What do you do with all the garbage wood?

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
2,083
Iowa
Wow! Sure didn't have intentions of stirring a hornet's nest over fire starting etiquette. He haaaaa. Anywho. One other notable thought on the kindling vs fire starter war. ;)

Some who start on kindling or less than fully packed loads are opening the loading door again to get a full load put onboard. Once my original full load is up and running its walk away time. No opening the loading door on a hot cat. Just something I consider after replacing cats that appear to have been shocked repeatedly. No scientific ciphering to back this up. Just seems like plain common sense. Maybe? Dunno. Running a non-cat stove eliminates the relevance here.
Carry on all. To each there own. Enjoying the discussion on this end!
91F here right now. Record setting possibly. Wowsers.

That will catch your small/medium splits without kindling or do you use kindling too?
Zero kindling ever. And yes, the load starts easily every time.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ashful

GrumpyDad

Minister of Fire
Feb 23, 2022
561
Champion, PA
Wow! Sure didn't have intentions of stirring a hornet's nest over fire starting etiquette. He haaaaa. Anywho. One other notable thought on the kindling vs fire starter war. ;)

Some who start on kindling or less than fully packed loads are opening the loading door again to get a full load put onboard. Once my original full load is up and running its walk away time. No opening the loading door on a hot cat. Just something I consider after replacing cats that appear to have been shocked repeatedly. No scientific ciphering to back this up. Just seems like plain common sense. Maybe? Dunno. Running a non-cat stove eliminates the relevance here.
Carry on all. To each there own. Enjoying the discussion on this end!
91F here right now. Record setting possibly. Wowsers.


Zero kindling ever. And yes, the load starts easily every time.
Im told the last warm day of the year is today. The weather people use "science" to make these claims. I will surely be outside again in a tshirt and shorts, there is no doubt in my mind.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
17,626
Philadelphia
Zero kindling ever. And yes, the load starts easily every time.
Ditto. Like you, I don't want to open a cold door on a hot cat. But even more than that, I'm the usual combination of busy and lazy... why execute two steps when one works just fine, every time? Time spent on that second load would cost me that of reading at least half a dozen posts, here!
 
  • Haha
Reactions: moresnow

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,267
Long Island NY
That assertion is incorrect.

A kindling start needs about 1" on top of the full load to get going. The benefits of a top down start is that you can run a 95pct full load when starting up cold.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bigealta

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
17,626
Philadelphia
That assertion is incorrect.

A kindling start needs about 1" on top of the full load to get going. The benefits of a top down start is that you can run a 95pct full load when starting up cold.
I'm not following you, stoveliker. Were you responding to my post, immediately above yours, or to something else?

I do 100% of full load, whether starting cold or not. The only difference between a cold start and a hot reload, at least in this house, is whether or not there's a SuperCedar stuffed in there under the ~80 lb. of oak.
 
  • Like
Reactions: moresnow

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,267
Long Island NY
Ok. A full load is up to the brick for me. No space for a super cedar in the front.

I do a cold start with a 95 pct plus full load because I only have one 1" thinner split in the middle on top where kindling goes. The rest is just as full as a hot reload.

So, at least for me "why open twice" is just not the case.


Edit: yes, I was responding to your "why two steps ", with my procedure that is just as one step and just as full as your process. Hence the assertion was not correct.
 
Last edited:

GrumpyDad

Minister of Fire
Feb 23, 2022
561
Champion, PA
I'm not following you, stoveliker. Were you responding to my post, immediately above yours, or to something else?

I do 100% of full load, whether starting cold or not. The only difference between a cold start and a hot reload, at least in this house, is whether or not there's a SuperCedar stuffed in there under the ~80 lb. of oak.
woh, 80 pounds. That must be some stove.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,267
Long Island NY
2.9 cubic ft. (With fuel weight depending on moisture content).
On that note I just measured my first three year old oak. In the middle of a 5" split (resplit) it's below 15 pct. Measured three pieces. Curious how that'll burn...
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,663
Ottawa, ON
2.9 cubic ft. (With fuel weight depending on moisture content).
On that note I just measured my first three year old oak. In the middle of a 5" split (resplit) it's below 15 pct. Measured three pieces. Curious how that'll burn...
You should weigh it😏
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,267
Long Island NY
Nah, I won't. I prefer not to hint @Ashful might be wrong. (I really don't know, never weighed, and didn't look up oak weight as a fct of moisture content.) I Like to prevent from making enemies here...
 
  • Like
Reactions: ozarkoak and Diabel

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,663
Ottawa, ON
Nah, I won't. I prefer not to hint @Ashful might be wrong. (I really don't know, never weighed, and didn't look up oak weight as a fct of moisture content.) I Like to prevent from making enemies here...
Hahahha
You have been here ( and I) long enough to know….we are all friends.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
17,626
Philadelphia
woh, 80 pounds. That must be some stove.
Nah, I won't. I prefer not to hint @Ashful might be wrong. (I really don't know, never weighed, and didn't look up oak weight as a fct of moisture content.) I Like to prevent from making enemies here...
Well, you got me curious, guys. I threw out a number without any calculation, based on what it feels like when I'm carrying two satchels full of wood up the steps from the basement door at 6 o'clock in the morning. Do something 500x per year for a dozen years, and you start to get a feel for it.

