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Should I just give up for this season?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Jon1270, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    +1 . . . on seeing if you could get some more of the other wood . . . and for using pallets.

    I think the guy probably thought he was doing right by you when you asked for higher BTU wood and he dropped off oak thinking that it would be good . . .

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  2. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

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    Jon you sound very wood savy and all your posts Ive read seem insightful. I know what you are thinking about the financial implications of the heating equation. Wood thats green that you cant burn now is still money in the bank. The problem for some of us is not having a luxury of switching to another source. My problem is if I invest in too much unuseable wood I have no leftover resourses to purchase fuel oil. Or pay for electric heat for the current season.
    My primary concern is the condition of my chimney and the safety of my house to the possibility of fire. And the idea of chopping pallets up is unattractive. Or scrounging for lumber scraps.
    I would talk to the wood guy you found, work something out. His prices are fair even for green wood. Around here asking for seasoned wood in January is leaving yourself open to unscrupulous wood dealers. The money wasted is not a total loss..but you may pay over the top dollar for what is still green wood.
    Its a crappy game the wood dealers play and Ive found the best way to deal with it is to ask for green and pay the lowest price. And turn the gas on.
  3. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    You dont need to chop up pallets, just take your chain saw and cut them up. You can even buy a cheap Electric HF one for $50 plus free pallets can make you a few weeks of wood in 30 mins.
  4. katwillny

    katwillny Guest

    Sounds like you have a reasonable wood supplier there, he sounds like a decent guy. Keep the stuff for next year and beyond as you said and see if you can pickup dry stuff around the way, alternatively you can buy bio bricks, just be careful they burn hot. Dont despair friend, this has happened to the best of us, its part of the game. Scrounge is your friend...
  5. MarkinNC

    MarkinNC Minister of Fire

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    Having you tried burning any of the locust? I read that is supposed to be the best wood to burn green owing to it's naturally low MC? You'll love that oak next year and more the year after. I had the same problem the first year and I will never buy wood again!
  6. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    Unfortunately the locust isn't dry enough yet either. I'm optimistic for next year, though.

    Since I haven't had the pleasure of burning any oak that was truly dry, can someone tell my why it's such a prized firewood? The long seasoning time seems like a significant downside.
  7. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    cause its one of the highest BTU containing wood that there is??Look at a btu chart and see for yourself. Locust is similar hickory and some others but its at the top.
  8. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    density is the answer on the oak.

    you've got more btu's packed into the same amount of space.

    what makes it so good when it's dry.... is what makes it so HARD to dry.

    JP
  9. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    JP nailed it. Oak is one of the best you'll ever burn, but you GOTTA be very patient, and give it two to three years of seasoning time, after it's cut, split and stacked. That said, you'll find most members on this forum that have the means to store wood have at least 3 years or more stacked and ready to go. I once had some of the problems you are experiencing, but after learning that some wood takes WAAAAY longer to season, and by getting ahead, I've found that oak is one of my favorites (right up there with my beloved locust).
    As for your woes this season, do like the others said and look around your area for palletwood, scraps, etc. Talk to the current wood dealer about some less dense hardwoods (silver and red maple, cherry, ash, etc). Mix the less-than-optimal wood with your cut-up pallets. Use your saw to cut those pallets up in manageable stove sized pieces. Just remember though, your ash is going to have nails in it.
  10. MarkinNC

    MarkinNC Minister of Fire

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    A stove full of seasoned oak will put out awesome heat. Maple seems to burn up like paper compared to it. The coals are impressive too. I often reload after 12 or even 15 hours on coals from oak. When it is less cold I will load half oak just so I can reload easier later. But oak is perhaps the most frustrating first year wood.
  11. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    I keep seeing these posts but on a good coal bed I can burn 1 yr old oak fine. Yea it takes longer to get started maybe 2x as long before I shut bypass and you don't get quite the heat out of it but I still can burn it and get plenty of heat out? Its not like you guys that say it smolders with no heat, BUT I do have a cat stove which is designed to smolder, maybe that's it? The oak im talking about is 1 yr old and will measure about 35%
  12. MarkinNC

    MarkinNC Minister of Fire

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    One year old oak burns fine for me too. I think it starts on fire fine etc.
  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    And knowing that moisture is a cat's number one enemy, why would you take that chance? I'll stick with 3 years to dry the oak.
  14. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    Okay, so it's primarily about BTU's. I asked because, for whatever reason, black locust is just about as common as oak in my area, i.e. there's lots of both. With locust having the reputation of seasoning so much faster, I was wondering whether oak had some special quality that would justify giving some of my very limited space to it when I can get locust just as easily. (Apologies to those less fortunate).
  15. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    I don't do it but im just saying that I have done it and could do it if forced. It would honestly be cheaper to destroy your cats in 3 seasons than it would be to pay for premium hardwood that is dry.

    Im with you on burning dry wood!!! trust me.

    I just snicker when our friends talk about their good "green" wood and burning it all day. I just dropped the stuff off and they were cutting and splitting it 3 days later, water was literally dripping from the logs as I dropped them off! we were in their house while they were burning said green wood. In the stove room which is say 250sqft you could not even tell there was a fire in the insert!! I asked my wife if she could feel any heat from it and she said no. Their house is about 1500sqft and it was maybe in the 50s outside that day and the heatpump was still running!!
  16. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    locust dries a bit faster and has more btu's! The stuff is hell on chains though!! It took 2 chains for me to cut about 20cuft of it!

    It appeared to be at least 2 year standing dead maybe 1. The biggest stuff when I split it that day was 20%MC, this was back in oct or nov so it was ready to burn this year, I have it stacked where I can get it this winter if I really need it but I plan on using it next year.
  17. MarkinNC

    MarkinNC Minister of Fire

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    Having a lot of locust is a good problem to have. It stays in the stack and does not rot. I"ll have to agree with the other poster about the economics of burning 1 year seasoned wood. One night I read a bunch of owners manuals of various stove brands and nowhere did I read you need to season wood for 3 seasons. You seem quite on top of your game. I am guessing that you have seen something like the link I ma posting below, but some oaks have more BTU's that locust. Locust should season quicker. I am on my third years and my 1 year seasoned oak burned absolutely fine and I have been proclaiming it since. It does go from fine to great though.

    http://www.chimneysweeponline.com/howood.htm
  18. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    I have very limited space to store firewood, so drying time is a major issue for me. I wonder whether anyone has ever attempted a list of woods ranked by relative seasoning speed. If space is my bottleneck and I can dry out 2 cords of locust in the time it takes to dry one cord of oak, it hardly matters that oak has 5% more BTU's/cord.
  19. Cross Cut Saw

    Cross Cut Saw Feeling the Heat

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    I did, and I haven't gotten a single reply!

    Go figure...
  20. Cross Cut Saw

    Cross Cut Saw Feeling the Heat

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    Woody Stover shared this before:
    http://mb-soft.com/juca/print/firewood.html

    I know some local suppliers are capable of delivering specific loads, my neighbor ordered wood in June that had no Oak in it, you get fewer BTU's but you get more burnable wood...
  21. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

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    Do yourself a favor and get a carbide chain for your saw. I 've cut 2 cords so far on one and still have pretty good size chips flying out. Oh and about ten cuts into a real dry mulberry like18" in diameter.

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