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More BTU’s in knot or wye (crotch)?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by gzecc, Nov 22, 2008.

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  1. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    We all have the wye"s and knots (that are difficult to split). Is it worth taking the extra time and energy to process these? Are there more BTU's in these tough pieces, or is it all the same?
    I aways felt there was, however I may be wasting my time and money!

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  2. drdoct

    drdoct Feeling the Heat

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    I think you'll put out lots of BTU's while splitting... ;-) They sure seem like a denser chunk of wood than a straight piece even when dried.
  3. bokehman

    bokehman Feeling the Heat

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  4. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Pound for pound, I think you will find all dry wood has the same BTUs.

    Matt
  5. bsruther

    bsruther Minister of Fire

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    If I've got a piece of wood sitting by the stove that's part of a crotch, I'll usually save it for the overnight burn. No particular reason though, except that it just looks so chunky and solid.
  6. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    I never thought of that...
    I'll keep telling myself that while I'm trying to bust my stuck wedge out...

    "...more BTUs....more BTUs..."
  7. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    That wood is denser (more BTUs), but is it worth it? No one can answer that question for you. Some of my friends won't even bother trying. I'll give it the college try. My old man is retired and stubborn so he'll work at it for a while before cutting them up with a chainsaw.
  8. crazy_dan

    crazy_dan New Member

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    I have never found a piece my splitter wouldn't split yet. have sawed several in order to get them on the splitter :)
  9. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    My old man says the exact same thing about his 290.
  10. Bubbavh

    Bubbavh Feeling the Heat

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    I agree it does seem to burn longer.
  11. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    For all the work involved, they should have higher btus, but I really doubt it. But it helps to think that they do, for sure.
  12. bayshorecs

    bayshorecs New Member

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    IMO, they burn longer as they are not as dry in the middle from being too dense.
  13. dznam

    dznam Member

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    gzecc, To your original question, there are more BTUs in those crotch pieces (and you will find that they weigh more) than the equivalent size or volume "straight grained" pieces. From a practical perspective, this means that you can get a bigger BTU load into your stove with those wyes and I think that's a a huge advantage. They will give you better burn times and greater heat output per load in direct proportion to their increased density. From my perspective, they're the most valuable part of the tree and you've got it exactly right: it's much better to have a cord of crotch wood than it is to have the equivalent cord of straight grained because you'll be getting a lot more BTUs. Whether it's worth the extra time for you to bust them up, you'll have to decide. I just put them in the splitter and go :) Just don't try to get the fire started with them!
  14. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    I didn't know you could say crotch wood on this forum...
  15. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    I thought they were the most valuable part of the tree. Very under rated and under appreciated.
    So, a crotch black ash is equal to a straight white oak?
  16. dznam

    dznam Member

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    Might be. As someone said earlier, if the two sticks weigh about the same then they should have roughly the same BTU content. I suspect there would be some (at least minor) variation in pound-for-pound btu content among different woods, but I'd guess that those variations would generally not be significant from a wood burners point of view. Maybe someone who knows more about this could chime in?
  17. bokehman

    bokehman Feeling the Heat

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    Yes, but, if one wood is denser than another it weighs more and hence you are able to put more BTU's in the firebox in one serving.
  18. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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  19. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    I thinki they burn longer because looks are decieving and they are generally larger in mass than they look.
  20. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    with all the pops and crakles you get, heck the btu got be more!
  21. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    No scientific answer for you, but they seem to be denser, therefor, unless the weight is coming from water, it must have higher BTUs. I try to avoid cutting or splitting. Cut to length with the knot in the middle. Burn all night. Wake up warm and refreshed.
  22. dznam

    dznam Member

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    Good chart Cave2k, it looks generally as though heat content is highly correlated with weight, but as the chart shows, not exactly.
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