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What made you burn wood?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by WellSeasoned, May 13, 2013.

  1. WellSeasoned

    WellSeasoned Guest

    Lets hear some stories on what caused you to become a wood burner..... raised that way? Save money? Friend suggested? Excuse for the wives to dress less, (or husbands ;) ) What is everybody's personal story, I'm curious, and Ill add mine in a bit
    Joful and ScotO like this.

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  2. Ansky

    Ansky Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    Messages:
    109
    Loc:
    central CT
    I wanted to save money on oil, and I liked making fires in the fireplace, and I live in the woods...so lots of free fuel available to me. Seemed like a no brainer.
    Joful, osagebow and ScotO like this.
  3. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2012
    Messages:
    787
    Loc:
    CT
    Bought a new house and while it is Nat. Gas, I'm forever frugal and heating by wood eventually pay off. I was always fighting with the wife over the thermostat as well.. Also, I enjoy the fact that it is a renewable resourced.
    WellSeasoned likes this.
  4. tomahawk

    tomahawk Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2013
    Messages:
    54
    Loc:
    Skagit County, WA
    First I was raised with a woodstove, so I knew some of what it would take to make it work for my family. I had no idea though the work that my father had to do to keep us warm. After building a house we decided it was the best option for us. We lost power for 3 days one month into moving in to our new place and I didn't want to depend on electricity to keep our place heated. Best move I ever made and the money savings are a great by product.
  5. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Messages:
    1,687
    Loc:
    New Jersey
    Hurricane Sandy, gave me wood, made me buy a saw, made me fire up the fireplace, made me saw the waste of firing up the fireplace, made me burn in my outdoor fire pit, and is now responsible for me spending all this money on my insert and all my wood scrounging... That sums it up pretty good.
    But, I had a fire place and I had an outdoor fireplace, and didn't use, but now I do because of Sandy.... I must be blessed and may not know it?
    WellSeasoned likes this.
  6. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    27,285
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    When I had my first house built it was during the oil crunch of the seventies. I had the house built without a fireplace and the builder thought I was nuts. The day after we closed on the house the wood stove and chimney were delivered and installed. When I got transferred I had a house built in five acres of oak and beech trees.

    The rest as they say, is history.
    Dave A., WellSeasoned and ScotO like this.
  7. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I've been a firebug since I was little (yes, I was that kid with the magnifying glass in the summertime, trying to burn EVERYTHING...).
    Anyway, I've always been a fan of colonial times, when you worked for everything you had....you HAD to be self-sufficient. I like to be able to see my wife and kids warm and cozy on a night when it's 0 degrees outside, knowing my hard work is keeping them warm. And, everyone in this household (even the dog) loves to sit by a fire. I don't think there is one single thing cozier than a woodburning fire, be it in the woodstove or the fireplace. I know when I'm out in my treestand in the winter deer season, and it's snowing and freezing cold, I close my eyes and think of sitting at the hearth in my kitchen.......just thinking about it makes me feel warm!
    Hills Hoard, Trooper, gmule and 4 others like this.
  8. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Messages:
    10,018
    Loc:
    Bend, OR
    Nothing made me burn wood.
    HDRock, WellSeasoned and BrotherBart like this.
  9. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
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    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    ;lol;lol
  10. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Oh, I forgot to mention....we built the addition on our house and at the time nat. gas was RIDICULOUS.....we'd have gone broke trying to heat the house. So, another benefit was saving money.......but that was just a fringe benefit.
    WellSeasoned likes this.
  11. osagebow

