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Stove selection reassurance and other newbie Qs

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Leslielou, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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  2. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum Leslie.

    Congratulations on the stove and you will love the wood heat! You will also learn on here the best way to distribute that heat which is really simple once you learn the little trick. I would like this post though to be on your wood supply.

    First, realize that most stoves today are much different than the older stoves and you really do need good dry wood to burn right. If you have good wood, you'll have good results. Poor wood with get the opposite. One big thing to be concerned about is creosote and bad wood will get you plenty of that and the possibility of chimney fires. You do not want this and you do not have to have it. Just make sure on the fuel and learn good burning habits. We've burned wood for a few years now (check the signature line below) and have never had a chimney fire nor do we ever expect to have one. Here is how we do it.

    We cut wood in the winter. Usually December through February. We stack it through the winter and after snow melt we do all the splitting before stacking.
    3-23-09a.JPG

    We do have a hydraulic splitter but for many, many moons we split all by hand using axe, splitting maul, sledge hammer and wedges. We got along fine until an injury and we were forced (happily) into buying a splitter. I began smiling when I split the first log with the hydraulics! Wow!

    After the wood is split (now it can start to dry), we stack our wood on poles (saplings) that we cut in the woods. Lay down two and stack the wood on them. In a pinch, I'll even lay down some small rounds or even splits to stack the wood on. The big thing is to get the wood off the ground and allow some air under there. Notice in the picture below that the bottom is just some maple saplings we cut in the woods. Gets the wood up and allows some air under.

    Ends-3.JPG

    Of big importance is to know your friend and that friend is wind. This is how the wood will dry. Sure, sunshine is nice but not necessary. Many times we stack wood in the shade and it drys very nicely. Air circulation; your friend.

    Now you need time. You also need to know there can be a huge difference in the amount of time your wood needs to dry properly. For example, you could cut some soft maple in March, split and stack it right away and it could be ready to burn by fall. On the other hand, you could cut some oak at the same time and be cussing it 2 years later because it is not dry enough. We give oak 3 years before we attempt to burn it. Ash is a big one now because of the damage of the EAB. Ash is a low moisture wood to begin with so it can be ready to burn in a year. But as of late, we are getting some ash that does not need a year because it has been dead so long there is barely any moisture left. But please pay close attention to the wood. Fuel is needed for the cars and fuel is needed for the stove. You want good fuel in both.

    This is how we stack our wood. Crib the ends and when done, we cover the top with old galvanized roofing. Remember that when you cover your wood, it is important to cover only the top of the pile. Remember that you need air to dry the wood. If you cover it all, where will the air circulation come from? btw, we do not cover our wood that first summer but usually cover before the snow starts to pile up.

    Denny-April 2009i.JPG Christmas-2008b.JPG Ends-6.JPG

    Wood-2009c.JPG

    I will close by inviting you into the Wood Shed. That is part of hearth.com and many wood burners post there which is all about the wood. Good luck to you.
    corey21, Leslielou and amateur cutter like this.
  3. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    And that ^ folks is pretty much all there is to be said about that. Too bad you can't package & sell all that knowledge Dennis. You afford to buy wood & pay somebody to load the stove for you too. ;) A C
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  4. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Thanks AC. I learned much of it from you.
  5. Leslielou

    Leslielou New Member

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    securedownload.jpeg

    Let's see if I manage to upload my first picture...The flue will be installed on the corner of the house closest to the walk out basement door. I don't think we've decided what wall, but I'm leaning towards the end of the house with no window. Will it matter either way? The wind comes from the direction the picture was taken.

    Thanks for all the input and info! I'm trying to soak it up like a sponge, but it's comforting to know I have some very knowledgeable people "close" by, when I do mess something up.
  6. WellSeasoned

    WellSeasoned Guest

    Amazing the info in this thread alone. The nice picture came up fine. I can see why its windy, and why you want to heat with wood. Be well
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Although my preference is to run it up through the interior of the house it looks like you'll be fine running it up the end of the house. The only complication will be going through the soffit overhang. They'll either need to cut it or do an offset to get around it.
  8. Mrs. Krabappel

    Mrs. Krabappel Minister of Fire

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    One thing that has helped me with a substandard wood supply is to stack a couple of weeks worth inside where the stove heat can help dry it out.
  9. Leslielou

    Leslielou New Member

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    Unfortunately, there's no where for me to stack wood inside. It's going to be an interesting burn season. But, we've already located a cord of free ash to get us started :)

    Above, a trick is mentioned for distributing heat. What's the trick?
  10. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Leslie, it is a simple thing to distribute the heat. First, most folks (I used to be included here) tend to want to blow the heat towards the cooler part of the house. Ah ha! But that is backwards. The trick is to blow the cooler air towards the stove room.

    To understand this, we know that cool air is denser than warmer air. This is why airplanes get more lift in the winter months and during the hot muggy summers the lift is not so great. So we move that denser cool air into the warm air. Okay, air coming in, so there has to be air going out. Cool air comes in, warm air moves out.

