WTF?

  • 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.

lml999

Minister of Fire
Oct 25, 2013
534
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
What is it with firewood sellers? Out of three loads delivered, two have been short, and by short, I mean WTF! short.

First load -- two cords of green oak. Seller warned me that it wasn't quite two cords. He was spot on. Thank you.

Second load - a cord and a half of scrub oak. Crap. Light, Mossy. Farck. Ended up being less than a cord. (edit: this was the only load from the cape, others were from Plymouth and Carver)

Third load - supposed to be a cord of cherry. When the guy showed up I told him he was short. Way short. He charged me for a half cord. Turned out to be a third of a cord. WTF!

At least the cherry burns nice...has a really nice aroma. If I thought I'd get an honest load from that guy I'd get another (real) cord from him, but I'm not really willing to chance it... Oh, and we left a decent pile of 22" and longer sticks in the trailer. No way they were going in my Enviro 1200! (I told him up front 16-17" max!)

<sigh>

No scrounging for me...no time, no truck, no trailer, no saw, no interest. (Oh and the local sand-grown wood is crap). :)
 
Last edited:

GadDummit

Burning Hunk
May 27, 2017
247
Oklahoma
People today are trash. Sellers almost never give you what they claim to have. Grandaddy used to say, "If you want something done particular, do it yourself". I hate buying wood unless it's from one place run by a little girl that inherited a bunch of land from her daddy about 2 miles from me. Now she cuts wood all summer and sells wood all winter. Cords are always right on or a little plus.
If you ever find a good seller, duct tape their number to your coffee cup and call them every week to make sure God hasn't taken them yet. Then stock up every time they leave the house.
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,719
Northern Maine
What is it with firewood sellers? Out of three loads delivered, two have been short, and by short, I mean WTF! short.

First load -- two cords of green oak. Seller warned me that it wasn't quite two cords. He was spot on. Thank you.

Second load - a cord and a half of scrub oak. Crap. Light, Mossy. Farck. Ended up being less than a cord.

Thirs load - supposed to be a cord of cherry. When the guy showed up I told him he was short. Way short. He charged me for a half cord. Turned out to be a third of a cord. WTF!

At least the cherry burns nice...has a really nice aroma. If I thought I'd get an honest load from that guy I'd get another (real) cord from him, but I'm not really willing to chance it... Oh, and we left a decent pile of 22" and longer sticks in the trailer. No way they were going in my Enviro 1200! (I told him up front 16-17" max!)

<sigh>

No scrounging for me...no time, no truck, no trailer, no saw, no interest. :)
Because Cape Cod.

If I never cross a bridge to that sand baragain I'll die a happy man. Heading down Monday or Wends and I'm not looking forward to it.
 

lml999

Minister of Fire
Oct 25, 2013
534
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
People today are trash. Sellers almost never give you what they claim to have. Grandaddy used to say, "If you want something done particular, do it yourself". I hate buying wood unless it's from one place run by a little girl that inherited a bunch of land from her daddy about 2 miles from me. Now she cuts wood all summer and sells wood all winter. Cords are always right on or a little plus.
If you ever find a good seller, duct tape their number to your coffee cup and call them every week to make sure God hasn't taken them yet. Then stock up every time they leave the house.

No kidding. I worked with the same guy for a few years at our last place. I always knew what I was getting, and I usually got more than expected. I'm *hoping* the guy from Plymouth that delivered my oak in September is the same way. I'll be buying as many cords as I can find room for in June. (cheap and green)
 

gzecc

Minister of Fire
Sep 24, 2008
4,829
NNJ
Unfortunately there are all kinds of wood sellers. Most are unable or unwilling to provide a good product. Its a very labor intensive process and most try to cut corners. Its worse than rolling the dice at a casino.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MR. GLO

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,465
Northern NH
There are good sellers out there but they dont need to advertise and usually have every cord sold long before its delivered. its a low margin, cash, commodity business. That combination is just begging for fly by night characters. If they burn one customer, they have plenty of others to burn and worst case is they change the name and number of the business. No one get rich turning green trees into firewood and delivering it. Add in letting it sit for a minimum of one year preferably two to make a good product while folks desperate for wood will buy it green for cash and I expect the temptation is hard for anyone to avoid.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tar12 and JimBear

Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
956
Massachusetts
Pretty well said by a few people in this thread. Its just a shady low margin business and people take advantage. I've found the best way for me is to buy log length wood from local tree guys and buck/split/stack myself. That way I can make all my splits exactly how I want them and I take almost all the randomness out of it. Sure there is some randomness in the logs delivered but they usually ask what you want and what sizes can you handle. It's also hard to screw someone with log length as it's much easier to judge how much you're getting. I pay for a full truck I want a full truck! If a log is really shady I'd just have them put it back in the truck. But as you said it's not for everyone...it's very labor and time intensive.

Whenever we go down to our Cape house I bring my own wood from home. The climate stinks for storing wood and our lot is too small to take up space.

