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Unhappy with your stove/fireplace... and using wood? Do tell...!

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Mr. Kelly, Nov 15, 2009.

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  1. flash49

    flash49 New Member

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    Hey Den...Where in Va. are you located?

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  2. kenny chaos

    kenny chaos Minister of Fire

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    Rochester,ny
    If you don't need it, it's expensive entertainment.

    I hate it.
  3. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    My primary motivation was a brawl with an arrogant propane company; I probably wouldn't heat with wood if I had access to NG. The pyro instinct would be better served by a large fireplace and a few face cord of purchased split the day it was delivered wood a year.

    A few considerations:

    1. We move 8 - 10 cord 15 ft from the garage door to the stove every year. This creates a constant mess no matter how careful you are. This will likely affect your wife long before you notice it.

    2. Processing and storing 2-3 years of wood on your property takes a lot of space and can cause problems with uptight neighbors. My area is about 40 x 40 with nearly 10' high stacks and a 12' high heap. I would probably have to triple the area if I didn't go vertical with storage. Your wife will think there is wood everywhere.

    3. Processing wood takes a lot of equipment and time. You can buy your way out of some of the time, but you are unlikely to do better than a day to produce a cord of wood unless you go into the firewood business. And, you can easily spend a lot more than a day to produce a cord of wood. The first few years while you are getting your supply built up will require a lot of time. Your wife will think you are nuts.
  4. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    How did your neighborhood fare in the ice storm last December? Most of my family was without power and heat for 1-2 weeks.

    Most of my family came to my house. I didn't loose power, but if if had they probably would have been here anyway. My uncle lives on the next street over and didn't loose power either. They were still at my house. My 91 year old Grandfather loved sleeping on the pullout couch next to the stove. He'd complain that he slept too well.

    This year, I have a newborn. The wife and I take turns one night on/ one night off watching her so we can get some sleep. That couch is on duty again and the stove is well fed. The furnace is turned on, but hasn't come on.

    It will take a good amount of time to find and process your own wood. But the amount of security it affords is well worth it in my opinion. Burning wood is a lifestyle.

    BTW, much of my wood for this year and next is from that ice storm.

    Matt
  5. thinkxingu

    thinkxingu Minister of Fire

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    Hello,
    I'll say this:
    1. When we had an old smoke-dragon (70's Pro-Former Z), it was too much maintenance and clean-up.
    2. When we bought the Englander 13, we loved that it was easier to run, BUT it was in the wrong place for us (in the basement, when we are almost never there) and it was fairly hard to run with consistency--burn times/peaks and valleys in the heat.
    3. Our new stove is much better quality, in a better place, and we have drier wood.

    SO, I've learned that quality, placement, and wood can make the difference between being stoked or disappointed.

    S
  6. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I do have access to NG and my motivation is cost, comfort, and lifestyle. When NG is cheap, I burn less wood.

    We've never had a power outage that long but we were cozy warm when it did go out for several hours in -40 temps while my neighbors were outside messing with their backup generators.
  7. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    Hey Flash, I'm in the Richmond area. You? I guess my reply to Mr. Kelly, turned into my intro:) Lessee. . .I was visiting Mom around this time last year, and after noticing that the stove wasn't pumping out the heat, I inspected the pile of oak & maple in the yard. "Mom, where did you get this green wood?" Classifed ad in the paper. The Wood Man had passed away, and apparently he was the last of a vanishing breed, like honest bankers. Yes, unfortunately, unregulated markets attract participants who are basically criminals. After trying to get seasoned wood from many vendors who brought stuff like oak that managed to be rotten in the outer layers, yet still relatively green. . .and also bends time & space by being a 'half cord' in a small pickup. I ended up buying wood bricks to get Mom through the winter. These had some, um. . .interesting properties, but at least they were dry. So yeah, Mr. Kelly, burning wood is something of a lifestyle choice, and a PITA, and even buying wood can be its own problem. . .
  8. cycloxer

    cycloxer New Member

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    Yeah on my November gas bill I am paying $1.17 per therm. With my 80% efficient furnace this works out to $14.50 per mil Btu. I'm paying 250 for a cord of wood. With a wood stove burning at 75% efficiency this works out to $15 per mil Btu. So, yeah, NG is a far better deal right now. I don't think this is necessarily going to be the case going forward.
  9. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

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    Perplexed,

    Do you find that the alligator chainsaw is enough to get all your wood or do you supplement with larger pieces that you get by other means? Thanks for the mention of the alligator chainsaw. I'd never heard of it, but it sounds like just what I need.
  10. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    It's hard to compare prices since we use a different unit of measure and there are all sorts of additional charges but last month our average daily gas use was 7 cubic meters versus 2 a year ago when I burned much more wood. That's 198 cubic metres of gas for the last month totaling $56.20. This includes DHW and cooking. That's less than $2 a day for everything so burning wood would not have saved me much. It seems to work out that as it gets colder, I burn more wood keeping my gas consumption down to about $2 a day of which DHW and cooking are included.

