About time we had a Firewood thread

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Re: About time we had a Firewood thread

Postby matt walker » Mon Dec 08, 2014 5:15 pm

That's great info Manny. It's so interesting isn't it? I read about folks who are having smoke back issues with new builds, and often wonder about the fuel and top covering habits more than anything else. I and my neighbor have access to kiln dried Aspen. It's amazing kindling, and there are some decent size chunks that we get as well. If you burn a load of that, it will spike the barrel instantly, but only burn for about 15 minutes. It's also almost impossible to keep from smoking back up the feed, since it pyrolizes almost instantly, and it also seems to have something to do with the cellular structure. I swear it spits smoke out the ends of the wood.

So Manny, you are saying that the Elm was just burning hot and fast right up the feed, no system problems?
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Re: About time we had a Firewood thread

Postby mannytheseacow » Mon Dec 08, 2014 6:27 pm

Oops, yeah, I left out the most important information that ties everything together.... the stove works fine. Change the wood, no smokeback. The white elm must be right on the fulcrum point where opening the direct vent to the chimney creates enough draft to keep it subdued.

You're right, Matt, the cellular structure of the wood is so loose that it almost burns from the inside out. It just burns so hot the whole thing goes up. I don't have ready access to aspen, but I'm guessing it is exactly the same from the little bit that I have worked with it.

I feel kind of silly because at the beginning of the year when I was also having some smokeback issues it was partially the same thing. At that time I knew part of the problem was crappy wood- another pocket of white elm, no doubt, but still a little wet. Duh.
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Re: About time we had a Firewood thread

Postby Nirky » Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:56 pm

Thank you thank you for this thread! I have been getting intermittent smokeback, not visible.
Thought that my system had developed leaks.
Went crazy trying to find source!
Must have been one or more of the various kinds of wood I've been burning.
I'd also like to add that I've noticed beetle-kill pine (blue stain) definitely stinks.
I cannot leave it burning vertically and it not smell, I have to jam it down the burn tunnel.
Thank you!
I don't think I'll ever get over Macho Grande, those wounds run pretty deep.
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Re: About time we had a Firewood thread

Postby matt walker » Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:05 pm

Oh yeah, dry pine is definitely in that category Nirky. I get the very best results with good, tight grain Doug Fir. You might have access to Tamarack or Larch there which I've also had great burns with, although I don't get it here.
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Re: About time we had a Firewood thread

Postby Nirky » Wed Dec 10, 2014 3:24 am

Matt, tamarack is the firewood of choice here, the only downside is it costs about 2x cost of pine. But that's what I'm getting when the pine harvested on my land runs out.
I don't think I'll ever get over Macho Grande, those wounds run pretty deep.
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Re: About time we had a Firewood thread

Postby mannytheseacow » Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:56 pm

Seeing Tru's thread on splitting reminded me to update about my firewood stash. Granted, I'm still burning about one load a day, but I'm sitting pretty. At this rate I still have enough for at least one, if not two, years. The shed is still full from the left:
Image

I've been taking wood from the right side, front to back.
Image
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Re: About time we had a Firewood thread

Postby DrewInToledo » Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:44 pm

Manny,

You might want to raise the tire swing hanging from the front of your shed. :P
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Re: About time we had a Firewood thread

Postby hpmer » Sun Jun 07, 2015 12:40 am

If you're not using a tire to hold the wood while you split it, you should really give it a try. I tried it for the first time today and was amazed at the incredible efficiency. I split about half a cord this afternoon.

My approach is to load a round in the tire, wedge it in if necessary with other smaller chunks and take aim. I aim for a spot 3 to 4 inches from the edge and then repeat all around the outer edge of the round. Then I'll go around again if the piece is big enough. From there I split down the first splits until I get the size I want.

Because I'm always splitting off the edge, rather than trying to split it in half, I can use a much shorter swing with better accuracy.

I split some of the wood last week before I had the tire and had the usual frustrations of having to pick up and reset the pieces after every swing of the ax, small pieces flying all over the place, trying to balance the piece to be split on uneven ground or shimming it to hold it up on a splitting block, etc.

What a pain.

With the tire I had none of those issues. I don't want to split wood the old way ever again.
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Re: About time we had a Firewood thread

Postby Nirky » Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:08 pm

It's that time of year again, making sure one has enough wood for the winter.
I'm better prepared this year with a mixture of pine & tamarack.
If anyone needs a small hatchet recommendation, the 14" Fiskars is hard to beat.
Especially good for those of us who do not have batch boxes and are chopping small for our J's. :D
I don't think I'll ever get over Macho Grande, those wounds run pretty deep.
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