1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

My first season burning results.

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by dsheehan56, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. Oldhippie

    Oldhippie Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    560
    By any chance did they deliver it and stack it for you or did you do it? I'm confused as to how you know what you got?

    If they stacked it, I bet they are charging you extra for stacking. I paid $120 per cord unseasoned and the seasoned were $160 here in northern Ma. But they don't stack 'em they just dump them in a pile on the lawn and I have to stack them. (Spring purchase of this wood, not a winter purchase)

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. sailor61

    sailor61 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Messages:
    113
    Loc:
    Warwick, RI
    A cord is a "properly" stacked 4 H 4W 8 L pile or 128 cubic feet of firewood. Frequently it's cut in 16 inch lengths since those stack properly in 3 rows. I'm not sure if it is legally defined any place but a bulk load (not stacked, just dumped into a truck etc) of 180 cubic ft is considered the equivalent of a stacked cord.
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  3. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Messages:
    4,174
    Loc:
    Central PA
    I agree Face Cord is not a legal term, but in most places where the term is used it is recognized as a stack with the same 'face' dimension as a real cord (32 sq ft) but only one split deep. Lots of people sell Face Cords even though it might not be strictly legal per the fine print of the law.

    I suggest dsheehan, that you try to dig up oil use records for previous years. I bet your oil supplier has those records. You can't compare the late fall months to mid winter months and get a real idea how much your wood insert is reducing cost.

    In my house I figure the wood stove is saving between $200 and $300 per month ,but my wood is scrounged for free. I think if I had to buy wood I would come out about even. The wood cost you reported are very high. That is probably the major reason why you aren't saving money. I bet there are cheaper wood suppliers around. Do you have space to stack a bunch of wood? You could probably find someone to deliver a larger load of wood and save money. Spring is an ideal time to find a good deal on firewood.
  4. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    5,740
    Loc:
    Northern MI - in the mitten
    The coldest part of winter is done and done, but you can still have a little fun with this (hey, it's not my money).
    Don't burn any wood this month and see what your oil use is. I bet your wallet will explode.
    That's quite a large house, and could actually use at least 2 stoves if you wanted to free yourself from the oil demon.
    The terminology for stacks of wood is important (as you've now found). We wood fanatics call a cord of wood, a cord of wood, and know what it means. When someone new comes along and uses that term, it's usually questioned because we're trying to get on the same page with the newby (and do a little edumacatin', if needed).
    Using the ceiling fan to get the stratified ceiling air down is good, but now try using a floor fan blowing cool air into the stove room as rideau suggested. This works. Just run it on low speed, that's all you need to get a nice current going.
    If you have the room, get your wood for next winter now. Get your wood for the following year, now.
    That way, no need to depend on the wood supplier definition of "seasoned".
    Get it stacked in a nice windy area (sun will help). Find a different supplier.
    If it hasn't been said, welcome to the Hearth.
    Keep us updated, and pics are encouraged (a LOT:cool:).
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  5. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    5,740
    Loc:
    Northern MI - in the mitten
    Easier to just do this (see below) and perhaps the comparison would be similar for oil use.
    Example: my wood use for October is about 1/3 cord, but in Jan., the use is almost triple. Same for February.
  6. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,963
    Loc:
    southern ontario
    The upside is that you know heating with wood will actually be less expensive than you thought, yielding greater savings, once you get your wood at a reasonable price. :)
  7. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,191
    Loc:
    Northern ON
    Just about fell out of my chair :eek:.

    I once bought 4 "face" cords to supplement my scrounge - it was delivered in 2 runs (3/4 ton truck - loaded pretty tight, actually). As others have mentioned, they typically just toss it onto the yard. By the time I got it stacked it was probably closer to 5 (a bit more and I would have been able to stretch the pile and/or the truth a bit and call it 2 full cords). Reputable supplier (I got references from a couple other area burners). Total price $260.

    Load up in the spring, for the next 2 or 3 years if you can.

    If you really want to love wood heat, and you have the means to do so, take the time to scrounge a bit, that is 110% satisfaction, IMHO. Really hope you don't get discouraged - wood heat is a great addiction to stumble onto. Good luck...!
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  8. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    281
    Loc:
    Sandyland

    I think you're right rideau. Up here in the northeast it's been a significantly colder this winter than last, and the winter definitely got into serious oil burning territory as we got into January.
  9. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    281
    Loc:
    Sandyland
    While a face cord can be kinda fugazy as measurements go, I think of it as about 1/3 — or the facing — of one cord, i.e. about 8-foot x 4-foot x 16 inches — given that a legal cord should be about 8' x 4' x 48 inches. But correct me if I'm wrong, cos it's been a while since I looked it up.

    [Edit -- of course Hearth dot com has handy dandy cord calculators, so I didn;t exactly have to wear my fingeries out ;) http://www.maine.gov/ag/firewood.html ]
    Don Williams likes this.
  10. ArsenalDon

    ArsenalDon Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Messages:
    750
    Loc:
    Meadow Valley, CA
    A face cord is one third of a full or bush cord stack of wood that is 4 by 8 ft by 16 in and has a volume of 42.6 cubic feet. If one had 3 rows of this one would have a full cord...thus basically a face cord is 1/3 of a cord.
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  11. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,963
    Loc:
    southern ontario

    NEw home this year..he just bought it.
  12. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    5,740
    Loc:
    Northern MI - in the mitten
    Here we go again.
    What about those folks who use longer splits? To make it simple, let's say I use 24" splits in my stove.
    My "face" cord would then be 1/2 cord. See the problem? My brother prefers splits that are about 18-20",.....I'm not even going to do the math, but it points out the fuzziness of it all.
    "Face" cord has no real definition other than whatever you want it to be, so everyone's on a different page when talking about it. My face is different than yours.:cool:
    Jon1270 is correct. It's a measurement of area, not volume.
    Flame suit on to protect from the "face" cord devotees.
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  13. Hearth Mistress

    Hearth Mistress Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    Messages:
    852
    Loc:
    Pt Pleasant, PA (SE PA)
    :eek:

    FULL cords, as in 4'x4'x8' are $200 for hardwoods and $400 fir kiln around here! If I had to pay what you are for wood, I'd be on the phone with the oil man for sure! Holy crap!

