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Posted By fabsroman,
Sep 18, 2011 at 11:43 PM
With a sig...Like you got, you already had the monkey on your back! ;-)
Maybe at 20 cord my wife might say you can take a break for a bit.
Well, that there is a coincidence. When I was standing in the back of my truck and taking that picture, I was thinking the same thing. Having all that wood on hand is like having money in a savings account. Especially since it translates into money further on down the road.
The difference between you and I is that you probably don't c/s/s 20 cords a year, just what you use the previous year. Me, I am looking at doing 20 cords this year. Probably won't though. I'll probably cut up 10 cords this year and wait until the spring when I have the wood shed up to increase the wood supply. I'm probably going to aim for 15 cords since I am hoping it will only take 3 cords a year to heat this house, but who knows. Ultimately, I would like to be 3 to 5 years ahead so I don't ever have to worry about buying a moisture meter. Then again, a moisture meter would just be another nice toy, especially when it comes to posting on this board.
Oh man. Nobody told me there was a prize for hitting the 20 cord mark. I am just going to have to build a bigger wood shed. Man, an autographed milk crate. Gotta have one of them. Just joking, but seriously.
Yeah, I tend to do almost everything I do with a good amount of passion. I am the same way with hunting, fishing, shooting, cycling, and sadly, work. I guess it is a good thing to a degree, as long as I don't over do it and I keep my priorities straight (i.e., family first, work second, hobbies third). With that said, I think the wood cutting, spliiting, and stacking is good on so many levels. The kids got out into the woods a ton this weekend, and they actually enjoyed it. Just chomping at the bit now to buy a farm that I can do this on, along with other things.
Not married but my parents and relatives think I'm nuts. Yesterday my mom asked me to come over for dinner and I declined since I had 1 more cord to stack. She said I was nuts and had enough. When I explained that I have already spent almost every dime I'm going to on heating the house this winter she seemed to understand...a little.
My cousin (who grew up rather privileged) asked me what was up with all the wood. I explained that was how I heat the house. She looked at me incredulously and asked how a fireplace could heat a house. Then she said it had to have cost more to buy all that wood than to just pay for propane. Now I know who buys those $300 "cords" of oak.
My sister thinks it is me playing survivorman.
My brother thinks I should just buy a heat pump and replace the propane furnace.
Sister-in-law thinks the stacks are ugly.
Dad understands...kind of. He actually comes over and asks if he can split some every once and a while. He hates the fiskars though so he brings his own maul He doesn't like my stacking though, much too haphazard for him.
My mom keeps telling me to "try the gas for a month during the winter to see how much it costs". My dad completely understands. In fact, he wants to buy an insert for his fireplace and my mom keeps vetoing him. Thing is, my mom is really the penny pincher. However, she isn't good with crunching numbers. If I could show her that she would save $1,000 on natural gas bills or more, she would be out there in the woods with a chainsaw herself.
My mom also feels as though me, an attorney/CPA, should not be doing my own mechanic work, cutting and splitting trees, or home improvement. Of course, when I tell her how much it would cost to hire people to do all this stuff, she is dumbfounded. I guess that is because my dad did most of it around the house since I was born and he continues to do it. She has no idea what it would cost. Same thing with the zero turn mower. People thought I was crazy to spend that kind of money on it. However, it will pay for itself within 2 to 3 years and I plan on having it for 20 years.
Yup, I often get the "you make enough to pay people to do that for you". She's right I suppose, but they probably aren't going to do it right.
Random thoughts . . .
Woodsheds are great . . . they make things look neater and in the Winter when it's snowing or sleeting you'll appreciate not having to move tarps or covers out of the way.
You're among friends here . . . we understand Firewood Fever all too well.
You cannot have too much firewood . . . only too little. No one . . . I repeat . . . no one ever gets to February or March complaining that they have too much firewood and didn't use it all up so it will go bad and spoil like milk. On the other hand I can almost guarantee there will be at least one member here come February or March who will write to let us know that they underestimated their needs and are running out of wood.
