About time we had a Firewood thread

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Re: About time we had a Firewood thread

Postby mannytheseacow » Fri Oct 31, 2014 1:34 pm

I barrowed one of those electric splitters one time. It did okay. I fealt bad though because it was just splitting things I could split by hand. I could split them by hand faster, too.

Thickstrings, glad to hear you're burning the same kind of stuff I am. The biggest perk for having an 8" stove for me now is that I can put those gnarled twisted chunks of wood into it. These are primarily what I'm using the hydraulic splitter for. I can take a wedge and maul to those crotches all day and not make much progress.

matt walker wrote: There's no insulation in the walls of the main living space, but I don't have a good way to remedy that.

Geez, that's not the Matt I know. ;) I know you burn a lot of wood outside for cooking and on the patio, Matt, but 5 cords is just crazy. I wasn't using that much wood with my old potbelly in our subzero winters. It seems like insulating would be a better use of your time and resources... preaching to the choir, I know. Just giving you an empathetic kick in the pants!
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Re: About time we had a Firewood thread

Postby matt walker » Fri Oct 31, 2014 4:30 pm

TS, interesting thought on the propane splitter. It would be easy enough to make one, or retro fit any small gas powered one. If I could, I'd have a PTO powered hyd. pump and splitter I could run off of my tractor like your brother has. I really like the concept of one engine for many tasks. I've looked into it, those pumps alone are pricey, but I think I will end up going that route someday.

Yeah Manny, I know, I know. I was actually thinking about it some more last night. My neighbor was visiting and I was voicing my desire to plaster over some of the wood wall coverings, since my house has way too much wood finish inside. It's dark. I can't get into the walls to insulate due to the 1918 construction. Fire blocking, no proper sheeting, etc. I suppose it's possible in my effort to redo the covering, I could bring the walls in and insulate between the wall and the new sheeting. I dunno, that's a big project. Ceiling is next, and that one's easy, so I'll start with that.
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Re: About time we had a Firewood thread

Postby thickstrings » Fri Oct 31, 2014 5:42 pm

I brought the walls in on a cold bed room with 1" of styrofoam and 3/8" drywall a long time ago on a 1920's tudor.....pain in the ass..... had to build out all the windows and closet, and re- trim..same deal, except it was all plaster and lath...and it was only slightly better when I was done... I say, tear out the inside walls and have it spray foamed.....never look back. Sell next years firewood to pay for it .ha ha well sort of.......thumbs up for spray foam!
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Re: About time we had a Firewood thread

Postby matt walker » Fri Oct 31, 2014 5:45 pm

Gah, I wish man. Inside walls are, uh, what do you call that old style where there are 1"x 6" boards horizontally across the whole thing? It's all structural, I can't rip it out, and I can't spray into it since it's broken up into a bunch of tiny spaces with all the pressure blocking. No studs, non dimensional lumber milled on site, from my best guess. Not gonna happen. And yeah, I doubt I'll bring the walls in, just brainstorming.
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Re: About time we had a Firewood thread

Postby 4seasons » Sat Nov 01, 2014 12:57 am

matt walker wrote:Yep, 5. And yep, it's lot. Old stove was eating 10 in the same time, so it's a big improvement. I replaced the single pane windows this summer, and am hoping to get some insulation in the ceiling before winter is over. There's no insulation in the walls of the main living space, but I don't have a good way to remedy that.

When I swapped out my big single pane picture window for a pair of low E windows I went from 4 cords a winter down to 2 1/2 to 3 cords with my old stove. I still haven't got around to building a RMH though so I am planning on another 3 cords this winter. Ironically tonight is the first night I have fired up the stove. Just did a rebuild on the grates as the cheap China grates were in several pieces by the end of last winter. But as my handle implies I am about four seasons ahead on my wood supply. 2 years ago I almost ran out so I put up as much as I could last year so I have about 10 cords set back right now.
It has been a while since I looked at fir on the BTU charts but I know that the oak, hickory, beech, and locust that I burn puts out a lot more heat than the evergreens in your area. I also have at least 12 inches of insulation on all sides and overhead in my 1000 sqft house, not to mention a different climate. It just sound like 5 cords is a lot to burn in a RMH.
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Re: About time we had a Firewood thread

Postby 4seasons » Sat Nov 01, 2014 1:11 am

matt walker wrote: I am dead set against more gas engines around here, if I can help it. Only because they are such a pain in the ass, especially with the crappy gas and non adjustable carbs these days. It seems I spend more time trying to get the damn things to run right than I am doing whatever it is I wanted them to do.


thickstrings wrote:Have to agree about crappy gas and not having another motor around here to maintain......I am sure glad that my brother who lives close by has a hydraulic splitter.


On the topic of crappy gas and small engines: I used to work in a small engine shop. I can tell you first hand that ethanol in gas is bad voodoo. It draws in water and gums up much quicker than pure gas. It also produces less power and economy than real gas. If you want a small engine to run well and last a long time get 100% gas. You can use a fuel stabilizer to slow the effects of ethanol, but if you check around you can probably find pure gas at a marina, airport, or just a more expensive pump at your normal gas station. It is worth the few cents more a gallon in a small engine to keep from having to do major engine work every couple of years.
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Re: About time we had a Firewood thread

Postby matt walker » Sat Nov 01, 2014 1:21 am

Doug Fir is just okay on the BTU charts, for sure your hardwoods have a lot more energy per cord. Let's see...

https://chimneysweeponline.com/howood.htm

Yeah, Doug Fir is in the 17MBTU range while yours are all up there in the low 20s. My heater was doing a great job of putting heat into the space, the problem is the space needs a lot of heat. A big factor was/is my schedule. I have been doing most of my work from the computer right here next to the stove for the last few years. When I work away from home, I burn a short fire in the morning, then let the stove go out and it would keep the house in the mid 60s all day, then start up again at night. When I sit here at this desk most of the day, I tend to keep burning, so I use more wood than I probably need to. Sure feels good though, so I allow myself that luxury. But, it's quite a bit of wood, no doubt. When I was in the NE this fall I spoke with some folks heating a big old farmhouse with an outdoor boiler. 30 cords a year! Made me feel positively frugal.

I expect I'll do better this year, the windows seem to be making a big difference, although it's still too warm to really tell.

Yeah, good call on the good gas. I need to hunt some down.
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Re: About time we had a Firewood thread

Postby mannytheseacow » Mon Nov 03, 2014 2:51 am

Dang, I'm planting Osage orange and ironwood next year.
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Re: About time we had a Firewood thread

Postby Nirky » Mon Nov 03, 2014 3:09 am

All that firewood, sure you don't have something big & cast iron around? :)
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Re: About time we had a Firewood thread

Postby DrewInToledo » Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:20 pm

Here's my electric splitter. So far, I have been happy with it. It seems to have issues with smaller logs, maybe 9"-10". I think maybe they have a stronger cellular structure? I can place a small bit of wood under them to lift them a bit to get them to split but like Manny stated, it's quicker with a Maul.

I can split on the bench, floor, indoors, wherever I have an outlet. The size allows me to tuck it away when I'm done. Something a large gas powered splitter wouldn't allow me to do.

Enjoy. And, yes, I was wearing steel-toe boots!

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