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Author Topic: Firewood seasonoing. Red oak  (Read 6796 times)

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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Firewood seasonoing. Red oak
« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2018, 04:55:44 PM »
I think some of you are missing the point .If you want a hot fire you have to burn smaller wood .You can't expect to burn 10-12" rounds of oak and get a hot fire.You'll get a long one though if that's what you want .

Offline John Mc

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Re: Firewood seasonoing. Red oak
« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2018, 07:01:34 PM »
I think some of you are missing the point .If you want a hot fire you have to burn smaller wood .You can't expect to burn 10-12" rounds of oak and get a hot fire.You'll get a long one though if that's what you want .
Some folks make fun of my wood pile as being "mostly kindling". It's not quite that bad: I tend to shoot for 3 to 4", with occasional 6" pieces for when I need a longer burn. But then I'm burning in a 60,000 BTU wood stove, not a massive outdoor wood boiler.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Firewood seasonoing. Red oak
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2018, 07:36:52 PM »
I've had more than one tell me I can't burn that. ::)  But they don't complain when they come in the house and it's nice and warm. ;) My choice of wood has always been differant than most. Now with the OWB I can leave the good wood and burn the wood that I can't burn. ;D
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Offline Rebarb

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Re: Firewood seasonoing. Red oak
« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2018, 08:56:40 PM »
I've noticed this is not really an Apples to Apples comparison. 
Some of us use OWB's where we don't have to be as particular, fearing a chimney fire.

I realize the properly seasoned wood produces maximum Btu's but my findings show much faster burn times when compared to mixing in some less seasoned wood or wet wood.

The theory behind this could easily be lower flame until moisture is burned off.

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Firewood seasonoing. Red oak
« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2018, 09:01:00 PM »
Not that it matters,but most of mine is well seasoned. Been standing dead for years.   :)
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Firewood seasonoing. Red oak
« Reply #25 on: April 06, 2018, 09:31:28 AM »
Ive heard it all, and defied it all without issue.  Conventional wisdom can actually be a wives tale sometime.  

Ive burned wet hardwood, wet pine, pure waste vegetable oil, WVO and sawdust in manufactured stoves, modified stoves and home made stoves of conventional and rocket configuration.  10 years and never did a brush touch my chimney.   Meanwhile my buddy who is "following the rules" brushes 2x per season and has black tar DRIPPING off the riser elbow onto the floor.  Yeah, looks great.  

You want creasote?  Damper that stove down to a 300 stack and youll have all you want, just like my buddy.

I routinely ran my stack up to dull orange with sparks coming out the roof to keep it clean. No chimney fires, no house fires.  Occasionally need to open a window.  
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Offline Tin Horse

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Re: Firewood seasonoing. Red oak
« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2018, 10:05:13 AM »
I agree with Mike. My Caddy wood furnace requires a standard  barometric damper by code. My furnace is EPA rated. Problem was that stack temp was low. Furnace has lots of outside make up air. Creosote dripped from the pipes. Closed off the damper years ago and it runs clean. I also burn a lot of red oak. Barely seasoned a year. I check the stove and pipes but it requires nothing in the chimney. There are a lot of variables with wood burning and it's often the user with the problem.
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Firewood seasonoing. Red oak
« Reply #27 on: April 06, 2018, 10:10:11 AM »
I chalk it up to a cold flue being the root of all evil.  


Makeup air is probably a close 2nd.  
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Offline John Mc

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Re: Firewood seasonoing. Red oak
« Reply #28 on: April 06, 2018, 11:22:16 AM »
I chalk it up to a cold flue being the root of all evil.  


