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Yet another reason for me to buy a wood boiler soon!

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by muncybob, Feb 3, 2009.

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  1. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

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    Near Williamsport, PA
    We would have already a wood boiler installed by now except $$ we were expecting from a gas lease here in PA. did not materialize.I had already figured we WILL be installing one by no later than early autumn this year....but my most recent call to the oil delivery company has left me with no doubt.
    I called last Monday for oil delivery(I am a long time customer of this co.) and I normally expect to have oil in 2 days. Friday rolled around and still no oil. A call to them and I was told the driver has the info and "he'll get there when he get's there". Not exactly what I wanted to hear! Still nothing late yesterday so I called again and was told the driver did not want to attempt our lane due to the snow cover on the road. I guess they have had several large towing bills this year from the ice/snow we've had....but I tried to reason stating my Cavalier has absolutely no probelms...heck, I even came up the lane(1/3 mile mostly uphill to the house) in 2 WD with our Jimmy and no problemo. Finally settled on if I put down cinders(a lot of cinders!) they will attempt it Wednesday morning. Since we may get a dusting of snow tonight and since I am almost out of oil, I'll be standing on my tailgate early in the morning manually spreading cinders...what a way to start the day!
    I bought a plow for my truck years ago when I realized I should not depend on others to clear my lane(and to save $$) and I'll be using the same reasoning when it's time to spend $$ on the wood boiler later this year! OK, rant over...thanx!

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Central NYS
    I thought you guys with the gas leases in PA got free natural gas.
  3. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

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    Free...if you want to pay for the piping from the well to your house. It's an option a compared to taking royalty money. At least that's how my lease read...many companies and I'm sure many different lease options.In my case it's no longer an option as the gas company backed out on the deal. Hoping for a better spring!
  4. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    Just out of curiosity how does that work? I thought natural gas had to be refined before you used it?
  5. Rugar

    Rugar Member

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    Oct 12, 2008
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    East central KS
    Other than pressurizing it if necessary, natural gass is ready to burn straight out of the ground.
  6. jdboy9

    jdboy9 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
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    60
    Loc:
    Burton Ohio
    Natural gas/oil companies are fast to put something on your property and tell you all the great things about it but 20 years later when the well runs out see how easy it is to get if off your property.. Went through fighting with them for almost 12 years and finally after getting the state involved the wells are finally gone. It was worth the free gas but not worth the stress fighting with them to get the stuff of the property.
  7. cguida

    cguida New Member

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    Caution Muncybob --

    Buying an expensive gasifying boiler is not going to make your life simpler Viz the Oil Man. Instead, unless you've got 2 years worth of wood stacked up in your dooryard right now, adding a gasifier is just going to complicate things. And if you think the oil guys are difficult to deal with... wait till you experience month-long delays at the hands of the wood choppers.

    How many people do you think buy an expensive gasifying boiler, and only then turn around and try to get the wood supply in order. It's like buying a horse, and then turning around and trying to figure out where to get some hay (voice of experience here!). In general, wouldn't it be more rational to start now to cut your wood, and when you are two years ahead -- then take delivery on the boiler?

    And to add a further complication -- by the time somebody like me gets 2 years ahead on wood, heating oil (on current trajectory) will be below a buck a gallon. The oil guy might not look so bad then!
  8. WoodNotOil

    WoodNotOil Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Northern, Vermont
    The prices of gasifiers has been steadily rising, so for that reason alone I personally wouldn't wait to get one. It is a good long term investment as has been discussed in other threads. The getting ahead on wood issue can be a problem, but can be overcome. Buying seasoned wood and letting it sit an extra year can get you ahead. Ash is good for immediate consumption. Just examples of ways you can make it work...
  9. topofthehil

    topofthehil Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    WC WI
    duel fuel is a good idea.
    keep the oil burner, but adding another type of fuel burner would be a plus.
    that way you can fire up what ever unit gives the best return.
    I can either use wood, corn, LP, or if really in a hurting position, I can use electricity for heating.
  10. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Obviously some vested interest in seeing Muncybob NOT cut the oil-umbilical cord.

    needing two years of wood stcked up in your door yard to make this whole thing work is plain bull sh$t Dude :sick:

    Ask around Bob. I think you'll find that those here that jumped in without looking back may have had some strugle the first season, but - cept for the guys who bought Adobe or WoodDr - we're all glad we made the leap.