    I pay $100 a cord for logs that I process into firewood so when gas is cheap, the wood lasts longer.
  11. Lumber-Jack

    Lumber-Jack Minister of Fire

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    As I have already mentioned in this forum, I would be much further ahead "financially" if I just went to work for the day instead of going out cutting wood with my boys, but I enjoy the times spent getting wood much more.
    It's a lifestyle, a hobby shall we say, you either like it, or you don't.
  12. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Perhaps, but what price tag can one put on having zero firewood buying drama? I know exactly how much wood I have. I know exactly where it came from. I know how long it's been down and how long it's been split and stacked. I never cut green wood and lie to myself saying it's "seasoned" only to find out later that it is in fact green.

    I guess if one has a wood guy one trusts a lot of that goes away, but lets face it, wood guys are a skeezy bunch.
  13. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Not much difference between scrounging green wood and buying green wood and seasoning it yourself, except perhaps cost. Either way there is a cost, just depends on how well you are already outfitted. If you have the space to stockpile a 2 or 3 year supply, you're not at the mercy of a supplier.
  14. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    Good summary of wood acquisition, Redd and LL. Mr. Kelly, 3 cords is a large order from an unknown vendor. Dumptruck? I'd check the moisture of several pieces from the truck before any unloading happens, and after dumping, several pieces that were in the bottom of the truck, and if any is green I'd ask them to leave & take their wood with them. Heating with wood is enough of a PITA without fighting wet wood. You won't be happy, and the Mrs. will not be impressed. Good lucK with the transaction. :)
  15. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    Are all posts on here limited to 6,000 chrs, or is that my special punishment for using a mobile connection? Okay, so after the acquisition hassle, you just have to store the wood somewhere dry and feed it to the stove when needed, @ 3 am if that's how the cookie crumbles with the burn times on a particular day, which even the most ardent wood burner does not enjoy. . .hence the frequent posting here on extended / overnight burns.
  16. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    Just tell her it'll cut deeply into your stool time at the local sports bar.
    It'll cut even deeper into the ooglin' and chasin' other women time.
    Maybe even have to cut back to just an hour or so a week of downloading porn.

    But you're willling to make sacrifices for a new hobby that'll keep ya around the house and out of her hair.
  17. yanksforever

    yanksforever Member

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    It's good exercise and it gets you out of the house for awhile....if you know what I mean. :lol:

    Oh yeah..i forgot..it keeps the oil or gas bill at a minimum so your wife can shop more! :)
  18. keydiver

    keydiver New Member

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    Da islands mon!
    I told the wife the pick up was for hauling fire wood and the occasional run to the dump. What its for is hauling scuba gear!
  19. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    She is correct in that upfront cash outlay. It hurts. Instead of getting ready for wood heat it could be drawing interest at least.

    Lots of work: true, especially in the first 2 years, then it slacks off unless you increase the size of your home. That part about loading the stove several times a day is not correct though. With today's stoves they do not need the attention that the older stoves did.

    You very well might be nuts. If so, you've come to the right place to be with others in the same boat! Wood will not take over your life but you will certainly come to appreciate wood more than you can imagine.

    What's the price of oil?
  20. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Ya, I would love to have a new Velokraft NoCom bike too but they are well over $10,000 now.....and that bike does not have a motor. Guess I'll have to stick to my Bacchetta Giro 26.
  21. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    LOL

    I should have known you'd go for something close to the ground. You split sitting down, don't use a chopping block... fits right in.

    I used to race on a Bianchi. I ran a bike shop and officiated at Nationals and Provincials. The wife raced an Eddy Merckx.
  22. Mr. Kelly

    Mr. Kelly Member

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    Ok, here's an update to my original post yesterday...

