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Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by bill not in oh, Oct 13, 2005.
do you burn? And in what type of burner (fireplace, wood stove, furnace, etc)?
We burn Fir and Cedar, a little Alder. All of it comes off our property. :dance:
We have a woodstove. All I can tell you is it has "High Country" wrote on the front, and a mountain scene on the front in gold, lol.
We burn red fir (douglas fir) and white fir, and some pine in a woods stove.
Other popular sepcies in our areas are tamarack and lodge pole pine.
I can't believe some of you burn softwoods.....YIKES!!! (creosote)
We burn hard wood....oak, ash, maple (red & sugar), beech, black cherry, elm, some apple(in the event of lightening strike or non-productive) birch (white and yellow). I love the smell of birch smoke
Furnace and stoves (Fisher and Shenandoah)
This will be my first winter supplementing the natural gas heat with a wood stove. Right now I've got some well seasoned oak and sugar maple, quite a bit of beech that's not fully seasoned yet, and I'm going down to my uncle's place this weekend to take down a dead cherry tree.
We have a kitchen wood stove that we burn oak, maple, hickory, elm, cherry, black walnut, and poplar in. I do miss the crackling and sweet scent of birch logs in a fire, but alas, we don't have birch here like I had it growing up in N.H. I do love that stove though. I cook on it, bake in it, toast my tootsies against it on cold winter mornings, and even heat water in the water reservoir it has. We don't burn soft woods, although I understand that in some parts of the country that's all that's available.
We have a fireplace and burn hardwoods - elm, oak, some sweet gum and willow. This year we'll be cutting up a cottonwood. We burn whatever gets blown down on our property (except for cedar...we use that for kindling only).
What kind of elms are you guys burning. Native american (white) elm is kinda scarce. I did have the misfortune of getting two logs of elm. It ends up looking like broken shredded wheat when split, If you can, and instead of burning, it smolders and stinks when burned. We are lucky in the northeast to have plenty of hardwoods to burn which is good since getting on an icy snow-covered roof in December to clean the chimney isn't very smart without reindeer, which we would have to do with softwoods.
In the past, hardwoods. Occasionally a real hot pine fire (fast burn) to clean out creosote.
Interesting old saying about ashwood.
But ash wood new or ash wood old Is fit for a queen with a crown of gold.
Meaning you can burn it without seasoning.
We burn almost exclusively alder here - that's what we have the most of! This is in a wood stove. Best of all is cooking over alder coals /open fire. Food just tastes better that way.
Pine, spruce, and birch. A few years ago we burned some poplar. Poplar had too much ash, not enough heat, lots of smoke and bad smell.
We have a Blaze King catalytic wood stove, a pellet stove (don't use it much anymore, because we have so much wood available), and a wood cookstove.
Love wood heat, and cooking with wood.
Blaze King 82.5% efficient -- uses less wood, less ash, less smoke, more heat.
Grilling Veggies on Katie-The-Cookstove.
Wood is Good,
Alex, Katie is beautiful!
Do you get away with burning softwoods because of the catalytic wood stove? The "conventional wisdom" is that softwoods create accumulations of creosote in chimneys and therefore should be avoided. (Which was one of the reasons I started this thread).
Ravenlost, how long do you have to let the willow season before burning it. My neighbor has quite a bit (we had to cut down 4 of his willow trees this spring) and upon splitting it, it seemed really wet even after several months.
I burn mostly hardwood, iron wood, maple, oak and some beech. I only burn softwood during spring and fall when only the chill needs to be taken out of the house. Chris
I think the creosote is mostly a function of heat of fire vs coolness of the flue pipe. If you burn a slow smoldering fire and have a cooler flue pipe (either oversized or really long) then you condense creosote out of the smoke. If you have shorter flue that is properly sized and insulated then you should not have a problem condensing creosote and burning softwoods. My flue is 18 feet long and is triple wall insulated. Its is still shiney stainless onthe inside after 3 years of burning.
In my super insulated strawbale home, I just burn shorter, hotter fires and while I usually burn oak and mesquite I burn an occasional log (maybe 1 out of 4-5 logs) of Texas cedar. The cedar helps keep the fire burning hot and makes some good coals.
We burn mostly oak, but occassionally some mesquite or pecan limbs that fall down. We have one similar to Alex's heating stove, and we can cook beans or lentils on the top of it, also keep pretzels wam.
Softwoods are usually poo poo'ed because they do tend to cause creosote buildup.
if you build very hot, fast fires, using seasoned wood, that won't happen. You can't turn down the draft and let the thing smoulder for every hour you can milk out of it.
A stove situated around a lot of masonry that absorbs the heat from that fast fire, and releases it slowly into the room after the fire is over is best if all you have is soft wood.
Russian stoves, also called masonry stoves, use that principle.
We are blessed with lots of ash. A great wood to plant in your woodlot if you can. Burns hot and clean, and you can split it with your pinkie finger...
Good thing we have it, too, because our stove has no masonry or even brick lining for holding heat.
THAT is our next project...
You are probably burning cork or winged elm, also known as ---- elm. It is nearly impossible to split and it does stink when burned, however, I didn't think cork elms grew that far north. Elm also needs to be very dead to burn well, but when it is well seasoned it burns for a long time.
Here's the complete poem... pretty cool.
Another version of it here.
Softwoods causing creosote is an old and often repeated wife's tale.
University of Wisconsin did a real study on this back in the woodburning heyday of the 70's......set up a whole bunch of woodstoves in a warehouse, burned all kinds of species and moisture contents. They proved the key to creosote production is the moisture of the wood, the amount of air used for combustion and the flue temperature. Period. Oak will make just as much as pine if either is burned incorrectly.
Most folks oversize their stoves and crank the air down to keep from running them out of the house AND having to refill the stove so often. Even fairly well seasoned wood has a good amount of moisture still in it......crank the air down, make a slow simmering fire, and a cool flue, and you have the exact receipe for creosote.
The Blaze King, with the catalytic re-burner, is excellent, in terms of complete combustion, low cresote, and very little ash, with pine and spruce.
To me pine and spruce are the best. We have never burned oak, etc. We just don't have any around here.
Pine, spruce and birch work great. We don't seem to get nearly as much heat from poplar or alder.
We have tamarck and willow, but those are harder to get, so we use the others.
We are happy, however, we haven't burned oak, etc, so maybe we've got something to look forward to, or are missing something. Hard to believe though.