My first year with wood

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Split

Member
Aug 28, 2022
110
Nova Scotia, Canada
So, I talked about my first year with a woodstove in the other thread but I thought I'd make one hear about my first year experiences with wood.

First, thanks to the members of this forum who got me up and running to having better drier seasoned wood.

I had my stove installed in early December and finding dry wood at that time of year is nigh impossible. Had I known I was installing a woodstove I may have had a better start. My first load was through a connection my mother had of a guy who took down one of her trees. Bad idea. Being very inexperienced the guy showed up with a load of softwood and odds n ends. Fungus on it. Some dry. I think some were from various roadside projects. It was cheap but terrible wood. Frankly I'm not the most confrontational guy and with my inexperience I accepted and took the full cord for 200. I burned some and was like yup trash, gonna need more. At this point I discovered Hearth and started learning about wood.

My next cord was within a week and huge. Great hardwood (maple, birch, oak etc.) Sadly, too green. Cut in the summer but just split. I knew I couldn't burn it. But I'm like give it to me. I'll use this next year. Might as well get started right? So I did an experiment just to see what all you guys were talking about with the 'keep it outside stacked' business. I put half in my dry shed and half outside, top covered and off the ground.

Luckily I did run into another connection through a friend and this guy had some dry wood. Thank God. Was it 20% and under? No. But it had a good knock and was definitely drier. It was loaded with birch with some maple, ash and other hardwoods. It was either this or freeze. So this it was. By the end of winter I had burned 2.5 cords of the stuff. It burned well and my spring chimney sweep said all was great and that we 'burned well'.

I stressed a lot in my first year over 'wet wood'. Perhaps too much and perhaps excessively. I understand the benefits of seasoned wood but maybe there is a bit pf fear mongering too. 90% of people here in Nova Scotia buy wood in the spring and season until fall. Burn. Repeat. I mean in the spring here there is wood going everywhere.
I think being on a forum with some serious purists was a bit overwhelming. I mean some of you guys are like 'yup. Gonna burn some stuff I've had css seasoning for 3-5 years. Should burn well'. I'm like what? There is no way I can do that. I don't have the room nor the time.

However, I bought 5 cords from my wood guy in the spring all css. Good stuff. Some big thick pieces and some smaller. Lots of birch, ash, maple etc. Most of the bark was already off. I stacked 3 cords on pallets, in rows of two only, about 4.5 feet high. Uncovered. I get lots of wind here, in all directions, right at the edge of a farmers field. I stacked 3 cords ( one from the previous year I mo ed back outside) under a 10 foot overhang/shed exposed on three sides. We get dry summers here - beautiful for seasoning wood.

Got my Digital Multimeter and did the Ohm test yesterday (thanks for the info from the creator of that thread!). Moved one cord in my shed for the winter cause we're about to get two weeks of rain. All wood,freshly split and tested, minus one was over the 3 Ohm safe zone! Most over 5-7 ohms.

The knock of the wood has now become a shrill tink rather than a knock. Man it's light and dry! I'm excited to see how this year burns. I'll be moving the other exposed two cords in my shed for winter probably during a dry spell in October. That still leaves me with 3 cords under my overhang which seems drier because it was covered. Not as weathered looking though.

When that's inside I'll buy three more cords and begin seasoning for next winter. Might as well get a head start.

Lastly, the green cord I got in early December that was stacked half inside and half outside for our wet winter, dried more outside by the time April rolled around! The trash wood is still unused and I put it outside and will make kindling with it.

Thanks for all the help and knowledge in my first year. A long post but I'm hooked on wood.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,267
Long Island NY
Another addict doing it right.
Good job.
 

Deppizzymo

Member
Feb 28, 2022
55
Missouri
I am heading into my first winter. 2600 square foot old farm house with a Lopi Liberty. I am praying we have enough "dry enough" wood. Everything that I have split and stacked was dead before I did it... but it is also a ton of hardwood that generally takes 2-3 years like oak/elm/walnut. I have some sycamore and silver maple that I am going to burn first and see how far it gets me. I have about 1/2 a cord of old hedge posts cut up. Hard as a rock. This is my emergency stash lol. I figure a piece of hedge post in with a 25-30% piece of oak should probably burn just fine. You have given me some confidence that we will make it through the winter and hope to be better set up by Winter 2023 with better/drier wood.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,267
Long Island NY
If you burn wetter wood, make "extra sure" to keep the chimney warm enough and don't choke down the stove as much as one can otherwise (i.e. for you next season) do.

Burning wet wood uses more wood, both because the heat output is lower, but also because you want the inevitable stuff not condensing in the chimney, so y ou have to push more heat up.
 

Split

Member
Aug 28, 2022
110
Nova Scotia, Canada
I am heading into my first winter. 2600 square foot old farm house with a Lopi Liberty. I am praying we have enough "dry enough" wood. Everything that I have split and stacked was dead before I did it... but it is also a ton of hardwood that generally takes 2-3 years like oak/elm/walnut. I have some sycamore and silver maple that I am going to burn first and see how far it gets me. I have about 1/2 a cord of old hedge posts cut up. Hard as a rock. This is my emergency stash lol. I figure a piece of hedge post in with a 25-30% piece of oak should probably burn just fine. You have given me some confidence that we will make it through the winter and hope to be better set up by Winter 2023 with better/drier wood.
Yeah that's good to hear. The great thing is you're in the right place on this forum snd your mind is right. Awareness is key. I really stressed my first winter and I think unreasonably so. That's my brain though. Im a worrier. If you don't want to get a moisture meter remember the digital Multimeter works just as well. There is a sticky thread on it.

