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Rough year ahead?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Joful, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Messages:
    763
    Loc:
    Massachusetts
    Similar situation as you with regard to new home last winter. I googled and found a guy that would deliver a cord of kiln dried (after getting screwed by a farm selling two year seasoned wood...not even close). Much cheaper than buying the store bundles...much bigger splits (though none really large). I don't use wood as primary heat source for entire house, just one of the heating zones. While expensive, the cost was off set in two months. Oil is even more expensive this year so its probably worth looking into.

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  2. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
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    6,445
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    Thanks! After looking closer at a few of my splits tonight, it seems I have a lot of oak in this particular pile. Given all of the wood I'm now burning was split last winter, I'm guessing this is a big part of my problem. Still waiting for the weekend to resplit and do some testing with the moisture meter. Will also move some more walnut and pine up to the house, as I split some of that around the same time as the oak.
  3. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
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    2,468
    Loc:
    Greenwood county, SC
    If its dark just take a flash light or a head lamp, turn your car lights on or something. I split pieces smaller in the dark all the time??

    But i agree your wood and or draft is a problem. If you put a split in N/S do you see water boiling out of the end?

    I would split 2 of your larger ones into like 1"x2" or so and then use those as kindling to get a fire going, use your driest stuff for this. This will give you a coal bed hot enough to start with larger splits then you will easy burn those 9month seasoned 2"x8" splits which are not big? I can easily burn stuff that old once i have coals in the stove, i know its not the best but i have done it and in my cat stove can still get the cat between 1200-1600 once engaged, with almost no smoke coming out of the chimney.
  4. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    6,445
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    I decided to purposely do everything I thought was wrong tonight, and see how "controllable" this stove really is with the new chimney. I threw a big load of wood in on top of a hot coal bed, and made sure I had two very dry big splits of pine on the bottom to really get things to take off quick, followed by a bunch of 20" long medium hardwood splits on top with exposed split faces on three sides each. Then I left the air control open at 50% for way longer than I normally would, actually falling asleep in the wing back chair with the kid on my lap for an hour or two, and woke up to a raging fire and stovetop temp north of 650*F... really cooking for this big old cat stove.

    I took air to 25% for a few minutes, and then shut'er down completely. Cat temp spiked up a bit on each decrease in air, but stove top temp came right down to 450'ish. Success. An hour later, she's holding 380*F.

    What's sort of amusing is that I still see a bunch of completely untouched wood when I peer thru the top of the glass. The rest of the glass is too sooted from my forever low burning to see anything but the top of the load. This is going to be a long burn.

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