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Switching for coal back to wood

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Mason coal burner, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Hmmm...with that tall of a chimney I might try without the liner. Maybe even a first year experiment knowing the possible need for a liner in the future.

    I also agree with the statement above. Go big or go home. You are gonna need firepower. To take a swag at wood consumption - I would guess 5-6 cords for the season in a big EPA stove. (think Englander NC-30 and the like).

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  2. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Ah ha . . . thought I must be missing something.

    Englanders, Drolets, Napoleons and Regencys all have very good reviews here . . . decent stoves for a decent price.

    There should be no need to burn 8-10 cords of wood in most cases unless you go with an outdoor wood boiler or something similar. In my own home here in Maine I burn 4 1/2 to 5 cords of wood each year starting in September and ending in May typically.
  3. Mason coal burner

    Mason coal burner New Member

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    4-6 cord sounds good . Still not sure about stove placement . Upstairs or in the basement . Another worry I have is pipes freezing if the stove is up stairs . I don't think finding dry wood is going to be a problem . I did some driving around last evening and found lots of wood left behind at the clear cuts . Lots of small tree tops and some larger stuff . Should be well seasoned as the clear cuts are several years old . There is also some dead standing trees as well . I may be better off with the small stuff because the big stuff looks pretty twisted and knot filled . This is how my father gets his fire wood for his OWB . He burns about 20 cord per year heating 6 cabins .
  4. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, it is possible that some of that stuff is ready to burn. It is also possible that it is not. Most folks count seasoning time from the time it was split and stacked. Don't compare the fuel requirements of an OWB to a modern EPA stove - the new stoves need DRY fuel. Without DRY fuel you will be cussing at your new stove.

    Dry = somewhere around 20% MC.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Your concern about the basement pipes is valid, though often that can be addressed with a remote thermometer and an electric heater for the really cold days. Sealing up leaks in the basement and sill plate will also help. You will use less wood with the stove upstairs. Another thing to consider is access in the winter to the basement. Carrying wood down basement steps gets old quickly. Having easy direct outdoor access (that doesn't get buried in snow) is a plus.

    Dead wood lying on the ground can still hold a lot of moisture. It needs to be split to dry out. Same with standing dead. Sometimes you will get lucky and find some good dry wood there, but often it will be semi-seasoned. What burns in an OWB is no qualifier for what will burn well in a modern stove.
  6. Mason coal burner

    Mason coal burner New Member

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    I was just saying he gets his wood himself from the clear cuts so there should be plenty there . He keeps his spots secret . Nice . I thought of running some electric heat in the basement like you said . I think I will try it with the stove on the first floor in the beginning . I will also get a moisture meter . I don't know much about them . I have read on hear that cheap ones are not accurate . Will they give me a close estimate .
  7. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes - close enough for wood burning.
  8. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    We burn September through June as well and live near the coast. I thought it was cold in Canadia.

    Ha! I burned 7 cords one year using cottonwood in a non-cat but only 3 cords of alder in a cat stove plus I've done some energy improvements to the home. Point being, the wood species can make a big difference and so does burn technology. When you're out scrounging for wood, consider wood species.
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The Atlantic maritime parts of Canada are tempered by the Gulf Stream. They can see temps similar to us depending on the location.
  10. Mason coal burner

    Mason coal burner New Member

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    There is probably equal amounts of rock maple and birch ( white and yellow some black ) some beech here and there . We can get very cold snaps (-40-50)and we can also get mild stretches , but the burn season is from sept. to may . You may even need a fire in june or August to take the chill off . What kind of differences could I see between the vigilant and the englander nc 30 ? Fuel consumption , heat out put , burn times ?
  11. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    As long as the cellar is sealed up pretty well (insulated rim joists) you may find that it stays warm enough there . . . I know I was a bit worried in my first year, but don't discount the heat that comes from the earth . . . being below the frost line means you may gain some heat there . . . between that and the insulation I don't worry too much about freezing pipes. When the temps are sub zero for a few days though I do run the oil boiler a bit to move some heated water through the pipes -- figuring that keeping the water moving and putting a bit of heat into that space may help.

    Standing dead and tree tops . . . depends on just how dead the wood is . . . in the first year standing dead elm and tree tops left behind by my brother got me through the winter. I thought I did pretty well and the wood was great . . . but in reality it was just semi-seasoned. Burned OK . . . wasn't until the next year when I was burning truly seasoned wood that I discovered just how great my woodstove worked.

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