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Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by BrowningBAR, May 15, 2012.
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I buy uncut trees from the State forest service.
I scrounge. 2 of my trees & 2 trailer loads of construction site scrounges, so far this year.
I have & may in the future buy log length (uncut logs)
As of this posting, not yet bought C/S/D wood.
Didn't vote for one since not just one applied. Flexibility to do what's needed or available at the time.
Primary now is uncut trees, bought from Alaska
I just love to c/s/s, so scrounging it is for me. I love the feeling of coming in from working on the woodpile and being completely exhausted,gives me that sense of accomplishing something. Since I dont have a labor intensive job anymore cutting and spllitting is my escape from stress and work. Every time I fire that saw up I get a huge smile across my face and love every second cutting, splitting and stacking.
I look at this way.. I heat my home to 75 degrees for 555 bucks a year.. I keep the little guy working and my bank account handles this just fine.. I have heated my home for an entire year with just pallets but that was 25 years ago.. It was a lot of work and that was enough of that aggravation.. I also scored around 10 cords of tree length logs when they cleared 8 acres around my house and that was a TON of work.. In fact it's all I did for a few months! I got a bad case of tendonitis splitting a large oak tree that was dropped here. So to me $555.00 is a real bargain and I still get wood on occasion to keep the caveman alive in me I don't fault those who process their own wood and in fact I would like a tri-axle load dropped here but the wife says it will be a mess which is BS because my wood area is neater and better organized than my house lol.. I am anal about my wood supply and like it nice and neat.. Kind of a sore subject for me so I'll drop it..
It's whatever works for everyone. I'm sure in time things will change for folks that can't continue to do what they do now. ie: health problems, age etc.
For the scroungers, its part of our way of life, we will do it until we can't any longer. Free heat with a little elbow grease feels good...
I love to scrounge, but with a little guy who turns 4 in september, it's tough to find the time. As soon as I get home from work, it's play time with him and I don't want to miss a minute of it. Scrounging here in northern NJ is not easy: it's highly competitive and there's a lot of junk out there. Yesterday I responded to a craigslist ad for "had a tree taken down, it's cut to 18 inch lengths, great firewood, come take as much as you want". I go there at lunch to check it out....it's rotten old pine :-(( I have gotten some great scores, including a huge red oak from Irene that produced two gorgeous cords that's lined up for burning in the fall of 2014. My property is very hilly and rugged, and it is loaded with arrow-straight white ash, white birch and some hickory. Getting it down to my production area would take time and effort I just don't have.
I can understand that, I have a three year old and a 5 week old in the house. My wood working time is pretty much on the weekends when the three year old takes his nap. What used to take me a weekend or two now takes me months to get done.
Log load all the way. I do it for fun. Buying split wood would take less time and be easyer but not as much fun. I love running my saw and spliter. But I dont see the point to buy a truck just to go find wood. Plus were I live you could and would be driveing 20-30 miles one way, so the savings is just not there. I did buy some wood when I got it for $105 a cord to my door and he had to help stack so I knew what I was getting befor I paid him.
I also have 3 kids so time "or lack of" is a big pusher for me. I get 3 cords in log form droped to my house and I will have that done in 2 days or less. If i had to drive all over to find 3 cord it would take a looong time.
I bought 2 cords cut/split/delivered and dumped into a pile, once. Time restraints didn't allow me to process enough that year. Other than that I knock them down, cut them up, haul them home, split, stack and burn.
I also get quite a bit of wood from locals that need someplace to make it go away. I ask them if they want the ash back.
I have been trying to find someone to drop off log loads to me, but that doesn't seem very common around these parts. Not much logging is done here. We do have one mill about 25 miles away. They must be getting it from somewhere.
I'm still evolving. I bought the insert to try to save on the hideously expensive oil, thinking I would only use as much as I did with an open fireplace. Then I learned that you can actually HEAT your home with wood, so I bought a half cord of wood. Then I learned you need more wood, and furthermore, it has to be dry--so I bought a cord of drier wood (meh) and some bio bricks. I now have 4 1/2 cords wood in back seasoning for next year and year after. Still have to buy more this summer. So I am buying cut and split, but have been taking some scrounges from neighbors, albeit usually just good sized limbs. Who knows what I'll be doing next? By the way thanks a lot, fellas. I have learned a lot this year, and am addicted to burning as well.
However, I ain't getting any younger, so I will probably still buy the bulk of my stash.
I'm in between... I scrounge as much as I can, but I have a neighbor who needs the money who continually comes up with building lots needing cleared, and brings me an F150 full of rounds for $50. So, that's sort of like scrounging, sort of like buying....
I Scrounge 100% and love it. Considering my job keeps me in front of a computer all day everyday - there is a deep satisfaction in the manual labor of hauling, splitting, stacking and then BURNING the wood I have processed with my own hands. My usual score a F250 load of free rounds off urban tree services that don't want to deal with firewood. Although my latest score was five douglas firs from my neighbor! Tree service bucked em up and rolled them down the hill only my property. I usually chopped up a truck load of rounds as I get them time permitting but I am renting a hydraulic splitter for this job! I try to have 9 cords split/stacked in drying rotation and usually burn through 3 to 5 cords depending how cold of winter we have. All the work is satisfying but in the end it does feel like I spend a lot of time doing it. I have to justify it with the health benefits because it probably does not make sense from a purely financial perspective.
I'm getting to the point of just buying instead of scrounging. At $150 per cord for Oak and only needing 3 cord, it's sounding better every year than looking around for a good score and breaking my back. Maybe I'm just getting old? Even nat gas is sounding better.
I say it all the time, if I had natural gas I would've never looked at burning wood. Now that I have burned wood I'd burn even if I moved to a home with natural gas.
I have natural gas at my house. Natural gas is fairly cheap, but I still save 500-600$ a year heating with wood. Also I like not being dependant on a company for heat. If power goes out or some sort of natural disaster that took down the gas system, I will still have heat.
Nat gas is very cheap here but radiant wood heat feels so much better than a forced air furnace. Maybe a Woodstock gas stove for my basement in the future. I'll have to check them out at the next BBQ.
I have a good 3 year supply of mostly scrounged wood so I don't have to worry about purchasing for awhile and I always seem to find a decent score before I need to buy any to stay ahead but I don't look for those scores as hard as I used to.
I love the thrill of scrounging. I check Craigslist multiple times a day. I have managed to get 3 years ahead w/ 6 cords. I only burn 1-2 cords a year. Ash, Locust, Mulberry, Walnut, Hackberry & some Osage have been the flavors of late.
I would love to be able to heat my house with 1-3 cords a year. I can't even wrap my head around that.
Agree! but hopping for 5....
What is commonly referred to as "scrounging" on this board is what we call "cutting firewood" around here. I do not pay for firewood, and I do not "scrounge." Buying firewood is for marks and busters.
i've thought about this alot. what if someone magically delivered and stacked my wood free? that sounds really nice, and i'd surely appreciate it, bt there is something about doing it myself that makes it so gratifying. my own labor, my own choices for species and seasoning...all coming together on a wicked cold winter night. the wife and i with our feet up in front of the stove.
1-2 cord?? This cant be your primary source of heat? I live in Ohio too and I burned about 3.5 cord this year.
It was pretty mild this Winter. I burned about a cord or 2 a yr in my Pre-Fab Fireplace every year (dont use it now that I have the Woodstove).
Its not my primary source, my heat pump is. I have a well sealed and insulated house that makes heating it fairly easy though.
Doing a little cutting now.... Its a little Hot out, so I am taking it slow. I dont need this wood for a few yrs. So its "when I get time" type of thing.