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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. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,584
    Loc:
    South Shore, MA
    My wife went back to school. I had 2 jobs to float the boat but the second job I would be laid off in the winter most times (construction) . In winter time when work was slow a heating bill was a tough added bill to swallow. I had the time and enjoyed the work associated with wood and here I am years later still going at it. My wife graduates in 11 days :)
    Joful, Trilifter7, ScotO and 3 others like this.

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  2. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    5,740
    Loc:
    Northern MI - in the mitten
    There was a stove in the house we bought in '06.
    It all went to heck after that.
  3. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Messages:
    6,205
    Loc:
    Carver, MA.
    Built a log home the stove was part of it from day one..

    Ray
    WeldrDave, ScotO and WellSeasoned like this.
  4. n3pro

    n3pro Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    551
    Loc:
    Enola, PA (near Harrisburg the unknown Capitol.
    When we moved into this house July 2001 just before getting married June 2002 it had heat pump. I wasn't happy, thermostat up to 80 and it still felt chilly in here in the winter. August of 2002 just before the first year used home warrantee ran out the heat pump died, $380 according to the paperwork, so I paid the extra money for a second year. Summer of 2003 heat pump died again, another $300 bucks to the warrantee company. Winter of 2004, the coldest frigging day of the year the heat pump died AGAIN! This time was on my money. Had a friend working for a commercial HVAC contractor at the time. He came over and said it was well undersized, that's why I was having all the problems. Looking at my options, he said propane would be the fastest and give me what i wanted, actually hot heat. This was on a Thursday, Friday evening he was ripping out the heat pump and inside unit. Saturday had a "favor deal" of a propane tank filled and delivered, new propane inside and outside unit. I loved it but after that fiasco I said, never again will I be without a back up heat.

    We just have a barrel stove at the Cornwall Ranger Station Amateur Radio Club, and for only a little barrel and crappy wood we got nice heat. It was then I started thinking it would be a great back up source. Internet search brought me here !!!. That when I started reading, and educating myself. No chimney here and no personal experience I went to the local dealer and in 2006 had the Napoleon 1100C and chimney installed. Well, first winter was just evenings, and weekends but the more I burned the more I wanted too. The bug bit me! I survived and dealt with a too small stove for a few years. Again my original intention wasn't heat the whole house, just as a back up. This brings me to last year when we upgraded to the Englander 30. Still use propane on the days that it is too warm for a fire but too cold without and days that illness or work gets in the way.

    Growing up we had a Timberline that my dad put in during the oil crisis in the 70's. I only remember one fire growing up in the early 80's. We were all sitting around the living room watching T.V. in the winter and the power went out. Dad fired up the wood stove. Later when dad went to reload a spark flew out unknown and burned the carpet. Scared mom so much she said never again, she will freeze before he touches that stove.
  5. mcollect

    mcollect Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    121
    Loc:
    Garrett County, Md
    We built a custom home in the mountains of western Maryland. The house had a double sided fireplace between the living room and dining room. It was beautiful, but when it was going the house lost about ten degrees. Fro my wifes Christmas present I gave her a wood stove. She LOVES a fire. We added a Jotul 550 insert, now it heats the entire house!! We have 35 acres of woods and the house is warm all winter with out the propane ever kicking on. Plus I got a new chainsaw and a splitter. Yes she helps split and stack as she loves the fire and now I love the free heat!
  6. WeldrDave

    WeldrDave Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    460
    Loc:
    New Jersey
    I "NEVER" would wish hardship on anyone, but Hurricane Sandy in a "weird way" blessed many of us wood burners down here. I wound up with about 6+ cord of fallen free wood.
    WellSeasoned and raybonz like this.
  7. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    15,061
    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    $ . . . oil at the time was selling for close to or over $4 a gallon. Wood was pretty much free except for the gas and oil and time. It was a no-brainah for this Main-ah.
  8. Havendalefarm

    Havendalefarm Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2013
    Messages:
    65
    Loc:
    New Haven ,NY
    I grew up poor and rural and didn't know everybody didn't heat with wood till I went to school and had friends in town. Now I am still rural, still poor and still burning wood.
  9. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    14,861
    Loc:
    Northern IL
    I was tired of all the free time I had and found an opportunity to spend a ridiculous amount of money on a chainsaw and said to myself "I'm in".o_O
  10. Shari

