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Minimum Dia

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by PunKid8888, Jun 10, 2009.

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  1. PunKid8888

    PunKid8888 New Member

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    So I'm curious as to whats your minimum dia for gathering wood. I tend use everything in my yard just to keep more wood in the stove and less in the brush fire. my cut off is 2 in diameter around my house. But now that I want to start gathering off of craigs list I am thinking of bumping it up to maybe 3inchs just so I don't end up with a truck full of small stuff when I could have a truck full of big stuff. 3inches is still probably too small to split but I kind of like having an array of small stuff for starting fires and such. Let me know if I am crazy for gathering such small stuff.

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  2. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    sounds about right!
  3. iskiatomic

    iskiatomic Minister of Fire

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    I do believe we are all just a little bit crazy when it comes to this wood thing!


    KC
  4. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    there is a difference between "extremely resourceful" and "crazy". Crazy is when you have a pile of 50gal drum liners full of pinecones and call it "firewood".
  5. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    For me it's not so much the size but rather how twisted up it is. I'll keep 2" straight stuff and toss 4" gnarly stuff on the burn pile. The gnarly stuff is a PITA to stack.
  6. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Dip them in hot wax and call them fire starters.
  7. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Interesting. I save everything from an inch up. My uncle and my cousin save every sliver of a branch. They cut the branches up with loppers. I don't have the pateince for that, but I went out and looked at my stack just now, and if you took away everything in my pile under two inches, I would lose a lot of wood. Under three inches would be insane. My method is this, before you all think I am nuts. After I fell a tree, I start out at the end of the branches, and cut of anything under an inch. Then, with the branch still atached, I start cutting to stove lenght, working my way towards the trunk. I have always done it this way, and wouldn't think of wasting all that wood. It takes just a second (literaly) to cut such thin stuff, and it adds up. I do all my splitting by hand, and the more wood that doesn't need splitting the better. I am getting ready to build a splitter though.
  8. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Depends a bit on the wood for me - with hedge, I'll go after pretty small stuff. Two or three 2" dia rounds could be a nice fire just enough to take the chill off. Of course all the junk / shavings / bark from around the splitter gets picked up for kindling. If it were pine, I might tend to stick with the bigger stuff - not much heat in a 2" dia stick of pine.
  9. joshlaugh

    joshlaugh New Member

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    2-3 inches for me, although if it was osage orange I would take any I can get.
  10. pybyr

    pybyr Minister of Fire

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    Over time, I've been going for smaller and smaller wood; generally, when cutting, I need to do something with the tops anyways, so that they aren't just a mess, and I've found that if I do it right, I actually get a surprising quantity out of the tops & limbs of many trees.
  11. bill*67

    bill*67 Member

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    2 inch for me as well. i like to start at the trunk first for stove length cuts and load them first, that way, when you get to the small stuff and your tired you can still pick it up.
  12. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    True, with pine, and fir it's around 2" minimum.
  13. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    When I was a kid I said "Dad, why are we messing around with these sticks when we have a woods full of trees?"
    "It's all btu's, son," my father said.
    "Dad, what's a btu?"
  14. PunKid8888

    PunKid8888 New Member

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    Well now I feel better. I have my brush pile and I was poking through it yesterday and it looks like I might actually have some more stuff I could cut up, I must have been getting a little lazy the day I cut that stuff.
  15. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I've got easy access to the family land and I'm clearing some land for the FD . . . but I still tend to go as small as 2 inches before the tops and branches are thrown on the burn pile or left to decompose and fertilize the soil . . . a) I hate wasting wood, b) lots of little wood adds up to big wood and c) there is less mess. That said, I prefer the bigger wood as it seems to add up a lot quicker . . . and if the truth be told, I find that sometimes, depending on how tired I am, I may pass on the smaller wood.
  16. Tfin

    Tfin New Member

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    2"-3" and up are keepers for me as well.

    I now have a large brush pile that I'll be sending through the chipper next month.
  17. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Most folks go according to how much wood they have and how much they need. The more wood you have on hand the less you will take those little limbs.

    For us, after we quit using the buzz saw we stopped keeping the really small stuff. Also if the wife helps, we then cut the small limbs. If I cut alone, I don't mess with them.
  18. TreePapa

    TreePapa Minister of Fire

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    An old (power) miter saw helps with the limbs that are too large for the loppers (or one or two swings of the axe). Now that I think I have the hang of not getting the blade stuck (start the blade before it makes contact, and apply constant light pressure until the cut is complete; don't stop the cut in the middle unless it's a emergency, and if the blade does get stuck, remove the blade from the saw before removing the blade from the wood).

    When I cut the grass (okay, weeds) in my front yard a few weeks ago, I wound up with a small armful of less than 1" sticks, which I broke up by hand and stacked on top of my wood pile. They'll be decent kindlin' by winter.

    Peace,
    - Sequoia
  19. leftyscott

    leftyscott Member

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    I have about 1.5 to 2 cords of 2" & 3" sticks thanks to January's ice storm. 2" is as small as I'll go as I find it unsafe to chainsaw smaller. I have lots of piles of brush handy to burn in my fire pit this summer. Also burn rotten rounds and gnarly wood in it as well.
  20. John_M

    John_M Minister of Fire

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    All wood under 1/2" is left on the ground to be mulched by my mower. All of the small stuff over that size is saved for kindling if it is long enough (minimum 12"). Any cuttings of short wood and log ends go into one of my three "cookies and chunks" tubs. Sometimes the cookies and chunks are placed on top of the burning logs when there is not enough room in the stove for the larger pieces I have stored inside. Cookies and chunks also make a nice starter fire after the kindling gets going and an effective filler for a long burn time.

    Saving the small stuff takes a little time to bow saw and lop to size but it dries very quickly and adds a lot of good wood to the cache. My friends and neighbors are quite appreciative of the boxes of kindling I give them during the season. They know how much effort has gone into these random acts of kindness. They also make practical, useful and inexpensive Christmas presents when medium sized boxes of dry kindling are topped with a red bow.

    I don't want summer to end quite yet, but I am looking forward to the coming wood stove season.

    John_M
  21. leftyscott

    leftyscott Member

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    John,

    I need more friends like you.
  22. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    For me it depends how difficult it is to cut the wood up and how busy I am. If it is an inch and fairly straight without too many branches, I usually cut it up. If it is two inches but full of twists, branches, etc., I might not cut it up, especially if I am running out of time. I almost always take everything three or more inches, and a lot of that I end up splitting if I have time. I usually use the method someone esle mentioned - when I drop a tree I start with the small branches and cut stove-sized pieces off as I work my way down the tree. That way the small stuff is held in place while i cut it. After a small diameter branch is cut off the fallen tree it becomes a lot harder to deal with and more likely to end up on the brush pile.
  23. Arc_Dad

    Arc_Dad Member

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    This is great information and a good question. Thanks
  24. North of 60

    North of 60 Minister of Fire

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    I guess if you only put one stick of pine in. With 2" dia pine you can probably get the fullest/tightest load you can in the stove to get the longest burn. For me anyway. :coolhmm:
  25. JBinKC

    JBinKC Feeling the Heat

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    I am flexible over this issue. Since we are dealing with free wood it changes with the circumstances and depends upon where the wood is sourced and how bad you need it and appeasing the desires of the donator. If the wood is sourced in an urban/residential area that restricts outdoor burning and you have no free access to a chipper I will take it all but if the source will allow you to burn or leave the limbs I usually stop at around 1 1/2 - 2" .
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