Final thought . . . today my local oil supply company is selling oil for $3.55 per gallon which for me would work out to $1,194 for this winter's heat if I used the 580 gallons I used in the last year I heated exclusively with heating oil. That certainly isn't an astronomical price to pay for heat . . . but I figure if I just figured out the cost it took for me to get this year's wood supply (i.e. not factoring in costs such as the splitter, woodstove, etc. and only counting costs such as gas and oil for the saw, gas for the splitter, gas for the ATV and truck, etc.) it could not have been more than a couple hundred dollars at most . . . which means I'll have saved close to a $1,000 which my wife and I can spend on a Carribean cruise or trip in the winter (at which point of course the oil boiler will begin to eat away a little bit at that 580 gallons of heating oil.) Use the savings in heating for something that benefits you both . . . in my own view paying for heating oil is just like burning up dollar bills.
propane for me was 191.9 cheapest I could find. filled the tank and don't want to even start using it.
I am on a mission to see how much I can end up with at the end.
firefighterjake $3.55 a gallon for 580 gallons is $over 2,000 bucks unless I am missing something.
That means you can take me to the Carribean too... LOL
FF Jake - I live in original 1947 Levitt ranch ( horribly insulated ) with the original asbestos-wrapped,65-yr-old oil-fired beast hanging in the kitchen. That old girl burns darned near 200 gallons a month in the winter. At $3.90 a gallon for #2 heating oil, for 5 months - thats $3900.... to heat my home for one winter.
All the major wood-burning toys have been bought and paid for already in the last several years. This year its mostly just 'sweat-equity". Man, I LOVE coming home to a warm house!
My wife and I are entering into our second year of wood-burning. Have had the stove less than one year now. She has this to say to me,
"We have enough! No more!
I'm tired of you taking all the free pine from everyone. Get some real wood. Oak, ash, cherry, elm. I want hardwoods, not that pine crap!"
"Hun, I saw a pile of small logs on the side of [neighbor]'s house for you to pick-up later"
"Hun, I saw all these thick dead branches at the park. So I picked them up and put them in the trunk. Would you mind getting them out?"
We burned ~150 gallons of oil the first winter while everyone else was burning 600+ - and that includes crappy wood and alot of downtime due to lack of wood or a busted liner (that knocked me out for about 2 weeks).
The main thing is our stove won't heat the house - so we'll have to find a "new norm" this year where the furnace brings the temp up to an acceptable level and the stove keeps it there. We'll see what that looks like
Keep at it fabsroman, it just gets more addicting.
Marsha (wife) and I have a 1921 house that is 2500 sq ft with the oil burner in the basement hooked to twin 275 gallon tanks. 2 years ago it costs me almost 3k for heat only using oil. Last year I used wood and pellets and cut my costs in half.
I have a small fireplace insert at one end of the house where we spend our time and a free standing pellet stove at the other. When it gets really cold my small insert cant keep coals long enough to keep heat going while at work so I have to remove it and use another pellet stove in the fireplace. I did get a NC13 for the garage-shop this winter, I am looking forward to lighting it off and comparing the heat from that to the heat of the small insert. I really need to get a large freestanding unit for the house and be done with it, maybe a soapstone from Woodstock as I really like the looks of those.
I'll reply to a bunch of other posts in this one too.
As far as "I should be able to pay for heat", that is absolutely true. I can pay for heat. I can pay to have somebody mow my grass. I can pay to have people install my furnace. I can pay to have my water heater fixed. I can pay to have people do my home improvement projects. I can pay to have somebody repair and service my vehicles. I can pay for almost everything I do. Thing is, the more you have to pay for, the less you have to spend on hobbies, the less you have to save for retirement, the less you have to save for the kids' college fund, and the less you have to put toward the mortgage and other investments. At the end of the day, we are all going to have a finite amount of money to work with, period. However, if I have free time on my hands I am going to do that stuff myself. Now, during tax season you will not see me doing any of the above because I am just way too busy making more than what it would cost to have somebody else do the above. As an example, the AC clutch on my 1998 Taurus went bad in mid April right as I was winding up busy season, and it had to wait a week for me to get to it. If I am so busy throughout the year that I just cannot cut the wood, then I will pay somebody for it.
