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So a few months in now with the wood and gas inserts. So far its awesome. Without using the furnace much, we are easily keeping the temp in the house higher than we did last year.

One thing I am surprised about is how fast the wood goes. People that burn wood told me I would fly through it, however I am still surprised. Piles I thought would last weeks goes in days. Still, I hope to have enough to get us through the winter.

The wood furnace is in the lower level. This area was almost unusable last year cuz it was so cold. Now its my go to place. Not that I ever need a break from my two daughters and wife! ;)
It is good to hear that the wood burning experience is going well for you, full Moon. I agree with your assessment about going through wood at a fast pace.
We normally try to have several cords of wood for our use each winter, but typically end up needing to cut several time, during the heating seasons, to make it through the season.
Fortunately, winter time wood gathering is no problem for us on our 75 acre farm (about 30 acres of woods) since there are always dead and down trees to cut and winter time reduces the clutter and growth that makes it difficult to access the trees during the growing seasons.
 

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One thing I am surprised about is how fast the wood goes. People that burn wood told me I would fly through it, however I am still surprised.
In the 1980's, they sold an optional vent, it worked on the same principle as these bi-metal thermometers;



It controlled the stove so good, the wood consumption was cut to less than half.

You could set the knob, the house stayed a constant temp.

The best thing was at the end of the burn, as the stove cooled off, the vent would open up to give a complete burn.
 

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JohnM - Yeah, sounds like you have a good situation. Are you saying you burn wood the same season you cut it?

We have ten acres, about half wooded. So, not nearly as much wood as you. Still, should be enough for us once I get a system down.

Cad - Did they stop making that vent? Never heard of it.
 

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JohnM - Yeah, sounds like you have a good situation. Are you saying you burn wood the same season you cut it?

We have ten acres, about half wooded. So, not nearly as much wood as you. Still, should be enough for us once I get a system down.

Cad - Did they stop making that vent? Never heard of it.
FM, yes, we usually burn the wood the same season we cut it. We have so much dead / down wood that I almost never cut growing wood (unless it is to remove a tree that is growing in an undesirable location or in a fence row). We have burnt wood every year since we bought our farm (1975) and have never ran out of dead / down wood. In fact, I would venture to say that we lose more wood to rot and insects than we could ever cut and burn. Further we probably burn more wood and residuals of wood cutting on the bonfires than we use for heating.

Typically bonfire:
bonfire.jpg
30 acres of woods and thousands of trees - normal losses give us more wood to burn than we could ever use.

This year's wood pile:
12-2014-1.jpg 12-2014-2.jpg
 

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Do you make sure its been dead a while, or not worry bout that? Reason I ask is I read so much about making sure the wood is cut / split and stored for at least two years before burning.
 

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Do you make sure its been dead a while, or not worry bout that? Reason I ask is I read so much about making sure the wood is cut / split and stored for at least two years before burning.
FM, I usually know the trees I cut and split have been down for years as the bark is typically off and the wood rings when struck. I also only burn wood that produces good heat. That means I toss many soft or junk woods like buckeye, sycamore, poplar, willow, hackberry, etc.
I frequently burn a small amount of uncured wood with each load of wood. I just make sure I have an adequate amount good, dried wood included in the mix.
Wood that is split, loosely stacked, and covered should be usable in 6 months (except for Oak - which takes up to two years to dry adequately). Some woods dry better than other and some woods cure faster and burn better that others as fresh cut wood (ash is an example).
Read and ask questions and you should be OK.

http://www.thestoveyard.com/pwpcontrol.php?pwpID=7115
 

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Good info. Thanks. Its all new to me, so I do a lot of reading. It will just take some experience. We have a lot of downed trees too. Many oak. It would be a while before I'd need to cut one down just to burn it.
 

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Discussion Starter #110
My Brother ran out of fuel first year running his outdoor boiler. Went through 7 cord, then had to process another 2 at least. He has a good bit of ash on his 200 acres so that was the emegency go to wood.
This season he has near 10 cord so should be all set.

Even with your downed oak, until it's split won't burn to well. Still needs to season and does best once processed. Whole rounds do not season near as fast as split, obviously.

I've been doing well with the pellets. Set my new stove on fairly low setting and burn less than a bag (40lbs) per day. However it has not been very cold either.
It does regulate from upstairs to down very well. I'm getting anywhere from 2-4 degree delta. As said, has not been really cold yet.
This morning was 69 up and 71 down. I cannot complain at all, this is without any fans etc other than the stove itself.
The North Idaho fir pellets are of the best softwood I've tried. Stove burns hot and stays extremely clean. I've tried a few and the worst so far were from Agway, cannot remember the name but white pine premium softwood. Left insides of stove with a black soot layer. Just 1 bag overnight made it that bad.


MU
 

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Discussion Starter #111
Been putting off making a rail kit for too long so finally got it done, well started anyway.
I checked prices on an oem one from Harmon and over $400 and seemed so simple. Mine is a bit different but purpose is exact.
I purchased short c channel and 1/8 flat stock from TSC. It's the perfect height matching stove cage track. Here's where I am so far. Have to weld a few more pieces, paint and then all set for spring clean out.