    The truck came today and dumped two very large piles of wood in our turnaround. Ughhh... It was a VERY big pile! This was the maiden voyage. So, I coerced the wife to come out with me to acclimate to our new life. She was not pleased. As we loaded the wheelbarrow with piece after piece, she grumbled and groaned and found every conceivable argument as to how this whole wood thing is going to drive me/us crazy, and how we're spending all this money on a stove and wood, when our barn is leaning to one side and our garage has more water on the floor than the Charles River. She declared that she had little value for the ecological advantages of wood, or the tradition and sentiment that I valued that were connected to burning wood. This went on and on... I was just crossing my fingers and toes that this experimental project was going to turn our house into a sauna. If not, my ... was grass, if you know what I mean!

    Then, things started to change... We began to chat while we worked, and we were beginning to see the nice stacks of wood begin to take shape. We both working as a team, with an assembly-line process thing happening. We both had a little bit of sweat building, as we saw the pile get just a little bit smaller. As we finished our 3hr. chore, we only really got about 1/3 of this really big pile done. I was expecting her to have the 'tude about that, too, but instead, she turned to me with a little bit of a smile and said, "You know, that wasn't bad, it was actually kind of FUN!" Hooray! I was certainly beat. She was beat too, although she's in better shape than I. BUT, there seemed to be a bit of hope that this pursuit might actually bring forth new family adventures, as well as a warmer house this winter!

    Also, I am guilty of doing exactly what everyone on here said NOT to do, and that is to accept a delivery of wood without truly inspecting it. Not sure how impressed I was with this wood. It did have the baseball bat sound when hit, but wasn't grey or splitting at the ends. It was apparently cut last December around the time of our big ice storm. Well, live and learn. If it doesn't burn well, I know another place that you can see from the road that has wood that "looks" more seasoned from the road. Maybe we'll get a cord or two of that for this year, and save the stuff I got this year for next.

    It will still be a couple of weeks before the stove is delivered. I'm still building the hearth, which has the framing done, then I have to have the chimney installed. One way or the other... things are in progress!
  23. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    If I had bought the right stove the first time, I would've had about a 2 year payback on my investment in my stove and flue but the satisfaction of sitting here by the fire and not having to have turned on the furnace yet this year (and most likely for the rest of the winter) makes it all worthwhile. My wife was hesitant at buying our first stove and even more with our second but she couldn't be happier. There is nothing as satisfying as watching the fire burn in your stove and having the gas/electric continually dropping your budget billing payment. And the heat from a wood stove feels so much better than a furnace.

    Good luck!
  24. andybaker

    andybaker Feeling the Heat

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    I grew up burning wood, in fact, a couple of the first pictures of me as a toddler is of me poking a fire with a stick up at the cabin. Burning seems to become a part of your life. It takes a few years to grow into what it takes to get your supply and equipment into a comfortable rutine. Personally I enjoy getting wood. What works for me is spending as little as possible. I'm not cheap but I am frugal. I like building my pile-makes you feel like you've accomplished something. I have two saws, two mauls, lots of wedges, sledge, couple axes, two cant hooks, two pulp hooks, numerous gloves and a hydraulic splitter. Except for one axe and lots of gloves all of the other stuff was given to me. I have a minivan with a hitch and borrow a friends trailer to haul wood. I've made contacts with numerous people/friends to find the kind of wood I want and I've never had a problem finding wood-it seems to grow everywhere. I only have room for two years worth but that hasn't been a problem since learning from people on here how to dry wood. I go threw periods of the year I go wood crazy, get done and then leave it alone for months. It is a lot of work but there is nothing as relaxing as being in front of a fire. My wife does think I'm nuts with wood but every time it starts to get cold she is the first one to ask for a fire. I've had years when I've saved $200-$300 a month compared to my neighbors gas bills-they're still cold and we're warm. I laugh when the kids friends come over and lavish over how nice and warm it is when at home their houses are freezing. I'll admit it's got to be an obsession but if not this it would be something else. I'll keep going as long as I can. My son says when he grows up he's going to own a furnace. Some of his friends would pay to help me if they could. Must be something in the blood. Put your wife in front of a fire and let her feel what it's like to have heat that sinks in all the way down to the bones instead of heat that just heats air around you. Good luck.
  25. kenny chaos

    kenny chaos Minister of Fire

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    I went to a whore house in Nevada several times.
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