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Original recipe!
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Actually it is from the folks whose house he is remodeling..

What would make the smoke from a woodstove smell exactly like turpentine?

They had some smoke drifting into the house from where they have the roof ripped off and it made the bedroom smell like turpentine.
They have never used it in the house.
They would like to know what type of wood would burn to produce that smell or what could be going on with the stove itself.
Thank you.
Even DH is learning that ANY answer can be found here.
 

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I am no roofer and don't know squat about woodstoves, but heck, I'll take a shot at it. hopefully I'm wrong, but there could be creosote buildup in the chimney, fire hazard, or some of the lumber used in the rafters had sap seepage and when they tore up a hole it exposed the old sap and broke it open so it smells fresh again.

How'd I do?
 

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If the stove has been recently painted and is heated up real hot it will put off a strange chemical type smell. It should only last a short time. Mine did that this after we painted it. We let the stove set a good week before we built a fire but it still had the odor.

Keep your powder dry
 

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I agree with others -- they (or whoever was living in the house previously) have probably been burning "green" (unseasoned) pine, and they have a buildup in the chimney.

It needs to be cleaned, pronto. Please understand that I'm speaking from experience here -- they do NOT want to experience a chimney fire first-hand!!!
 

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Metal melter
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They have never used it in the house.
Are you saying it is an outdoor woodburner? If so, creosote isn't much of a problem, right? I thought one of the fine points of an outdoor stove was the ability to burn green wood.

edited to add...maybe you meant they had never used turpentine in the house and I'm confused!
 

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Sound like they are burning richlighter. That's where you have lots of sap in pine. People here in Texas use just tiny pieces to get the fire burning good because it has so much sap. It smells like turpentine.
 

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Somewhere between Bearfoot and Ruby is your answer- It is most likely pine. It can be from burning green wood (pine), dimensional lumber scraps or using a kindling/firestarter known by various names such as "pine knot", "rich pine" and I'm sure there are others. These are the remnants of logs that have decayed down to the heartwood and contain very dense quantities of pine sap. Either way....pine has been run through that thing.

Edit: Should have mentioned rarely will dimensional lumber scraps be "green" enough to provide the resin/sap needed since they have been kiln dried UNLESS the scraps you are using are full of knots and other deformities which contain large amounts of sap that often survive the drying process.
 

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Yep, turpentine comes from pine trees. Burning the wood at a high temp would burn off the volatile oil (turpentine) before it could be smelled.
I'm thinking they got the stove heated and had a bed of coals. then they added fresh pine to the pile of coals but kept the air choked off so rather than the coals heating up and catching fire to the new wood, the new wood was kind of cooked...heated just enough to volatilize (or boil) the turpentine oil out of the wood, sending it out the chimney unburned.
Not particularly dangerous, other than the cooling oil coating the inside to the chimney. When a really hot fire rages up the chimney, it can catch the stuff on fire. If enough has built up and if the fire is given acces to all the air it wants, it burns at sufficient temperature to make the chimney glow or even melt.

The following explanation is for knowledge only, as actually trying any of it may kill your house and you with it....


Some folks who have a woodstove that can have the air shut off and a stovepipe chimney let the creosote build up, knowing that a fire will eventually start. The chimney fire always starts when a fire is started, so they're always right there to be able to do something about it. When the chimney fire starts, they give the fire just enough air (via the air control valve on the woodstove) to let the pipe glow a dull red at the bottom and feed it just enough air to let the fire progress up the chimney in a controlled fashion...being sure to keep the chimney fire hot enough to burn off the creosote. Glowing dull red is just this side of OK, glowing brighter than that is on the edge of not OK and melting is definately bad, because the house burns down and people die. (These fires start at the stove top, where there is enough fire and heat heading into the pipe to catch the creosote on fire. Once the fire starts, it is able to progress its way up the chimney, running all the way to the top, when it runs out of fuel.)
I have seen this done one time. It was pretty cool to watch the ring of fire progress its way up slowly and it resulted in a very clean chimney.
I have had chimney fires in both masonry chimneys (in an open fireplace) and in stovepipe chimneys. The open fireplace type was pretty crazy, as the air was uncontrollable and the fire raged, making the whole house shake and fire shot out to the top. The stovepipe variety was not so scary, as just shutting down the stove's air supply put the fire out almost instantly. I brushed the chimney after extinguishing the chimney fire and have learned my lessons about how much creosote I am willing to let build up before I brush it out. I am not afraid of a stovepipe chimney fire because I know about the condition of my chimney (having built it and having cleaned it myself for years) and I have seen and experienced them being nursed up a pipe. Nonetheless, I don't allow creosote build up until I get one.
I have never "nursed" a chimney fire up the pipe and don't ever plan to. And I don't suggest you do it either...any crack in the masonry or hole it the stove pipe in the attic and you and your house are dead....
One of the ways I know its time for me to clean the chimney is that it doesn't draft as well (because the crunchy stuff on the inside of the pipe inhibits the smooth circular flow of the air) and smoke tends to leak inside the house.
 
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