MU
 

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MU--that seems like a good idea--like R/R tracks leading out past the edge of the hearth. Enlighten me, if you would--do you have to pull the stove out that far to clean it out? Is that what you are trying to accomplish?
And is that clean out every season?

just wondering -

glenn
 

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Discussion Starter #113
Hello Glenn,
I only need to slide stove out for complete cleaning once a year. This setup is very nice as the actual cage/frame stays in FP. The stove slides out as you noticed on RR type tracks. The flu engages cage where pipe/chimney liner is plumbed through blocked off damper plate etc.
They recommend sliding stove out to clean pipe so ash does not fall into combustion exhaust of stove.
The rear is also where the feed mechanism is requiring clean out of fines annually as well. Last year I just slid stove out and rested on make shift wood stand/stacked wood (mickey mouse).
Behind able to get it this far out will make cleaning a breeze! it is a very heavy stove! My Son and I had quite a time getting it on the hearth a few years ago during install. (documented here in a thread)

Couple more pictures showing rail construction process. I drilled / tapped 4, 1/4"-20 holes in track tongue(s) to fix tracks so they stay put. Also welding nuts in support/leg to attach opposite rail ends as well.
Once done I'll post more photos prior to blast / paint.

Thanks

MU
 

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Discussion Starter #116
Cleaned stove Saturday morning for season end. Used rail kit I made, worked very well. Was able to clean out pipe liner up through chimney and entire stove. I unhooked 3 wires and slid out another 4-5 inches to edge of rails. Gave me plenty of room to clean rear auger area-clean out as well.

All set until next fall.

MU
 

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Shutting down a little early? Still some near freezing days and sub freezing nights in the forecast....
 

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Discussion Starter #118
I have not used it much at all this season with oil being a bargain. More cost effective to run boiler.
I have a bit over a ton of pellets left.
It is not my primary heat source. It does however, keep entire house plenty warm and both thermostats satisfied even during a cold snap.
I installed it when oil was going for premium and found how well it performed.
I do run it from time to time to take chill off when really cold, ambience, or whatever.
I light one in garage-shed-shop (out back) when planning on car work, tinkering or just a getaway.

I burn very high quality Douglas Fir pellets only and they're priced as such. They do return the best flame, highest heat and stove stays cleaner etc.
I burn the same in both my stoves.

MU
 

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I have not used it much at all this season with oil being a bargain. More cost effective to run boiler.
I have a bit over a ton of pellets left.
It is not my primary heat source. It does however, keep entire house plenty warm and both thermostats satisfied even during a cold snap.
I installed it when oil was going for premium and found how well it performed.
I do run it from time to time to take chill off when really cold, ambience, or whatever.
I light one in garage-shed-shop (out back) when planning on car work, tinkering or just a getaway.

I burn very high quality Douglas Fir pellets only and they're priced as such. They do return the best flame, highest heat and stove stays cleaner etc.
I burn the same in both my stoves.

MU

I too installed my wood burning insert when oil was $4/gal. I guess I am a little more willing to keep throwing wood in there since it didn't cost me anything but a couple tanks of gas through my saw and a bit of manual labor...won't be long though...The sun is getting stronger!!
 

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I should rig up something like that rail so I could slide my Hearth-Mate fireplace insert away from the fireplace opening --last time I removed it to clean the fireplace before using it after sitting decades,I was only able to move the unit a few inches forward and the front legs off the hearth,then it tipped down at the front and the fire bricks in it slid towards the door--almost "lost" it,it was so heavy,it was all I could do to keep it from standing on the front door...thing probably weighs 200 lbs easy..

I found only enough ashes in the fireplace to fill a 5 gallon bucket about 1/2 full,I thought there would be more,but my dad never did use the stove all that much--he bought it in 1977 when the oil embargo was on,to save money--but my mom developed COPD and we couldn't use the stove any more, except in emergency conditions if we lost power...

I should have put a elbow and a few feet of pipe on the stove ,and up the chimney (which still looked new inside,no soot whatsoever when I pulled the stove out)...the way it is now, the stove has just a 6" "hole" in the plate that covers the fireplace,and this combined with the huge chimney flue designed for a fireplace,and the fact the chimney is huge and exposed to the outside and cold (which inhibits a good draft)--it is prone to back-drafting ,especially when we have winds from the north east (like every snowstorm ,just when I may need the stove the most,I cant trust using it)...

I am hoping adding the stove pipe might help increase the draft enough to avoid having to run a full length pipe or flex tubing right to the top of the chimney--and a chimney cap may help too...right now my chimney is in need of some repair,the topmost 2 rows of bricks are losing the mortar in the joints,and I'm pretty sure the cement "cap" has a crack in it now too...hoping I can address these issues during the summer so I can get more use out of the stove next winter..

Despite the "low cost" of heating oil this year,I have used up almost 1-1/2 tanks worth since Nov.15th,and it wasn't all that frigid most of the winter (this month has proved the coldest I think!)--I keep the thermostats at 65 degrees,but the furnace seems to run quite a lot,and it never really feels "warm" unless I have the wood stoves going..house has good insulation and all the doors are weatherstripped too..

The one thing that worries me,is insurance,if my insurer saw the wood stoves and suspect they are being used more than only for "emergency" back up heat,they may well decide to cancel my house insurance,or want an outrageous fee added to the policy--several friends had that happen last year,3 of them were more or less forced to get rid of the stoves--despite having used them over 25 years with no issues ,fires,or insurance claims..
 
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