    Also, next time you, or the company come out to do the maintenance on your furnace, have them check the oil nozzle. I was running a .85 gallon per hour nozzle with a 45 degree spray. My guys adjusted it to a .65 GPH/80 degree spray and it has never run more efficient for me, best thing I ever did. The finer spray at a lesser volume burns quieter too. We have an old Weil McClain that was installed in the mid 80’s by the previous owners. they did break it up into 3 zones which is nuts for such a small house but it makes it easy to control.
    We have a small stove in an old drafty, draft hole of a house (1,000 sq ft) but the 125 gallons I added to the tank last year, most of it's still there now. The furnace only runs from abut 3 AM until I get up around 6 to light the stove again. Since the furnace only runs about 5 minutes maybe 2-3 times an hour, we only use a few gallons a week now instead of a day.
    OldLumberKid and rideau like this.
  14. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,452
    Loc:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    The OP is paying a lot for wood, but it's not as bad as it sounded at first. He was a little confused about the meaning of "face cord." His face cords were actually 2/3 of a cord.
    PapaDave likes this.
  15. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,963
    Loc:
    southern ontario
    Since you have not indicated how much shorter than 24 inches your 8 x 4 stacks are,we don't really know how much wood you received. But, what your are describing as a face cord ( two 8 x 4 racks) is actually two face cords. If about 16 inches long (typical), then your face cords comprise 2/3 of a real cord, a much better price but still too expensive. And , although cost analysis remains the same since you were using the same terms to describe amount burned and cost per amount, amount of wood burned doubles, and that makes much more sense. Was wondering how .6 cu feet could fill your box, burn that long, provide that much heat. So your loads are more like 1.2 cu ft. And you got 8 face cords delivered, burn 2 1/2 face cords a month, and have 1 1/2 face cords left. Right?

    I'm sure with a bit of help and some suggestions from this site, you can get a bit more efficiency from your stove next year, if you so desire.

    Meanwhile, you're doing pretty darn well for a first year burner.

    Congrats on making the move to wood burning.
  16. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    281
    Loc:
    Sandyland
    Who even knew? I just thought the oil man came to check it was all working, tune it to whatever he deemed to be correct and that was that.
  17. Hearth Mistress

    Hearth Mistress Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    Messages:
    852
    Loc:
    Pt Pleasant, PA (SE PA)
    Sometimes, you just gotta ask :) I just felt I was going through way too much oil for such a small house. I did some research on line and found out about different nozzle sizes, pressure, etc. The techs don't think, they clean and replace what's there, challenge them and it kicks in all they learned in HVAC school. I love my guys, they are awesome but they know I will keep asking questions to keep them on their toes ;)
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  18. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    281
    Loc:
    Sandyland
    Not just a pretty ... fire!

    One forgets they probably learned more than just a few standard things at HVAC school.
    Hearth Mistress likes this.
  19. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    Messages:
    475
    Loc:
    SE CT
    I measure the size of the load in the truck before they unload it.if it does not come out to at least 128 cubic feet it can not be a cord and probably closer to 2/3 of a cord. We have the money chat right there. I then use a hatchet and 3 lb hand sledge and split a couple and hit them with the moisture meter to end the 'seasoned' issues. I have seen as low as 22% and as high as 50% if much over 25% I ask about when they think i could cleanly burn it in an EPA stove rather than a fire pit. 90% of the people selling wood are not to be trusted in my mind..

    I have no interest in pellets as no electric no heat. I am seriously thinking about coal stove that is hand fired they will easily go 10 to 12 hours and some can go 18 to 24. you don't have to season coal and does not rot no termites etc....
    OldLumberKid and Hearth Mistress like this.
  20. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    Messages:
    475
    Loc:
    SE CT
    I not only ask I watch. taking a couple of hours off work to see what they are doing or not is very little cost compared to what they can cost you. I am an ex licensed oil burner tech / installer and well aware of what they should be doing and what they should not be doing. Yes it annoys them and yes I really do not care that it does. Having a licensed guy watch does keep them on their toes.
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  21. ArsenalDon

    ArsenalDon Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Messages:
    750
    Loc:
    Meadow Valley, CA
    much easier to split too. ==c
  22. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    Messages:
    475
    Loc:
    SE CT
    No chainsaw no axe no wedges no maul... when they deliver just count the bags..lol.. A whole winters heat fits on two pallets for me at least though will probably go through more as my little wood stove is impossible to keep going 24/7 and work and get a decent nights sleep. oh did I forget to mention no creosote either..empty the ashes once and yes occasionally pull a clinker out if you have not been running it right. The downside is good used stoves are few and far between as they last forever then get sold as antiques.
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  23. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    281
    Loc:
    Sandyland
    I asked some co-workers about how they understood the meaning of this word the other day — so funny to see it used just a day or two later.

    Do you mean a partly/insufficiently burned pice of wood? If so, I pulled a clinker out myself this weekend.

    But I do seem to remember an association with coal back as a kid, but also a second meaning as an anomaly/mistake thing.

    Looked it up again and voila:
    http://www.ehow.com/info_12152358_causes-clinkers-coal-fired-boilers.html

Share This Page