Help required- new to real fireplaces!!

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I'm just really confused!

The fire itself might be made for coal, going by the shape of it but if its made for wood and I use coal can that cause problems?

It's just really really weird how the logs here, which have been in there for close to 3 hours are still not burned through despite the heat log thing I also have in still glowing red
Wet wood
 
Most Franklin stoves were built to have a fire directly on the floor. Did someone add a grate or is it part of the stove?

I said Franklin but kind of just pulled that word out of my butt. I will need to take a pic of it and post it up sometime. Thought I had one on my phone. It is unique. An old neat looking family heirloom. Definitely would have something different out there if we used it more in off- season, it goes from fresh lit full to nothing left in like 3 hours.
 
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I said Franklin but kind of just pulled that word out of my butt. I will need to take a pic of it and post it up sometime. Thought I had one on my phone. It is unique. An old neat looking family heirloom. Definitely would have something different out there if we used it more in off- season, it goes from fresh lit full to nothing left in like 3 hours.
Probably an old coal stove in that case
 
What fireplace is that?
It's a variation of our popular BBQ unit. The UK version is called the Big Clear Egg, and it's made of ceramic glass. ;)
You couldn't pay me enough to burn coal in an open fireplace in my home.
I'll bet I could. We'll, I couldn't but some rich guy could. ==c
Maybe best trying coal out?
Maybe you could throw Pete in there? ;)
Yeah it's just the fact the wood doesn't burn through that's weird...Maybe it is indeed for coal supposedly, since the grate I have has gaps in it which from reading up, is to allow air to the coal underneath as that's what coal needs as opposed to wood
Wet wood is more burnable in a regular wood stove, where it has some ash underneath to concentrate the coal heat and dry out the wood to the point that it can burn.
Sorry just realised I'm not on a uk forum! Fairy liquid is a washing up liquid, the advice might be a lot of rubbish and would tend to suggest it is, since I tried it spreading on one end of the log blew through the other and bubbles did appear...The site I looked at says if that happens it proves the wood is dry but maybe not
I like making up theories; My theory here is that maybe you can't blow air through wet hardwood, and that's what the site was saying. But it's possible you can still blow air through wet softwoods, and that's what you are seeing. Your picture of the split definitely looks like softwood, maybe Pine or another conifer?
As for calling it "fairy liquid," we on this side of the pond don't feel that our manhood is challenged by washing the dishes. ;)
 
If you want to see if you can burn wood in there, get some carpentry scraps. (Non treated)
Cut them whatever size you need. You can even split them.
Kiln dried cord wood from the corner store is not always dry. Therefore not a good test.
 
Sorry just realised I'm not on a uk forum!

Fairy liquid is a washing up liquid, the advice might be a lot of rubbish and would tend to suggest it is, since I tried it spreading on one end of the log blew through the other and bubbles did appear

The site I looked at says if that happens it proves the wood is dry but maybe not

Americans don't know what "washing up liquid" is either (my sister lives in the UK so I have asked her, "washing WHAT up?" a few times!) It's "dishwashing liquid" or "dish soap" here (but not "dishwashing soap", I guess because that sounds confusingly like "dishwasher soap", which goes into a kitchen appliance that is in and of itself hard to explain to someone from the UK.... ;) )

I agree that your wood is wet.

If you want something to help heat your house, that fireplace will probably be worse than nothing even if you do feed it dry wood.

I tend to say that we made open fireplaces obsolete 300 years ago... but in Europe it's more like 500 years ago! Get with the times, man. ;)
 
I'm not a fire scientist but did have this thought for your issue.

When wood burns, it radiates heat outward as it outgasses. If the wood is by itself with nothing to reflect the heat back, it will reach an equilibrium whereby it will stop burning. Remember the interior of the wood (when it is not hot coals) is cooler than the exterior. It requires heat to burn and then out gas. If the burning exterior is not able to transmit that heat back to the interior, the combustion process will stop. When there are 2 logs next to each other, both burning, then they help each other heat with a symbiotic synsethis.

Try stacking several smaller sized pieces of wood next to each other, or add some if the fire is burning to maintain the combustion relationship. Once all pieces reach hot coals, they will burn down to ash.
 
Spudman99 is onto something. I use open fireplaces. Of course, we don't know if there is a good draft occurring. But I can say that iron cradle designed for coal is starving the fire of oxygen. To Spudman's point, I've experienced that the more fuel you add to the fire, the better (not just bigger but better) the fire, in an exponential way. Build a fire in a teepee manner (vertical), and use lots of small splits. This setup will not work well with big logs. Is there an "easy" way to remove the cradle?
 
home 2 013.JPG
 
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We also have a prefab Heatilator fireplace in the living room of our house. Ambiance only. It has a grate in it. Never a problem turning a fire into ash in that either. You need more than one piece of wood for a fire, yes. But dryness is #1.
 
Does the wood sizzle, or hiss? Do you see liquid bubble out the ends?

You can burn wood in anything designed for coal, you also start a coal fire with wood, but you can't burn coal in something designed for wood. Wood will burn faster in a coal hopper since it gets more oxygen through it easily.
Coal needs to be elevated on grate with incoming air directed through the coal bed so oxygen comes into contact with coal through the spaces between it. Air is forced through the coal by the chimney draft or mechanical blower. Wood doesn't care where the oxygen comes from. It will burn in a pile in a campfire, coal won't do that without a way to get air forced through it. Elevating wood allows more air through it making it burn faster, with less smoke. That is not what you want to do inside a controlled combustion stove or fireplace insert (a stove installed into the hearth opening) where burn rate is controlled by how much air goes through the fire.