    osagebow Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,290
    Loc:
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    . Grew up with suburban metered gas heat, few experiences with wood stoves/fireplaces. I viewed wood stoves as dirty and unsafe. Added a pellet stove to an existing chimney to help 20+ year old dying heat pump. Did some research (mostly here)on newer epa stoves, proper chimney lining and burning practices. Got wife on board after 3 years of 2 ton+ pellet expenses and showing her stuff on here. Sold NC 30 stove, bought EPA wood stove and lined chimney. Still haven't "broke even," but 100 month electric bill max is a big change, and whole family is in on the work. (Priceless!)
    Dave A., WellSeasoned and ScotO like this.
  12. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Messages:
    755
    Loc:
    Massachusetts
    Always had fires growing up during the winter....just never a wood stove or insert. Love the ambiance of flames indoors or outside. Spent 10 years after moving up here living in a city condo with no fireplace (fortunately had a deck and a grill otherwise would have gone mad). Moved to a big house with some decent land for this area and got my first taste of heating oil prices. Put in a small insert to keep one room more cozy and reduce heating bills. Thanks to the feds and the state, converted the house to geothermal heating and cooling with electric back up. Electric requirement would be too much surge for a generator to run the heating system so we put in a larger insert in our other fireplace to keep us warm in the event of power outage. Could have kept oil for back up and run on a generator, but I thought this way would be more fun. So long as the inserts were contemporary and flush, the wife was ok with it.
    Dave A. and WellSeasoned like this.
  13. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,625
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    I had too damn much of it and if you take it to the land fill they charge you 100 a ton to get rid of it.
    WellSeasoned likes this.
  14. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    8,799
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    Grew up with secondary wood heat. Our current home, where I became obsessed, was heated with wood by the PO and for backup had the electric wall heaters. The wife and daughters love heat, lots of heat, and since it is "free" we especially enjoy upper 70s temps in the house. My daughters will either continue with wood heat after they move out or spend huge sums of money to keep their future homes warm like daddy did.
    WellSeasoned likes this.
  15. charly

    charly Guest

    Missed sitting around a fire during the summer months.. Bingo! We'll get a wood stove for the winter! Plus I was a tree climber for a while so I just loved cutting and having free heat!
    Hills Hoard, ScotO and WellSeasoned like this.
  16. WoodMan33

    WoodMan33 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2013
    Messages:
    23
    Loc:
    WA State
    I love this question. Started burning to stay warm after one day 16 inches of snow fell and knocked out the power for 3 days back in 06 with no heat, and was about in the mid 40's in the house for those 3 days, and could never find a way to get warm. After that I never want to be that cold again, so started burning wood and have never looked back.
    Trilifter7, ScotO, Dave A. and 2 others like this.
  17. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,687
    Loc:
    Indiana
    Honestly, it's all about the $ for me. Heating this shack with propane makes me want to puke. All the other stuff that comes along with it (exercise, self sufficiency, cool stuff to play with like chainsaws and whatnot, fire) are fringe benefits...benefits which I thoroughly enjoy. If it cost the same to turn up the T-stat, I would probably only burn on occasion and not 24x7.

    I think my position has shifted somewhat on all the "fringe"...but that may be because I'm fresh off the rigors of a burning season. There's gardening season and burning season for me. Without fail I can't wait for one to start and the other to end.
    Trooper, Trilifter7 and WellSeasoned like this.
  18. Nick Mystic

    Nick Mystic Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2013
    Messages:
    613
    Loc:
    Western North Carolina
    Back in 1987 I quit work as a school psychologist in Orlando, FL at the age of 36 and moved to Old Fort, NC. The previous summer, while on vacation, I was scoping out some real estate in that area for a possible move a few years down the road. As luck would have it I found a fire damaged home in Old Fort that was for sale. When I asked the Realtor how much the house was listed for he told me he hadn't talked to the owner since a fire damaged the home and that a person would just have to make an offer to see what the seller wanted. I offered $10,000 and two hours later I was the new owner! I boarded up the broken windows and nailed a patch on a hole in the roof before driving back to Orlando to work out the 1986/87 school year before packing up the next summer and heading for NC.

    I arrived with my U-Haul truck in July of 1987 and moved into the fire damaged house. There was no heating system at the time, but while doing some remodeling in the living room I discovered a beautiful brick fireplace behind a living room wall! The house was built in 1926 and the fireplace might have been the original heat source. The chimney was unlined brick that had mortar so decayed that I could lift the bricks off by hand when I climbed onto the roof! I took the chimney down to the fireplace level and cleaned all the brick and then reused them to build a three sided heat shield up to the roof (I took down the living room ceiling and created a cathedral ceiling). I then bought a used Atlanta Stove Works woodstove for $200. I did the installation myself and was soon heating with wood!

    I did all my cutting with a bow saw and scavenged down wood from a wood lot across the street from my house. Those first couple of years it was rough even getting a fire to light with such wet wood! Over the years I began to learn a bit about heating with wood and the rest is history.

