I always wanted to be a woodworker, but not like this!

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wetwood4life

New Member
Oct 29, 2022
15
Central MA
This is our second year ordering wood since we bought our stove last Fall. I'm trying to buy each cord from a new supplier until we find someone we like. Thought I'd share the ordeal from our latest cord. The supplier was a friendly local guy, and it was the first time someone's "properly seasoned" firewood was actually dry and ready to burn.

The only problem is instead of 16" - 18" splits as advertised (our stove fits 18.5"), almost the whole load was 20" - 24". I couldn't come to an arrangement with the guy, so I've spent a couple hours each day this week cutting the ends off nearly every single piece. The poor little 10" miter saw is about ready to mutiny, but here's my trophy pile...

signal-2022-11-11-20-41-15-601.jpg
 

wetwood4life

New Member
Oct 29, 2022
15
Central MA
Hah! I thought about it when we realized the wood was too long, but learning to use one on hundreds of small janky cuts seemed dangerous. And of course, I plan to be more dilligent checking the load before they dump it next time.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
7,889
Northern NH
Could be far worse, wet & rotten full of ants. Just part of the education.
 

Vg3200p

Minister of Fire
Nov 21, 2021
508
Clinton county indiana
Hopefully you learn to enjoy processing your own wood. There is alot of fun and enjoyment in it. I hate getting logs other people have bucked. I like to cut mine short easier splitting and handling.
 

wetwood4life

New Member
Oct 29, 2022
15
Central MA
We had a little fire last week when it was 50 out and those little chunks were great! Good tip too about delaying a nighttime reload, thanks.

The short splits would be nice, if we had 14s I could load N-S which would be nice. Unfortunately, our property is pretty small (5k sqft) and I'm not looking to take up firewood processing as another hobby - too much on my plate already 😄. Hopefully we can find a good local dealer instead.
 

DonTee

Minister of Fire
Dec 1, 2021
695
Upstate NY
Can you get more wood from the same guy next year in shorter lengths?

It’s crazy he only sells 20-24” length wood. I think a lot of people would have issues with that size.

I had an old Timberline that would take over 20” pieces, but every other stove I’ve used has taken typical 16-18” pieces.
 

wetwood4life

New Member
Oct 29, 2022
15
Central MA
Well... that's where we couldn't agree. He's convinced that all their wood is 16-18" with "maybe a handful of long or short ones in there." I ended up dropping it because we needed wood for this winter, it was the first good dry wood we've gotten, and unfortunately I don't have space for a different delivery while we argue about what is or isn't sitting in my driveway. Now that it's all trimmed down I'm actually looking forward to burning it this winter.

At that size, if he's not getting complaints he must be selling to folks burning in open fireplaces or something.
 

wetwood4life

New Member
Oct 29, 2022
15
Central MA
If he's charging you for a stacked cord of 16-18" sticks, and delivering the same length of rick stacked of 20-24" sticks....that's all free firewood in your picture, right?
If only! 😅

All stacked, its about 1/2 a cord. I figure the ends round it out to 2/3. Seems to be the norm, or at least my luck, but that's a topic for another post!
 

Tar12

Minister of Fire
Dec 9, 2016
1,848
Indiana
A couple years back I responded to a local ad for some locust...I called the man and he was out but would be cutting and splitting some more in the up coming weeks..no worries here as I was 3 years ahead...I asked the man if he would cut it to length for me? Sure I can do that! No problem!I told him no longer than 16 inches..he was selling it for $160 a cord! I told him if the wood was of good quality I would take 5-6 cord as locust is hard to come by here..The weeks went by and I stayed in touched with him reminding him nothing longer than 16 inches...sure...sure he said...the day came when he had the wood ready...I hooked up my dump trailer and headed out for the 30 minute trip...I rolled into his place and backed up to the wood yard...he came out with gloves in hand ...he said he would help load the wood in his ad and we had discussed this prior as well..next thing I know he mumbled something about needing saw gas and I hear a truck fire up and he drives off..that torqued my shorts ! I grabbed a tape measure and there was not one single piece at the 16 inch mark...I was pissed!I got back in my truck and went home...what a fool he was!
 

wetwood4life

New Member
Oct 29, 2022
15
Central MA
Picking up the wood seems like the way to go! Not sure if the guys around me offer that, but it'd be way easier to check the wood before it's dumped in a pile on your driveway and your cash is halfway out of town.

