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Kiln dried

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by mikey, Dec 10, 2013.

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Kiln dried

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  1. mikey

    mikey New Member

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    I got two cords this year in late summer, one seasoned and one kiln dried I don't think I'll buy kiln dried again. What I'm finding is that it burns too hot, too fast and is hard to control. I Have started mixing the two with better results.

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  2. USMC80

    USMC80 Minister of Fire

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    that is what most on here use kiln dried for. To either mix it with not so seasoned hardwoods to get through the year or to eliminate wood being the possibility that their stove/insert isn't performing up to par
  3. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    Sounds like you have stove issues.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  4. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Welcome Mikey to the forum!
    Let us know about your setup, seems like you should be able to burn kiln dried wood with out it running away from you.
  5. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Depends - we all know about the moisture content that we want to be below for proper burning. It is rarely spoken about - the other extreme - TOO dry (as in kiln dried). Stove mfgs. have designed these boxes for the range of naturally dried firewood. You get too much below naturally dried wood and you can end up burning just as dirty as not dry enough.
    YES - it is possible for wood that is too dry to off gas at a rate that your stove simply cannot burn. Results is smoke up the stack. And the next byproduct is warped parts and glowing stoves.

    Mix that stuff. You will be better for it in the long run.
  6. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Kiln dried should be the same as construction lumber correct?
    Will it pick up moisture after setting around for some time due to humidity?
  7. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Not always - furniture/cabinet makers use lumber dried specifically for that purpose. But that being said, virtually all manuals state not to use the stuff (for the same reasons I spoke of above).
    Yes - lumber (or any wood) will come to an equilibrium if left in the elements. It is the same reason that hard wood flooring should be stored where it will be installed for a few weeks. To come to an equilibrium.
  8. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    So then you have to season your kiln dried firewood (to add moisture).;)
  9. paul bunion

    paul bunion Minister of Fire

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    I'm going to lean towards it being a stove issue. Kilning costs money and I would think the operator would know just how much heat and how long to get it to an acceptable 20%. It isn't a linear curve to get the wood dry either. The last few pct takes a lot more heat or time than the the first so the operator should be aware of what he is doing.
  10. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I would also assume that a kiln dried firewood dealer wouldn't go beyond what is needed. I just don't want folks thinking that all kiln dried wood is created equal. It isn't.
  11. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Thats a good point, kiln dried firewood could be any where from 0 % to 25% or even more.
  12. paul bunion

    paul bunion Minister of Fire

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    Especially if it was kilned to the spec for killing bugs and other nasties as opposed to kiln dried. To control the bugs you run at a certain temp for a certain number of hours and has nothing to do with how dry the final product will or will not be. (Which I guess could cause over drying in some cases now that I think about It.)
  13. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    I just talked to the owner of Five Star Firewood, very knowledgeable guy, won't bull crap you about wood. All his kiln dried firewood is under 20%, it could be 10% depending on the species, so what you might have is some maple that got in with oak and is drier than the rest of the bunch. Do you have a moisture meter to test the wood with?

    Remember, wood has to boil out the water first before burning at any moisture content.
  14. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum mikey.

    Your comment sounds very typical of many folks. We've found that they are either folks that take the word of their fathers or grandfathers, or simply do not know how to run the stove properly. Indeed, if one is accustomed to burning wood that is not dry, then switching to dry wood it does seem that the wood can burn too fast. However, that does not need to be the case. Simply learning how to run that stove with the wood you have is the answer.

    On the too dry wood, I call it baloney. We've burned lots of wood that has been split and stacked for 7 years or longer and it burns wonderfully. I'll add that we've even burned soft maple that is that old and have never had problems.

    What really happens when you burn good dry wood and do it right, you will find that you need less wood to heat the home which translates into less work for you and a happier family. Another good benefit is the chimney. Simply put, we get no creosote and we rarely clean the chimney. We also burn wood that is usually 3 years or more in the stack. We had a bit of a running disagreement with Woodstock on the dry wood but when we took some to their factory and burned it, we've heard nothing against it since. They saw how good it burned.
  15. mikey

    mikey New Member

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    I don't think it's the stove, although it's new to me I've been burning wood most of my long 63 years, with a mix of kiln dried and air dried it burns great. Thanks for all the impute I think i'll save the money and just buy air dried. And thanks for the warm welcome.
  16. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    BWS, Jags is talking about wood that could be way dryer then any thing you could air dry even if it was 30 years old, after the moisture equals out with the environment its done drying.
    Jags likes this.
  17. Jdog

    Jdog Member

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    Im not to sure on the kiln dried stuff i bought a bag of it at lowes to try in my stove when i got home took them out i just wanted to see the mc of it so i split a few pieces and let me tell you its not kiln dried like it says i had 2 oak peices test at 40% and 3 more where over 30% so they are just putting that on the label im taking it back to lowes to show the manager what hes buying bc it isnt what he thinks
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  18. byQ

    byQ Member

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    Although it is seldom mentioned, Jags is right - firewood can be to dry. I live in the Rockies and it is dry. Firewood can dry down into the single digits, like 7% moisture content. Wood this dry burns differently then say wood at 20% moisture content.

    There isn't moisture holding the wood back/slowing down its burn rate so what happens? This drier wood demands more oxygen. If it gets it it will burn hot and fast. I spoke to a masonry heater builder and he told me that yes wood can be to dry, especially for wood stoves. He said the stoves are made for wood to burn at a certain rate via moisture content. Wood to dry and you have a little inferno.

    Because most wood burners don't ever have to deal with this, to-dry-firewood, it isn't clearly understood. But it can cause a problem. The moisture content in the air (humidity) will never allow most firewood to get to dry, but via kiln drying/desert environment it can happen.
    Jags likes this.

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