I hate buying firewood...

lml999

Minister of Fire
Oct 25, 2013
516
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Need to build the wood bank and I'm in a new location. I don't have the time, equipment or vehicle to collect my own, so I have to purchase from local suppliers...

I bought a load of wood from a seller south of Boston (Plymouth), who warned me that he'd be just shy of two cords. His estimate was accurate. Mostly good splits, a few too long or too big, and a bit of crap mixed in. He was clear that his wood was green, recently split.

Then I decided to buy another couple of cords. Thought I'd try a local guy on Cape Cod who claimed his wood was seasoned. Said it had been cut last year, and split this summer. Which means that its green. He shows up, I eyeball it and say that's not two cords...it's a cord and a half. He says "oh, isn't that what you wanted." Asked me to pay for the load and he'd bring me another load in a couple of weeks, which I would pay for separately.

Second guy's wood is short, way short. Like many of the splits are 12", and some shorter. (I told him I have a small stove and need under 18"). I joked that I was going to use one of the (mini) splits as a key chain ornament. Moss on the wood, Gnarly. Crappy, light pieces, like it's softwood. And he's way short. Maybe a full cord, not much more.

Cost for each load was about the same. Don't ask. I got screwed on the second load.

Crap.

I heard on a FB forum that Cape wood is crap. Don't know if it's true. I don't know if it's the seller, or the scrub oak that we have here, or I just got crap. Looks like I 'll be getting another couple of cords from guy #1 in the spring... See the photos for comparison. No need to label...

So I told guy #2 I don't need any more wood. Didn't feel it was worth bringing up my concerns. Figured I'd cut my losses and move on.

Plymouthwood.jpg Capewood.jpg
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,403
Iowa
Oh my. Feel for ya. Thats ugly! Better luck in the future. Hopefully someone here can direct you to a decent local supplier.
 

lml999

Minister of Fire
Oct 25, 2013
516
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Oh my. Feel for ya. Thats ugly! Better luck in the future. Hopefully someone here can direct you to a decent local supplier.
Guy #1 was good enough that he'll get my business again. Good sized splits, real hardwood, not a lot of scrap.

He was straight with me -- he said "it's green and it's not quite 2 cords." He was accurate. Price delivered, on time, in September, was $500. Reasonable price around here, as cords are quoted at $350 per, delivered, green. As I mentioned above, I paid the same for the pile of splinters and toothpicks from guy #2.

Would others just let it go, or ask guy #2 for money back or other accomodation? I've already assumed it's not worth the hassle...
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
658
NW Ontario
if you paid $500 for picture number 2, i'd be asking for money back or more wood.
 
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SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
I dislike heating in general but not moving to Florida either. I don't like cockroaches and skeeters either. All that money up the flue to heat a bird's butt... What a travesty.
 

lml999

Minister of Fire
Oct 25, 2013
516
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
if you paid $500 for picture number 2, i'd be asking for money back or more wood.
There's a bit more, but not much. That rack is just about a full cord, 4x4x8, less 2 2x4" widths on the side, and the verticals measure 45" from the base. Makes it easy to figure out what I have.

I already told guy #2 I didn't want another load, so I have no real leverage. I will send him a photo of the stack and see what he says...
 
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MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
658
NW Ontario
There's a bit more, but not much. That rack is just about 4x4x8, less 2 2x4 widths on the side.

I already told guy #2 I didn't want another load, so I have no real leverage. I will send him a photo of the stack and see what he says...
4x4x8 = 1 cord, unless you're dealing in face cords which can be all over the map?
 

lml999

Minister of Fire
Oct 25, 2013
516
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
4x4x8 = 1 cord, unless you're dealing in face cords which can be all over the map?
Rack should take a full cord, I'm buying in full cord measurements. Guy #2 was short. I just sent him the photo of the stack and politely suggested that it's a bit short... I didn't make a specific request...we'll see what he says, and if he offers anything. If he does, that's a win.
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
658
NW Ontario
ya for sure! i might have mistook you - i thought you said you paid him for 2 cords. looks more like one sad cord to me. anyway, like you said, at the end of the day you just move onto the next person. i bought wood this past spring for the first time and came up short too, so i know the sting.
 

