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Safe to burn Newspaper, Cardboard and skids ( dry wood) ?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Jotul_Rockland, Jan 4, 2010.

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  1. Jotul_Rockland

    Jotul_Rockland Member

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    Hi Guys,

    I'm very very low on seasoned wood. I have large quantities of non-glossy newspaper, cardboard and skids (dry wood). Is it safe to burn all the the three ?

    I'm not looking for efficiency - just effectiveness and safety.

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  2. myzamboni

    myzamboni Minister of Fire

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    newspaper and cardboard create a ton of ash. Pallet wood can be burned but don't cram your stove with it. instead mix it with your not-so-seasoned wood.
  3. kscowboy

    kscowboy New Member

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    have kind of the same question about old barn wood have a very huge pile 2 barns worth can it be burned
  4. spirilis

    spirilis Minister of Fire

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    Yes limit the amount of pallet wood. It does a fantastic job warming up the stove and building a coal-bed for splits but it can get out of hand pretty fast especially when you add it to an already-warm stove...
  5. hareball

    hareball Member

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    I'd pass on the newspaper and cardboard. If you have a 55 gallon drum I'd burn that stuff in it. The pallet wood I'd save for kindling.
  6. sullystull

    sullystull Feeling the Heat

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    A friend of mine was burning his daughter's college notes in their woodstove to get rid of them. He completely plugged his chimney and started a chimney fire. Obviously, that is one extreme. Be careful.
  7. westkywood

    westkywood Feeling the Heat

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    Nutn better than old barn wood for kindling. Burns really hot. Too much and it will over heat your stove.
  8. cycloxer

    cycloxer New Member

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    Other than to start I fire, I wouldn't burn newspaper or cardboard to try to generate any heat. It creates too much ash. The pallet wood and barn wood are fine, BUT they can burn pretty hot. So start with a small quantity and work up from there so that you get a feel for what the stove can handle before without over-firing.
  9. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Newspaper is fine for starting a fire (do not use glossy paper) but cardboard is a no-no as it is glued together so avoid it... Until they start selling newspaper stoves I would say just wood as it was designed to do..

    Ray
  10. cycloxer

    cycloxer New Member

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    Also, do you have a CAT or non-CAT stove? You don't want to plug up your CAT.
  11. Jotul_Rockland

    Jotul_Rockland Member

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    I have a Non-Cat Jotul Rockland fireplace insert
  12. cycloxer

    cycloxer New Member

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    Non-CAT is less problematic, BUT you can still mess up your flue and then you have to climb up there and clean it IF you don't start it on fire. Burn the pallet wood, but don't start burning cardboard ghetto-style.
  13. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    No matter what you're burning don't contribute to the antiwoodstove sentiment.. Be part of the good wood burning community and only burn clean dry wood as your stove was intended to be used.. Trash incinerators have been banned for decades and essentially that is what you're thinking of doing.. Be part of the antisentiment solution and not a contributor to the problem of bad wood (trash) burners...

    Just my 2 cents...

    Ray
  14. cycloxer

    cycloxer New Member

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    Burning pallet wood is pretty clean, no?
  15. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Pallet wood is fine just be sure it is not treated wood i.e. pressure treated wood... I heated my house the 1st yr. with all pallet wood for the cost of hauling and cutting them up with an old circular saw.. Around here most pallets are made from oak and some have large runners great for burning but they can take off on ya for sure... The point I am making is we should all be responsible wood burners for the good of the community lest we get banned for bad judgement...

    Ray
  16. Oldmainer

    Oldmainer Member

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    Hi Norwalk...go ahead and burn your skids...bout the worst that will happen is you will end up with a bunch of nails or screws in the bottom of your stove...:) Watch your draft. Feed your newspapers in a little at a time with your skid wood...you will generate alittle ash...just clean it out when needed. Will be some nice heat...for a low cost. I wouldn't sweat the wood burning ban till the time comes...Franklin
  17. rphurley

    rphurley Feeling the Heat

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    I wouldn't burn any cardboard unless it is a few very small pieces to get a fire going. I understand that alot of chimney fires are started because cardboard burns very hot and might ingnight any creosote that is lining your chimney. I'd look into buying some Biobricks or some other manufactured log to get you through the season.
  18. rphurley

    rphurley Feeling the Heat

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    Sorry, submitted above reply twice.
  19. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    About the only time I use newspaper or cardboard is when I'm doing a cold start in my woodstove . . . I tend to use a lot more in the Fall and Spring when the fires are started and then they die out. This time of year it is very rare for me to use any cardboard or newspaper . . . in fact about the only thing I've been using the newspaper for in the past few weeks is to clean the glass.

    As mentioned you really don't want to burn much newspaper or cardboard -- they're really bad in a cat stove and let's face it, not very good for non-cats even as they can plug things up. Perhaps more important, they produce a lot of ash and very little heat for the amount you would need to stuff into the firebox.

    Pallets however are a different critter. I wouldn't load up my firebox to the gills with pallets and touch them off . . . but they are fantastic kindling and you can use the bigger pieces as wood in a pinch. Of course there are some drawbacks: they're time consuming to cut up, you will end up with nails in the ashes and woodbox (so don't spread your ashes on your driveway) and you can over-fire your stove if you're not careful. Also, be aware that not all pallets are created equal . . . hardwood pallets made out of oak = good, really good. Pallets made out of softwood are still good, but you will go through this wood much quicker. What I found pallets useful for last year was in getting a load of semi-seasoned wood up to temp quickly . . . the pallets tended to help drive the moisture out of the marginal pieces of wood which helped establish the fire better and quicker.
  20. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    i'll bite - is this something people typically do?
  21. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I do . . . aids in traction and it helps melt the snow and ice. I only spread it when it's cold though (don't want any hot embers or coals being blown against my garage) and I never spread the ash if I've been burning pallets due to the risk of nails.
  22. Ratherbfishin

    Ratherbfishin Member

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    I'll only spread them at the very end of my driveway for better traction. what a B**ch if you happen to get a piece of coal ash stuck to your boot then walk inside. I did once and my wife scrubbed the black mark out of the carpet with my face! LOL
  23. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    jake - I never would have thought of that - my driveway is 200 feet long and all dirt / gravel - no shortage of room I suppose

    then again, to ratherBfishin's point, I wonder what my better half would do if the 2 (big) dogs tracked a bunch of that inside, or if the black and white pup was suddenly no longer white (they do like to get into the worst stuff, at the worst time, for no apparent reason...)
  24. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    It's rarely an issue for me . . . if I walk down to the mailbox from the driveway I just keep to the side . . . otherwise the cars are the only thing on top of the ashes which pretty quickly settle into the snow and ice . . . I have yet to track in any ash from the driveway . . . now woodchips, sawdust and other wood gunk when I haul in the day's worth of wood . . . that's a whole other story . . .usually I end up with a mess leading from the back door to the woodbox.
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