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Not so seasoned wood?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by mattjm1017, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017 Feeling the Heat

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    Im wondering if Ill even be able to burn anything this year. I am getting a woodstock fireview next week and Im getting some wood together but I cant seem to find any seasoned wood. I bought a cord of oak from a guy when I talked to his wife she said that it had been split 2-3 years ago so i told her to send me a cord, when the guy showed up with it he proceded to give this speech about how seasoned his wood is and blah blah blah then told me he had split it just last january. I kept it cause I need it the MM read at anywhere from15-50% on various peices most of it is pretty high though. I have a lead on some mixed hardwood that I doubt is seasoned either, but Ill take it. My question is will I be able to burn this stuff? Can I throw a whole super cedar in the stove along with this wet wood would that help? Basically what should I do to struggle through this winter and stay warm with the wood I can find this winter?

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  2. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    I would look to supplement with some envi blocks or similar pressed completely dry wood logs. Essentially... they are super low moisture. Coupled with your wetter would.. you'll get by.

    Keep an eye on your chimney. Check it frequently with a mirror up from the cleanout.

    JP
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  3. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017 Feeling the Heat

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    Would I use those envi blocks in place of real wood or along with wood?
  4. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

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    Can you burn it? Yes, it will burn. It will be tougher to get fires going and keep them going, and a lot of the heat will go toward burning off the moisture in the wood. Your fire will smolder a bit more, which could lead to more creosote in your chimney. So yes you should check the chimney often and clean if necessary. You can also supplement, as JP said. Also, if you can get your hands on some wood other than oak that has been split since January that will be much better, as oak dries much slower than other wood. If I were you, I would supplement and try to get some other types of wood, and mix in the oak. Also, you may want to get next year's wood now, so that it has plenty of time to dry.
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  5. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    Sorry.. Mix in. You could spend some time being selective with what wood you put in. Drier stuff to get you going.. then chunk one of those wetter pieces on a good coal bed. Unfortunately, you need dry wood. Again, unfortunately, you are going to have to finish the drying process INSIDE your wood stove. Those pressed blocks are REAL dry. You could also use some cut up pallet wood. Lots of labor involved in that process. But pallets are usually very dry hardwood.

    You'll be much happier with your purchase NEXT YEAR.... if you buy two or three times the amount of wood you will burn in one year... right NOW. Stack it in single rows.. Top cover, if you cover at all. Sunny windy spot.

    Welcome to the converted. :)

    JP
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  6. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

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    Tough time of year to get into questionable wood. It will burn however it will be a struggle all by itself. As others have said, you can mix it up with some dry wood or bricks. The wetter wood has to steam off all the moisture before it will burn itself, it's a long cool process.
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  7. albert1029

    albert1029 Feeling the Heat

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    looks like you live within the range of black locust trees...if you can find some that's been down a while (they don't rot easily) usually they don't have any bark left but even if they do if they've been down or standing dead for a while I've moisture tested some at 17% and below immediately after bucking right in the center of the round...

    Attached Files:

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  8. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Unless wood is your only source of heat, I'd consider just kicking on the boiler, furnace etc and not risking it.
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  9. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    I wish I lived close to the members here who are just starting out and have green wood. I have four years worth in stacks and 3/4 of it is good to go right now. I'd be happy to swap a cord or so but the shipping cost from Texas would be a little steep.

    Bite the bullet now and get enough wood for the next three years. You should be able to get a discount. Then, it will be easy to stay ahead by doing your own cutting, scrounging, etc.
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  10. Cross Cut Saw

    Cross Cut Saw Feeling the Heat

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    Does anyone in your area offer kiln dried wood?

    It's very expensive up here at about $345/cord but for someone like me the same number of BTU's of propane would cost me nearly double that...

    Craigslist?
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  11. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Learning curve has started. We all went thru it.
    I've burned some pretty wet wood, burn it hot & check/clean the chimney monthly to every 6 weeks.
    Good you kept the wood you got for a year or 2 down the road (Red Oak takes longer to dry than most other woods )

    Try to get some more wood, not oak. It will burn better even if it's not down near the 20 to 25% range. Split it small.
    Might get lucky yet & find some drier stuff.

    Some down or dead standing is another source for reasonable dry wood, (drier anyway). Look around, may find some that folks will let you have.
    Like Albert said; Some dead locust would be a great find,

    You burn what you got, Seasoned or not ;)
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  12. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I would not risk burning wet wood unless the stove was the only source of heat.
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  13. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    No risk if you keep the chimney clean.
    Burned less than 4 month seasoned wood for years.
    Brushed the chimney every 6 weeks .
    Burning hotter helps too.

    Lots of folks out there burning what we call wet wood. They buy wood now & burn it thru the winter.
    Been doing it that way for many years.

