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)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Progress Hybrid Split Size???

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by fire_man, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,452
    Loc:
    Eastern Ma
    I always thought smaller splits burned quicker. This morning I loaded my Progress with "splinters" of oak. They were 3 year seasoned oak 16" long split mostly to 1"-2". Most would say this was kindling wood. I packed it tight and let her rip - leaving the draft open much more than usual since it's so cold. I figured I'd be reloading again pretty quickly. Keep in mind the draft was open for good heat, so I was not expecting a 12 hour burn.

    Exactly 5 hours later there were still tons of flames, the firebox was 1/3 full of wood and coals, and the stovetop temp was 450F and throwing tons of heat. I was not in "cat" mode for any of the burn, there were lots of secondary flames the whole time.This was just as good if not better than if I loaded with my "normal" size splits that are 3-4" on end. I'm starting to think smaller splits pack tighter and burn longer.

    I am getting about the same total burn time as with normal split size, but I am getting higher temperatures for a longer period of time. My guess is that not too many folks have tried running this stove with wood split so thin.

    IMG_0667.JPG
    Backwoods Savage likes this.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,661
    Loc:
    Eastern MA
    Just when we think we understand... heh.

    Well... could those smaller pieces be significantly dryer than your larger ones perhaps? I can't explain it one way or another... maybe you got more wood (in terms of mass/weight) in the stove using those smaller splits as well.
  3. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,452
    Loc:
    Eastern Ma
    I guess it's possible they are drier, but I would think after 3+ years all my wood is pretty dry.I think I fit more mass in the stove since it was packed so tightly. The stove room is 70F 8 hrs after loading and it never got over 17 degrees today.

    This is way better than any load I have ever burned, keeping the house warmer in such cold for so long. Funny thing is that my cat has not been lighting off well lately, and this burn was all secondaries.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  4. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    Wow, that's nearly kindling sized splits for me.
  5. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,010
    Loc:
    Nothern Lower Michigan
    Wow! Those are tiny. I think you probably got more in there all packed tight than usual. I bet if you were trying for a long, low burn you'd still do better with big splits. Maybe it doesn't matter as much with a higher rate burn. Then again, if you've got super dry oak all packed in there tight with minimal air gaps, it's probably not much different than having big splits anyway.
  6. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,452
    Loc:
    Eastern Ma
    OK now I passed the 8 hour mark mark in this burn and the stovetop temp is 325 with the draft higher than usual. This is definitely better than any burn I ever had. Usually I load up at 8 pm and reload at 4am with stovetop temps below 250F when the draft is opened up.

    Was this just a lucky load??
  7. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,920
    Loc:
    southern ontario
    Tony, If you have lots of splits that size, it would be of interest if you could weigh the wood you put in on the next load, to get an idea how the mass of wood you are burning compares to the mass of a larger split load.
    It would also be interesting to see if you get a similar burn with a different species split that small, like sugar maple for instance. All my splits are quite large. I do have a decent sized stack of sugar maple branches, about 2 inches in diameter, covered and set aside for shoulder season in the spring. However, I think they will burn hot and fast, from prior experience. Being round, they inevitably have a decent amount of air around them. I think I could fill the box and it would burn down in four hours. But it would be one amazing fire.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Tony, we hope that you will answer that question!
  9. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    rideau, we've burned a lot of small rounds and most years have quite a bit. However, not normally down to 2" (unless my wife is helping out in the woods. She hates to see wood left out there.). But we've never had a problem burning all rounds and having them burn fast. And keep in mind we dry our wood for many years before burning, so the wood is dry. No problem.
  10. WarmInIowa

    WarmInIowa Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    Messages:
    83
    Loc:
    Central IA
    I've split quite a few fairly small just to get them to dry out more quickly. I've had good success burning them, but in the end a pair of large splits in the back seems to last the longest.
  11. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,920
    Loc:
    southern ontario
    That's interesting, Dennis. I do find that the smaller my rounds, the faster and usually the hotter they burn. Once I get to 3 inch rounds, especially Ironwood, I can get a nice long slow cat burn by shutting the air right down...but nowhere near as long as I can get with really large splits. Probably a combination of functions of surface area and actual wood mass. If I burn a load of a lot of 2 inch rounds, it coals more quickly than larger wood. Of course, I have lots of coals then, and the coals will put out heat for quite a while. But I never put anywhere near the mass of the large splits in when I burn 2 inch wood, both because I know (believe?) it will burn vigorously, and because I am generally burning that wood when I just want to take the edge off on cooler autumn and spring days.