I don't know what it is about wood.... I like being around it, thinking about it, burning it and harnessing it's energy. Kinda like me and fishing I guess. I have these strange fond memories of stacking wood with my two brothers when I was young.

Oak.... I wish I had more of it. I know I have some but with the bark off 90% of my wood it's hard to identify. I'll post a pic in smother thread of some splits I have with a distinct look. See if anyone can identify. I'm hoping it's oak.

Thanks for the reply.
 

Split

Member
Aug 28, 2022
110
Nova Scotia, Canada
If you burn wetter wood, make "extra sure" to keep the chimney warm enough and don't choke down the stove as much as one can otherwise (i.e. for you next season) do.

Burning wet wood uses more wood, both because the heat output is lower, but also because you want the inevitable stuff not condensing in the chimney, so y ou have to push more heat up.
Yeah my certified installer asked me if I had experience with burning wood. When I said 'no' he grabbed a flue probe thermometer and stuck it in the stove pipe. It marks out where you need to be burning. Was a big help to me. I recommend one.
 
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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
7,691
Northern NH
Sounds like you are well on your way to becoming a "pro"
 
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Wood1Dennis

Burning Hunk
Jan 17, 2016
168
Eastern Wisconsin
I don't know what it is about wood.... I like being around it, thinking about it, burning it and harnessing it's energy.
Like he said!

I would add the connection with nature, with my environment. I think that is probably what I appreciate the most!
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,267
Long Island NY
Only if I find a piece that I can already see what it is (will be). I'm not good at it, but it's relaxing. And if it doesn't work out, I can burn the piece 🙂
 

Wisdomoak159#19

Feeling the Heat
Nov 21, 2021
265
Clinton county indiana
I am heading into my first winter. 2600 square foot old farm house with a Lopi Liberty. I am praying we have enough "dry enough" wood. Everything that I have split and stacked was dead before I did it... but it is also a ton of hardwood that generally takes 2-3 years like oak/elm/walnut. I have some sycamore and silver maple that I am going to burn first and see how far it gets me. I have about 1/2 a cord of old hedge posts cut up. Hard as a rock. This is my emergency stash lol. I figure a piece of hedge post in with a 25-30% piece of oak should probably burn just fine. You have given me some confidence that we will make it through the winter and hope to be better set up by Winter 2023 with better/drier wood.
How's your stash drying as winter gets closer? I went through this last year burned real wet unseasonably wood all winter. We were cold and the stove didn't perform well but we made it. Make sure you clean your chimney regularly when your burning wet wood. Mine got so full if creosote I can't belive I didn't get a chimney fire. Lesson learned. Stay warm. And definitely hold onto that hedge for the real bad cold snaps
 
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Deppizzymo

Member
Feb 28, 2022
55
Missouri
How's your stash drying as winter gets closer? I went through this last year burned real wet unseasonably wood all winter. We were cold and the stove didn't perform well but we made it. Make sure you clean your chimney regularly when your burning wet wood. Mine got so full if creosote I can't belive I didn't get a chimney fire. Lesson learned. Stay warm. And definitely hold onto that hedge for the real bad cold snaps
So far so good! I had a decent stash of sycamore/silver maple that are burning really well save for a few fat pieces. I have a mixed pile of dead rock hard heartwood oak mixed with a cherry I cut down back in March and a couple standing/lying dead red oaks that I am hoping will be good enough. The rest of my piles are similar but mostly dead oak. It's hard to know how the whole pile stands but my moistures range from next to nothing to the low 20s on some pieces. I did manage to at least get enough of the harbor freight tarps and tin pieces to cover everything. It heats the kitchen/den/upstairs bedroom perfectly. Den gets a little warm but it is cozy. The master bedroom is probably 5 degrees cooler but not bad. The dining room/living room potentially 10 degrees colder but not unbearably so. Of course it's not even November yet... I am sure I will be singing a different tune by then.
 
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GrumpyDad

Minister of Fire
Feb 23, 2022
561
Champion, PA
Like he said!

I would add the connection with nature, with my environment. I think that is probably what I appreciate the most!
I just walked into this, and read this comment. Love it.
Springtime at my shack in the woods, small trees all around me have gotten their leaves. It's trout season, it's raining out. I see the spot where I start fishing right through my window. It's darker than normal for it being an hour beyond the crack of dawn. Fire restarted in the stove. Coffee mug sitting on the griddle briefly. Wife making me a bacon egg cheese english muffin sandwich before I go fly fishing. Setup the walkie talkies so my wife can check on me and me her. Not remembering to turn the volume down, and an hour into fishing I will hear "how's it going honey!?" and scare the living chit out of me because of course, Im fishing in a stream and there's NOONE around me and no sounds other than rolling waters.
What's most likely to happen will be "Do you know what your son just did!" or "This stupid POS stove you bought is at 700 degrees what should I do!"
But one can dream can't they?
 

30WCF

Burning Hunk
Aug 31, 2016
218
North Carolina
Do any of you carve? Really thought about trying it out
This one actually came from a piece of hickory from the wood stack. 3BAFA384-C920-47A5-BF90-AECBEE2343AC.jpeg

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Then one from a briar wood block.
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