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Other urban burners??

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by martel, Mar 17, 2006.

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  1. martel

    martel Member

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    Just wondering if there are other urban burners lurking and what are some of the characteristics you find unique to urban woodstove life.

    I am finding that when your property is called a "lot" and measured in feet rather than acres it is difficult to find a place to stack and keep 4-5 cord of wood. Also, my neighbors (in houses that I could touch by reaching out my window) are starting to look at me like I am crazy. Although one woman stopped me and thanked me for burning- she said she loves the smell and reminds her of times in the country growing up...

    other urbo-burners?

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I'm right on the edge of a small village on a 240x120 lot, but technically I'm in town. I try to keep a low profile with my wood burning, although that's kind of hard when you have 30 full cords of wood stacked in your backyard. But I don't go around bragging about how much money I'm saving on the gas bill. Why rub it in? I'm thinking about laying a face cord on each of my 3 neighbors who have fireplaces this summer, on the theory that a good defense is the best offence.
  3. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Sub-urban stealth burner here. I try to start my fire when my neighbor who seems to notice me burning most is having supper or just before he gets home from work, but with enough time so any initial smoke is waning. I am careful to start my fire as cleanly as possible so as to create as little smoke as possible. I usually go outside a couple times when starting and first engaging the cat to 'see how I'm doing'.

    I'm going to make a holz hausen so the neighbors might be able to better appreciate the aesthetics of wood piles. I must say though, that my most aware neighbor actually told me, "That's a beautiful wood pile." when I finished whacking up a big oak that died next to my house. Still, he also commented that he smelt smoke at 5:30am one morning, and wondered if it was me. That had me a bit nervous for a few days, but luckily, he's a nice guy and probably was just making conversation.

    I can never find enough wood so I'm forced to buy some of it. I hate that. Next year, I might just have enough to get me through the winter, though. It will be close and if I can scrounge one or two more portions, I'm good to go.

    To me, not smoking (in the stove) is key to keeping a low profile in the burbs, and keeping the wood piles looking descent enough that no one asks me if I was hit by a straight line micro burst that splintered one of my trees out back.
  4. pinetop

    pinetop New Member

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    being a country bumpkin i was curious as to what would prevent you from burning in the burbs...local ordinances as to burning or the smoke and pollution control? a friend lived next to a guy who had an outside wood boiler who burned railroad tie butts ..nasty under the right weather conditions ..but no recourse thru local ordinances small town tho
  5. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Neighborhood complaints = public nuisance = potential intervention by police, neighborhood assn, etc. = possible flame-out.

    I really don't want to find out what the exact details would be, or listen to a bunch of anti-smoke, litigation happy, whiners, so I try to stay below their radar.
  6. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    Readin this makes me glad that I am in the middle of a 6 acre lot with both neighbors on 6 and 10 acre lots burning wood
    My dad burned coal and wood when I was a kid on a small lot but fortunately the World was alot less PC back then ;)
  7. pinetop

    pinetop New Member

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    nothing wrong with the scent of a clean burning fire on crisp morning alot better than the diesel from some transit bus i'd say
  8. pinetop

    pinetop New Member

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    yeah those okld coal stokers could really belch out the black smoke hell i remember whan everyone on the block was burning garbage in 55 gallon drums even roasted a hot dog or two over those ... 100% beef tho
  9. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    The propane burning neighbor next door that was going to get us all to petition for natural gas years ago hates the wood smoke.

    But I suspect that the pistol range out back of the house is the main reason I haven't had any neighbor complaints in twenty years.

    Just a guess.
  10. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    BB do you have enough room for me to shoot with my 10 ga double Barrel Parker? I don't have to aim hat accurately but usually hit anything in the general vicinity.
  11. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    No problem. I will put a large target on the side of the propane burner's house for ya.

    When I was a kid a guy handed me a double barrel 10 gauge to shoot. Popped both barrels at once and landed about six feet back. Damn that hurt!
  12. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    My grand father's gun passed down from his father 1861 Parker. I know what you mean firing both . Shoulder hurt for days and landed on my duff. My grandfather had a farm cows horses chickens ect. One day riding in the buckboard he spots a fox near the hen house, got so excited squeezed both triggers at once. The kick back sent him backwards and tumbled out the back of the buck board. I think he missed the fox
  13. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Yep, guns are a lot like chainsaws. Gotta use the right one for the job. Shooting a fox with both barrels of a ten gauge is a lot like cutting a six inch tree with Old Yaller. Holding up a lot of iron to do a little job.

    That's why the .44 mag and Old Yaller get less work these days. The baby Poulan and the .22 mag get most of the work done and my arms and ears hurt less with both of them.

    Of course, there are those situations...
  14. djamwolfe

    djamwolfe Member

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    Im getting ready to move form 3-1/2 acres to a city house of 65x132... Still trying to figure out how im gonna store wood. At least I only have neigbours on 2 sides and RR tracks across the backside.

    BB - Were not even allowed to discharge a firearm in the city limits (got a ticket for shooting a bb gun once!)
  15. crow

    crow New Member

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    Ohio
    I burn within city limits.
    My lot is roughly 100'x100' on a dead end . Wooded lots acoss the street . Several abandoned or unrented properties in the neighborhood.
    Immediate neighbors don't seem to care/mind.
    I know I'm not the only person up hear burning...I can smell woodsmoke at times when I have no fire.

