locust performance

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MrCool1

Member
Oct 6, 2021
54
OR
Totally false!.I have burned locust for years with no problems what so ever...i have a old timer friend who has only burned locust for the last 30 years plus...his 40 acres is almost entirely locust...like any wood make sure the moisture content is right and burn away and enjoy!
that is so awesome to hear - glad I was a little skeptical and saved it!! - even more really dry available for this winter!! Thanks so much for the info!
 
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fire_man

Minister of Fire
Feb 6, 2009
2,589
North Eastern MA
Hey, I've been burning some locust this year and my moisture meter says it is around 12% moisture. i don't know if it is black or honey locust. i've used locust with fantastic results for years now, but it seems like this locust is kind of slow to heat up the stove and doesn't make big flames with high air setting on the stove. it's very strange to me. it makes me doubt my primary air setting sometimes. I just threw in a piece of sugar maple with the locust that i had started the stove with and put the air intake on high and it went up in temp pretty quickly. Is there something weird with locust that it sometimes burns better if it's with other wood species? I'm confused by this!
I had the same exact problem this past week. I've been trying to burn four year old Locust and am having trouble getting flames going on a hot bed of coals, and the stove has trouble getting hot -even with more air. The Locust was mixed in the same stack as oak and the oak burns great. The wood has been top covered for over 4 years. I don't have much experience with Locust, but I have been down this road before and had the same problem with the Fireview.

I was about to switch out the Cat for a brand new one but went back to Oak from the exact same stack and now it burns fine. Go figure.

The only thing that makes any sense is we had a super humid Summer and maybe the Locust absorbs more moisture. I never bother with a moisture meter since my wood is so old and top covered. The plan is to mix it heavily with oak.
 
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heavy hammer

Minister of Fire
Jul 18, 2015
1,852
Kirtland Ohio
Mixing it with some other woods should help. Locust can be difficult to get going. I'm burning 4-5 year seasoned locust now and it can still be hard to get the stove hot if the pieces are to big or just a load of only locust. But once going it will crank, my favorite wood by far, maybe try splitting a few up smaller as well.
 

fire_man

Minister of Fire
Feb 6, 2009
2,589
North Eastern MA
I found the key to Locust burning success was to run the stove much hotter before engaging the cat. Instead of bypassing at 250F Stove Top I wait for 350F. I also leave the air open wider the for the whole burn cycle. Locust behaves very differently than any of the other woods I have ever burned (Cherry, Oak, Beach, Norway Maple, Birch, Poplar,Elm). Not sure if I'll get to burn the Hickory waiting for me any time soon.
 
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heavy hammer

Minister of Fire
Jul 18, 2015
1,852
Kirtland Ohio
I do the same with my Kuma sequoia I usually let it run a little hotter, or once the bypass is closed it seems like the fire can be choked down if not burning well enough. But once the stuff is going it roars hot.
 
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ohlongarm

Minister of Fire
Mar 18, 2011
1,552
Northeastern Ohio
Hey, I've been burning some locust this year and my moisture meter says it is around 12% moisture. i don't know if it is black or honey locust. i've used locust with fantastic results for years now, but it seems like this locust is kind of slow to heat up the stove and doesn't make big flames with high air setting on the stove. it's very strange to me. it makes me doubt my primary air setting sometimes. I just threw in a piece of sugar maple with the locust that i had started the stove with and put the air intake on high and it went up in temp pretty quickly. Is there something weird with locust that it sometimes burns better if it's with other wood species? I'm confused by this!
Given the fact my locust was standing dead a decade on the neighbors farm, and I cut and stacked it a decade ago in a covered building, mine will start easily on an inch of hot coals, I then run with the bypass open a little longer than usual before shutting the bypass and setting the tstat. A full load usually burns from 10 to 16 hours dependent on temperatures outside. It burns down to a heavy powder . I love the stuff, honey locust burns equally well.
 

