Difficulty Igniting Red Oak?

Caw

Feeling the Heat
May 26, 2020
270
Massachusetts
I'm right next door to Ferrisburgh in Monkton.

BTW, a few years ago someone stumbled across a some historical documents which indicated that the original spelling of what everyone had been calling Ferrisburg was actually Ferrisburgh, with an "h" on the end. So the town officially renamed itself to that original spelling.
Oh very interesting. I really love it up there, I havent been since the kids were born so about 6 years. Some of my fondest memories are at the cabin and on the lake. Got a nice 6 lb smallie my wife caught on the wall here!
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,606
Woolwich nj
I burn mostly oak.. like 80% of it is oak with a mixture of other woods like cherry or apple, walnut, hickory. Looking at the first post you will struggle with your stove being at 200 degrees and your oak splits being that large. If I were starting from scratch I'd use smaller pieces than what you have in the picture. You don't need alot just 1 or 2 and it will light right up. I fined oak not to be hard to light off if 1 its properly seasoned 2 if there's enough heat to light it off. Yes oak will not light up as fast as popular, popular is not as dense and will kick off faster, even if the pice is larger. The larger the piece of wood and the denser it is, the more heat it will need for it to light off.
 
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Caw

Feeling the Heat
May 26, 2020
270
Massachusetts
Yep, that's what I've discovered. The easiest thing for me to do lately is on reloads to just use some of my other good wood (cherry, ash, maple right now all 16% ish) on the bottom and load the rest with oak. It takes off quickly. On cold starts I can go all oak with small pieces on top as you mentioned. A couple little pieces of super cedar, some splitting scrap kindling, and maybe a piece of fatwood and we are off to the races.
 

Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
1,845
Marshall NC
If that oak is so hard to ignite you just don't have it dry enough. I use oak all the time, on top of some cedar kindling, I use small split oak pieces one inch wide to light my fire and it works great.
 

Caw

Feeling the Heat
May 26, 2020
270
Massachusetts
I definitely acknowledge its mediocrity. 20-22% on average. It burns fine once it gets going or is mixed in with other stuff...it's just not ideal to be the piece places on the coals or for total cold starts.

Have a load going now. 50/50 oak and maple cruising at 600!
 

TradEddie

Minister of Fire
Jan 24, 2012
916
SE PA
I think its pretty clear that 2 year oak is finicky even around 20%....mine is just not quite there yet. Once you get past that magic 3 year mark with proper racking its like rocket fuel. Glad I have a few racks full for 2022! :)
I agree completely with this point. 20% is not just some arbitrary number chosen because it's a nice even value, there's a sudden dramatic improvement in all aspects of burning oak when it gets below 20%. I've got several cords of red oak that's 20-22%, after 20 months, and it can be so frustrating to deal with. I'll sing a different tune next year though!

TE
 

osagebow

Minister of Fire
Jan 29, 2012
1,672
Shenandoah Valley, VA
I let oak go at least three summers covered here in western VA. When using, I split several chunks into smaller 2-3" wide pieces for each cartload I bring in. This oak kindling helps my pine or ash kindling or low coals get it going