Makeup air is probably a close 2nd.  
Agreed. However, burning unseasoned wood and smothering the fire by choking off the combustion are are two of the biggest culprits in causing a cold flue. That doesn't mean you can't get a hot fire with green wood. You just have to work at it a bit more than with seasoned wood.  I will say that you are wasting BTUs burning green wood: as much as 40% of the BTUs in the wood. You can't get around the fact that you have to heat up all that water, and even more significant, vaporize that water (driving water from liquid to gas takes a LOT of energy). Further, a cold smoldery fire - whatever is causing it - wastes BTUs because some of those gases which are the products of wood combustion will not ignite at lower temperatures, you are just letting them go up your flue, or leaving them to condense as creosote on your flue. A catalytic stove or boiler helps with this, if you first get it up to temperature to ignite those gases. Once ignited, the catalyst will help keep them burning at somewhat lower temperatures.

I'll be the first to admit that maximizing BTUs per load of wood is not always someone's primary objective. Sometimes it's minimizing labor involved in dealing with firewood, or minimizing the time it takes from cutting to burning the wood, or getting a stove to burn through the night without reloading.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Firewood seasonoing. Red oak
« Reply #29 on: April 06, 2018, 10:03:58 PM »
I dont disagree with you at all.  Ive just never had a sane or stable enough life for wood burning details to ever make front page.  

Stoves lit.  On to the next problem. 
Revelation 3:20

Offline New sawyer

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Re: Firewood seasonoing. Red oak
« Reply #30 on: May 06, 2018, 11:59:20 AM »
I burn in an owb . I split in the spring  to burn in the winter . I burn what ever the tree guys drop off in the yard and some wood I cut from my own lot . I store my wood in a 40' shipping container and there is always condensation on the ceiling . I cut pine logs into cookies 6' long and don't split them . It's a lot less work , and the dry quicker. I love oak but it takes along time to season properly . The problem is time . Working 50 hrs a week and maintaining my land ,house and equipment leaves less time for firewood . 
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Offline eamassey

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Re: Firewood seasonoing. Red oak
« Reply #31 on: June 05, 2018, 10:25:59 PM »
Firewood seasoning is hardly even in my vocabulary.  I've lived with wood as my primary heat source for at least 65 of my seventy-two years.  I have three wood stoves --  all Ashleys. My primary stove was bought new by me in 1977.  That is about 40 years service.  I burn mostly standing dead trees the first part of the winter until I run out-- then green wood.  Sometimes I burn wood the day it was cut. I never did own a chimney brush--but I do check the pipe out two or three times per winter-- nothing to be done, except, at the first (fall) inspection I always have to knock down a few dirt dobber nests.   I do always clean the aluminum rain cap, as it is simple stamped aluminum and plates out with black (dry) deposit.  I burn mostly oaks, some hickory-- never any softwoods.

My flue pipe is "Metalbestos" brand double wall pipe in 30" sections, 1977 vintage, so it is most likely real asbestos.  To me in my location--that is, not as cold as many of you see, control and long-burn are more important than ultimate heat generation.  In fact, if I had all standing dead wood, I would go out and cut some green wood for added control and burn time.  My night time procedure is to burn hot for about 30 minutes before bedtime, rake down, and load full with wood-to include a big round one that will just go in the door.  The house is always warm in the morning and I just rake the ashes out of the coals and it is a roaring fire in a few minutes.  

A note on emissions-yours may be better than mine.  It is not very critical in my case, with low population density and we own everything around us for a good distance. 

Offline doctorb

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Re: Firewood seasonoing. Red oak
« Reply #32 on: June 06, 2018, 06:36:13 PM »
I, too, have a moisture meter, but I rarely use it anymore.  My advice is to find some space, either outside or in a shed, or both, and prep 2 year's supply of wood.  After the first year, you will have to prep only one year's supply each year, staying one full year ahead. Each year's fuel thereafter will have, dependent upon when during the year you put the wood up, two full spring-summer-fall seasons (and one winter) to dry.  So I try and have all my wood prep done by April 1 of each spring.  This has worked well for me.  I burn 80% oak, with a bunch of it being red oak.  MC on most of what I burn is 17-18%.

