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Author Topic: Hottest burning?  (Read 1503 times)

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Offline curved-wood

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Re: Hottest burning?
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2021, 08:49:10 AM »
In a wood,ceramic kiln, we use thin splitting of the softer wood that we have, so pine is better than oak. That is at the END of the firing where we need the strongest heat possible. We are in the 2300 degrees F range, long way above red heat, more in the white heat zone. A load in the firebox lasts only a few minutes. If we put 3'' red oak pieces, we will loose degrees, but it would have been OK at the beginning of the firing. The smaller the pieces are the best. So if TIME is the major factor, that is a way that I would experiment. It is an extreme situation and is definitely not a way to hold a fire.

Offline Technoid

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Re: Hottest burning?
« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2021, 06:17:50 PM »
I think oak, cherry, and maple
Some of us lust for species like that on a -40 night when the wind is blowing!!!!
But rather, we are blessed with an abundance of spruce, fir and Aspen/poplar!!!
Just be careful. Chimney fires will turn your smoke pipes cherry red and burn your home down. Clean the pipes every two weeks if you air down for long periods. 

Offline Sauna freak

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Re: Hottest burning?
« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2021, 09:22:40 PM »
Very aware of chimney fire danger.  I think it's largely a problem of non-reburn stoves run with large and sometimes poorly seasoned fuel and too little air and heat.  I'm still on the lookout for buildup though, and clean regularly.  The 3 stoves in question that see a significant amount of pine fuel are very low risk.  The cabin and sauna at the cabin are both less than 10' total run from stove to rain cap.  Both modern stoves with gas-reburn devices.  I generally run them hot periodically to keep the buildup burnt off before it can get heavy.  The sauna always runs hot.

The other sauna that has been in service 2 years now has a similar modern stove and a 6' total run of flue pipe.  There is no enclosed ceiling penetration in any of the 3 stoves, and the cabin is a full class A run, so risk of secondary ignition even in the event of a flue fire is very low.  I still run the weed whips through them at least once a year though.
Sauna... like spa treatment, but for men

Offline peakbagger

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Re: Hottest burning?
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2021, 10:16:51 AM »
I am not advocating this for home use but about 15 years ago I got a couple of big biomass boilers approved for chipped railroad ties in the fuel mix.  The operators called it "rocket fuel" They had to make sure to blend it in with regular whole tree chips about 10 to 1 to keep the boilers in control. If they hit an unmixed clump of it the operator was in for ride to keep the boiler in control until it passed. 

Offline curved-wood

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Re: Hottest burning?
« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2021, 09:48:58 AM »
Just a story about strong heat. My grandpa and an uncle did a contest. Who's the first one to boil 2 cups of water ? Grandpa was saying a wood fire and uncle was saying a naphtha Coleman stove. So grandpa got a dead, dry standing spruce, split into in small kindlings. . Uncle pumped the stove and here we go . Well grandpa lost, but not by much. He was surprisingly close.  Of course the contest didn't count the time for preparation. 

Offline Sauna freak

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Re: Hottest burning?
« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2021, 11:29:16 PM »
Well I have my answer.  I think it was some sort of southern or foreign pine I'm not familiar with.  Definately not treated, but very heavy and pitchy.  Broke down a pallet from work, heavy skid, and burned a couple 4x4s in the sauna stove tonight.  They had a very turpentine like smell on the table saw.  It was like throwing in a piece of RR tie as posted above.

I wouldn't want to burn them in any flue that was subject to soot loading with a long run and 90's, or start from a cool fire where the fumes don't get a chance to burn off.  I definately wouldn't let them burn unsupervised.  Had to damp down all the air to keep the stove from going to critical mass.  A 205F sauna did hit the spot tonight though!

I think I'll put the rest of the 4x4s in the firepit pile, and use the 4/4 donnage sparingly for fast heat.
Sauna... like spa treatment, but for men

Offline barbender

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Re: Hottest burning?
« Reply #26 on: March 16, 2021, 12:17:17 AM »
That's known as someone near the Canadian border discovering fat lighter😁
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Ianab

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Re: Hottest burning?
« Reply #27 on: March 16, 2021, 02:53:01 AM »
wouldn't want to burn them in any flue that was subject to soot loading with a long run and 90's, or start from a cool fire where the fumes don't get a chance to burn off


Yeah, that's where burning softwood gets a bad reputation. Either it's not dry, or people try and damp a fire down for a longer burn time, and that leads to smoke and creosote build-up in hte flue

Let it burn hot in a good stove and it won't create excess soot. If you need less heat, don't add as much wood, so you have small but still hot fire. More work as you have to add a couple of chunks more often, but that's part of the fun of a wood fire. 

