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wood scrounging moves

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by martel, Apr 11, 2006.

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  1. martel

    martel Member

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    so, I was over at arboristsite trying to rustle up some free wood- when I ran into someone from around here. I felt a little embarassed, a little dirty- like I got caught cheating. That other person will remain nameless for the sake of their reputation (forum infidelity could really tarnish one's reputation especially if you were a moderator or something like that).

    anyway, got talking a bit about my shyness regarding asking people for wood in their yards. I feel like everyone is either going to use it or give it to their father-in-law or something. Like the nameless hearthnet member said: "I feel like I am asking to borrow money."

    So, I am wondering has anyone developed serious scrounging (or numchuck) skills?

    Have you acquired any sense of scrounging etiquetee?

    Any REALLY bad experiences?

    With the nice weather I am just drooling over downed trees in people's yards.

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  2. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    I created a nice power point page that said I was looking for free wood....Stuff it in their mail box, then it's up to them to call you if they choose. You'll get a lot of hits.
  3. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Got a soft copy you can email me?
  4. martel

    martel Member

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    nice- do you drop the flyer when you see people taking trees down or canvas neighborhoods with em?
  5. got wood?

    got wood? New Member

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    I have found that a good solid handshake and honest declarations of intent are mostly what's needed. I too started off asking tree service folks while they worked and that turned out to be pretty good, I eventually saw little distinction between asking the tree folk and the home owners. Typically the wood in question was a recent event, so asking about the `story' about the downed limb in their yard was a good ice breaker "I couldn't but help notice your wood ;-)"...I've even gone so far as to offer up some of my prized venison after the fact to gererous folk who helped me out as a thank you. People are by nature *good*...not suspicious backstabbers, so go out on a limb, folks can really surprise ya every now and then...
  6. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    Martel -

    A LOT of people are old, or single women, or don't burn wood, or are lazy, or have wood-burning relatives that expect them to let the wood sit forever until they come get it. You will be doing them a favor in many, many cases. Plus, you are doing the honorable and respectable thing by knocking on the door and asking in cheerful way.
  7. martel

    martel Member

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    thanks ww- maybe I more need simply a little pep talk and reassurance...
  8. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    If you ask, the worst thing they can say is "no."

    I would offer to clean up the mess in exchange for the wood. That way it's more of a business transaction. And, if you're businesslike about it, i.e., show up when you say you will and do what you promised to do, you should get lots of referrals. People might start hiring tree services to just get the trees on the ground and chip up the limbs, and then call you to come get the wood and clean up the mess.
  9. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    I don't have a soft copy, but I can gen one so easily...I'll grab my hard copies and get something to you.
  10. colsmith

    colsmith New Member

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    I at first thought the part about it feeling dirty to ask for wood seemed funny. But then I remembered that when I first started liberating other people's trash I felt icky, too. The first time I took stuff out of a dumpster (lumber and a spool almost full of phone wiring) I felt pretty odd. But after a while you just start thinking the people who throw the good stuff out are dumb, and you are being a good person rescuing it. After a while you don't even feel funny about it. So I figure getting wood that other people have and don't probably want is about the same deal, and I won't have any trouble with it. Thus far, the free wood has been presenting itself to us, and we haven't really had to ask. In my brief experience (got the stove in Feb.), once you mention that you are getting or have a wood stove, people start offering you wood or trees that are down or that they want to come down. It probably helps that we are near urban and suburban areas, and the percentage of people with wood stoves is probably pretty small around here compared to say Vermont.

    If you aren't assertive, just pretend to be, and eventually you actually become so assertive that your friends won't believe you are shy underneath. (I am still shy underneath, but no one that I know believes it!)
  11. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    some like it hot welcome aboard Me I'm shy too
  12. johnnytugs1

    johnnytugs1 New Member

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    great ice breaker ........bring a six pack with ya!
  13. martel

    martel Member

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    AH, nice that J-tug bumped this thread, for I have a story to tell. I was in a county park the other day and saw that they had taken down several trees and cut them into rounds. My first inclination was- chuck em in my subaru and run. But then I thought, "I will do what the guys on Hearthnet suggest"- so I called the Park Service to ask, the worst that could happen is they could say no.

    Wel, I got home and called. Basically I got redirected three times and finally got the guy in charge. I asked him politely if they were interested in me getting the wood out of there (i tried to sound as if I would be amazingly grateful while at the same time helping him to realize this was an act of community service). There was a brief pause and then the forman said, "Son, what kind of crazy are you? There is no way you can have that wood."

    And this is what I was afraid of.
  14. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Beats getting arrested. Just ask BrotherBart.
  15. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Werd! :red:
  16. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Having worked in a local government I can tell you that you can have some fun by writing to your Councilman/Supervisior/Whatever They Call Them There and asking them why (insert Park guy's name here) wouldn't let you have the wood. And it gets better if you include the exact quote.
  17. martel

    martel Member

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    Maybe send the sixpack to the councilman ;)

    This will not stop me!

    Here is a source to post for wood:
    http://www.freecycle.org/

    I imagine many of you are familiar with freecycle. It is a group that is committed to keeping things out of landfill by offering our "junk" to one another. I often see wood posted here but am not quick enough to get it. Perhaps a post requesting. Unless you live around me- then, of course, i think it is a terrible idea...
  18. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    That guy was taking it home for himself. Did you ask him why not? What they're doing with it?
  19. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Freedom of Information Act request time. I guarantee that those cause a scramble.
  20. martel

    martel Member

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    LOL
    I was saving that for Provision 505 of the USA Patriot Act, but maybe firewood is important as well.
  21. precaud

    precaud Minister of Fire

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    Driving home along a route I take 2-3 times a week, I noticed a old guy (older than me!) out clearing dead pinon trees (we have a ton of them here) along the frontage road... with a bowsaw! Stopped to chat, nice old retired guy... found out it wasn't his land, but a neighbor's who lived out of state... he said "they're ugly and a fire hazard, so I'm cleaning 'em up." I asked what he was going to do with it (look like 10 acres maybe), he said "Nuthin.. do you want it?"

    I filled my pickup bed in an hour with no tools. Will go back tomorrow for several more loads...

    Keep your eyes open, and don't be afraid to ask!
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