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New burner wood

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Rickb, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. Rickb

    Rickb Minister of Fire

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    So almost done with the basement build and built my wood split stands so now its time to start getting wood. I have someone close to me that sells a cord of hard wood delivered for $175, that was cut down 3 years ago. I am not sure what the moisture on it is so I am not counting on it for next winter. If it is good I will most likely buy a second cord from them.

    I also am scrounging free wood for 2 reasons. 1. free wood. 2. exercise while hand splitting.

    So I picked some free stuff up today. I was in my car not truck so I didnt get much. there was like 4 or 5 times what I took. They said it was sycamore. I am unsure but it was a "PITA" to split. Tho since this was the first wood I have ever split maybe this is normal.(I hope not......)

    I am picking up some older oak tomorrow to split next week after work.

    So....... is this sycamore? And if so how long to season it? I used my MM and it is at 40% right now which explains why it was so freaking heavy.

    Took like an hour to split this small stack!

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    PA Fire Bug likes this.

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  2. fox9988

    fox9988 Minister of Fire

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    Sycamore is tough splitting. By next winter it will be feather light. Not a dense high btu wood, but its fine in the shoulder season. Free wood is good wood.
  3. steeltowninwv

    steeltowninwv Minister of Fire

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    that indeed is syacamore...i have cut split and burnt alot of it....super dense and heavy when green...dries out pretty light...will dry out pretty good in one summer..i like to leave it in bigger splits since it will burn up somewhat quicker than other hardwoods.....burns decent....i use it when im setting around the house and can load the stove when needed..not a wood u wanna load the stove up for an overnighter..
  4. Nick Mystic

    Nick Mystic Minister of Fire

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    What did you use to split with? A maul or wedges and sledge hammer? It looks like you just beat some of that wood apart instead of splitting it! I've had that happen when I'm trying to split reaction wood in Ys or where big limbs were attached to the main trunk. Sometimes that wood is so gnarly you have to resort to the chainsaw to get it into burnable sizes.
  5. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    Sycamore is tough to split. The Oak will seem easy after that, especially if it's Red Oak.
  6. Rickb

    Rickb Minister of Fire

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    Split it with a fiskers. I had 1 that was a huge round and 1 with a big knot. 2 of the smaller rounds split ok. The big round and the 1 with the knot really sucked......
  7. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    If steeltown says it's sycamore, then it's sycamore !
    He has processed mountains of it :)

    He never complained about it being tough to split though.
    Maybe you just got some gnarly pieces
  8. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    Definitely sycamore. The bark is unmistakable.

    Over about 30% MC, electronic meters are wildly inaccurate. If that tree was just cut down it's probably more like 80%.
  9. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

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    +1 - Oak splits like a dream compared to many other woods, including sycamore. And another vote for using the chainsaw on the really knotty pieces.
  10. Rickb

    Rickb Minister of Fire

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    I almost broke out the chainsaw but was finally able to split up the knotty piece. Took a good 15 minutes of smacking it with the axe and a couple of drinking breaks.... There was copious amounts of swearing involved too.
    Soundchasm and Backwoods Savage like this.
  11. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    They don't call it Sucamore for nothing... ==c
  12. Rickb

    Rickb Minister of Fire

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    Found a add on CL that is pretty close. They say its Hackleberry. Is it easier to split? Im not wasting my time with that sycamore anymore. There is still 3 or 4 car loads still left but I am going to ignore it. lol
  13. Nick Mystic

    Nick Mystic Minister of Fire

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    Part of your splitting problem might be due to using an ax instead of a maul to do your splitting. With and ax, or a maul for that matter, it can be very dangerous with that sort of wood. When chunks start breaking off instead of splitting there is a good chance the ax or maul can make a glancing blow and end up hitting your foot or leg. I don't know if you were joking or not about taking some drinking breaks, but getting a buzz on could increase the risk when doing that sort of splitting. When I get that kind of wood, or any wood that doesn't split after a few whacks of the maul, I get my steel wedges and sledge hammer and go that route instead of hammering away with the maul. I find it takes less effort and is more productive.
    gyrfalcon and lumbering on like this.
  14. katwillny

    katwillny Guest

    Sycamore without a doubt. we have lot of those around here. We burn a lot of it since its so easily accessible. It seasons really fast.
  15. fox9988

    fox9988 Minister of Fire

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    Hackberry is just as hard to split. If you can find some walnut, red oak, post oak or sassafras-you'll feel like Paul Bunyan::-)
  16. Rickb

    Rickb Minister of Fire

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    Was drinking lemonade at the time and I was using a maul.(I did add vodka later after I was done tho. :p) I need to go buy a good sledge and some wedges. I actually was going out and was going to get some but completely forgot. Will be picking something up tomorrow.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  17. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Rick, the $175 for a cord is probably not out of line but you are correct in thinking it might not be very dry. Typically when they say it was cut 2 or 3 years ago, that means the tree was cut then but not that it was bucked into firewood length and for sure it was not split. You are doing the right thing.

    You now know what sycamore is like and is very easy to identify but not so easy to split. You will quickly learn several different types of firewood and will also know which splits good and which doesn't. Oak is one of the top woods for us but just remember that it takes a long, long time to dry.
    gyrfalcon likes this.
  18. Rickb

    Rickb Minister of Fire

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    They delivered the cord today. I did a fresh split and checked it with my MM its at 30-35% so it won't be ready for this winter. Will have to find some other stuff for this winter. Lucky me I know now and can get some other stuff.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  19. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    Depending what species you've got, if it's currently at 30-35% then it easily could be ready by this winter There's a lot of hot weather between now and the chill of Fall.
  20. Rickb

    Rickb Minister of Fire

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    Its mostly oak....
  21. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    Ah, a little iffy then.
  22. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    A big iffy!
  23. Rickb

    Rickb Minister of Fire

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Looks like a lot more then 1 cord but maybe im wrong. The stands are 12 foot long and the back one is 6' 6" tall the front one is like 5' 6".
    Soundchasm likes this.
  24. Rickb

    Rickb Minister of Fire

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    So.... Thought I would update this. The wood sat out in the wind all summer and it is currently at 18% and has been great burning so far. I was very worried that it wouldn't be ready. I also built another rack and have it about 1/2 full of cherry from this spring and some standing dead oak. Once I get 1 of the other racks 1/2 empty I will continue scrounging and will be looking for all fruit, silver maple, ash, other faster drying. I just do not have the space for more then around 3 cords. This is my first year so we will see how much I really go through. It will be used for primary heating but not the only heating.
    Soundchasm likes this.
  25. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

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    Good deal. Split some maple real small so it will season for you. Looks like you're set for the winter.
    Keep scrounging!:)

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