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Maximizing heat output with less than dry seasoned wood

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Dave A., Apr 3, 2013.

  1. Dave A.

    Dave A. Minister of Fire

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    The first couple days burning with my new summit insert was great. The house was heating up quicker than I ever saw with my the previous small 1.5 cf firebox Century. And then after reaching temps in the low 70's the house would stay at that temp for up to 12 hours as the fire slowed down keeping temps of up to 300 with the thermostatic blower still running and putting out usable heat.

    But that was then before my (relatively) dry wood ran out. Now am forced to use wood the dealer is saying has another probably 5 months to go before it's really ready.

    Okay keeping a good weeks supply in the house and trying to dry it out it gradually is getting better. But I got spoiled thinking I could just load up onto the coal bed and reach the cut back point in about 15 minutes with stove temps in the 650 range or higher with any wood.

    Doing it that way just won't work with this wood. The stove didn't reach the 600 area for over 40 minutes and even then cutting it back reduced stove temps to 300 or so very quickly. Even burning with lots of air the temps wouldn't stay above 500 for long -- not long enough to warm up the house.

    So have begun making smaller fires, getting them hot, and keeping them hot by adding one or two splits at a time every couple hours and keeping the air much higher. Not getting much of any secondaries, burn times aren't very long, and it's clearly not as efficient but at least I can warm up the house.

    Can't see any other way to do it.

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  2. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Well you can split it again into yet smaller splits.
    gyrfalcon likes this.
  3. dougand3

    dougand3 Minister of Fire

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    You can add pallet planks to some wet splits. Pallets are free in lotsa places.
  4. Dave A.

    Dave A. Minister of Fire

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    That should work. Only can't find my maul or axe. They seem to have walked. Will have to pick up something, but not sure which would be better to get if I could get by with only one or the other.
  5. Dave A.

    Dave A. Minister of Fire

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    Right. Where I get pallets for stacking, they have a container with broken up strips and cut up 5x5x1/2" pieces--"free firewood". Just got back with a box full of them. Just mix em in with the firewood I guess. I still have the pallet from the new Summit to break up and burn.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Heating season is over for most folks. Get your wood for next fall, like yesterday and try to avoid oak unless you are buying for 2015.
  7. Dave A.

    Dave A. Minister of Fire

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    Not here in SE PA. Heating season is stated as Oct 15-Apr 15. But my house on an uninsulated slab needs heat into May in the mornings at least on the first floor where the MB is located. Have already stacked my first cord for next season, at least 3 more are coming.
  8. ArsenalDon

    ArsenalDon Minister of Fire

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    If you can get some good seasoned wood, you can stack the poorly seasoned wood on top of it...works depending on how wet the wood is.
  9. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Huh? Not here not yet.
  10. MishMouse

    MishMouse Minister of Fire

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    Heating season where I live can last till June.
    The S word is in the forecast this week from Friday till next Tuesday, with accumulating added into the mix.
    I am kinda in the same boat, my good wood got used up during a very cold winter.
    My remaining wood, got buried under 2+ feet of snow, when that snow melted or started to melt it soaked the wood underneath it.

    Since, pallets around here are not free, I have to use paper and cardboard to dry the wood.
    Doesn't work as well as I want it to but when temps drop into the single digits at night and only get into the upper 30's during the day I need to do something to heat the place.
  11. Dave A.

    Dave A. Minister of Fire

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    Good to hear others do that too -- paper/cardboard, wet on top of dry. Whatever works. Thanx for the replies and ideas.
  12. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Naw, you are just spoiled with all the flowers you have now and the green grass. Most folks out this way have absolutely no green grass yet. Last year at this time there were many mowing lawns but that was really unusual. The lawn mowing season usually starts around April 20-25 here.

    On the plus side, we have some crocus that blossomed today! Spring is here, but the heating season continues.
  13. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    yep same here, fresh snowfall this morning, snow off and on all week, 4 to 8" forecast for weekend. Old man winter can bite me this year
  14. dafattkidd

    dafattkidd Minister of Fire

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    It was friggin 23* when I woke up this morning.

    When I had less than seasoned wood I mixed construction debris with the cord wood, and split the cord wood pretty small. That seemed to really help.
  15. Dave A.

    Dave A. Minister of Fire

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    After just a couple days in the house, the wood seems to have improved quite a bit. Haven't finished breaking up and cutting up the crate from the new stove but have been mixing in the pallet pieces I picked up and that seems to work well -- hot fires quick and can load up the box. And the second cord of my semi-seasoned wood was delivered today, that seems to be better burns w/o a problem (in fact my neighbor took a look at it and wanted to know where I'm getting it.)
    There's a lot of ash in there and supposedly that will season quicker than other woods. Not having any luck resplitting the pieces I have -- likely that trying to use the hatchet end of a drywall hammer has something to do with it -- not the tool for the job -- but that's all I have atm.
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    That's a good start. Sounds like it might be a prudent move to order a couple more cords from this fellow.
  17. Dave A.

    Dave A. Minister of Fire

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    I made a deal for 4+ cords at a lower price/cord than the regular price (and pay by check vs cc). As I get each cord stacked I call and have him deliver the next -- usually takes me a few days to stack the cord;).
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  18. dafattkidd

    dafattkidd Minister of Fire

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    I've found the best way for me to re-split splits as follows: place a car tire on the ground. fill the car tire with splits. whack the splits with a maul. This keeps a number of splits splits stationary, instead of splitting them one at a time. If that doesn't make sense youtube search splitting wood with a tire.

    You can get quality splitting maul at a local hardware store for like $20. Can't hurt to have a spare. Stop using a drywall hammer! HAHAHA.
  19. Dave A.

    Dave A. Minister of Fire

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    Yeah-- saw that on you-tube, not sure where to get the tire though, also saw something with a chain and I guess a fan belt for tensioning -- set that for the exact size you wanna do -- video's in wood shed here or tool area (one or other)-- more complicated set up -- but I don't have a tire.

    Gonna check out the flea markets and thrift stores this weekend for mauls/axes/hatchets -- just to get an idea what works best for me, before I get something good, if I don't find something there, will have to go hardware. Have my eye on the Fiskars, but need to decide between the x25 or x27.
  20. dafattkidd

    dafattkidd Minister of Fire

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  21. Dave A.

    Dave A. Minister of Fire

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    Thanks. I'll check it out.

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