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Would you buy wood from these guys ?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Pat Matterson, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. Pat Matterson

    Pat Matterson New Member

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    Hello everyone we just got a wood burning stove and of course we did not have the foresight to start aging wood 3 years ago. I do have woods on our property behind my house and neighbors that will let us harvest their dead or downed trees . I will have to learn to identify trees so I know what ones I want and spend time on here learning what good gear and techniques are. (saw the tire splitting method !)

    I will start collecting wood this spring, I think that leaves me buying wood this and next winter. I know next to nothing about this but what I have gleamed from here so far is to make sure I measure to see If I got what I paid for. And I will have to learn to identify what the wood is to make sure I got hardwood as advertised.
    Would you guys recommend buying a moisture meter and checking a split before allowing delivery?

    We have no clue how much we will go through but we figured we would start with a cord.
    I have looked around on the web and there are a lot of guys that don't look like they are worth doing business with.
    I did find these guys that at least appear to know what they are doing and would appreciate opinions or tips on any of this:

    http://stlouis.craigslist.org/grq/4237332470.html

    http://www.firewoodstlouis.com/

    http://stlouis.craigslist.org/grd/4175271741.html

    http://www.tomasiscuttingedge.com/firewood

    I get a trailer load of free pallets for my bonfires from a buddy so I figured I would stack 4 pallets wide and do 2 rows is there a stacking method best used for measuring your delivery? or at the ends to keep the wood in the middle from falling? The only good place to stack is along a privacy fence so that will affect airflow a bit I figured I would do 1ft gap between the rows and 1ft between them and fence. I will be able to build a roof over the wood next year but for now I will use a tarp (not on sides or ends).

    BTW the fiancee thinks I am very silly for getting all into this, she wanted me to just order today and then burn whatever we can get out of the back yard..
    The words aged, hardwood, and moisture content all lead her to think I am over complicating this.
    wolfonahill likes this.

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  2. Bagelboy

    Bagelboy Member

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    Everyone starts somewhere. You can either make mistakes and learn as you go along, or you can educate yourself and try to avoid mistakes. I've been burning wood for over 30 years, yet have only been on this forum for a couple of months and learned lots. Things like hardwood, seasoning, and moisture exist, and they're important. Reading this forum will save you tons of aggravation, and help make the transition to wood easier. This will also go a long way in getting your fiancé on board with your decision to burn! Back to the wood part, 128 square cubic feet is a cord. Usually 4'x4'x8'.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2013
    Fred Wright and Backwoods Savage like this.
  3. Bagelboy

    Bagelboy Member

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    By the way, your probably going to go through a few cord, but it does make sense to try a cord from one guy and see how it burns first!
  4. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Who to trust and buy from is most often a crap shoot. The two not listed on craigslist sound the best but.... I have to laugh when I read:

    "Is it 100% hardwood? Some firewood suppliers mix in softer woods like maple, sycamore, pine, and many others which don't burn nearly as long as a good seasoned hardwood like oak or hickory. We deliver only 100% hardwood.

    Okay, according to this joker maple and sycamore are not hardwoods. Statements like that makes one wonder about his other practices because we know that maple is indeed one of the very good hardwoods to burn! However, there is a hard maple and a soft maple. Yes, there is a difference in these two.


    What anyone has to realize when buying wood is that those selling cannot possibly dry wood the way a homeowner will dry his wood. Simply put, after they split the wood, it either goes into a big heap or onto the truck for immediate delivery. Wood won't dry hardly at all until after it has been split. If just thrown into a heap, only the outside of that heap will dry; the interior will not dry.

    There are just so many variables that it is difficult to give all the information in a short post. So you no doubt are stuck with selecting one and seeing what happens. Of course you could visit these places and see how they handle their wood. Ask when it gets split; how long before delivery.

    But here is the one big factor with most, like that one fellow who sells oak and hickory. Does he realize that oak needs 2-3 years after being split and stacked out in the wind to burn properly? This is the big problem with people selling oak. They can tell a big story about how oak is the best, and it is indeed one of the very best. The problem with oak is that it gives up its moisture very reluctantly. Therefore, new wood burners are wise if they refrain from burning oak in their first 2 or 3 years.
  5. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

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    Unfortunately most, not all but most delivered wood has to be seasoned 2 years to be hearth forum acceptable.:confused:
    Pat Matterson likes this.
  6. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

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    Assume any wood you buy is unseasoned and needs several years stacked to get seasoned. You might want to get a moisture meter to verify for yourself. If you burn wood that is not seasoned, check your chimney often and clean as necessary, maybe up to a couple of times per month. Split the wood smaller and you may want to mix in some of that pallet wood to get the fires started and keep them hot. And if you can, start collecting wood, whether you get it yourself or buy some, for the next couple of years so it can be truly seasoned.
    Fred Wright and Pat Matterson like this.
  7. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    What stove did you get?
    Your best wood for this year is probably dead and downed on your property
    If you cant get seasoned wood burn the pallets and get another truckload
    Pat Matterson likes this.
  8. Rickb

    Rickb Minister of Fire

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    Where ya at in STL? I am in imperial and there is a kid that does wood that was cheap and dryish. If bought now it will be gtg next winter.
    Pat Matterson likes this.
  9. Pat Matterson

    Pat Matterson New Member

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    This is great info thanks guys, I wasn't sure if I should use the pallet wood in there.
    I am glad to hear I can use it for starting up fires and keeping them hot because I can get large amounts of it for free.
    I suppose I should avoid getting bits with nails in them.

