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Just Curious...

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by DanCorcoran, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    I have an EPA-approved stove. I've read on this forum for years about using dry wood, which I do, and how folks who have "smoke dragons" don't understand why dry wood is important. I've never owned or used a smoke dragon.

    My question (just out of curiosity) is: are folks with smoke dragons correct in saying that dry wood isn't worth it for them? Are they better off using wet wood, dry wood, or it doesn't really make any difference?

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  2. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    The smoke dragons I've run over the years would chew through wet wood better than an epa stove. However, even the smoke dragons ran much better on well seasoned wood.

    If someone thinks otherwise, they are making rationalizations or else burning in a pre-epa stove that had so many air leaks that it would burn out of control w/ dry wood.

    pen
  3. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I personally almost find it irrelevant what kind of stove you use (pr-EPA or EPA certified), look inside your flue pipe after burning wet wood for a month and look at it after burning dry wood for a month. If that doesn't convince somebody that dry wood is better, nothing will.
    Scols, PapaDave, ikessky and 4 others like this.
  4. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, guys...curiosity satisfied.
    ScotO likes this.
  5. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Dan, as you know, we've burned wood for a few years and when growing up our parents burned wood. When growing up, almost everyone around us also burned wood. However, we were the only ones who burned dry wood. Everyone else would head to the woods to cut wood in October or November. Sometimes they would even put off picking corn because wood was needed to heat the house. Sad to say, almost everyone had problems with chimneys and always fighting to get that darned fire to burn. After leaving home at an unusually early age I learned very quickly that dry wood was much, much superior to fresh cut wood.

    Even today it is so common to hear that burning dry wood is crazy. You'll overheat! Put the wood in an it burns so fast it is not worth burning, etc, etc. Once in a while you can talk some sense into them but rarely. Shoot, I even have people who have burned wood for a month or so tell me they won't burn that dry stuff. Their trouble, of course, is that they have listened to too many old timers. Some old timers got it right but there were very few.

    I also remember my father and grandfather tell how every winter the neighbors would all get together for a week or so. Like filling silos, they would go from one farm to the next to buzz wood. Farmers would have these huge buzz piles and with maybe 6 or 8 going together, they could buzz a lot of wood in a day. But then, it also took a lot of wood to keep the house warm.

    Another thing we used to always see is that people just took it in stride and kept several rooms closed in the winter. It simply took too much wood to heat and they were burning a lot of wood as it was. Back then not many kept the house warm in the night either. Bank that stove for the night! Those are not fond memories of climbing out of bed and putting your feet on that cold floor. I used to always lay out what clothing I would wear the next day and it would be under the covers with me all night! Nope, not find memories there.

    Since leaving home, we've owned several stoves and only one, the Fireview, was an epa stove. I can tell you there is a huge difference in the way stoves are today vs 50 years ago or even 20 years ago. Much, much improved. And 99% of the people who have problems with their stoves we can blame it on wood. How many times have you seen it in the Hearth Room where someone has problems burning. When questioned most times they will only say their wood is well seasoned and won't answer the real question of what is it and when was it split and stacked. Was it stacked outdoors? But some will fess up and then finally admit that their wood really is not as dry as it should be. Nope, there is not much help for those who won't put their wood up early.
    Brewmonster, AJS56, Thistle and 3 others like this.
  6. wishlist

    wishlist Minister of Fire

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    ...and on that note Dennis, for the life of me I cannot understand why people who buy their wood already cut and split wont stock up on it in the springtime. I've seen numerous piles of wood from sellers in the spring who discount the wood at a very good price.
    DianeB, n3pro, Thistle and 2 others like this.
  7. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Correct. However, it seems the common theme is to buy only when it is needed. This can go for much more than a wood supply too.
  8. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Most people who talk about smoke dragons dont know what the hell they are talking about.
  9. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    That's easy, Sparky......

    [​IMG]
  10. Locust Post

    Locust Post Minister of Fire

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    Now that's a smoke dragon right there. Does it run on locust fuel ?
    ScotO likes this.
  11. Locust Post

    Locust Post Minister of Fire

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    In response to Dan: I still burn a smoke dragon although I did convert from a slammer to an insulated liner. No wet wood for me. 2 to 3 years in the stack or forget it. I have yet to see anyone that can get water to burn. I may pull the trigger on an EPA in the next few years but haven't yet. I get a nice long burn out of good hardwood and not much creosote. I haven't resisted because I can't afford it, although I do try to be a good steward with my funds.
  12. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    LOL....well, YEAH!!