But let's actually do the math on it:

Engineering Toolbox puts red oak at 3350 per cord at 20%MC, meaning my 3 cubic foot stove holds 79 lb., if stacked with the same 66% volumetric density assumed for a stacked cord. Given that most of us play tetris for at least 60 seconds each time we load the stove, I'd posit that I'm likely putting slightly more than 80 lb. into that stove, except when I let the coals build up too much.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,267
Long Island NY
Glad I said what I said :)
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
17,626
Philadelphia
It'd be pretty tough to make an enemy out of me, stoveliker. I have thick skin, and like smart posters like you, even when we disagree. ==c

Next, you're going to challenge my 500x per year number. I didn't do the math on that one, either, but I'd bet it's close!
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,663
Ottawa, ON
It'd be pretty tough to make an enemy out of me, stoveliker. I have thick skin, and like smart posters like you, even when we disagree. ==c

Next, you're going to challenge my 500x per year number. I didn't do the math on that one, either, but I'd bet it's close!
@Ashful
As I recall, the 80lbs was at one point weighted by you no? Some years ago? But i never questioned it.
Solid 8 splits that fit in my princess would have to weigh ….. not sure….
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
17,626
Philadelphia
@Ashful
As I recall, the 80lbs was at one point weighted by you no? Some years ago? But i never questioned it.
Solid 8 splits that fit in my princess would have to weigh ….. not sure….
Maybe... it sure sounds like something I'd do, although I don't specifically remember it.

I do recall there was one regular here who loaded his stove by weight. He'd check the heating degree forecast, then set a tote on his scale and load a certain weight of wood for each heating degree day. It seemed like a smart way to go, if you were actually trying to do all of your heating with wood, rather than just providing a base for the central heating to modulate atop.

Although I've never actually plotted BTU vs. weight, to look for any linear relationship, I'd bet it's a reasonable method, if you believe it has all reached equilibrium MC%.
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,663
Ottawa, ON
Maybe... it sure sounds like something I'd do, although I don't specifically remember it.

I do recall there was one regular here who loaded his stove by weight. He'd check the heating degree forecast, then set a tote on his scale and load a certain weight of wood for each heating degree day. It seemed like a smart way to go, if you were actually trying to do all of your heating with wood, rather than just providing a base for the central heating to modulate atop.

Although I've never actually plotted BTU vs. weight, to look for any linear relationship, I'd bet it's a reasonable method, if you believe it has all reached equilibrium MC%.
Oh yes. Pehaps it was someone else. Still, 80lbs. That is a lot weight
 

Crummy

Member
Sep 2, 2022
123
North Pole, AK
As my wood comes off the splitter I put anything that's not a uniform size in that shed on the left to be burned in the Alaska Pipeline fire pit. Knotty or otherwise twisted pieces as well as smaller slivers don't load as well as nice straight pieces and I need fire pit wood anyway. Debris from under the splitter gets raked up and tossed in the pit also.
IMG_20220610_193223.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: sixer and Ashful

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,267
Long Island NY
Is that hot tub also wood fired? :)
 

bigealta

Minister of Fire
May 22, 2010
863
Utah & NJ
1/2 my backyard is woodchips and 1/2 of that is for mini orchard/garden area. So easy to dump bark and rot there to add to the mulch chips.
That being said i put most usable kindling in garbage cans and cardboard boxes which are clean and easy to carry into the house. I'm a pyro and love starting fires. Never gets old for me. I also do top down with mostly full loads and just an inch or 2 of kindling on top scraping the secondary tubes. 1 light and door closes right away and does not get reopened till full reload time. My wife uses fire starters because she, ah whatever. Well at least i could get her to change to top down starts last year. Thought that would never happen!
 

GrumpyDad

Minister of Fire
Feb 23, 2022
561
Champion, PA
As my wood comes off the splitter I put anything that's not a uniform size in that shed on the left to be burned in the Alaska Pipeline fire pit. Knotty or otherwise twisted pieces as well as smaller slivers don't load as well as nice straight pieces and I need fire pit wood anyway. Debris from under the splitter gets raked up and tossed in the pit also.
View attachment 299212
Nice!
 

GrumpyDad

Minister of Fire
Feb 23, 2022
561
Champion, PA
I finally got around to burning all the garbage that was left on the ground after having 2 cords delivered and resplitting about half of it. I had two piles, and I had a ton of cardboard laying around after doing a stove install, and getting some other stuff for our weekend camp. Because it's a weekend camp, it can be hard to find the right moment to burn the burn pile. I do have neighbors, rather close. I dont want to smoke out their weekend, so I avoid burning when they are there and they have been showing up alot lately. I also can't burn when it is too windy, and being in a valley that wind can be fairly strong, and it has been windy windy windy. I also encountered a ton of rain lately too.
So I was kinda happy to get rid of these two piles, and the cardboard. I took a little chunk of a starter block my wife likes to use in the fireplace, created a little hole in the wood chips and lite the block then slowly covered it with little pieces of the top dry stuff, then the cardboard.

Whoops big mistake. The cardboard started to blaze quite high. Not danger zone high or to the point that I was going to grab the hose, but I did have to watch it. Then the wood caught, and the blaze got even higher....

then the wind came...and it was strong. Up to that point the wind from earlier in the day subsided to the point of 0-2 mph. At this point the wind was blowing at about 10mph with gusts up to 25-30 I would imagine.

So of course, now I have a blazing almost out of control fire, and giant chunks of cardboard flying into the air wrapping around trees and flying into the neighbors yard. Whoops. Get the hose out and check for spot fires. Nothing, ok good. Luckily, I live in a perpetually wet area else I would never risk having a burn pile.

I took a shovel and spread the fire outwards carefully. Not realizing that I had now spread the fire dangerously close to my gray water pit (which is filled with....you guessed it, 2 large dump trucks full of small wood chips). Whoops. So I wet that area down quite well and saved the gray water system.

6 hours later, all I had was ashes and some smoldering/smoke. By morning, it was all gone and only gray ash remained.