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Well, I am officially a wood scrounger...

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by paulgp602, Feb 13, 2006.

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  1. paulgp602

    paulgp602 Member

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    The state has been trimming trees last few weeks here in CT along the Wilbur Cross parkway in Hamden. Everyday they would neatly stack the fireplace size pieces along the highway. Its funny because I would hit the traffic backup caused by them everyday, and while I looked at the frustration on other motorists faces because of this, I was the only one with a smile on my face, because I would think to myself as I sat there in traffic " keep it coming guys, free heat"...
    I would go home and get my truck, then go back for it. I was in competition with another fellow scrounger, because sometimes he would beat me to it. lol I got alot of Beech, ash, maple and some oak.

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  2. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Welcome to the club. :)

    I scrounged about 50 rounds day before yesterday. Diameters from about 12 inches, all the way to 30 inches. Lengths from about 14" - 20". I could hardly roll some of big ones, especially up her ridge-line back yard. Luckily, the lady (on the next block who had the sign out for free firewood--red oak) was nice enough to pull her trailer out of the garage, hook it up to her Cherokee, and deliver it, and me, back to my house! Can't beat that for service! Two loads, two trips! Probably half a cord.

    I had filled my trunk twice the day before, and I pushed another load back home in my $70, cheap ash, green Chinese garden cart (broke one of the cheap ash, fence hinges doing it, and had two nuts fall off the factory assembled steering mechanism and one fence latch) the 1/2 mile back to my house, up and down our neighborhood hills (huff, puff, tough). And, I was lucky enough not to have a heart attack in the process. :)

    Nothing like free wood (heat). :)
  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Loc:
    Central NYS
    There's a nice pile of cut ash rounds stacked up at a maintenance pull-off along the NYS Thruway just east of Amsterdam that's been sitting there for more than year. I drove by the other day and was tempted. I don't know why someone else hasn't helped themselves.
  4. paulgp602

    paulgp602 Member

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    It's all about convenience thesedays. Woodburning is an old times thing. Not many people seem like they want to be bothered anymore. Everything thesedays is automatic this, pushbutton that. People have gotten themselves in a big hurry, going nowhere. They are turning into Eloi (HG wells- time machine).lol
  5. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    St. Louis, Missouri
    And I might add using cell phones... People are talking a lot more, saying little or nothing to one another. They sure do look important, though, moving so fast, multitasking, talking, driving, being rude... :)
  6. paulgp602

    paulgp602 Member

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    True.

    I was at the local dump the other day getting rid of my old couch, and this guy has his Mcdonald's drive-thru headset on for his cell phone talking to who knows-while dumping his trash. I can imagine his conversation with the person on the other end of that call...It's like "ok, I am at the dump and it smells really bad here, now I am dumping the trash, now I am getting into my Lexus SUV.

    Can't people do without communicating for one minute? Geez....
  7. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    One of the biggest scrounge problems I have is that the really big rounds laying on the road side are too big to lift into my van. I know of several places where there at some huge rounds. I see them while driving by. I've stopped and when I walk up to them, I realize these things come up way past my knee. I'm tempted to just split them right there. I think I'm not bold enough yet.

    I found a bunch of rounds behind my Dr.'s office. Went to grab a bunch and this guy comes out of no where telling me that one of the Dr's was going to grab them. That was 6 months ago and their still there. Nice big locust rounds that must weigh 100 lbs a peice. It's killing me to know they're just sitting there not drying.

    Really, there is so much wood available if you just tell everyone you know that you need wood, that I can't imagine paying for it. I sort of find it fun to dig out the sources. Just lots of people I know want trees cut. Around here there is this plague called Dutch Elm disease. Kills all the elms. Then everyone wants them cut down. Elm is really nice wood to burn too. Personally I find it to be nearly as long burning as Oak, and it burns such that the stove glass stays cleaner than any other wood. I just hate splitting it.
  8. ERPARKER

    ERPARKER New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
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    Loc:
    Arlington, VA
    I just scrounged my first wood. Someone apparently had a tree taken down a few years ago but waited until recently to haul the rounds out to the curb. I hopped in my pick-up and filled the bed with all the easy-to-split rounds I could find. For the most part, it split like butter. It was just very dry pine and burned hot & fast, but I'll still heat the house for a couple of weeks on probably less than two hours work.

    It felt odd to be rummaging through a wood pile after dark on an urban street but I think I'll get over it (and sort of hope I get used to it).
  9. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Casper Wyoming
    How do you like your Declaration ER?
  10. adrpga498

    adrpga498 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
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    Loc:
    New Jersey
    There was a recent post talking about a web site "free-cycle" . I made a short post about removal of fallen trees and unwanted firewood. The 2nd. day I had 6 posts requesting I load and remove unwanted wood. Now I have 3 pending "accounts" to pic up after the snow melts . Try the site and see how you make out. Kinda makes scrounging more...... "official" having owners approval.
  11. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Warren,

    Don't worry about black locust rotting. It won't. Where I come from in Wisconsin they used to use it for fence posts. Many of those posts, put into the ground during the Depression, are still standing.
  12. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Be careful scrounging wood. A few years ago I was on the way home from work one night. At a construction site on the way they stacked the scrap lumber by the curb every day for the trash pickup the next day. I stopped to get me a trunk load of kindling for the wood stove. Headlights come up behind me, handcuffs come out and here I stand in suit and tie being read my Miranda rights. Charged with theft from a construction site.