    Good reasons to burn dry wood (20% or less MC ).
    Less or no Creosote, burn less wood.
    But if you don't have 1 or 2 year seasoned dry wood, burn what you got. ;)
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  14. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    I would not risk burning wet wood unless the stove was the only source of heat,[/quote]

    It isn't just the increased creosote from burning green oak.

    It is a real waste of good wood. A lot of work for not much heat.

    Get out there and scrounge some pallets or barring that, buy the bioblocks.

    Meanwhile, check the wood you have and burn the best of it, but let it sit near (maintain clearances) your stove for a week (or more) first.
  15. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    Scrounge up something really dry to mix with your green wood. Pallets are pretty easy to come by, especially the cheapo, light weight types. Don't burn treated lumber!
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  16. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017 Feeling the Heat

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    I really have no choice but to burn this wood my only other heat option is electric baseboard heat and thats running $250-300 a month to much for my budget. Ill get some of those envi blocks anyone know where I can get them? Im also looking for something other than oak like some maple Im going to walk back into the woods and see if theres anything laying around back there not sure what black locust looks like but ill find out. Im also going to get myself a chimney cleaning kit anybody got some suggestion. I also have lots of pallets and I can get lots more so Ill process and burn them.
  17. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    matt,

    Remember to mix the pallet wood in with some of that "wet" wood you have. Be careful not to overfire your stove with the pallet wood. The pallet wood is nice to burn for a good hot fire as long as you use your air control to keep it under control. I have seen several stoves get too hot. Including one of mine years ago.

    Another suggestion. You said you are going to go out in the woods and see...... Check for some standing dead trees. Many times you can find those and cut them down and burn them. Sometimes a good portion of the tree is ready to be burned and some may have to be split up and let dry for a while. Another thing you could try is go to any lumber stores, big box or your smaller ones are usually better and talk to the manager or owner and tell them you burn wood for heat and are looking for scraps. That can sometimes turn you onto a pile that they are going to have to pay to throw away anyway. Don't be shy about it. Talk to people and let them know you are looking and need to find some dry wood. Good luck man and stay in touch with how you make out on your search.
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  18. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

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    Pallets are a real pain IMO but if you don't mind ripping them apart then they should burn good. Yes, burn the wood you have, especially the drier stuff, and you can get the eni blocks at a tractor supply I think. As far as chimney cleaning, you should just need a chimney brush (make sure youget the right size for your chimney), and some handle attachments. The ones that I use screw together, so I get on the roof, push the brush through the chimney, and add a piece as I go. When I hit the bottom I just reverse the procedure. It takes 10 minutes. Lowes has the chimney sweeping supplies, at least in my area.
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  19. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017 Feeling the Heat

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    Kenster I wish you lived closer too Id love to be able to trade some wood. On a good note Im having a cord of mixed hardwood ( hickory maple gum some oak) delivered next week the guy says he split it all last year. Also about half of the oak I got yesterday was a little to long so I spent the afternoon cutting it down to size and I hit about every 4th piece with the MM and I was getting about 20-35% on a lot of the pieces so thats a lot better than the first split I cut that was 50%. Gasifier thanks for the advice Ill definatly keep an eye on things when Im using the pallets.
  20. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    It is also good to use a bit of a scrubbing motion when cleaning. With your method I'd recommend doing the scrubbing motion when you are bringing the brush back up or else when going down and back up the second time.
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  21. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Matt, congratulations on the new Fireview!

    If you do burn wood that is questionable, then for sure give it extra time before engaging the catalyst. Moisture is the enemy of cats; live or dead. So on reloads where the manual suggests 10-15 minutes before engaging the cat, you would be better advised to go 20-25 minutes but the final judge is the fire and is the wood good and charred.
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  22. Gark

    Gark Minister of Fire

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    Another species that starts out with low moisture (if you go looking for standing or fallen dead) is ash wood. Not that it's guaranteed to be dry enough right away, but it could be close. Ash (like black locust) does live less moist and dry way faster than oak. This is probably not the case if the wood is laying right on the ground though.
  23. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    When your out looking around look for dead standing bark off items, the top 2/3 of it should be fine, the remainder will need to be split and stacked to dry for next year. If you do some searches here you will find many tree id threads. This time of year one has to go by the bark and some times scent. Tree Id this way is a bit of an art and just plain experience. Pallets watch out for the compressed blocks used as spacers in some pallets, they contain various binder agents, work well as fire starters though, just cut them in half or quarters.
  24. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017 Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks Backwoodssavage Ill keep that in mind when I start cleaning should be interesting as ive never done it before but theres a first time for everything. Gark and blades thanks for the advice on what to look for in the woods. I am going to someones property today to look at some wood that they want removed she says its all free take as much as I want. It looks like its all a bunch of trees that have been felled and its just laying there they have "acres of it" is there anything that I should be on the look out for as far as stuff to stay away from?
  25. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

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    Matt - stay away from wood that is punky - soft all the way through. It absorbs moisture and gives off very little heat. A little punk on the outside is okay, but there should be some good hard wood on the inside.

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