    Great to see you back, buddy!! I was wondering how the heck you've been! Ain't been the same without you here!
  13. Locust Post

    Locust Post Minister of Fire

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    I take a look every once in awhile........been a busy boy. Did get a new to me firewood hauler put together. Got a go nice to hear from you too Scotty. Cold weather moving in got the stove munching on some hard maple and locust on deck.
    ScotO likes this.
  14. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    This is year 7 for us.
    Started by burning what we had and didn't know any better......for a minute.
    Once I got ahead and the wood got drier, it's quite a difference. We now burn stuff that's been dried in an open field with lots of sun and wind for a minimum of 2 years. No sizzling so far this year.
    We have an Ashley Step Top steel stove, and I guess you'd call it an air-tight. Not sure if it's a smoke dragon by definition or what that is.
    It burns much better with dry wood. I can load 8 nice sized (5-6") splits at bedtime, and wake to the stove at anywhere from 250- 400 with lots of coals to restart 7-8 hours later.
    Bottom line: I will beg, borrow, or um, work my azz off to make sure I have dry wood to burn, whether the stove is EPA or air-tight.
    Backwoods Savage and ScotO like this.
  15. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Always burn dry wood,still have the unknown 30 yr old insert in basement family room that really keeps things nice & toasty.It has variable speed blower,ducts behind the floor to ceiling brick wall that get outside air from the garage /shop in next room.Also an adjustable ceiling vent in NG furnace hot air duct that helps distribute extra heat throughout the house. Its not 'fancy' but works very well.
    Backwoods Savage and ScotO like this.
  16. jeromehdmc

    jeromehdmc Member

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    A guy at work is going out this weekend to cut wood for the rest of the winter. I asked how his stove burned wood that wasn't dry and he said if wood is too dry it'll just burn up too fast and you won't get any heat out of it. When I asked about cleaning the flue he said he sweeps every month, only gets about a plastic grocery sack full. He didn't seem to think it was unusual to get that much every month.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  17. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

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    If you check my Avatar, you will see I have both. I have always burned well seasoned wood and can assure you that it is important in either. It is just easier in the old stoves to burn less seasoned wood.....only difference.
    Backwoods Savage, ScotO and pen like this.
  18. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    WOW. Some people you just cant reach,no matter how much you try.
    Backwoods Savage and ScotO like this.
  19. n3pro

    n3pro Minister of Fire

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    That's also nice about being a year ahead of the game. I watch and buy at the cheapest time. I find a majority of the people I talk to simply don't know any better. Before I found Hearth.com - I didn't know any better. I was brought up as many, cut in the fall, split on Saturday for the whole week.

    Knowledge is power and safety.

    Backwoods Savage, ScotO and tfdchief like this.
  20. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    And with dry wood the whole burning experience is a "poo"-ton easier too!

    Guess some just need to see the light to believe.

    pen
  21. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Exactly. They do not buy ahead of time because they need the money for something else, or they just want to use the money for something else.
  22. jeromehdmc

    jeromehdmc Member

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    He did say he's only cutting stuff that's already dead.
    I've tried to talk to some of the guys but I grew up in town so I don't know anything about heating with wood.
    I didn't know anything until I came on here. I've even tried to get some to log on but they won't have any of it, just a bunch of city boys
    from the internet that don't know about wood.
    I just let it go and say to myself I can get just as warm with alot less work.
  23. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    My neighbor installed an outside boiler last year because, as he told me, "I can now burn green/unsplit wood" He said he got sick of having to clean his chimney and that I will know when it is time to clean when the smoke starts backing up into the house???? As a probing question I ask him to explain this and he told me his stove would nearly close off in the chimney a couple times each winter and that is when he would clean it. Because he is the "absolute know it all" I did not even bother to explain that is not the case nor that it ever needs to happen. I just said, "thanks, I will keep an eye on it"

    At the same time I felt glad that although he is my nearest neighbor his house is still over 500yrds away and down wind prevailing.

    My neighbor on the other side is a firefighter and has congratulated and encouraged me in my seemingly crazy obsession to stockpile CSS'd wood. Obviously he is familiar with the cause and effect of creosote!!
    Thistle and Backwoods Savage like this.
  24. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    I've met a few like that myself.

    These also seem to be the same people who swear that Pine and/or Dry wood causes chimney fires.

    In part, they are almost right, at least for the way "they" burn. If they usually burn unseasoned wood, and their chimney is filled with creosote, the unseasoned wood doesn't burn hot enough to start a chimney fire problem (usually). Then, if they throw in some pine or dry hardwood that actually burns hot, and they follow their normal practices of keeping the door cracked open, ash pan door open/cracked, air up on high, all the stuff they need to do to burn poor fuel, that good fuel can start the chimney fire since their setup is dirty and it never has seen good heat like that due to the poor fuel they use on a regular basis.

    pen
  25. DianeB

    DianeB Feeling the Heat

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    Cause the are sick of handling wood! But now that we have an EPA stove and not the old Fisher, we are going to start getting our wood in the Spring - perhaps April/May before we have to start all the gardening chores

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