    At the station I finally got them to call the damned construction company owner and he told them to let me go, it was just trash. He got me on the phone and said to come by anytime and take all I wanted. I told him I had been about as entertained by his scrap pile as I cared to be.

    The cop admitted he knew it was just trash but that it wasn't his job to determine that. It was just his job to arrest somebody removing property from a construction site.

    One man's trash is another man's felony.
  13. kd460

    kd460 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    I have had no trouble getting wood by just putting the word out that I am "looking". Many times people will mention it to others as well, so word of mouth has paid off. Just scored some red oak, dry, ready to go, and some boxelder that will be ready next season.

    In michigan, we have the ash borer beetle problem. So we have to be careful about what we haul and where. It seems the laws to trsnsport wood change weekly. The latest has been "can't transport firewood accross county lines". That was the statement I got from the local state police post. I do see people hauling it anyways. It used to be only the transport of ash was an issue, now they are saying "all wood species". Whos knows for sure ?
  14. JAred

    JAred New Member

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    125
    About free wood, I ran into I fellow I went to high school with at a bar a couple of weeks ago. Well any way we started talking and it turns out he works at a local log home builder. I told him I called there at his work and they wanted 70 bucks for a cord of log scraps. He told me to come on by and take as much as I wanted! This stuff is great! Loaded the truck to the cab with 18-20'' pine rounds about 16-18'' long. It splits very easy and is very clean because theres no bark. Any way I love this stuff best free wood ever.
  15. joshuaviktor

    joshuaviktor New Member

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    Loc:
    Northwest New Jersey
    Yeah we have a saw mill here in Northern NJ that will cut it to the length you want (close to it, anyway) and drop a truckload at your house for about 425. Comes out to 3-4 cords of slab wood, mostly hardw ood.

    Not bad, all things considered.
  16. ERPARKER

    ERPARKER New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Arlington, VA
    Hi Shane,
    We're pretty happy with it. I posted a fairly extensive review on it several weeks ago in the "ratings" section: http://www.hearth.com/ratesingles/rate1722.html

    The creosote problem I mentioned was OT (operator trouble). I've learned to run the stove a bit hotter. It still doesn't heat the entire house but that's because we have a very open staircase in the middle of the house. All the heat goes upstairs before it reaches the far end of the house.

    The dealer was great. They installed it a month ago but I just received the bill for the remaining 66% we owe.

    Our visitors love it! On several occasions we've had guests just plop down on the floor in front of it with a look of contentment. Our niece stayed with us a few days and she wanted to sleep on the couch in the room with the insert.
  17. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    You can get anything you want, at Alice's Restaurant.
  18. hydestone

    hydestone New Member

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    I found myself tying 16' long pieces of 4x4 dunnage I picked up off my jobsite to the roof of my station wagon last week for kindling.
  19. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Virginia
    All my wood has been scrounged. Locust. Oak. Maple. Cedar. Sumac. Sycamore. A few Pine. Mystery Wood. (lots of mystery wood!). I like variety. I thought I had gone a little overboard in my 'wood gathering' enthusiasm as I quickly established 3 sizable stacks for next year. But after hunkering down during this weekend's snowstorm, and burning 24x7 all weekend, I realized just how fast I can go through wood. What seemed excessive will now probably just be sufficient next year. I better go scround a few more logs.

    The pic is of my wood processing area. I stand slightly downhill on the drop off and chop my logs on the railroad ties. i actually use one up on the gravel, not my actual architectural timbers. There are 2 timbers below ground you can't see, all locked in place with giant rebar nails.

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  20. hydestone

    hydestone New Member

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    When they ship structural steel or heavy ductile iron pipe they use dunnage (usually 4x4's of oak) to separate lifts of material etc.
  21. carpniels

    carpniels Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Rome, NY, USA
    Hi Scroungers,

    Do you always ask the land owner for permission? Or, if you see a tree or branch along the road, do you bring your saw and cut it up and take it?

    Carpniels
  22. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    I always ask. If I'm feeling lazy I look their phone number up online and give them call. Either way I get about 90% success ratio.
  23. CountryBoy

    CountryBoy New Member

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    Loc:
    Southern Ohio
    Our local utility has been clearing line for the past 2 months and I spend the weekends driving around where they have been and loading up. I've gotten over 3 cords so far of oak, ash maple and a little elm, cherry and locust. I haven't had to even touch the wood on my farm that I was going to cut for next year. So dang, I'm a year ahead now.

    I'm probably boring my wife to death, having her come out and look at the wood I scounged on the weekend.

    And Warren gotta echo Eric's comments on the locust, don't worry about it rotting. It is considered primo fencing material cause it won't rot.

    CB

    Edited to Add: Yep, I always ask the owner, if one can be found or seen, otherwise ya might get shot at or a dog sicced on ya.
  24. JBinKC

    JBinKC Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    Lake of the Ozarks
    Who isn't. I think it really defeats the purpose of using a wood stove if you have to pay retail for wood. Anyway my current source for next year's burn is the city park as they did some pruning this year due to some windstorm damage 15 months ago. Most of it is white/red oak and red maple. They also let me cut fallen limbs in the wooded unimproved areas which for the most part is seasoned by just signing a liability waiver with no permit fee.
  25. Rick

    Rick Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Connecticut
    One way I have gotten wood in the past, split seasoned wood, was by asking people who are moving if I can have it before they move, assuming the new buyers are ok with that. I got a couple of cords that way last year, and I'm getting a couple more this year. When I moved out of my last house I gave away 6 cords of beautiful red oak. Still hurts to think about.

    Rick
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