    Shari Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    2,254
    Loc:
    Wisconsin
    Oil was close to $4/gallon. Huge medicals bills. It was either sell the house to pay medical bills or find ways to lower daily living expenses & use those savings to pay the medical bills. The simple conclusion was switch to wood heat.
    WellSeasoned, raybonz and PapaDave like this.
  11. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,168
    Loc:
    Northern ON
    only posting again because I'm too lazy to go back and "like" every other post so far - some great stories...
    WeldrDave and WellSeasoned like this.
  12. WellSeasoned

    WellSeasoned Guest

    I couldn't agree more. We are in a special club. A club made of hard workers, keeping their families warm and being frugal. My hat is off to all of you.
  13. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Messages:
    1,621
    Loc:
    Connecticut
    Save $$$$.....and save $$$ we have, plus it's good exercise, but the $$$ was the reason to start
    WellSeasoned and WeldrDave like this.
  14. teutonicking

    teutonicking Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    385
    Loc:
    Maryland
    We had two winters in a row in Maryland (2009-2010 and 2010-2011) where we had major winter storms and lost power (and heat) for 6+ days. At the time, I had one newborn baby boy and a 2 year old girl, and I couldn't keep them warm. Also, the snow was so deep that we couldn't drive anywhere else. After it happened the second time, I said this will never happen again. Now I've got a Progress Hybrid wood stove and about 12 cords of wood in my stacks. 'Nuff said! :)
    WellSeasoned, raybonz and PapaDave like this.
  15. dyerkutn

    dyerkutn Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Messages:
    255
    Loc:
    Boston NW suburbs
    I am not really an official full time wood burner yet--hope to be next winter--but here is what happened. An old CDW India stove was in the house when I moved in, in 1999. I had done a bunch of hiking/camping as a kid and also when my boys were growing up we vacationed in Vermont by camping--tent to sleep in and cooked over open fires. I had never seen a stove before but I thought "Hmmm--an indoor campfire and no rain guaranteed". I started playing around with it more and more, got the hang of the catalytic converter and after a few years started ordering small amounts of wood to be delivered. A few years ago I decided to try and rely on the wood heat whenever I could. I stumbled onto this forum a couple of years ago looking for replacement handles for the stove and started getting ideas of what might be possible if I really got serious. I now have a new larger stove (T5) but I kept the handles for nostalgia (I loved the little stove, even thought it wasn't very efficient), I collected pallets everywhere I could and I am now slowly collecting wood to season -- c/s/d a little at a time--and maybe spending the money next winter for kiln dried and bricks-----that is what this forum has done to me!! I hope eventually to save money but even if I don't I love the idea of not relying on oil and being a little more self-sufficient when the grid is not working.
    raybonz, Dave A. and WellSeasoned like this.
  16. westkywood

    westkywood Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    366
    Loc:
    Kentucky
    $$$$$$$$$
    WellSeasoned likes this.
  17. Coog

    Coog Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Messages:
    153
    Loc:
    North West Illinois
    Reason number one and the most important; to teach work ethic to my boys. Second, I just cannot find a food purpose for a gas fireplace (replaced gas unit with wood burner). Wood heat is 100 times more comfortable than a gas furnace or even typical radiant heat, IMO. Lastly and least important, to save money.
    WellSeasoned likes this.
  18. Coog

    Coog Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Messages:
    153
    Loc:
    North West Illinois
    Oh, plus I have been making fires since I was a little kid in the old smoke dragon and enjoy it. Plus it is nice to have when the lights go out and it is zero outside with a hard NW wind.