It's been really disappointing to learn how untrustworthy the firewood industry is. I probably wouldn't have bought a stove if I knew that in advance. We don't have a big enough property to process logs ourselves or store 2-3 years of wood for seasoning. Live and learn!
 

JamesGuido

Burning Hunk
Jan 5, 2021
183
Raymond, Wisconsin
years ago, i met a guy selling some very nice aged firewood, pretty inexpensively too.
only problem, he would not sell to folks with woodstoves, only fireplaces.
his wood also was very long and refused to cut it shorter to accommodate.
 
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clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
2,441
Colorado
These is no customer service and prices are high and the trade skill set is suffering and we might as well learn to adjust to the situation. clancey
 

Corey

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
2,775
Midwest
I you would have cut those with a chain saw, that would have turned even more wood into dust!

Overall, the wood should still be usable. For a couple years after college, I used to heat with scraps not much bigger, or in some cases even smaller than that. I was always on the lookout for free pallets, and a local furniture shop would put out their scraps for free. These were generally 1x2, 3, or 4 boards where the last 3, 4 or 5 inches were unusable, or where the cut out a knot, etc. On a good day, the railroad tie shop would set out the cropped ends of ties which was generally a ~7"x9" block of hardwood 4-6 inches thick.

Just shovel your cropped ends in when you are around around to tend the fire and save the log lengths for overnight, etc.
 
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wetwood4life

New Member
Oct 29, 2022
15
Central MA
Yes, the ends burn great! That pile got rained on unfortunately, but I bring in a load at a time to try by the stove. I collected a lot of the miter saw dust too, I'm going to try making some of those egg carton wax starters with it. Hopefully the wax is ok in the stove.
 

Eman85

Minister of Fire
Oct 10, 2022
500
E TN
The egg carton fire starter work well, but a pain to make as melting the paraffin requires a double boiler setup and we always did it outside. haven't made any since I was a scout leader. We would make a 4" rolled strip of newspaper tied up and dipped in way also. now I just use the egg carton as part of my fire startup.
If you can't store a couple of years worth of wood you might be in the sawdust brick club or think about a pellet stove. You might need to get good at scrounging if you have a truck to find dry wood. Cabinet shops and pallet fabricators use hardwood and the cabinet scraps are kiln dried. Old rough cut lumber if you can find any like old barns and sheds. Log home builders have really nice scraps.
When you buy firewood it's what it is for the price agreed, few standards. If the seller offers a truckload be sure to know what size truck and better if you can see a load first. Around here they'll load and park at a main road with a sign on it.
 
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gzecc

Minister of Fire
Sep 24, 2008
5,054
NNJ
Unfortunately buying wood as needed every year is going to be a impossible task, if you expect to be satisfied with what you buy.
 
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Marshy

Minister of Fire
Dec 29, 2016
839
NY
Well... that's where we couldn't agree. He's convinced that all their wood is 16-18" with "maybe a handful of long or short ones in there." I ended up dropping it because we needed wood for this winter, it was the first good dry wood we've gotten, and unfortunately I don't have space for a different delivery while we argue about what is or isn't sitting in my driveway. Now that it's all trimmed down I'm actually looking forward to burning it this winter.

At that size, if he's not getting complaints he must be selling to folks burning in open fireplaces or something.
So order another cord from him and when he drops it, pull out a measuring tape and show him in person. Explain he has a good product that you want to buy but not at the incorrect length. Yes, that means you would likely have to suffer through one more cord unless you can buy a half cord.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
4,077
SE North Carolina
After running my first three N/ S loads I’d gladly cut everything down to length my self but if I had a choice I’d buy the correct length.
 
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