Pine is the most common tree in NZ, so it's also the most common firewood. Not the best firewood, just the most common. But if you can score wood from a big old and over mature pine it will be infused with much more resin than a young tree, and it sure burns hotter.  
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Hottest burning?
« Reply #28 on: March 16, 2021, 04:52:53 AM »
I burn a lot of softwood here, black spruce, fir, tamarack, cedar, and a lot of aspen/balm. In my video you can see how fast I get heat. I open the ash pan door to speed up the process but close it back up once the fan kicks in. It's not a smothered fired, it has a draft on the furnace. It does a 2 stage burn. I've never been cold yet. ;D I keep on hand 1-1/2 cord of rock maple for the near zero or colder night burns. Been burning now for 6 months and have gone through 5 cords. This winter I have only burned in early morning, then in the evening. Between 10:00 and 7:00 I don't need any fire on sunny days. And there is no fire after 11:00 pm at night. I typically get 4, maybe 5 hrs out of the softer woods. I clean the stove and flu every month, but there is never any creosote, just powder soot, that might add up to a coffee cut full from the stove and 40 feet of flu. Just one of them routines to get into. ;D

I've found fat lighter in old fir seems. Hooooeeee! :)





No amount of belief makes something a fact. James Randi

Online HemlockKing

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Re: Hottest burning?
« Reply #29 on: March 16, 2021, 06:48:33 AM »
Got to wondering this weekend, which burn the hottest?  Not talking about maximum btu, but most heat output per unit of time. Obviously there will variability based on size, shape and stove type. Assuming 3" split, good air dry and a high draft reburn sauna stove, what does the hive mind think?  My options are black spruce, balsam fir, jack pine, quaking aspen, tamarack, paper birch. Also some buckthorn and tag alder.  My gut says jack pine. Any thoughts?
Black spruce I would say. I recently cut up some tamarack for some firewood and boy does that wood have a nice smell to it!

Offline Sauna freak

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Re: Hottest burning?
« Reply #30 on: April 12, 2021, 11:24:03 PM »
For anyone still following this...at least in a 7x7x6,8high sauna with a Tylo Helo CK612 stove, I have my answer.

Of the woods tested, through 3 sauna sessions, finely split black spruce won the race.  Sauna was up to 175F in aprox 1 hour with similar start up conditions inside and outside.

Small, pitchy jack pine with lots of limbing scars that had healed over with pitch was a close second.

Birch was a disappointment.  Ended up adding some pine, spruce, balsam fir edging pieces to get it up to 175F, but it then held a steady temp at or above that sweet spot.  My birch was split a little larger than the others, and contained many knotty pieces.  I think with some straight grain and finer splits, it might fare better.

Did not test Red Pine, Tamarack or Balsam fir as I didn't have sufficient quantities dried out.

I've never really burned much black spruce other than some odds and ends cleared from trails or shooting lanes.  I have a lot of it and it performed amazingly well in the sauna, and also quite well in the Jotul that heats the cabin.  Burned a lot like really dry red oak in my experience.  Good hot fire with lots of air, but responded well to damping down, making and holding a nice bed of long lasting coals.  A pleasant bright white/orange burn with lots of cheery popping and snapping!  Would not recommend for an open hearth burn.  It was very easy to process (other than the limbing), which was a nice bonus.

Sauna... like spa treatment, but for men

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Hottest burning?
« Reply #31 on: April 16, 2021, 07:03:28 PM »
I burn a lot of black spruce from thinning my plantation trees. Lots of heat for sure, but I love fir to. Splits as easy as white birch, one whack with the maul. Black spruce is a bear to split. ;D Bark beetles like cut spruce, so watch where you store to dry it. In your basement they will head to your windows. ;)
No amount of belief makes something a fact. James Randi

Offline Sauna freak

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Re: Hottest burning?
« Reply #32 on: April 19, 2021, 07:00:10 AM »
Interesting, I didn't find the black spruce all that hard to split.  Just need to miss the knots.  Not as easy as Balsam or clear birch, but most logs were one pop with the Fiskars.  Probably helped that the tree was sound standing dead and dry as a popcorn fart and less than 12" at the base.
Sauna... like spa treatment, but for men


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