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Time warp...It's not January...It's March

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by wg_bent, Jan 10, 2006.

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  1. gman1001

    gman1001 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
    Messages:
    61
    Loc:
    Sales
    Wild weather - my nieghbor is a natural gas energy trader in manhatten. (Scary how much $ he makes)

    Anyway he told me I was crazy to be spending so much time managing my wood stash. He 'knew' that Dec/Jan was going to be 10+ degrees above avg here in New England. In fact we had this discussion on Halloween 05.

    I told him he was crazy to be betting such huge sums on the Farmers Almanac... he just smiled.

    He nailed it.

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  2. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
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    2,248
    Loc:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    o.k., I'll bite...What's Feb/March supposed to be like?
  3. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
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    29,153
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    As they say, even a blind squirrel will find an acorn occasionally. There are just too many studies that have been done comparing historical OFA predictions to actual outcomes to place faith in the Almanac. In fact a case could be made for betting on exactly the opposite of its predictions a large majority of the time.
  4. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    Messages:
    917
    Loc:
    Deltaville,VA
    This is my first year with a soapstone after many years with a steel stove.

    When the thing is stone cold, pun intended, it takes awhile to get it going.

    The solution for me is to fire it with dry pine, then when its BLAZING, introduce the hardwood.

    I use a modified TOP-DOWN method.

    1. Two big pine splits on the bottom
    2. Crumpled newspaper
    3. Very small dry pieces
    4. Small dried pine on top
    5. When it blazes, add the smaller oak.

    I have a hot stove in about an hour.

    This is why I would only recomend soapstone for a serious wood heater. As you know, when its hot, you cannot screw it up.
  5. DavidV

    DavidV New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    792
    Loc:
    Richmond VA
    hmmm First. my previous post said I was keeping the fire going just not quite as hot..... Well, the Commandant (wife) had other ideas. I got home from work and the fire was stone cold. It's been that way for two days now. Finally tonight, the outside tem was dropping into the lower 40's so I'm looking across the room at some beautiful dancing yellows and blues. Mostly yelllows....guess that means I need to close of the air intake a bit so it burns more efficiently. The cold staove did give me a great opportunity to clean off the window glass though....it was slightly grey.

    Hope the wife doesn't complain to much about the heat.


    OOPS . forgot to add my second point....
    Insulating gives a benifit that wasn't mentioned. If you are burning wood, the difference o 2 million BTU per month being lost or not could easily be the difference in your wood stove properly heating your home, or leaving you feeling just a little uncomfortable. that extra retained heat could mean your wood stove that was struggling last year will be completely sufficient after adding insulation..
  6. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    9,226
    Loc:
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    They were free. There was a thread awhile back about the top down fire starting method or something to that effect and someone chimed in from the Supercedar Firestarter Co. They offered free samples so I went for it and received 3 free samples in a couple days. Sorry I don't remember the guys name and can't find the old thread.

    This is how I have used them,
    I broke them in half, put medium splits in a criss cross pattern, light her off and after about a half hour I had a good fire. It worked pretty well and didn't need kindling.

    Also used in top down method and worked better than news paper, but why use small kindling when the firestarter burns long enough to set off medium sized logs?
  7. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Nov 19, 2005
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    Lake Wissota
    I'm kind of glad I went with the Homestead because it has alot of cast iron in it. I can get home from work at 4pm, light off the stove, and it's heating the whole house in 1-2 hours depending on how cold the house is. Also helps to burn small splits until a good bed of coals is established.
  8. crow

    crow New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    Messages:
    88
    Loc:
    Ohio
    I have a Hearthstone Tribute . It is VERY small. So is my house. It seemed like the right fit . Time will tell .(House needs more insulation and new windows, etc.) I am used to a big steel Shenandoah(box stove.) So , this little stove takes getting used to. Also this is a different house, chimney , draft, wood , etc.

    It takes me about an hour to get to 250 . and an hour more for surface temp to reach 300 or better.

    I have to use splits that are less than 16" long. and the smaller the diameter of the wood is for the first fire , the better my results .

    Last night , I used 3 very slim wide (4/5 inches) and a whole lot of small kindling. One of the larger pieces on its side in a good amount of criss-crossed kindling,over a few knots of paper/2 larger pieces on top of that/ one more knot of paper on top to help heat up the chimney and get the draft going.
    I got to 300 in an hour and a half .
    My stove's Max temp.(according to the manual is 500.) I like it best when I can keep it at 400/450 .
    When it is warm outside, that is more difficult to do.
    When it is cold out...no problem.

    Once I have a good bed of coals going, I can put anything in there and it burns great! But the initial start up has a definite learning curve .
    I think I am finally figuring out what my stove likes and how to feed it .

    I would love to try the cedar fire starters...does anyone know where they are available? Are they ok to use in a soapstone stove...the manual
    seems to frown on such things.
  9. NWfuel

    NWfuel Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    565
    Loc:
    Mukilteo,Washington
    Hello,
    E-mail your ship to address and I will send you and any others some free samples. They are approved for cat stoves and are the fastest and cleanest of the three tested. See the test results at www.supercedar.com

    Sincerely,
    Thomas
  10. crow

    crow New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    Messages:
    88
    Loc:
    Ohio
    Hey Thomas...
    Wow! Thanks so much for the samples! I got them today and tried one this evening after a long day at work.
    It worked great! Took very little effort to get a nice fire with great coals going with virtually no kindling. I'm very impressed. AND they smell great.

    Good ,hot ,quick fire. Almost no smoke.

    Great product.
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