    ...and It is great relief from the office after a week of badgering from the boss. Sometimes getting good and tired from a day of wood handling is just the ticket. Takes my mind off things. I am a hyper person anyway and get a bit edgy and anxious without some physical strain....and I don't mean a mile or 2 run. I mean hard physical labor.
    bag of hammers and WellSeasoned like this.
  19. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    Messages:
    1,508
    Loc:
    WI, Milw
    House 1960 2k sq ft all electric back then, as electric was least expensive. Electric started crawling sky high, so switched furnace & hot water to gas. Still there were $700 utility bills in the winter, Did insulation, windows ect converted dryer to gas and cook top, Built in oven still electric added wood heat ( cheap hot blast furnace and new HF gas furnace cut the bills to about $200, Added wood stove, nc 30 , heats the whole place most of the time. Bills under $100/mo in winter now and that's with the annual 7-12% price increases over that last 10 years. Seldom use wood or gas furnaces unless temps drop below zero for more than 24 hours.
    Too bad I can't heat my shop (1800 sq ft) the same way, city won't allow. Landlord, likely, would not be keen on it either.
    Dave A., raybonz and WellSeasoned like this.
  20. dafattkidd

    dafattkidd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,510
    Loc:
    Sound Beach, LINY
    I've always been a pyro. As a kid we had fires all the time. We bought this house 6 years ago. It was originally a 1932 beach bungalow, but had a few extensions over the years. It had very little insulation when we first moved in. We survived the first winter, but racked up some debt paying $800-$1000/month in oil. It was rough. I remember the second December we were in the house we had one day that was in the 30s and windy. We couldn't keep the place above 64* even with the added assistance of electric space heaters. I had to go to work leaving my wife and 1 year old in a cold house.

    We installed our first insert a month later. The Napoleon 1101 made a huge difference for us. A year later we upgraded to the Osburn 2400i. That was a huge improvement. We can heat exclusively with wood no matter how cold or windy. Wood heat has been a tremendous blessing to our family.

    Each year I insulate another section of the house. It's a lot easier to heat this place than it used to be. Wood heat allows us to stay warm during the process. We've saved thousands of dollars heating with wood, and I'm allowed to express my pyro tendencies in a healthy way.
    raybonz, WellSeasoned and Dave A. like this.
  21. flhpi

    flhpi Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Messages:
    130
    Loc:
    Southern Ohio
    Back in my pre-school days I would throw a fit and cry because I was too young to go with dad to cut wood. In grade school dad would get me up early to go get wood with him. My parents always burned wood.

    Except my time in the Army and college and a few short stays in an apartment I always burned and cut wood. When I sold a house and the buyers wanted the stove and chimney removed I was confused. I thought everyone wanted to save on heating bills.

    Burning wood is the standard in my house now. My girlfriend goes in the woods with me and works, her boys split and stack wood also. When I buy or build my next house location of stove and heat flow will be a major factor.

    I have propane for backup and cooking and electric water heater. My lowest electric bill was $38 and I use less than 100 gallons of propane a year ( I have to travel for work and have to use my backup).

    Self sustainability is one of my main reasons I burn wood.
    raybonz and WellSeasoned like this.
  22. DevilsBrew

    DevilsBrew Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    Messages:
    659
    Long story short - I hated stoves last year and wanted nothing to do with them. I was solar girl. One day a nice guy offered to send me an altered oven when mine broke. I started checking out his work and realized it was pretty cool. Next thing I knew I discovered that I had the Pyro gene. After that I became fascinated by what guys with thick foreign accents from countries with no summers MacGyvered. That led me here.
    raybonz and WellSeasoned like this.
  23. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    14,861
    Loc:
    Northern IL
    I do not type with an accent.:mad:
    WellSeasoned and DevilsBrew like this.
  24. Got Wood

    Got Wood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    899
    Loc:
    Dutchess Cty, NY
    I wanted some new man toys to play with - splitter, chain saw, fiskars, wedges, mauls, etc

    Actually, it was a combo or oil cost and always liking a fire be it in a pit outside or a fireplace inside.
    WellSeasoned and DevilsBrew like this.
  25. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    Messages:
    434
    Loc:
    SE CT
    Cash it is that simple. leaky 1874 house not enough money for iol even though the boiler very effiecent Cold start and 85 % effecient.. Wood still wildly less money in the NE even when buying it. At 61 i will not be cold again because I am lazy that simple. If the power goes out as it has in the last two years for a week i will not be cold and will cook and dohave a generator but that is only to make hot water for a shower or run the clothes washer and hang them out to dry.
    WellSeasoned likes this.

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