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is it ok to burn kiln dried hardwood?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Jake, Dec 11, 2005.

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  1. Jake

    Jake Member

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    I do not have an insert or stove yet, but want to put one in and have an alm ost unlimited supply of kiln dried hardwood (hardwood flooring)

    It would be mostly red and white oak, some hickory and some exotic wood (jatoba)

    would this work in an insert or stove?

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  2. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

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    Has the wood been finished, ie stain or urethane? Also, Brazilian cherry is a rain forest wood, and I trust that you are dealing with scraps from a flooring installation business. Brazilian cherry is so dense that it may not burn. Ipe and brazilian teak do not burn well.
  3. Jake

    Jake Member

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    no, the wood is raw. and yes, it is scraps, one of the girls in our office burns the brazilian chery pallets and says they burn nicley
  4. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Flooring is dried to a pretty low moisture content, so it's a good fuel. You probably want to start out with small fires and see how it goes. With really dry wood, you run the risk of overfiring, so you want to become comfortable with it before you load 'er up and damp 'er down. Ironically, you can create a lot of creosote with very dry wood because you need to restrict the air supply so much to keep it from overheating that you starve the stove of combustion air and produce creosote as a result. That's what I've heard, anyway. Never burned much very dry wood over a long period.
  5. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    Carefull
    That really dry wood will make a stove run away

    I load up a little xtra dry every day and its all I can do to keep the alarms from beeping ;)
    Cleans the pipe nice though
  6. Jake

    Jake Member

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    run away = burn house down?
  7. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Burn your house down if you don't have a good chimney.
  8. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    No
    But the stack temp will climb rapidly if you have the damper open more than it should be
    I have some Red Oak from a BIG pallet a machine came on here at work
    The planks are an inch thick and 12" wide
    I put a few pieces in with some "regular" firewood and it got over 500 pretty quick with that wood in it

    The planks cant be used for much else as they all have a curl in them but sitting on a rack in my basement for 5 + years got them REAL dry and hard
  9. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    You should be able to 'season' your overly dry (for stove burning), kiln dried wood to add moisture. All wood left outdoors will move toward an equilibrium moisture content (EMC), whether up or down, it doesn't matter.

    Here's a chart. Zip to page 7 and find your area.

    http://tinyurl.com/74k2c

    I suspect it takes less time for moisture to enter wood than to exit. It certainly shouldn't take any longer.
  10. Jake

    Jake Member

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    i didnt find a link to a chart
  11. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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  12. annette

    annette Member

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    I thought that after a certain number of years, firewood can get "too dry"? Is this false? If it's true, it would seem that the amount of moisture a piece of kiln-dried wood could absorb from the surrounding air wouldn't be enough to match wood that's been seasoned only a couple of years and still contains X% moisture (18% or so?)
  13. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    I have never worried so much about the moisture content of kiln dried wood so much as the dimensions. Just for the heck of it, I stabbed the moisture meter into some newer 2x4's from home depot, some 1yr old oak flooring scraps, and some 2 year old seasoned hedge. Everything seems to be running about 6-7% MC.

    The catch is that oak flooring is 3/4" x 2-1/4" so it is going to blaze fast and hot...no chance of ever getting an overnight burn out of that. Some of the hedge is 10" x 10" square...that is an overnight burn with plenty of coals to light a new fire 18-20 hours after I throw the last log on. The other catch is that I would bet the center of that hedge log is still 15-17% MC, while the center of the 3/4" oak plank is probably still about 6-7%. So it has some reserve of moisture.

    I guess the bottom line is that it is not the moisture that gets you, it's the size. You can throw a few small planks on even if they are crispy dry, just don't load the stove chock full of small dimension lumber regardless of the MC.

    Corey
  14. woodpile

    woodpile Member

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    Wood moisture content does reach an equilibrium with the ambient humidity. You experince it every year. The hammer head gets looser on its handle in the winter. The window sash sticks in the summer. The drawer in the old desk gets stuck in the summer. People make humidity gauges by gluing a strip of end grain wood to another strip of quarter-sawn wood. It bends as the humidity changes because wood swells more across grain than with it. The wood cell structure remains intact through the drying process, unless bugs or fungus get to it. R. Bruce Hoadley's book "Understanding Wood" will tell you most everything you would want to know about wood as a material, not as a fuel.
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