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Itty Bitty Splitty Commitee

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Bster13, May 9, 2013.

  1. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    As a new stove owner I'm continually concerned about have dry wood. Best way I can get there my first year is to split small (on top of single stack in the wind and sun). So here is my entry:

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    Anyone doing the same?
    n3pro and Backwoods Savage like this.

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  2. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

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    I did the same with some oak that I thought I would need after 2 seaons of drying but I got a fair amount of seasoned ash and maple in between time so it's now been 3+ years. Should be good & dry by now, probably be mixing it in with the cherry and maple we typically burn.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  3. blujacket

    blujacket Minister of Fire

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    I think all of us here @ Hearth have been in the same situation. That's why getting a few years ahead is so important. Once you get ahead you can leave your splits larger for those cold overnighters.
    n3pro, NortheastAl and ScotO like this.
  4. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    I'm grateful for the Oak I've found, but ummm not for my first year, haha. That stack is oak and honey locust.

    I actually like the smaller splits. I figure once I am 2-3 years ahead (won't know for sure until I go through my first burning season) I'll actually enjoy splitting small still because I won't have as much splitting to do period. I'll split small just to have something to run through the splitter a bunch of times, haha.

    With my CAT stove I hope the small splits will still burn low and slow when needed if I really pack it in there. We'll see.
  5. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Over many years of wood burning,
    And continuously listening and learning,
    I've come to the conclusion the best way,
    to get your hardwood to dry the whole way,
    Is split it 4x4" to 5x5" for the absolute bestest of burning........;)

    OK, I'm NOT a very good poet, but honestly, for the best results in wood like oak, hickory, and locust, the small to medium sized splits are the way to go. That, combined with stacking in a good location, helps them season a little faster
    Backwoods Savage and NortheastAl like this.
  6. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    I just keep splitting this oak and it's so darn heavy and wet, it's kind of amazing. So after each split of exposing more and more surface area, I feel a little better. :p
  7. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Keep in mind, you don't want to make kindling out of it. I'd be aiming to make it 4x4" to 5x5", ideally. Much smaller than that and it'll burn up very fast in your stove....
  8. Lumber-Jack

    Lumber-Jack Minister of Fire

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    I just topped a walnut tree and split all the branches really small with the hope that I'll be able to burn it next winter, although I split some it so small I've been using it to clean my teeth, so I don't know how much of it I'll have left.
  9. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    Given an unlimited amount of air, I could understand how a lot of surface area would have your stove flying through the wood in the firebox more quickly. But with EPA stoves, and especially CAT stoves that can really choke down the air, aren't we able to limit the combustion rate with the air intake and then split size isn't really a limiting (or taking off) factor? Especially with the talk I hear of CAT stoves heating off the smoke?
  10. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    My other thought is that smaller splits can be better crammed into the stove to take up more open space/air. With more small splits in there packed tightly next to each other those splits are less exposed to air, thus slower burn times, no? (I'm totally theoretical as a new burner. Not sure what folks experience with CAT stoves have been)
  11. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    yes, you can really pack the splits in if you split hem correctly. And being you have a BK, you'll be able to choke it way down. You should be good!
  12. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

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    Im trying to break myself of the habit of splitting small. I have small hands(which unconsciously is controlling the size of the splits) and I wait till I have 2 cords to split before I run the splitter. As Im splitting I toss the splits away from where Im working with one hand and control the splitter with the other hand. Its inconvenient and slow going if I have to use both hands. So now I have a bad habit of the 3-4" split.
    Regardless of drying time I am starting to feel that Im undermining longer burn times. Im realizing this habit has to be consciously overridden.
    Along with Carpal Tunnel I have the Twig Syndrome.
  13. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

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    What stoves cant you choke down?
    Im not familiar with CAT stoves. Or EPA stoves. My sister has a Quadra fire and I hate it. The damper lvers feel like they have been tampered with to get the EPA required readings. Her stove is like the steam boilers on the Titantic. God help you if you shovel twigs into her stove.
  14. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

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    Damper levers
  15. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    I like smaller splits for my Fireview. Not only might they dry faster, but I can pack the stove much more tightly with smaller splits. All size splits seem to burn about the same in my stove when in a nice slow cat burn. Another plus of smaller splits is that reloads get going faster too.
    fishingpol and NortheastAl like this.
  16. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    not many of the EPA stoves can be chokes down very far. Mostly due to EPA regs, but also because the secondary design requires it......
  17. TimJ

    TimJ Minister of Fire

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    Bster13, your going to have to come up with more wood than just that little load of itty bitty splits to get you through the winter
  18. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    I have 8 cords to the left of it. I started splitting in Nov. of 2012. I'll certainly have enough wood for my 1974 sq. ft. home, it's just a question of how dry it will be. :)

    Backwoods Savage and TimJ like this.
  19. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    A CAT stove chokes way down. My Fireview shows almost no flame when it is cruising. The smoke burns in wispy flames, but the wood is just smoldering.
    Backwoods Savage and Bster13 like this.
  20. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

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    I thought the wood looked like fresh split black cherry. Just by color.
  21. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    Actually there is a few rounds of black cherry in there, but very minimal. Mostly honey locust and oak (at least from what I've learned :p)
  22. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

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    If Quadra fires are CAT stoves then the one my sister bought is messed up. The dampers dont seem to work. When the stove sounds like its overfiring there is no controls to "turn down" the oxygen. My splits would disappear in an hour, also her stove was rated for an 8 hr overnight burn. She says she gets 5 hours at best with the size of her firebox.
    I think manufactureres must meet the EPA requirements however they can.
  23. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

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    8 cords should be good. They are all split small? mine are too. I have a 5' diameter oak that is Irene/ Lee damaged that Im gonna process next. Im practicing larger splits on that. Its gonna be tough because shes heavy.
    Maybe we can join Twigs Anonomous together?
  24. NortheastAl

    NortheastAl Minister of Fire

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    Steve, I believe you are right. My stove has secondaries, and it does about the same as yours. I find if I load the small splits tight then they burn as long as a large split load of the same volume. On an overnight burn I still load the larger splits, though. In the back of my mind I have the fear of an over fire while we're sleeping.
  25. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Yes you are correct. I meant "non-catalytic" stove, not "EPA" stove. Sorry about that guys!

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