    Salesman suck :mad:
  11. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

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    Smee: I've been a member here long enough to have done my homework. I've taken into account the pemium I will have to pay the first year for seasoned wood. I will be cutting this year for next year's heat. I appreciate the view you are expressing and it's associated cost need to be dealt with in making the financial justification. Even if I had to pay the premium of precut seasoned wood for the first 2 years I will still be ahead in the long run "assuming" I will get at least 10 yrs. of fairly maint. free use of a wood boiler.

    But to be honest, even if I only broke even it will still be worth it to me! In this way I will avoid having to depend on others for a service I need...which is really what this thread is all about: Becoming self sufficient!! It's about time this country as a whole started thinking this way!
  12. bupalos

    bupalos Member

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    I'd recommend buying slabwood for the first year while your own wood sets up. It dries really fast because it has so much barkless surface area. In fact, the bark just sheds right off after about two months. I got nearly 4 cords worth for $300. That's with me doing the chainsaw work of course.

    You could also look into kilned cutoffs. I get a nice 2 cord pile from a flooring manufacturer for 80 bucks delivered. This stuff is tiny and actually TOO dry. I mix it in with regular logs that aren't super dry. It's absolutely the stuff for fast smokeless startup too.
  13. NNYorker

    NNYorker Member

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    Loc:
    Upstate N.Y.
    Well, I'm definitely not glad about my Adobe saga---as I'm still dealing with the con man Phillip Dougherty --www.adobeboiler.com and www.enterpriseboiler.com are down AGAIN.

    Less than a year after the Adobe scam I'm very pleased with my Econoburn and things will only get better. I had a great visit with the Econoburn tech Dale yesterday and I just ordered another load of wood today to get ahead of the game. Everyones situation is different--Phillip Dougherty screwed me out of $4700 --$$$ I could have used toward an actual functional/durable boiler. My first instinct was a Tarm with storage----IF I had only found this site a few months earlier............ There are a lot of knowledgeable people here with mucho info. You have to sort it out for yourself.
  14. Piker

    Piker Minister of Fire

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    Slab wood is definitely a cheap rescource, and it burns really well... the only thing I would caution is that you will get relatively short burn times with it, which may be an issue if you are not using storage. Slab wood is all sapwood... it's not very dense, and doesn't hold as many Btu's per unit of volume as the heartwood does.

    Cheers
  15. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

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    Plenty of sources for firewood around here. Ad in the paper yesterday from a guy looking for pre-order for polewood for later this year. Just exactly what is slab wood?
  16. Piker

    Piker Minister of Fire

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    Slabwood is the soft stuff around the outside of the tree... right under the bark... the stuff they throw away at the lumber mill.

    The timber industry is way down right now... guys are getting almost as much for their firewood poles as their lumber logs.

    cheers
  17. Medman

    Medman Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
    I don't know if this applies to everyone who switches from "conventional" heating to a wood boiler, but one of the most important reasons for me to switch was to reduce my dependence on fossil fuels. The positive environmental impact of using fuel in the current carbon cycle instead of releasing more carbon stored underground for the last 65 million years is substantial. The payback for my complete system installation, given the drop in the price of oil, could be as long as 15 years. That doesn't matter as much to me as the potential environmental benefit.
    The reduction in my electric bill of nearly 50% is also helpful in the short term.

    As for wood, the local market conditions have not really reduced the cost, but have made stovewood more available. Last year and the year before I had a hard time getting wood from my usual suppliers because they were chipping the non-mill grade hardwood for hogfuel used in making fibreboard. Now the non-mill grade hardwood is once again being sold for firewood because the market for hogfuel has dried up. In the last two weeks I have taken delivery of 20 face cords of the nicest, cleanest Maple, Oak and Yellow Birch I have seen in years. There are definitely some benefits to this downturn, and my wood suppliers are as busy as ever. One even pointed out that the firewood business is a better moneymaker, since it is cash-only and income can go unreported!

    Two years is a long time to wait. My wood will be ready for the gasifier next fall (18 months), and I have purchased some seasoned wood ahead of time for this fall. One of the local lumber mills is using their kiln to dry firewood since the demand for KD lumber has dropped off. They charge a premium for the wood, but I know it is dry and ready to be burned now.
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