The bubbles are because the wood is like millions of tiny straws. When full of moisture, you can't blow through it. Or you may be able to blow lower quantities of moisture contained inside through, causing bubbles. When dry, the air from your breath can be forced through the "straws" easier, causing the liquid applied to the surface to bubble. Accurate? No. Only an indication.
One way was to look for wagon wheel cracks in the ends of logs. This shows shrinkage due to drying. But is still not a good indication of how much moisture is still in the log. Facing the sun on a pile I can look dry and cracked, but inside is still very wet.
You can tell by clanking pieces together when they dry sounding more like a click than a clunk or thump from being heavy with moisture. There are battery operated moisture meters now to press prongs into the side of a freshly split piece, giving accurate percentage of moisture level. You are looking for 20% or less.
Bottom line is obtain wood, split and stack with good airflow through it for at least a year before burning.
 
Now that is an OPEN fireplace!
Fortunately I don't have to choose between open fireplace or wood stove. I've had the Morso (double wall and class A chimney through ceiling) and love using that most days.
 
Well well well...

Went and bought some real kiln seasoned hardwood as opposed to the softwood I have been trying

Bought a moisture meter and it says the wood I have been using is about 19pc, but that's obviously only on the outside?

So probably wetter inside it?

The new ones I bought are showing only 1pc moisture on them!!!

Cant wait for my wee boy to go to bed so i can test this out now!
 
This is the new wood I am trying, hardwood as opposed to soft and measuring 1% moisture on the outside compared to the softwood which was 18 or 19

Wish me luck!
 

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Does the wood sizzle, or hiss? Do you see liquid bubble out the ends?

You can burn wood in anything designed for coal, you also start a coal fire with wood, but you can't burn coal in something designed for wood. Wood will burn faster in a coal hopper since it gets more oxygen through it easily.
Coal needs to be elevated on grate with incoming air directed through the coal bed so oxygen comes into contact with coal through the spaces between it. Air is forced through the coal by the chimney draft or mechanical blower. Wood doesn't care where the oxygen comes from. It will burn in a pile in a campfire, coal won't do that without a way to get air forced through it. Elevating wood allows more air through it making it burn faster, with less smoke. That is not what you want to do inside a controlled combustion stove or fireplace insert (a stove installed into the hearth opening) where burn rate is controlled by how much air goes through the fire.

The bubbles are because the wood is like millions of tiny straws. When full of moisture, you can't blow through it. Or you may be able to blow lower quantities of moisture contained inside through, causing bubbles. When dry, the air from your breath can be forced through the "straws" easier, causing the liquid applied to the surface to bubble. Accurate? No. Only an indication.
One way was to look for wagon wheel cracks in the ends of logs. This shows shrinkage due to drying. But is still not a good indication of how much moisture is still in the log. Facing the sun on a pile I can look dry and cracked, but inside is still very wet.
You can tell by clanking pieces together when they dry sounding more like a click than a clunk or thump from being heavy with moisture. There are battery operated moisture meters now to press prongs into the side of a freshly split piece, giving accurate percentage of moisture level. You are looking for 20% or less.
Bottom line is obtain wood, split and stack with good airflow through it for at least a year before burning.
Superb info thank you

Would you say this looks more designed for coal then?
 

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Superb info thank you

Would you say this looks more designed for coal then?
Oh yeah, that's choking the air off. Any benefit from being elevated is negated by those thin air slots. The wood is getting no air from the sides either. The front grate is restrictive. Not good.
 
Oh yeah, that's choking the air off. Any benefit from being elevated is negated by those thin air slots. The wood is getting no air from the sides either. The front grate is restrictive. Not good.
So where I thought my problem was too much air through having no damper, it might not be getting ENOUGH air!?!?

Haha bloody hell

Well heres hoping the drier wood helps... will post an update in an hour or so

How long should the fire burn with a few logs on it without going out and should the logs themself properly catch fire I take it?

I always get an amazing blaze off the kindling for about 10 mins then it all dies, heres hoping this is going to be solved by the logs being as dry as the kindling and as such burn well
 
Case in point, look at that burn..!

That's just kindling and 2 compressed heat log style things... I'll give it a bit just with that then add the log itself
 
Add 2 logs tepee style, inverted vee, over that. Don't lay flat on top and smother that.
 
This is the new wood I am trying, hardwood as opposed to soft and measuring 1% moisture on the outside compared to the softwood which was 18 or 19
To accurately test moisture content, re-split a piece that's been at room temp for a day or more, then jam the pins firmly into the center of the freshly-exposed face.
Any idea what specie of wood that is? It looks like a softwood from here. Can you easily dent it with a thumbnail?
 
To accurately test moisture content, re-split a piece that's been at room temp for a day or more, then jam the pins firmly into the center of the freshly-exposed face.
Any idea what specie of wood that is? It looks like a softwood from here. Can you easily dent it with a thumbnail?
Hi matey it's a hardwood definitely

Things are looking a lot more promising here as the logs are actually aflame... that's 40 mins and still going which is longer than it ever has before!
 

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