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Small stove blues

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Alan Gage, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. Alan Gage

    Alan Gage Member

    Joined:
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    NW Iowa
    Good news is that a few years ago I got real busy and split and stacked 3+ years worth of oak, locust, and ash.

    Bad news is that all that wood was cut and split for my Englander NC-13

    Then last year I built myself a small, super-insulated, house which meant I needed to downsize my stove to a17-VL. Which also meant that a lot of the wood I'd processed is too big for the stove. :(

    So the last week or so has found me going through all my stacks of wood, tossing them into 3 piles. One pile for too long, one pile for ok length but too fat, and one pile for just right. The too long pile gets restacked and burned in the NC-13 in the shed. The too fat pile gets split into 2 or 3 smaller pieces and restacked. And the just right pile gets restacked with no extra work.

    The splitting is ok, nothing much more satisfying than whacking away with the splitting axe. But man do I ever hate stacking wood. It's even worse when the pieces are split so small, that's a lot of pieces of wood to handle!

    At least I'm almost done. After tomorrow I'll have a little under 2 cords stacked under the covered patio. Hoping that will be enough to get me through the winter.

    Alan
    Backwoods Savage likes this.

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  2. Shadow&Flame

    Shadow&Flame Minister of Fire

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    Its part of it I guess...when I was looking into getting my insert, I kept trying to cut the wood I processed to fit the stove I might get...I was all over the map on wood length...ha I also buy some and its too long for my stove...have to cut it down.
  3. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    2 cords in Northern Iowa? That might do it. I assume you are only referring to the 2 cords for the house stove. I think on 3 cords you'd be good with light shoulder season burning.
  4. barn burner

    barn burner Member

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    Just keep pluggin along. It'll be well worth the extra work just being able to sit in front of your new Englander with a cozy fire on a cold snowy day.
  5. woodchip

    woodchip Minister of Fire

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    Hate to be the bringer of bad news, but once you have split and stacked all this years wood, you'll be out there splitting and stacking next years wood.

    At least you'll only have to do next years once........;)
  6. tcassavaugh

    tcassavaugh Minister of Fire

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    i have a similar situation. i seldom used our small jotul that took 18 inch wood and used the summit downstairs in the basement with longer wood at about 18-20 inches. last year, i used mostly the jotul because it was so warm....not to mention using a lot less wood. i'll probably use it as the primary this year as the wife really enjoyed it last year. anyway, i have to spend some time "shortening" some of last years planned wood, that was never used. not going to be too bad...i picked this up a little while ago http://www.baileysonline.com/itemdetail.asp?item=15730&utm_source=shopping&utm_medium=cse and what a back and chain saver it is. its almost like having another helper. i know, i know, i could make a sawbuck....but this is slick. a little expensive, but well worth it especially for those smaller sections of the tree that can be handled...like the tops and limbs. i've used it for limbs down to an inch or two and up to about 8 inches in diameter and 10' 12' long. it gets them up off the ground where you can whack at it without getting your chain in the dirt.

    cass
    hilbiliarkiboi likes this.
  7. Alan Gage

    Alan Gage Member

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    I was burning 3 cords/year in the old house with the NC-13, which was a VERY drafty trailer house (granted, I kept it pretty chilly in there) so I'm hoping to get by with under 2 for the new house (1000 sq. ft. , R-40+ walls R-75 ceiling and R-16 slab). It will be interesting to see how it does. Didn't get moved into the house until mid-January last year and it wasn't much of a winter so I didn't get a real good idea of wood consumption.

    Yeah, it never ends. Come next spring I'll only have a couple cords left and it will mostly be elm, walnut, and norway maple, which I don't like to burn except during the shoulder seasons. I should have done some gathering this last spring but it will be ok. I've got a friend with a lot of wooded pasture land and there are hopefully a couple more big oaks that have fell down since last time I was out there. They've probably been standing dead for a few decades (all the bark and smaller limbs are gone) and are good to burn pretty much right after splitting so I won't have to wait 2 years for them to dry. But like you said, at least I'll be cutting and and splitting them to the proper sizes the first time so I won't have to do it twice.

    Alan
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Alan, we faced a similar situation a few years back. Our old stove could take up to 22-23" logs. It also could take some really large splits. Then came the Fireview with the 16" recommended length and a smaller firebox door. Hum.... We did some sorting and we also found that if we put the longer pieces in the middle that the Fireview would take longer than 16" wood. Of course we had to cut some down and it was a bother but not too bad.

    I also cut down a bunch of lumber ends just a week ago. Some were up to 32" length which was perfect. What I did was to put them inside a milk crate. Yes, here is the milk crate again. Wrapped a ratchet webbing around and cinched it tight then started the saw and made one cut. Bingo. Lots of easy burning and I could do it alone rather than having the wife come out to hold them while I cut them.
    firecracker_77 likes this.
  9. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

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    I'm not sure how much you were used to burning before you changed homes and stoves but I'm willing to guess that with a super-insulated house and downsizing the stove to accomodate this that you will be able to easier control the amount of wood you burn now.
  10. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I have some wood that is a little too long for my stove. when I come across one of those I stack it on the sawbuck. When there is enough I bungee it together and cut it in half. My stove takes about 18 inch logs east/west and about 10 inchers north/south, so a log that is slightly too long can be cut in half and loaded north/south. The bungee cord really helps keep the logs in place while i cut them.
  11. Realstone

    Realstone Lord of Fire

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    How do you get an 18" stick of wood into a 602? A 16" is a bare squeeze in mine. Love the stove BTW.

    Alan, how about a chop saw with a 15" stop? Might be a faster way to process all those longer splits.
    hilbiliarkiboi likes this.
  12. tcassavaugh

    tcassavaugh Minister of Fire

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    i fold it.....:) my bad....been awhile since i've used it. great little stove. wish i had a place to set it up. just can't seem to part with it. think it will get set up in the corner of the garage. i don't think i've ever had a stove that heated up so quick.

    cass
  13. Realstone

    Realstone Lord of Fire

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    Check. And it's amazing to me how well it will keep a larger split or round (that pretty much fills the stove!) burning with a good load of coals.
  14. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, if they're below 18", they'll go. I just don't want to be forcing any wood in, and don't want it real close to the sides if I can avoid it. If I don't measure when I'm cutting, and get some that are closer to 20", they go to my BIL's house to feed the Englander 24 that I set up in their basement fireplace. It'll take 20" to the top of the firebrick, longer above that...
  15. Alan Gage

    Alan Gage Member

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    Yes, that was going to be the plan but it turns out I had enough wood that was short enough (just had to be split smaller). The longer pieces will be burned in the NC-13 which is in the shed.

    Alan
  16. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Woody, it seems like we got somewhere around 20" in ours Fireview. That has to be dead center of the firebox door though. Have not done any of that since the first year with the stove.

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