    Whatever I do find with these guys I will be sure to post up for anyone in the future that happens to be from my area.
    I am calling firewood Saint louis for a quote tomorrow, Hopefully they are not as high as thomasiscuttingedge ($400 a cord)
    The one "Oak guy" is at $250 a Cord

    I have what I believe to be a Jotul Firelight f600CB that I ended up getting for around $800 installed.
    There is a pic of it in my first post here that I need to update with how it ended up (I eliminated the extra bends in the stove pipe)

    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/...t-deal-and-can-i-install-it-like-this.117482/

    Now off to update that thread with the install pictures.
  10. Pat Matterson

    Pat Matterson New Member

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    I am in Imperial and you have my attention!
    Please tell me more.
  11. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    No. But I wouldn't buy wood from anyone.


    Hope this helps.
    Joful and Pat Matterson like this.
  12. AmarilloSlim

    AmarilloSlim Member

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    Before you start chunking pallets in the stove check for a stamp. There are 2 main things to watch for on the stamp :

    1. The IPPC Logo: if you don’t see it, don’t use it ! Even if a pallet may be perfectly safe without this logo it could also be that it was treated with chemicals !

    2. The treatment code : HT =Heat treatment / MB =Methyl Bromide / DB = Debarked.

    HT : wooden pallets manufactured in Canada or the US undergo a pest control treatment called heat treating (HT) which involves heating the pallet to minimum core temperature of 56°C for softwoods and 60°C for hardwoods for a minimum of 30 minutes in a kiln. HT pallets are not harmful to your health.

    MB : methyl-bromide fumigation. This type of treatment is banned in Canada because it poses a health risk to workers handling the pallets. you can still find it in some countries. If you find a MB pallet, please do not use it for your craft projects or as firewood, find a waste-removal company who can dispose of it properly.
    Fred Wright and Soundchasm like this.
  13. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

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    You can get the name of a good dealer from here. The best wood I purchased when I was buying, was the facecord stack, 4'H x 8' long. Single row. Its difficult to be shorted. Facecord will fit in a pickup truck. Its more labor/hands on because you're doing the work.
    Less money wasted in a deal gone sour. Find dealers that sell facecord volumns from their yard.
    If you scrounge for free wood off craigslist the species and volumn is irrelevant. But steer clear of Craigslist to buy wood in volumn.
    Only buy green wood, completely resist the temptation to fall victim to the "fully seasoned" sales pitch. Save your money.
  14. Rickb

    Rickb Minister of Fire

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    Shoot me a pm the guy is right by seckman highschool and I think he charged me $180 a cord delivered. I may use him again but for the most part I try to scrounge rounds and split my wood myself.

    Also small world eh?
    Pat Matterson likes this.
  15. nola mike

    nola mike Feeling the Heat

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    You're better off burning pallets than to try to get burnable wood now. Or better yet, get some construction debris (2x's, 4x's, etc). The only concern with the nails is hitting them with your saw. Otherwise you can scoop them out with the ashes. Don't know the going rates for wood in your area, but at $250-$300/cord, a compressed brick (Eco-Brick, Bio-brick, etc) might be price competitive, and would certainly be guaranteed to be burnable now. You can also mix them with some greenish stuff. Most of us here have been in the no-dry-wood camp, and it sucks. Despite how much you read about it, it's incredible how much of a difference good wood makes. FWIW, I burned a lot of pallets my first year. I can't stand breaking them up, but the 2x4's burn great, and the slats make good kindling. Oh, and if you're going to check the moisture of purchased wood (a good idea), make sure you take the measurement on the inside of a fresh split--taken on the ends or on exposed grain, it will show that it's dry even if it isn't.
    Fred Wright and Pat Matterson like this.
  16. Pat Matterson

    Pat Matterson New Member

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  17. ^^^^^What is your wife going to think?
  18. Pat Matterson

    Pat Matterson New Member

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    She can always think what she likes it doesn't usually affect what I do.
    We have known each other since we were little kids she knows I will always do what i'm going to do LOL.
    She is more like an old friend than anything, kind of really submissive too so I try to make sure she is happy because she wont speak up for herself if I don't.

