
    197
    Loc:
    NW CT
    +1
  12. fyrwoodguy

    fyrwoodguy Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Messages:
    344
    Loc:
    eastern central NH
    i don't think i'll ever "break even".....i kinda think of it as..."a love of labor" type of thing... i got over $200,000.00 and 40+ years into it. here's my latest addition.

    this new hook your saw to the computer thing sure is gonna be a "fun learning experience".....is there anybody else out there doing it also???

    Attached Files:

  13. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Is that the new 562?

    Is it a way to "tune" the saw? Or is it just to "read" the performance? Or both?

    Please excuse me if this seems ignorant. Very interested...
  14. Catspaw

    Catspaw New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    33
    Loc:
    Northern Vermont
    I can buy KILN DRIED ready to burn firewood for $300/cord delivered. At that price wood is still less than 1/3 of the price I'm paying for propane (for an equivalent number of delivered BTU's) and I wouldn't have any of the expenses you listed above (except the stove and chimney).

    The real question (for me) is whether it's worth my time and expense to cut my own wood as opposed to just buying it.

    I've got about $6K invested in burning wood and figure my savings at $3k per year.

    - Rich
  15. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    5,740
    Loc:
    Northern MI - in the mitten
    Many of us have and are saving money burning wood.
    Most of those items can be amortized over many years. So, even though the upfront cost may be high, (if you need to purchase all that) once amortized and compared to the cost of oil, propane, or nat. gas, you'll see a savings, unless you're paying an exorbitant amount for your wood.
    I have exactly ONE chainsaw, not several, and am unsure what "accessories" you might be talking about.
    Gas and oil for the saw and splitter are all of $25 for a years worth of wood. Maybe. Hydraulic fluid lasts a LOOOONG time.
    Oh, fork it, I could go on and on.
    Are you trying to talk yourself OUT of burning wood after being a member since 2005? Hmmm, maybe winter doldrums. :coolsmile:
  16. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    5,740
    Loc:
    Northern MI - in the mitten
    fyrwoodguy, what IS that? WTH?
  17. Angelo C

    Angelo C Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Messages:
    89
    Loc:
    Peoples Republic of NJ
    Papa Dave,
    "one" chainsaw ??? You are a disciplined man. I am envious of your will power. Some day I hope to have only "one" of something...so far I have only "one" wife...other then that.....the man with the most toys in the end wins.
  18. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    5,740
    Loc:
    Northern MI - in the mitten
    The man with the most toys at the end is still at the end.......with no toys. Hmmm.
  19. fyrwoodguy

    fyrwoodguy Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Messages:
    344
    Loc:
    eastern central NH
    dexter day: nope the saw pictured is a 555 the semi-pro / homeowner model version basiclly the same weight as the 562XP, but with less power and different bar mount.
    there are different versions of this same saw over in europe like 550/560 for example. yours is not an ignorant question.keep your eye on this latest one from HVA.

    papa day: it's a new one on me too,and exactly what i said too.....wth

    check this out:
    i'm afraid this brings new meaning to the term" tuner up" would ya!!!
    more later as i learn more about this set-up.

    Attached Files:

  20. Angelo C

    Angelo C Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Messages:
    89
    Loc:
    Peoples Republic of NJ
    That might be your Legacy of choice. won't be mine. I'll leave all my toys to my boys as well as all the memories of the fun we scratched and clawed out of every single one. Those toys will be memories of the fun they had with their dad. with any luck they will pass along their toys to their kids too. That's the path I chose for my family. I can only hope it instills the values I worked hard to give them through these "toys"...

    Firewood is a way of life for many of us. Some of us see it as a dollar and sense thing. either way I'll be burning wood until my back tells me I can't.
  21. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Wow.... Thank you. I assumed (you know where that gets you) that was the Pro model because of the hook up. I cant believe the 555 has it too.

    In terms of Power. How much better is the 555 over the old 455 Rancher? Obviously has more power and definitely more tinkering points!!
  22. simple.serf

    simple.serf Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    286
    Loc:
    Sherman, NY
    Stove-2000
    Demolition and install of new stack-2000

    I have always used wood for heat, so i had the other stuff (axes, mauls, chainsaws, etc) and the tractors trucks and the like are things I have always been around growing up in the country and working on farms.

    Given the air leaks and other issues I have found with this drafty house, this winter would have easily cost us over $4k in fuel oil.
  23. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,142
    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    richg,

    I hope to heat with wood through my boiler for 20 more years. At least. 30 would great. But at 20 years, with the price of oil where it is now, I will save $4000/year. That is $80,000 saved compared to heating with oil. (And I doubt oil is going to go down in price.) Subtract cost of everything. Lets say $15,000 for system and everything else. (1 chain saw at a time. :) ) So that is $65,000 saved. That is some serious bean dip right there. If my health holds out, and I can heat for 30 years, it would bring me to $120,000 saved minus $15,000 brings me to $105,000. I can put a couple of kids through one of the local State University of New York (SUNY) for that!

    Now for the more important part. My parents heated with wood for a lot of the years I was growing up. Doing that work with my brothers and parents was some real cool time we spent together. I am now spending that time with my wife and children. I have them help me with moving and stacking. Even the littlest one helps out. (She is just 5 years old now.)

    It is that feeling you get as well. That feeling of the fire. That you are making it, and keeping yourself and family warm. You know the one. That is why you are here on Hearth.com. That good feeling of controlling fire goes back a few years for us. Somewhere around 200,000-400,000 years. Pretty cool. There are other places to invest your money. Are they better? I don't think so.
  24. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    15,669
    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    Well I did buy a wood splitter to make the work more enjoyable . . . but I already had the chainsaw, ax, ATV, trailer and pick up . . . and have so far resisted the siren's call to buy multiple chainsaws and the various accessories (unless you count the cheap fireplace set of tools, welding gloves and chimney brush I purchased.)

    I of course did have to pay for the woodstove and chimney . . . and there is the on-going gas for the saw, ATV, truck, etc. However, the amount of gas and oil I burn in cutting, splitting and bringing the wood home is quite small compared to the amount of oil I would have used.

    I guess it's a matter of perspective for me . . . I know that burning wood is not "free" even with access to "free" wood on the family land . . . but I try to take the long view and realize that the day of heating oil being sold for 79 cents a gallon or even a buck and change will most likely never return . . . and in this case I will be far better off financially in the long run by heating with wood . . . plus at the end of the work day . . . if I need my saw to cut a branch or a tree in my yard I have it . . . if I want to haul home some gravel or lumber or my sled or ATV in the truck I have that . . . if I want to take my ATV for a trail ride I have that as well . . . I guess I'm saying that many of the things I own or purchased can be used for more than just working on wood.
  25. neumsky

    neumsky Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Messages:
    628
    Loc:
    Oklahoma City
    Mywaynow...thanx for the post or forum!!!

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