ReggieT

Member
Aug 13, 2015
97
Birmingham, AL
I can only be successful with locust when I load it on hot coals or mix with other woods, it will fight me if I try to make a fire solely using it or if my coal base is shallow. Other then that, I love the stuff and always separate it when I come across it, save it for those arctic blast times.
What you wrote is my exact same experience with locust.
BTW...I Loves Locust!🤓

Here is a haul I picked up Friday night!

locust side.jpg locust tailgate.jpg
 
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Tar12

Minister of Fire
Dec 9, 2016
1,748
Indiana
qIWoTdwl.jpg


I dont have much trouble at all getting locust to take off..it was taking off before i finished loading the stove on a 2 inch bed of coals..this was 1 minute after shutting the door and its now a raging inferno
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,291
07462
I dont have much trouble at all getting locust to take off..it was taking off before i finished loading the stove on a 2 inch bed of coals..this was 1 minute after shutting the door and its now a raging inferno
That looks like red oak and maple on the floor lol
 
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weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,876
Central Mass
I was always jealous of the people that have access to black locust but I have a lot of access to shagbark hickory which is just as good. I save it for the frigid nights.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,291
07462
Another blast coming in mid morning / afternoon here, low temps in the lower single digits the next 5 nights with highs in the teens / low 20's. I brought another load of wood and took the time to separate it, maple for today and afternoon to burn down coals, white oak for mornings and black locust for the night, that should keep my upstairs 72 - 73 which is almost perfect when it gets this cold, of course the basement in a sauna which is good when I get back inside from skiing or screwing around with something outside.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
2,879
Long Island NY
Same here. Given the amount of coals I got going with oak (and running quite hard with the stove in the basement), I'm going to try more ash (and some maple) these days. Refilled the rack in the garage. It contains oak, ash, and a bit of pine and maple.
 

fire_man

Minister of Fire
Feb 6, 2009
2,589
North Eastern MA
qIWoTdwl.jpg


I dont have much trouble at all getting locust to take off..it was taking off before i finished loading the stove on a 2 inch bed of coals..this was 1 minute after shutting the door and its now a raging inferno
Those skinny splits are also a factor getting the wood to take off fast. I tend to split wider.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,291
07462
Same here. Given the amount of coals I got going with oak (and running quite hard with the stove in the basement), I'm going to try more ash (and some maple) these days. Refilled the rack in the garage. It contains oak, ash, and a bit of pine and maple.
I will say for the few blasts of cold we've had so far, I'm very impressed with my stoves performance and how well the coaling has not happened considering how much I've been loading, lots of 3/4 complete burns before I feel the need for adding wood, having dry seasoned stuff really pays off.
Another tip I've done for the past 3 times has been to rake the coals to onside and scoop out the ash, then rake to the other side and scoop some more out, its not 100% clean but this method allows for more space and keeps the red hot coals in the firebox for easy light off's, I'll do this once every 10 days or so, the timing has been the night before another front comes through.
 

bigealta

Feeling the Heat
May 22, 2010
342
Utah, NJ
Locust -We say here in NJ. "Splits like butter, burns like coal".
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
2,879
Long Island NY
I will say for the few blasts of cold we've had so far, I'm very impressed with my stoves performance and how well the coaling has not happened considering how much I've been loading, lots of 3/4 complete burns before I feel the need for adding wood, having dry seasoned stuff really pays off.
Another tip I've done for the past 3 times has been to rake the coals to onside and scoop out the ash, then rake to the other side and scoop some more out, its not 100% clean but this method allows for more space and keeps the red hot coals in the firebox for easy light off's, I'll do this once every 10 days or so, the timing has been the night before another front comes through.
Yes, I've been doing that (I have a metal cat scooper I bought, scoop big scoops, slowly shake the ashes out, dump the coals in a corner; once a pile of ashes is there, it's easy to scoop it out).
I just ended up with a lot of ashes (belly full, tho not as deep as yours), and when I started taking them out, I noticed a solid 1.5-2" layer of glowing coals in the bed of ashes. Maybe because of the fact that I used a lot of ~3" dia oak branch wood. But having used pine, sassafras, maple as my previous staple wood, I am not all that happy with oak so far. Maybe using proper splits (later) is better.

The wood is dry <18%.
 

Tar12

Minister of Fire
Dec 9, 2016
1,748
Indiana

Tar12

Minister of Fire
Dec 9, 2016
1,748
Indiana
Those skinny splits are also a factor getting the wood to take off fast. I tend to split wider.
Those skinny splits are for filler pieces...hence the fireside mini maul..there is no wasted space when i load this stove up...this picture is of typical splits...

hFNxcxHl.jpg