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What To Do With Scrap Lumber Sections?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by turbocruiser, Jan 12, 2013.

?

Is it better to burn scrap lumbers sections or to trash them?

  1. I always burn them because ...

    95.8%
  2. I never burn them because ...

    4.2%
  3. I only burn specific types of lumber ...

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. turbocruiser

    turbocruiser Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Rocky Mountains Majesty
    I'd like to get everyone's advice about burning scrap lumber sections. (Specifically and strictly dimensional dried lumber not plywood or particle-wood or pressure-treated etc.) I have heard arguments both for and against but in general what I have heard so far is:

    As an argument "for": after using up all the lumber that you can for finishing your projects the scraps are still great for fuel, you wouldn't want to waste that wonderful fuel, so, always burn the scraps.

    and then,

    As an argument "against": it is too dry to safely burn, it could cause an overfire, it is a safety issue trumping a waste issue, so, always throw away the scraps.

    And then there are certainly other arguments both for and against that I haven't heard yet and I'd just like to learn what those would be. I do lots and lots of woodworking projects from rough framing to finish carpentry and from outdoor fencing to finished furniture so I produce a lot of scraps despite always trying to make the most out of whatever wood I'm working with. Up until now I have always tossed the scraps of dimensional lumber and saved the scraps of any hardwoods and also all the cedar that I can just basically because it won't rot for a long long time. I am realizing though that unless I actually decide to start burning the bunches of scraps I've saved I'm eventually gonna end up with too many to count! So help me make up my mind, if you don't mind, so I can either start burning or start trashing! Thanks. (Hopefully I did this poll the right way!)

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  2. Mr A

    Mr A Minister of Fire

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    N. California
  3. gmule

    gmule Feeling the Heat

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    Conifer Colorado
    I burn them too. I mix them in with my regular loads
  4. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017 Feeling the Heat

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    Corapeake NC
    Burn baby burn!! I just stay away from burning plywood or particle board anything with chems it glue in it.
  5. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    No problem burning cut-offs. We burned lots of them after our recent remodel and addition. The only thing one needs to be careful of is that you don't fill the stove with it lest the stove overheat.

    They actually work out very nicely for early fall or late spring burning when one wants a quick fire but not a long fire. So stack them up and wait for the right time to burn them. Don't let them go to waste.
    Gasifier likes this.
  6. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
    4,481
    Loc:
    Northern MN
    I keep and burn all 1 x and 2 x lumber scraps, nothing gets wasted. Small pieces, and also some larger that I split, I use for kindling; others burn as is. Other than kindling, most gets burned in my Tarm gasification boiler along with splits. Some pieces are very small, and a handful or two I use for kindling in the wood stove in our living room, which is our primary heating for the house.
    Gasifier likes this.
  7. Scols

    Scols Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2012
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    Loc:
    Springs New York
    As long as its not preesure treated or plywood etc, I burn it. Especially when Im starting a new fire. I used to burn alot of it before my wood supply was caught up and I had to burn not so seasoned wood.
  8. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Central IA
    I always have a bunch of scrap saved,either various untreated softwoods brought home from jobsites I work at or hardwoods either kiln dried or local stuff I milled myself in the backyard or in the shop.

    It all gets burned,especially good for starting a new fire,replenishing a dying one or just wanting a quick fire for a couple hours in the evening.
    Backwoods Savage, ScotO and Gasifier like this.
  9. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    I've got a couple boxes of cutoffs in the shop to use as kindling. Much more to still be processed.
    Backwoods Savage, ScotO and Gasifier like this.
  10. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Massachusetts
    I have 16 contractor bags full of cut up 2x4s and knotty pine paneling after gutting the basement of my home. This linked article is the only reason I do not use those in the stove. Well, I've used some very small pieces as kindling, but have intentionally avoided using them for a load. Had 30+ bags and have been periodically taking them to a dumpster at a nearby apartment complex since I don't want to pay to have someone come get em and my local dump won't allow building materials. Someone in this area wants them to burn, just let me know. All bagged up, one just need come pick em up.
  11. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Bend, OR
    Dimensional lumber, cabinet scraps/cut-offs...anything hard or soft sans finish or treatment goes in the stove. Rick
    ScotO and PapaDave like this.
  12. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    The article on chimney sweep online starts out by saying that there are no actual studies that show there is a reason not to burn leftover lumber. I burn lumber scraps. I don't load the stove full of them and walk away.
  13. Billybonfire

    Billybonfire Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    273
    Loc:
    Lancashire NW England.
    Hi,
    I have been burning scrap lumber since October, it came from the villiage pub which was demolished a couple of years ago. Gives my splits more time to season and has helped me get 3 years ahead .
    The pub was built in 1878 so well seasoned ;).
    Still got about a months worth left.
    Here is a pic of the demolition in progress, you can see the pile of wood we are burning, some of the joists were 14"x 6" so made great square splits.
    Photo0153.jpg
  14. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    My Dad has been heating his shop for over 20 years on nothing BUT lumber scraps. Mostly 4ft long 2x4s that are one time use dunnage from his work. Cut them to 16" and stack.
    Never heard of "overfire" till I joined this site.
    Billybonfire and HDRock like this.
  15. Mr A

    Mr A Minister of Fire

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    Do you know the species of lumber used? Being built in 1878 England, I imagine the lumber could have come from anywhere in the world. some of those old timbers could be worth a fortune
    Applesister likes this.
  16. Billybonfire

    Billybonfire Feeling the Heat

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    Jul 6, 2012
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    Loc:
    Lancashire NW England.
    Hi Mr A,
    some of the timbers were oak but most softwood of some sort, burn good though.
    Tried to sell some of the oak to a local reclamation yard but they werent interested, did save some of the best bits, couldnt bring myself to saw them up.
    Quite a few nails so had to be careful with the chainsaw, some of the nails were copper and give a beautiful green flame.

    Billy.
  17. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    I burn any scraps I have and occasionally scrounge some if it easy pickings.
  18. tcassavaugh

    tcassavaugh Minister of Fire

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    too bad about the pub having to come down, 1878, the building was pretty young for europe. i've lived in places a couple of hundred years old while stationed in germany. hard to get your head around sometimes.....i'm sure that if that wood cold talk, it would tell some interesting stories.

    cass
    Billybonfire likes this.
  19. Auzzie Gumtree

    Auzzie Gumtree Feeling the Heat

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    384
    I have a roof truss manufacturer near work. i can get as much softwood as i can use. It comes in very handy for starting the fire and also for a short fires. I had to modify the small heater i have as it wouldn't let you reduce the air intake enough to stop overfireing.

    CAM00060.jpg CAM00061.jpg
    Billybonfire likes this.
  20. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    I cut a bunch of scrap 2x4s into 8 to 10 inch lengths (three large RubberMaid bins full) and split them with my Estwing Fireside Friend into strips as I need them. It makes excellent kindling. I've gone through one bin so far this season.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  21. loadstarken

    loadstarken Member

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    Loc:
    Redmond, WA
    A buddy of mine dropped off a full size pickup bed of 2x4 and 2x6 mill ends this week and I have used them in the mornings to get the fire going.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  22. RichVT

    RichVT Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    Messages:
    40
    I save all of my lumber scraps and split them for kindling in my spare time.
  23. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    Central Maine
    Burn em all.

    They split nice for fire starting.

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