    I recall when we learned this simple trick. We sat a small desktop fan on the floor in the hallway leading to the back of the house. Within maybe 10-15 minutes I went in back and was amazed at how warm it was back there. Lesson learned.

    btw, nice house and I see what you mean about windy. Good part, no trees to block chimney!
  11. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    Not a big secret. Put a small, desktop type fan on the floor, blowing cool air toward the stove. It will be replaced by lighter, warmer air. Sounds kinda backwards, but it works. It takes a little experimentation. I found that taping strips of TP in doorways helped to show me where I was getting the best air movement. A foot or two with the placement of the fan can make a big difference.
  12. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    Yer fast, Dennis.
  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Jeff, we must have been typing at the same time. I just came online.
  14. Leslielou

    Leslielou New Member

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    Thanks!

    With a two story house, is there anything I can do to help air flow specifically move upstairs? My husband wants to cut a pass through vent to the upstairs room immediately above the room with the stove. I'm a little leary and wondered if theres something less invasive we can do?
  15. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Blow the air downstairs.

    Putting vents or registers might cause some problems as fire code does not like this at all and rightly so. Put in a register and it gives a lower fire lots of draw for a fire to spread. So check your code and your insurance before doing this so it does not cause problems later.
  16. Leslielou

    Leslielou New Member

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    No need to check code. I read your post to H and he nodded and has moved on from the idea.

    If I can get 2+ a lil cords of wood (some of itthat's been sitting for 2 years) for $150, should I jump on it or pass? I have nothing to relate that price to except for a few Craigslist ads.
  17. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Depends upon what type of wood it is. Also, has it been split before setting those 2 years? If the wood is good, then that price sounds good....if it is full cords. If it is "face cords" then absolutely not as that would be way too high. We sold wood last winter for $150 per cord and guaranteed it was dry and ready to burn. Why? Because it had been split and stacked for not less than 3 years.
  18. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    If it's split & stacked for 2 years that's a good price, at least around here. If it was cut 2 years, but just stacked it may not be dry enough for this year, although still not a bad price depending on the type of wood. A C
  19. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    Stop doing that Dennis, I can't type that fast.:eek:
  20. simple.serf

    simple.serf Feeling the Heat

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    The only thing I will add is that if you have to burn substandard wood (I had to last winter... Couldn't afford filling the oil tank due to circumstances beyond my control), inspect the stack every week or two. I have some bad burning habits that are fine with old stoves but that drive the EPA stoves nuts. For me it meant cleaning a chimney at on a 30 ft roof covered in ice/snow with a -10 wind chill.

    I burn the way the stove likes me to now. <>
  21. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I'll chime in with what might be a dumb comment - this forum is the 'Hearth Room' where general wood stove questions are posted. You mentioned finding only one thread that discusses seasoning firewood, which makes me wonder if you have seen the 'Wood Shed' forum, also on hearth.com. The Wood Shed is a forum that is largely about how to season firewood. I think Backwoods Savage has it covered, but if you want to read more check out the Wood Shed.

    You asked if your stove is large enough. I don't know if it is large enough to completely heat the house, including all of the far flung rooms, but I think it is plenty large enough to make a huge dent in the heating bill. I'd plan to use the heat pump a little during cold weather, when you're not home all day, etc., and use the wood stove to cut down heat pump use as much as possible.

    Your place looks perfect for seasoning a lot of firewood. See if you can cut 12 cords this winter and you'll be at least two and maybe three years ahead. After that you won't have much trouble keeping up with firewood cutting.
  22. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    The moisture meter will give you a rough idea of the moisture content of any wood you are thinking of buying, or wood that you are cutting. To get a good reading, split or re-split a piece to expose a fresh surface to test. The outside of a piece may be relatively dry while the inside will still be wet.
    I would go out into your woods before the leaves fall and mark some dead trees to cut. Trees that have already fallen may not be as dry as dead standing trees. As was mentioned above, smaller limbs will be drier than the trunk. Particularly, look for dead standing trees with the bark partially or completely fallen off...those have a good chance of being fairly dry. Oak is the slowest-drying wood so a dead standing Oak may not be dry enough, except for small branches.
  23. Leslielou

    Leslielou New Member

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    Thanks for the continued input! we're planning on heading to the woods Sunday to get started on identifying wood to cut. I'll take a big dent in my heating bills! We've also discussed using a space heater in the 2 bedrooms we use vs. the heat pump.

    We've obtained about one cord of ash so far that folks were giving away. We haven't started splitting yet. Question- one load, the wood is very gray. The other load, the wood is brown and normal looking. Does the grey color indicate drier wood?

    I found someone giving away pallets not far from my home...we might get some, but seems like it'd be a pain to deconstruct?

    Something I don't think I've asked...is there any special way to build or replenish the fire for this type of stove? Or, can someone direct me to a previous post, since this is likely a common question?

    12 cords sounds like a boat load and a good goal :) we'll see how we do! After we get out of football season, which is pretty short for 6-8yr olds, that should help!

    What does everyone do with their bark? Burn it outside?
  24. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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  25. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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