    And I thoroughly approve of Judy's attitude toward our wonderful trees. I'm in her camp.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  12. etiger2007

    etiger2007 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Messages:
    1,218
    Loc:
    Clio Michigan
    I have to think this is another Woodstock success story. I would have to reload after an hour.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  13. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,452
    Loc:
    Eastern Ma
    Well I ran another splinter load last night and it was no slouch but not as good as the last load. The Stovetop temp was 450 after 3 hours and after 8 hrs the stovetop was 300 F, draft was open a bit. This was more of the "normal burn" I am used to but definitely not as good as the last load. From what I can tell, my peak temperatures seem to hang in there longer, but my total burn time is about the same.

    I like rideau's idea of weighing the wood, but I would have to wait for the stove to cool completely to fill it up and then weight the contents. Then I'd have to build up a good coal base again. But I have a feeling that's the answer, there is more mass in some loads.
  14. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,010
    Loc:
    Nothern Lower Michigan
    It would probably be easier to weigh a bunch that you know will fit for sure, then weigh a few splits individually and then just add up what actually fits in there.

    I'm sure it's just the mass you get in there. Usually, you'll get more mass by using large splits, especially if they're square-ish. But, if you have a bunch of small splits that are square-ish you can get a ton in that way as well.
  15. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,920
    Loc:
    southern ontario
    '
    Hey, Tony.

    Just take an armful of the splits, weight them, put them in the stove. Weigh some more, put them in. Keep doing until you have the amount in that you want, and add up sums. No need to fill the stove, then remove the wood, weigh and reinsert.
    Will be interested in your results. Thanks for posting your experience.
  16. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    No! Tony, you need to weigh each split individually. After all, you have lots of time! ;) :rolleyes:
    Kevin Dolan likes this.
  17. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,010
    Loc:
    Nothern Lower Michigan
    Yeah. What I meant was weigh an armload that will be close, but not quite a full load. You should be able to get that within 2 or 3 splits easy. Then, weigh three splits or so and see what fits. Add them up. Should take 68 seconds.
  18. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1,113
    Loc:
    Brookhaven, Long Island
    Just posted this in another thread;

    Friday night I had an interesting rumbling sound from my stove I have not herd before. I loaded up for the night, about 3/4 full, a pretty big load for me, of mixed splits, lots of small stuff. all very dry. It lit up very fast(was a nice bed of coals) and the stove was hot, so I closed the cat bypass and closed the air down to 1/2 way, which is a lot higher than normal. It was 10* out, so I wanted some extra heat before I shut it down for the night. After about 1/2 hour, I had a roger going with full blast secondaries blowing like jets. After a few minutes this low rumbling sound started and got very loud, it sounded like the 700 lb stove was vibrating on the stone or something. I jumped up, and shut the air down, and it stopped in about 5 seconds, followed by the secondaries slowing down and going out in a few minutes.... We had a slight smoke smell in the room afterwards, which we normally don't.

    Hadn't experienced that before, I attributed it to putting to much small stuff in, and letting it rip to long. What was that noise? Sounded like a jet engine in there.

    Carefully with those small splits!
  19. chipsoflyin

    chipsoflyin Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Messages:
    132
    Loc:
    nw ohio
    Usually the jet engine or freight train sound are attributed to a chimney fire. Check you chimney. This stove doesn't behave like a steel stove, bring the heat up slow. Cast and stone don't like abrupt temp changes
  20. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Messages:
    667
    Loc:
    Central NY
    Machria, I've had that sound before, under similar conditions. Sounded like an elephant's sneaker in a dryer. Stopped as soon as I shut down the air. My theory is that it was what is termed "chugging", when too much gasses are trying to get thru the cat and the stove pipe. So, air + off gasses > than what the stove pipe can handle.
  21. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1,113
    Loc:
    Brookhaven, Long Island
    it did sound like too much air trying to rush thru something like the cat, at the to of the stove. I don't know that I ever herd an elephant sneaker in a dryer, so I'm not sure what that would sound like though ? ;) I pictured jets of air running thru the cat on fire, making the noise. It definitely was not coming from the chimney. And it would be very unlikely there is anything in my brand new 1 month old chimney, I've been burning nothing but 10+ year old super dry wood (a mix of cedar, pine, locust).
  22. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,452
    Loc:
    Eastern Ma
    I think you guys are sending me into a rat hole with this weighing splits thing! Unless I get a really accurate scale, repeatable split densities, and tons of time, I think I'd go nutso. All I can say is when I filled up my firebox with nearly perfectly packed tiny splits of oak, I got tremendous heat and did not see a difference in burn time. It's probably important not to loosely fill the load, or it would burn faster.

    Tightly packed was the key, which was easy with my nice and square oak "SPLITNERS". Hey I just made a new word!
  23. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1,113
    Loc:
    Brookhaven, Long Island
    Sorry fireman, your comments are not valid UNLESS you precisely weight each and every split, or splitner*. Please do not post until your done! :p

    * (C)Copyright 2013 by fire_man All rights reversed.



    .
  24. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,452
    Loc:
    Eastern Ma
    Darn. I can't post anymore!

Share This Page