    P.S. I just sold that old Atlanta Stove Works stove a few months ago for $300! As for the house, I put $7000 into it fixing it up and buying appliances for it. I lived there for 15 years and then sold it for $58,000!
    Dave A. and WellSeasoned like this.
  19. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    1,889
    Loc:
    SW Washington
    My wife made me do it.()

    True, I was not all on board at first because the economics weren't there (and still aren't with cheap electric), but I do like it, and it keeps me warm at least 5 times.
  20. WeldrDave

    WeldrDave Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    460
    Loc:
    New Jersey
    My home was build in the early 60's, "all electric"!!!..... Recently I was speaking to a neibhor, her home still basicly the way it was when built. This past winter, her heating bill between propane wall unit and electric heat, +$700.00 for one month. My electric bill, $165.00 for the same month;). That about sums it up! Also I do enjoy it very much, and not having to worry about setting a thermostat is even better.
    ScotO likes this.
  21. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    706
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    Bought a house that had an old wood/coal stove downstairs and an open fireplace upstairs. I always like fire and these were new toys to play with. When burning the open fireplace that room was warm but the rest of the house got cold. Burning the pre-EPA stove was better. When the wood fire was damped down or a coal fire burning the whole house would warm up. It was great with coal but a real wood hog. Decided there had to be something better than the open fireplace upstairs. Found this site. Found an EPA certified insert. Oil hit $4.00. The rest is history. After several years of bio-mass heating I still like playing with fire. The neat toys (Chainsaws, pickup, etc) are just icing on the cake.

    Oh, and 0 gallons of oil used to heat the house the last two winters helps to support my habit.

    KaptJaq
    Dave A. and WellSeasoned like this.
  22. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    Northern ON
    I was cold...;)
  23. Dave A.

    Dave A. Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    617
    Loc:
    SE PA
    Actually until I got my Summit insert, I didn't really like it. Growing up our first house didn't have a fireplace and recall being in other houses with fireplaces and would notice that after a fire next day there was a really bad smell in the house -- smokey smell. And when we moved I was in my teens, new house had a fireplace, they built a fire and the next day there was that smell. Fortunately they didn't build many fires while I lived there. There would be fires built in camp and scouts -- again that bad smell after wards. So when I finally moved into a house with a fireplace (the one before here), I never even used the fireplace (of course that was before I got the firebug--so now I kind of regret that I didn't even try it just to see how it worked even though I only lived there a few years.

    When I moved into this house I burnt a few fires in the fireplace, I guess because it was known that the fireplace in this house was a central feature of the house. I kind of appreciate that even more now that I've read about masonry heaters. I think the builder here was kind of trying to copy that concept. The whole central area of the house is the brick fireplace (two-sided but one side has been closed off) a brick wall coming up to it and then on the other side into the dining room there was a brick bench with a stone cap -- now I realize it was actually a bench -- we just called it the trip wall and removed it when we closed up the second opening. It jutted out into the room and seemed kind of stupid, now I realize the point was to radiate more heat and it was a warm place to sit (too late now).

    Anyway back to burning. So same thing fireplace could really warm up the whole house, but that damn awful smell the next day. So never built fires again. Looked at Vermont Castings Montpelier/Merrimac about 6 years ago and was close to buying but didn't. Finally when I got the Century insert in 2011 just to save money on the propane which had become ridiculous, I realized there wasn't that smokey smell in the house-- I guess it was all contained in stove and flue and then this year with better wood I don't think the smell in the flue was there.

    So am beginning to think that the smell may be a product of not well seasoned wood. And wonder if even with a fireplace, if you're burning dry wood, whether you get that smokey smell the next day.
    ScotO and WellSeasoned like this.
  24. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    What made me burn wood? It got cold in the house just like it does outdoors.
    ScotO, WellSeasoned and WeldrDave like this.
  25. WellSeasoned

    WellSeasoned Guest

    It all started a few years ago........ Oil furnace in a small somewhat drafty home. 2 tanks per year ran us around $1800/season and the thermostat didn't go higher than 65F and kept it lower at night. An October snowstorm arrived, we still had leaves on the trees, causing destruction with trees, huge branches coming down all over the place and power outages for a week. It was cold and life sucked. "If we had a woodstove, we would be warm right now and able to cook! Look at the back yard" I said to the wife, "Im going to need a chainsaw for all this sh*t! "(Old craftsman was dead in the shed for awhile) And so it began, went stove and saw shopping. Installed 2 months later around Christmas and have been warm ever since. Nature tested us again big time during hurricane sandy, another week, no power, but warm and bellys full. Even the neighbors partook in the warmth.
    Yea, I'm saving money, I had a 1/2 tank of oil when the stove was installed and i still have a 1/2 tank as i write this. The hydraulic splitter set it back a few months, but its helped my family, friends, and us get a few years ahead on wood supply. We are warmer, richer, and it smells so damn good. It was a snowstorm that started it all.
    rkshed, ScotO, Dave A. and 1 other person like this.

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