We settled on this house on February 14th and I had 100 gallons of heating oil delivered that day. It cost us somewhere around $420. We set the thermostat at 68 degrees after moving in that same day. Three weeks later I went out to measure the amount of heating oil in the tank and it was 3" off the bottom and Lord knows where the pickup line is in the tank. It is a $500 tank and the oil companies have been all over me to have it filled during the off season at close to $2,000 and they don't even think that will get me through the entire winter. Anyway, I lowered the thermostat to 62 degrees in the house and we used little space heaters in the rooms we were staying in. We have a 2,500 sf ranch with a 2,500 sf basement that is heated and cooled via central air ducting. It wasn't even that cold during those three weeks. I cannot imagine what our heating bill would have been if it was really cold or if we had to heat this house with oil the entire heating season. I have prepared many a home office deduction worksheet for clients, but I never really paid attention to the utility bill portion. I mean I entered the numbers they gave me, but never really thought about it since our natural gas bill at the townhouse was around $700 to $800 a year and there was no option to use wood for heating in that place. Well, after going through that $420 in heating oil that quickly, I pulled up the returns of clients that I knew were using oil heat and their heating oil bills were $3,000+. At that point, my cheap self knew we weren't going to be using heating oil the following winter. I had already been looking into a wood furnace and after tax season ended I just started looking through all the bookmarks I had saved in Internet Explorer.
Below are pics of today's scrounge. Before dropping those two trees, I took a truckload of 1/2 poplar and 1/2 red oak that I had cut up yesterday. We bucked both of those oaks today and they have an appointment with the splitter in the morning. After I finish hauling these two trees to the house, I am done with scrounging wood until I have all of this stacked. I have a LOT of stacking to do and am almost dreading it.
Bought my current house in Aug 07. Been keeping track and we are using 700-800 g oil/yr. But that's keeping it pretty cool (64-66 F), using programmable thermostats and so on. House is two zone and I practically leave one zone off trying not to use that part of the house. The wife is always turning up the heat and I'm always right behind her turning it down.
Installing a Jotul 550 this Sat. I'm really not trying to go off the grid but it will be nice to have at least one place in the house to be good and warm. My oil use isn't going to go up and if I actually see some real savings all the better. But to try to have my house at 72-74 F would prob mean I use 1200 g. Not doing that!
At $4 a gallon, that would be a $4,800 heating bill. I would drop dead from shock.
You're telling me! Plus I have hot water heating system called continuous loop which heats a larger volume of water relative to regular baseboard. That water is then circulated continuously through 2" black pipe to the individual heating elements (a lot of mass to heat up). So when the boiler runs alot you see it in the electric bill too, double whammy.
The insert has got to be an improvement.
I would not care if all I saw out of my windows were wood piles.....if it was up to me, I would border the whole damn property with a wood pile privacy fence...even though we live in the country there are some neighbors...
I am always telling Mr Gamma to go get more...more...more..
I have a "thing" for wood piles... :-S :lol: ;-)
Where is mine then? Jeez I got ripped off, I hit 20 cord a month ago
Hehheh . . . ran out of fingers and toes to count . . . start packing your bags!
Ya mine calls me a dick quite often too :lol: !
Tell your wife either let you split the wood or she can pay the oil bill.
Then tell her to shut up and get back in the kitchen...I want to see what happens.
Really you should just do whatever she tells you to do if you value your life.
I guess you are replying to me, but I am not sure.
As far as paying for the oil bill, we keep all our money together. So, she really wouldn't be paying the oil bill, we would both be paying it.
As far as the kitchen goes, she loves the kitchen. She cooked chicken parmesan tonight and it was delicious. Now, as far as telling her to be quiet, she does not like that.
As far as doing whatever she tells me to do, it doesn't always work out that way. However, we hardly ever argue about anything. If we have an argument a year, that is a lot.
All in all, things are good. I am actually at a point where I am getting tired of cutting, splitting, and stacking wood, so after tomorrow, which should give me another 2 truck loads of oak, I am going to put the brakes on the wood cutting. Too much of anything is usually a bad thing. 10+ cords of wood in less than 60 days is starting to make this wood cutting stuff old, instead of a hobby.
Sorry fabsroman, but that one statement isn't quite true. Last year we did cut only around 3 cord but last year was definitely not a normal year. We cut many more than that. If not, how would we be able to sell any and also be able to provide some poor folks with their winter's supply of wood? Sorry about the answer but your statement set a bit wrong with me as I remember too many years when we cut split and stacked well over 20 cord.