MainePatsFan

Member
Nov 24, 2007
65
Southern Maine
Definitely when you find a decent firewood supplier, they are worth going back to every year. There is a local land trust near me that sells firewood they harvest from the forest lands under their care. The guy that processes the firewood for them delivers a cord and it is usually within a few splits exactly and all decent wood. Since I purchased a decent 20" chainsaw and a 27-ton gas splitter, and have many acres of 70+ year old red oak available to me, I will probably never buy firewood again.
 

lml999

Minister of Fire
Oct 25, 2013
516
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
ya for sure! i might have mistook you - i thought you said you paid him for 2 cords. looks more like one sad cord to me. anyway, like you said, at the end of the day you just move onto the next person. i bought wood this past spring for the first time and came up short too, so i know the sting.
Guy #1 delivered just under two cords, as expected. Good wood. Guy #2 was asked for 2 cords, showed up with a stated 1 1/2 cords, and was short on that. And the wood was crap.
 

lml999

Minister of Fire
Oct 25, 2013
516
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Rack should take a full cord, I'm buying in full cord measurements. Guy #2 was short. I just sent him the photo of the stack and politely suggested that it's a bit short... I didn't make a specific request...we'll see what he says, and if he offers anything. If he does, that's a win.
Two days later. No response from Guy #2.
 

Caw

Member
May 26, 2020
77
Massachusetts
Two days later. No response from Guy #2.
You mentioned you dont have much time or equipment but is that a hard limitation?

I'm in Central MA and I buy it in 12-15' logs for about $100 a delivery which is usually around 2 cords split and stacked. Its 100% hardwood, usually maple, oak, cherry, or ash. All you need is a chainsaw, axe/maul, and a weekend or two and you're golden.

If thats a manageable workload I'd call some local tree guys. With all the crazy weather lately they are so busy I bet you can get a good deal. I use 3-4 cords a year so I save a lot of money going this route.

Ive found similar prices when researching seasoned delivered hardwood. $300 a cord + $50 for delivery. There are some good companies around I've used when in a pickle but I'm not sure if they will deliver to the cape...that's a bit if a hike.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,453
Woolwich nj
I would have log lenth delivered. get a minimum amount of gear and have at it. You will have a better quality of wood, the wood will be processed exactly the way your stove needs it and you will know exactly how well its seasoned. No guessing games. I split and stack over the winter when I have time, Im sure you can fined time here and there.
 
Feb 2, 2020
154
Madison, WI
You mentioned you dont have much time or equipment but is that a hard limitation?

I'm in Central MA and I buy it in 12-15' logs for about $100 a delivery which is usually around 2 cords split and stacked. Its 100% hardwood, usually maple, oak, cherry, or ash. All you need is a chainsaw, axe/maul, and a weekend or two and you're golden.

If thats a manageable workload I'd call some local tree guys. With all the crazy weather lately they are so busy I bet you can get a good deal. I use 3-4 cords a year so I save a lot of money going this route.

Ive found similar prices when researching seasoned delivered hardwood. $300 a cord + $50 for delivery. There are some good companies around I've used when in a pickle but I'm not sure if they will deliver to the cape...that's a bit if a hike.
Yes +1 on the talking to local tree companies and asking if they provide log drops. In my area, I am using 4 different tree companies that will drop logs a day or two later after I email them. These services are free which is extra nice but I would not mind paying a fee if they were going to drop something really nice (like locust or hedge). The logs are never more than 15 ft in length and many are smaller. There a few catches though: sometimes the logs will be monsters, like 3 ft around at the base or more. You'll want to make sure you have at least one big bar chain saw and a good chain sharpener and extra chains. The other thing is the wood variety is a mix. You will get softwoods, you could get willow if that's what they cut down that day. You will most certainly get at least one trunk that's got debris (mostly rocks and metal) embedded in them. Invest in a wand style metal detector to help locate metal in the trunk, and actually, it's easier to do after you buck it and are dealing with a reasonable sized round. The risk of undesirable species and/or metal in the wood is worth the risk though. It's free firewood and as long as the wood is in good condition (I've yet to get total punky rotted crap wood) it's worth it.
 

esparent

New Member
Nov 5, 2019
10
Vermont
I'm a bit late to the thread but I highly second the log length delivery recommendation. This is how everyone I know gets their firewood delivered here in VT. I paid $700 for a full log truck load (no pup trailer), which comes to about 7 cord. Then you have to do the work of bucking and splitting but then you know the pieces are the exact length and split size you want.
 
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