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True Fuel or True Fool

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Dune, Feb 7, 2009.

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  1. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    So I took on this huge stair job, super ornamental, and out of town, so I figured to make it easier on the lady of the house, I would buy some sawdust logs. They heat swell, and are easy to handle and get lit etc. but they sure do burn fast. Some days she has burned 3 bags ($6.60 per) by the time I get home. I am thinking it would have been cheaper(much) to get an oil delivery. Any thoughts? I originated this thread in the ash can because I didn't want to denigrate somebodys product on a public forum.

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  2. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    A situation like this calls for tuff love. Quit enabling her. When she gets cold she'll figure out how to use real firewood.
  3. Heem

    Heem New Member

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    maybe one to get it going then nice regular wood? I split up some "smallies" for my wife and she keeps it going all day long.
  4. Der Fuirmeister

    Der Fuirmeister Member

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    Good advice from the previous two posts. Hand pick some dry stuff. Teach her.......she'll be fine. Most wives apreciate that their husband's are trying to save money.

    I wouldn't spend the equivalent of $594 per month ($6.60 / bag X3 X30) to heat with wood.
  5. rphurley

    rphurley Feeling the Heat

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    I just posted a thread asking how to get the best use from these things. Got some good advice. Essentially, teach her to load a bunch in a tight pile, dampen down the air, and not reload just because the fire went out. The stove is still thowing heat and she could open up the air and get some flame back if she likes. I'm just burning the ton I got. I think they're great in the am when I get up, and ok just to supplement once in awhile, but there are people who get good results from these things.
    R
  6. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Thankyou for the replies. Is there a table somewhere that compares cost/btu between firewood, sawdust logs and conventional (fossil fuels)? I really don't want to ever burn oil again anyhow, but am curios.
  7. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Not sure about any with sawdust logs, but you can find all sorts of tables of various woods. However, most of those tables do not agree with each other.
  8. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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  9. SaratogaJJ

    SaratogaJJ New Member

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    I get very good results from mixing the compressed sawdust logs with regular cordwood. Once I establish a decent coal bed, I’ll mix either 2 or 3 compressed logs (depending on how cold it is outside) running N-S, with a small gap in between each. Then I’ll put 2 splits running E-W across the top of the compressed logs. Once I get good flame going, I’ll damp down the primary air in steps over the course of maybe 30 minutes, from 100% down to 50%, then down to ~25% and then down to between 5% and 10%.

    In that configuration, I can get at least 6 hours and, in most cases, a little over 7 (again, depending on how cold it is outside) before I need to reload. If I need to get a really long burn time, I’ll make a tightly packed cube of 4 Envi-blocks, with the bottom ones running E-W and the top ones running N-S. Again, you need a good established coal bed before you do this, and it’s best to rake the coals forward slightly so that there is a slight slope running towards down towards the back of the stove. In that case, I can easily get 7 and as much as 8 hours of burn time.

    I will be the first to admit that good seasoned cordwood gives you more bang for the buck. However, I was willing to pay, in my specific case, a relatively small premium in order to enjoy the benefits of the compressed logs, including ease of stacking and storing, less ash, and long burn times. Now, that premium could very well increase over time, and as I develop a better storage infrastructure, I’ll probably increase the amount of cordwood I burn.

    However, if you can get a decent price for the bricks, then they can be a good choice - I don’t think they’ll ever be as economical as seasoned cordwood, but you have to know why you are paying that premium.

    One last thing - there is a lot of trial and error involved with the compressed bricks. I’ve been futzing around with them all winter, and I have certainly found that in different configurations, you get a lot of different results of burn times and resulting heat. I’ve found some good ways to burn them, but I’m sure that there is also room for improvement on my part.
  10. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, some food for thought there.
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