I've found a couple really good split/seasoned dealers up here...diamonds in the rough...but sadly no way they'll drive to sandwich. I found these guys when I first started and needed wood asap. I'd be happy to share if you're ever able to take delivery in Central MA!

Crap I'd probably sell some of my own wood if the price was right lol. I can always make more. Not sure the wife would like me spending MORE time on wood though ;lol.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Riff

MoDoug

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2018
583
NE Missouri
A lot of good advice already. How do you store your wood? I'm buying into the solar kiln setup for greatly speeding up wood seasoning. Can you turn your wood storage space into a solar kiln, by basically just wrapping the whole rack in clear plastic for a few months during the summer? It may help with source #1 and the green oak. Or maybe buy more from him and plan a couple years ahead.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mcdougy

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
3,603
Eastern Ontario
If you can't, won't, don't want to process your own wood
You are stuck with what you get. Lifes a groan then there's
quick buck firewood sellers
Good Luck
 

Tar12

Minister of Fire
Dec 9, 2016
1,732
Indiana
I sold firewood for the better part of 27 years...I ran one ad in the beginning and never had to again...it was simple to me...give them what they are paying for! Many years I was sold out by the end of August...it was first come.. first served...I remember one gentleman in particular who called me early on and he was leary as he had been taken twice before...I offered to drop off a few days worth for him to try for free...he was floored by this offer and decided I must be legit....lol...I brought him the 2 ricks that he ordered and he asked me if all of that was his? I said yes it was a FULL 2 ricks...they had really skinned him before..I delivered to him every year for the next 25 years till his passing...I surely do miss him as we became fast life long friends..
 

lml999

Minister of Fire
Oct 25, 2013
534
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
A lot of good advice already. How do you store your wood? I'm buying into the solar kiln setup for greatly speeding up wood seasoning. Can you turn your wood storage space into a solar kiln, by basically just wrapping the whole rack in clear plastic for a few months during the summer? It may help with source #1 and the green oak. Or maybe buy more from him and plan a couple years ahead.

Wood is stacked in three rows, four feet tall, on 2x4 PT wood base, about 8" off the ground. It's a bit tightly packed for optimal seasoning, in my side yard with decent cross airflow and direct sun on one of the four racks. All is top covered with a green tarp.

I will probably have to set up two more of these at the edge of a driveway pad for more seasoning/storage. That area will have similar cross air flow and plenty of sun. But it's in the front (side) yard and has less WAF.

The #1 guy was upfront with me about both quantity and green status. I'll be buying as much wood as I can store from him in June...beginning of what I hope to be a long relationship, as mentioned above...
 

MoDoug

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2018
583
NE Missouri
Wood is stacked in three rows, four feet tall, on 2x4 PT wood base, about 8" off the ground. It's a bit tightly packed for optimal seasoning, in my side yard with decent cross airflow and direct sun on one of the four racks. All is top covered with a green tarp.

I will probably have to set up two more of these at the edge of a driveway pad for more seasoning/storage. That area will have similar cross air flow and plenty of sun. But it's in the front (side) yard and has less WAF.

The #1 guy was upfront with me about both quantity and green status. I'll be buying as much wood as I can store from him in June...beginning of what I hope to be a long relationship, as mentioned above...
I haven't done any solar kilning yet, I'm planning on doing some this summer for my first run at it. Sounds like you could benefit from it, this would give you a jump start toward having good burning wood next season. Here's a link for good info on it. https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/solar-kiln-for-hardwoods-part-deux.175875/
 

lml999

Minister of Fire
Oct 25, 2013
534
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
I haven't done any solar kilning yet, I'm planning on doing some this summer for my first run at it. Sounds like you could benefit from it, this would give you a jump start toward having good burning wood next season. Here's a link for good info on it. https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/solar-kiln-for-hardwoods-part-deux.175875/
Thanks MoDoug, Great idea!

I've been following the solar kilning discussion over the years. I have one rack with plenty of sun exposure...a couple of others will have some mid/late afternoon sun. I could build a couple of additional racks in the backyard, but they might not have good WAF, and it will be a PITA to get the wood there and back. I could also wrap the wood in the front yard, but then I'd probably get a lot of funny comments from my neighbors. And the front yard approach would be a no starter due to WAF.

So, yes, I'll probably wrap two green cords. If I can wrap them in June and finish with them by the end of July, I could rotate a couple of cords and get a total of four done by fall. Ugg. That's a lot of stacking and restacking!

Maybe I'll also wrap the stacks that have partial sun and just leave them all summer...
 