I stack half under cover in the shed with the OWB and half outside exposed to the elements.  When the weather is nice, I use the outside stacks.  When it's yucky, I stay nice and dry and use the shed wood.
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Offline John Mc

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Re: Firewood seasonoing. Red oak
« Reply #33 on: June 06, 2018, 07:14:38 PM »
Doctorb -

Are you drying your Red Oak through two summers, or one? If it's one, I suspect  your drying season in MD is a whole lot longer than ours in VT. I've just not had luck getting Red Oak to dry here if it's only gone through one summer as cut split and stacked wood.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

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Re: Firewood seasonoing. Red oak
« Reply #34 on: June 07, 2018, 12:49:44 PM »
Sorry.  I must not have detailed that too well, John.

I put up 90% oak this spring that will be used in November 2019.  So my wood will dry all this summer, as well as all the next summer.  You and I agree that one summer is not enough to season green red oak.
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Offline John Mc

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Re: Firewood seasonoing. Red oak
« Reply #35 on: June 07, 2018, 01:11:01 PM »
Sorry.  I must not have detailed that too well, John.

I put up 90% oak this spring that will be used in November 2019.  So my wood will dry all this summer, as well as all the next summer.  You and I agree that one summer is not enough to season green red oak.
In rereading your post, there is no lack of clarity there. The shortcoming was in my own addled brain.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline olcowhand

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Re: Firewood seasonoing. Red oak
« Reply #36 on: June 07, 2018, 05:00:44 PM »
We cut and split mostly Beech, Maple and Ash, with a little Ironwood and occasional Cherry.
We're fortunate this year to say all our wood for this winter is put up, and working on Fall '19. Usually we're cutting deadfalls and blow downs in February and March- with only an indoor Furnace for heat. I shut off the Propane furnace when my girls learned that it was easier to turn up the thermostat than stoke the fire (10 years ago, and the furnace hasn't come on since).
Most of our wood is stacked on pallets, with a tarp on the top, leaving the sides open to the prevailing westerly wind. Most years, our wood doesn't get much more than a couple months to dry. We clean the pipe 2-3 times a winter.
Not the best use of this valuable resource, but it suffices....
Good thread; Let's keep it going. Some of your good advice might "Soak in" (old saying...). 
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Offline John Mc

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Re: Firewood seasonoing. Red oak
« Reply #37 on: June 07, 2018, 07:33:56 PM »
Ash is probably one of the best to burn if you don't have time for it to fully season. It starts off with one of the lowest moisture contents of any of the "prime" hardwoods. Beech is probably second on that list (though it makes an even better firewood when it's fully seasoned).

Wood is our primary heat source. We heat 2000+ sq ft with a single woods stove, burning fully seasoned wood. We clean our flue once a year, whether it needs it or not. In a "bad" year, we'll get a little over a quart of crap out of our 20' flue when we clean it.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

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Re: Firewood seasonoing. Red oak
« Reply #38 on: June 07, 2018, 08:55:36 PM »
"Ash wood wet or ash wood dry, a King can warm his stockings by..." (Old saying).
I normally would not be cutting ash, but they're all dead. I liked having them in the woods, as they seem to be magnets for the elusive Morel (a mushroom much sought after here).
They say the mind is the first to go; I'm glad it's something I don't use!

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Offline uplander

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Re: Firewood seasonoing. Red oak
« Reply #39 on: June 08, 2018, 07:42:14 AM »
Doctorb -

Are you drying your Red Oak through two summers, or one? If it's one, I suspect  your drying season in MD is a whole lot longer than ours in VT. I've just not had luck getting Red Oak to dry here if it's only gone through one summer as cut split and stacked wood.
 This. There is no way I can get away with burning any oak drying during only one summer. It will creosote my flue like you cannot believe if I try it. Generally I let my oak season three full years before I burn it. It took many years for me to get there but I am finally there.  I have had much better luck with faster drying times with beech and even hickory.
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