    I am also near the railroad . One of the largest train-yards in the country . I can smell all kinds of weird (probably dangerous ) chemical stuff coming from down by the train-yard...so any woodsmoke I may contribute HAS to be an improvement.

    I stack my wood up against the chain-link of my 10x10' chain-link dog kennel. The chain-link is 6' high . I stack 3 rows deep, 10 feet long.
    I burned 2 cords this year. Did not start my burning season 'til Dec. , tho .

    Next year , I'll probably stock 4-5 cords. I'll make my woodpile wrap the corner of the kennel. Tarp the top. It'll be fine.
  16. jabush

    jabush Feeling the Heat

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    Interesting thread......I haven't had any complaints about my smoke. I burn as clean as I can but sometimes the smoke is just pouring out of the chimney after a reload(or if my wood is damp). I think it depends on the people living around you and whether or not you are bound by covenants/restrictions in you neighborhood. All my neighbors are cool (and no HOA!!), but the homes in my immediate neighborhood tend to be spread out on bigger lots (1.5 - 5 acres). My guess is the people living in the new subdivisions around here have to keep a lower profile. I'm talking high density.....100 homes on 25 acres all 10 feet apart (from the low 600's....yea!!). I would definitely have to put more thought into my wood storage plan if I lived on one of these lots (and buy a cleaner burning stove).
  17. martel

    martel Member

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    My burner is super clean- I have a difficult time even seeing smoke and the smell is very faint. my problem is more the wood processing and storgae. My back "yard" is literally 23' wide and runs a pretty steep slope down into the back alley. I am going to dig out an area to stack wood. I would like to be able to make several long racks and get 3 cords back there. I do have some other urban friends now considering the wood stove as they see the possibilities...
  18. Sundeep Arole

    Sundeep Arole New Member

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    I burn well within town limits. Small ranch on half acre lot. Room to store wood, but not very practical to process it. I was upfront with all my neighbors about what I was planning, they are pretty reasonable folks. This season we let them come over and have as much wood as they needed for their fireplaces since we had 2.5 full cords. In the summer, we do the same thing, we grow vegetables and share with them. I think that has helped keep our relations good so far. My stove doesn't make a whole lot of smoke except when starts up, and we usually keep it running with medium loads and full air to keep smoke at a minimum. Not much smell really, unless we end up grabbing a batch of exceptionally wet logs.
  19. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    dj, you might want to try the holz hausen stacking method. a real space saver with pleasing appearance.

    So, BB guns are considered firearms in some cities now? Doesn't really surprise me if they are. These days, most people in the burbs probably don't know the difference anyway. Even here in the mid-west. I guess my wrist rocket sling shot will be considered a firearm soon, although it's not very effective for repelling a home invasion. "Get out of here, or I'll sling?" Kind of lacks the shock value and intimidation of chambering a 12 gauge shell in a pump gun. That 'rack-rack' sound is a more universal language than Esperanto. No interpretation is ever required. And looking at those two big holes in the barrel from the business end almost seems to spell "Oh-Oh, wrong house".
  20. djamwolfe

    djamwolfe Member

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    MO -- Even your wrist rocket is considered a firearm, your also not allowed to ride bikes in the downtown district, and ride skateboards on any public property except the skateboard park. It sucked being a kid in this small town.
  21. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    what's the law on the smoke? anyone know?
    once in a while when i fire it off i'll fog the naborhood.
  22. berlin

    berlin New Member

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    there is no "law on smoke" unlike the uk thankfully we don't have smoke control areas. however, there are certain locals that prohibit wood burning on certain days when air quality begins to suffer, and some locals require any new stoves installed to be epa compliant wood stoves. you will need to check with your locale to see what regulations if any they have.
    I burn soft coal and wood if anyone i know is getting rid of a tree etc (free fuel), however my stove chimney exits my house in the middle and about 6' above the roof, so i never get any smell in my neighborhood or around my home. the biggest reason some people complain is because of a chimney that exits in such a way to cause the smoke to blow down along ground level and infiltrate neighbors homes before it dissipates. build your chimney tall and correctly and you will likely never have problems with whiney neighbors.
  23. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Well, there's criminal law which varies by locality, and then there's civil law, which is largely discretionary and up to a judge who often makes a summary, and sometimes arbitrary (due to time constraints) judgement. With civil law, there is what is called a reasonable man test for most complaints. If a reasonable man would find your smoke offensive, a judge just might require specific performance. This might be an improved chimney, a different stove, or a complete flame-out. You don't want it to get that far. Don't smoke up the neighborhood. Use the top down kindling method or some variation of it. Don't throw so many splits or logs on at once, burn with the air full open until things are really rolling, etc. Or... get yourself a cleaner burning stove and you'll burn a whole lot less wood than you probably do now (assuming you have a pre-EPA stove).
  24. djamwolfe

    djamwolfe Member

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    The house wew moving to doesnt have a stove -- yet -- but Im planning on a CAT style as it will take over our main heating duties. Should be easly done only 1000sf built in 74, new windows and roof. I'm not too worried about the smoke but dont want to piss off the neighbors.
  25. Nokoni

    Nokoni New Member

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    I live within the city limits. I haven't had any problems with the neighbors. I think only one knows that I have a woodstove. I keep my wood stored in my detached two car garage. Don't use it for cars. The inspector said there were very few people adding woodstoves within the city limits, well-adding them and getting them inspected. He said most of their inspections were for new construction fireplaces. I love my stove but I do wish I was burning in a rural area.
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