  • Like
Reactions: MoDoug

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,431
central pa
I sold firewood for the better part of 27 years...I ran one ad in the beginning and never had to again...it was simple to me...give them what they are paying for! Many years I was sold out by the end of August...it was first come.. first served...I remember one gentleman in particular who called me early on and he was leary as he had been taken twice before...I offered to drop off a few days worth for him to try for free...he was floored by this offer and decided I must be legit....lol...I brought him the 2 ricks that he ordered and he asked me if all of that was his? I said yes it was a FULL 2 ricks...they had really skinned him before..I delivered to him every year for the next 25 years till his passing...I surely do miss him as we became fast life long friends..
What is a rick anyway?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Isaac Carlson

Tar12

Minister of Fire
Dec 9, 2016
1,732
Indiana
  • Like
Reactions: Isaac Carlson

MR. GLO

Member
Jan 26, 2021
136
Massachusetts
all my craigslist load are short and false claims about how they cut the wood a year ago. wood is all different lengths. So I asked send me a photo of one cord in truck before you come and they never get back to me. The kiln dry people mix wood. i got 26;percent today. You cant trust anyone. Im not paying over 300 a cord delivered. Im going to start rejecting crap loads.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,431
central pa
You have been around this game long enough to know...4x8x16... Face cord on here
Before coming on here I had never heard either term.

A face cord is 4 x 8 x whatever length wood you cut for your stove. In our state you need to sell wood in cords or fractions of cords
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,140
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Before coming on here I had never heard either term.

A face cord is 4 x 8 x whatever length wood you cut for your stove. In our state you need to sell wood in cords or fractions of cords

Same with here in the WA. it’s the law.

Bush cords is another I’ve only heard on the forums.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tar12 and bholler

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,057
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
How about a truck box load? $200 for a truck box load here, whatever that is. Or $450/cord of pine from a reputable seller.

Pricing is outrageous, most of us just own chainsaws.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,465
Northern NH
I picked up a book that represented that it was the history of papermaking in Maine. I was looking forward to it. I was disappointed when the author referred repeatedly to how many chords of wood the mills used. I wonder what the dimensions of a chord of wood is;)

Years ago during the arab oil embargo where people were desperate to buy wood an old timer that worked at my company was advertising half cords of wood. They were 2 foot by 2 foot by 4 feet, his reasoning was a cord was 4 by 4 by 8 so divide the dimensions in half and thats a half cord. He worked on cash and most people were clueless on buying wood so he had plenty of new customers to replace the ones he ripped off.
 
Last edited:

Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
1,200
Palmyra, WI
Pricing is outrageous
But - -, there's a good chance that if they do deliver a fair cord, the price is still very competitive compared with other fuel prices. Those looking for asthetic fuel may pay the higher prices. Those that are heating, may be able to find the others. Seems logical anyway. I had a cord delivered here once. I asked what seemed like a simple logical question about - so this is a level dump truck load, how much am I getting in cords? Guy got huffy and defensive, said something about taking it all back home again (kind of like the midas commercial - not happy I'll take that oil right back out your car). After my oh quit it comment he said 4' x 20-24'. See that wasn't that hard. It turned out to be 22'. He must have a fair number witchy customers to deal with or something. Or ones who have been stung before and were hyper alert. I was just a guy getting a cord, and thought his weird reaction was interesting.
 
Last edited:

qwee

Burning Hunk
Jan 17, 2013
119
Idaho
Years ago during the arab oil embargo where people were desperate to buy wood an old timer that worked at my company was advertising half cords of wood. They were 2 foot by 2 foot by 4 feet, his reasoning was a cord was 4 by 4 by 8 so divide the dimensions in half and thats a half cord. He worked on cash and most people were clueless on buying wood so he had plenty fo new customers to replace the ones he ripped off.

What a racket! His 1/2 cord = 16 sq feet, so 128/16 = 8. He had 8 'half cords' per cord of wood - what a crook==c.
 

Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
956
Massachusetts
@ABMax24

Holy mackerel !!!. That is insane! It's amazing how much the prices vary based on location.

I can get a full truck of pine logs (5 cords) x however many loads I want for $100 a load. Hardwood loads cost $400 per load. So about $20 a cord for pine and $80 a cord for mixed hardwoods...usually cherry/ask/oak/maple.

Now if you want cut and "seasoned" wood around here you're looking at $300 a cord + $50 for delivery. Its extremely expensive and gives a huge incentive to do the processing yourself. The chainsaw and other equipment pays for itself quickly. It's also fun and a good workout.
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,057
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
@ABMax24

Holy mackerel !!!. That is insane! It's amazing how much the prices vary based on location.

I can get a full truck of pine logs (5 cords) x however many loads I want for $100 a load. Hardwood loads cost $400 per load. So about $20 a cord for pine and $80 a cord for mixed hardwoods...usually cherry/ask/oak/maple.

Now if you want cut and "seasoned" wood around here you're looking at $300 a cord + $50 for delivery. Its extremely expensive and gives a huge incentive to do the processing yourself. The chainsaw and other equipment pays for itself quickly. It's also fun and a good workout.

$450/cord is cut split and dried. Wood burning isn't as common here much anymore, and most of us that do cut our own with a $5 permit on crown land, or own land and cut from that. Firewood is generally sold in smaller quantities for backyard firepits, or for the once or twice a year users in their fireplaces.