    Selling her on the idea of the stove got her to pay for 1/2 of it though!
  19. Pat Matterson

    Pat Matterson New Member

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    I have had multiple people recommended to me and none have called me back, so I snagged some logs from my brothers lot . There is plenty more there but it isn't split. I want to identify, split and stack it but that wont help me this season.

    The few logs I grabbed were split and stacked in safe range of the stove. Then I burned them since I was waiting to get some dry wood. It seemed to help after a few days, throwing in some of the pallet wood also helped but the hissing and low heat output and labor involved with keeping it going sucked.

    The MM came and read 30%! but some was down to about 25% shortly before it ran out.
    I have had a taste of wet wood and I do not like it, nor do I like having nails in my ashes so I cleaned it out real good and probably wont burn pallet wood anymore.

    So while I collect wood and get it split and stacked for next year and hopefully start to get a few years ahead I need dry or at least dry-ish wood for this year.
    For anyone in my area that is curious I will share what I find with the local wood guys.

    I ordered a face cord (4x8x16") from http://www.firewoodstlouis.com/ for $120 and they take off $10 for each additional one up to the cord for $330.

    Since they can't get here till Sat I then ordered the same amount from this guy http://stlouis.craigslist.org/for/4178859197.html that has supposedly doing this for 10 years around here (not as long as firewoodstlouis) For $130 because he can get it here tomorrow.

    I was thinking of trying this guy as well but not sure if I will bother if one of the first 2 has dry wood. http://stlouis.craigslist.org/grq/4166610579.html

    I figure I will see who has the driest wood and order a full cord from that guy and if that goes well, use him for the rest of what I will need for the season. I wonder how many cords I will go through in a year?

    I can't wait to be a few years ahead where I know its been split and drying for 3 years because I have had it that long.

    You guys have shown me enough to see the flaws in the guys I'm using, like the 1 year old oak wont be dry but it may have to do for this year as long as it's not as moist as what I just had.
    Now that I know not to actually expect fully dried wood from a distributor, you guys have definitely saved me some disappointment!
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2013
  20. Rickb

    Rickb Minister of Fire

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    I will be very surprised if any of those guys have dry wood. That said unless the wood is already dry those prices are pretty high for around here. Please keep us posted cause if any of them actually have dry wood I want to keep there info for emergencies.
    Pat Matterson likes this.
  21. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    Can you go to their stash and test a few pieces so as not to waste your time or theirs ?

    Even if it isn't completely seasoned a stash for next year makes getting ahead easier.
    Because it probably won't be unless you get lucky and find someone on craigslist needing a stash removed from a yard that the property is for sale, or someone who has decided a pellet stove is a lot easier, etc.


    She might be half right and it wouldn't hurt to tell her so, but you probably want to learn as few things as possible the hard way and asking questions here should help. Especially if you like opinions. :)

    I'd consider her proposal and buying some pellet bricks for this year.


    I cut 16 inch splits, stack two rows on a 42x48 inch skid 48 inches high
    3 skids gives me a cord and enough of a base to to top cover, hopefiully with things that don't blow away with every single storm.
    Top cover may not be affective enough to be worthwhile where you live.
    DSC_9447.JPG
  22. Pat Matterson

    Pat Matterson New Member

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    The first guy came today http://stlouis.craigslist.org/for/4178859197.html (573-513-0293)

    I grabbed the biggest split I could find resplit and the MM read 20- 23 depending on where I read on the fresh split face.
    I also grabbed an average sized one and it read 19% , I am pleasantly surprised at how dry it is.

    He said he burns for heat at home and tries to keep track of who actually burns for heat so they get the dryer wood he has.
    I made him aware I was using a MM before he came so that might have helped.
    He also said he stopped using a MM because he would obsess over the different readings so he just keeps track of how long it has been cut and does the knock two pieces together and listen method.

    He stacks them on the truck so you can see they are the correct amount before he unloads as well .
    I think he set the bar in a spot that Firewoodstlouis may or may not live up to, we shall see.

    I will post up a pic and try and identify the splits after I stack them so I can learn what I have and how to identify it.

    Will do!
  23. Pat Matterson

    Pat Matterson New Member

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    http://www.firewoodstlouis.com/

    These guys came over the weekend and brought some that was a bit drier than the first guy.
    The biggest split I could find was 20% -and the average sized ones were at 15-18%.

    He had to trudge through a mess after the snow melted around here but he got it stacked in a Very nice, tight, level looking stack with cribbed ends.

    I can't wait to get past this season or 2 to where I'm burning the wood I have collected from my property and my brothers lawn care business.
    Then I won't need these guys!
  24. Rickb

    Rickb Minister of Fire

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    hey where is your brother based out of? He near us?
  25. Pat Matterson

    Pat Matterson New Member

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    Yep based out of Arnold, ran from his home office by phone.

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