Determining if my seasoned Red Oak is ready to burn is challengin

loger_gwNovember 12, 2013

Determining if my seasoned Red Oak is ready to burn is challenging me. One yr old Red Oak, round 6-8" dia wood planned as over-night "back sticks". All has seasoned cracks, + 12" dia wood is split at least once to twice. The wt is still heavy IMO with the bark aged or gone. Most of all it might not build coal and burn over night. I'm not seeing or hearing any sizzling but feel I'm not getting my best results. I saw some where Red Oak should be seasoned 2 yrs which is hard for me to believe in the North, TX heat.

Plus, IâÂÂm learning Ash w/n have the distinct seasoning cracks but wt is easily noticed. We are getting our 1st real winter test in the morning.

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baymee(LehighValleyPA)

If you don't see bubbles of water oozing out of the end grain when it burns, you should be OK. In the North, we allow for one inch per year to air dry, but our climate is not dry.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 5:38AM
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loger_gw

Thanks baymee!

1. The attached Pic shows mainly Red Oak ends/sides cut and split by 10-8-12 last year.

2. The 7â dia X16â long Red Oak on the scales =18 lbs after a yr and weathered bark.

3. Ash seasoned w/o cracks top left (facing) and pecan bottom left unseasoned.

4. IâÂÂm on the second stick of seasoned pecan burning a piece of Red Oak w/o signs of moisture.

5. The Red Oak back sticks (on the scaled) out last the bed of coal and support wood.

6. Now, IâÂÂm getting a feel as to why I'm seeing Red Oak wood split so small, which my body needs.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 3:55PM
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ewalk

Loger: AS illustrated would appear more than ready . If your season has been extremely hot and dry the maple will season much more quickly.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 7:26PM
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baymee(LehighValleyPA)

It looks pretty good. Right now I'm using about half a Garden Way cart a day for heat and hot water. About two more weeks and I'll switch to coal for 3 months.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 10:29PM
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loger_gw

That Red Oak log on the scale and My Body is telling me to split the Red Oak smaller (as quartering 12â and splitting 8â dia at least. A 3rd of the log was left when the support logs/coals burned to ash. Past Post Oak , live Oak, Pecan and Etc that was dominate stock had me in a different mode of burning 10â wood over night.

Plus, I must remember âÂÂI Do Not Add Support Wood After Bedtime As In The PastâÂÂ. Attached is a Live Oak Log that would burn over night with good support, âÂÂOnce My Younger Body Got It in the FireplaceâÂÂ. LOL. Not having a splitter, grade of wood, strength, contributed to leaving wood larger back then.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 11:35AM
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baymee(LehighValleyPA)

Here's mine. Burning wood now for a little longer.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 5:01PM
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baymee(LehighValleyPA)

Burning.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 5:02PM
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baymee(LehighValleyPA)

10 cords under roof.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 5:06PM
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baymee(LehighValleyPA)

And when I don't cut wood or work a full time job, I have other things I like to do. Built for my grandkids last Summer.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 5:20PM
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loger_gw

Good Work! baymee. What is the make/model of the coal burning unit. Do you have a link to it? I would like to see the interior of the unit that requires the electrical and plumbing showing (knowing there is hot water provided and a blower pushing the heat out).

our gas Central Unit has one 22v power source, 12v thermostat and a gas line (since there is no hot water involved).

It's amazing how much work you can or could get done while in the working mode. With Retirement you feel you will get more done but w/o that working schedule the time and work ethics goes away (at least in my case). Even though, I can still do my share of home maintenance with an effort. itâÂÂs hard to believe while working full-time I could do my job, maintenance and otherâÂÂs maintenance w/o an effort or thinking of the time.

PS. Take us inside the GrandâÂÂs House one day (Nice Work!).

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 11:15AM
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baymee(LehighValleyPA)

The project has been put on hold until my wife agrees with me that it needs a stone fireplace on the inside. She wants a painted stone (by a professional artist) fireplace. Until she sees it my way, I have stopped working on it.

I have about 400-500 hours into the exterior and it is finished. It is my last big project of that nature. The only thing remaining on the bucket list before I cross over, is to see the West, especially the desert.

My heating unit is a boiler and you need baseboard for it.
It isn't for your situation. It circulates water throughout the house. It's a wonderful and most comfortable form of heat.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 3:08PM
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loger_gw

Is the nice shed and background tress related to 10 cords (showing some wood) at your property, Ewalk possibly has one similar or my bad memory. LOL I feel the example was related to storing excess wood due to Post Oak not holding over 3-4 seasons here (uncovered). My restricted uncovered storage space approx 24â X 4â backed to a chain-link fence is wearing me down rotating and documenting woodâÂÂs age. I burn about 2 cords per season. Arrrox what do you, Ewalk and others burn (I know it will very due to Etc)?

I âÂÂm rehabbing from throwing out the back row of wood to burn now. Then, âÂÂOverhead stackingâ on the front 8â with green wood to be stacked front to back row is what took me out (leaving both rows approx 6â high after 18â off the ground. I thought it was exercise vs dangerous work vs this stressed right shoulder neck area. Have you seen an injury due to repetitive work? All X-Rays were negative vs any MRI work. The pain is leaving but there is what I'm calling spasms (gripping/releasing) on the top of the shoulder and side of the neck that all is relieved more with over a month of rest and muscle relaxer med lately. You Live And You Learn!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 5:52PM
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baymee(LehighValleyPA)

I have been blessed, not having any aches or pains.

Before I started using coal, my wood consumption was somewhere between 2 - 3.5 cords a year.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 10:20PM
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ewalk

Loger: You have a remarkable memory Bro ! Yep have a similar Barn Style (24'x26') Garage that Baymee has . Actually 2-storey with entertainment area on 2nd floor c/w pool table and large 50 inch flat screen and stereo unit. The 1st floor has 8 inch cement floor slab and is where the Welding & Repair work gets done on various recreational activities & toys . At this time have 2-deer hanging and will be caping them today . On the Wood Heating issues I have a Oil / Wood Combination Olsen Tall Boy Forced Air Furnace for heating and Oil Domestic Hot Water within my 32' x 50 ' Brick Bungalo . That along with my Ashley Potbelly in the Garage I usually burn around 10-12 Mixed Cord of Maple and Birch Annually. P.S. Baymee has the same Barn Red colour on his Garage and Wood Storage appendage area .
Since I had both Hips replaced , have so far pain free mobility lol , So Far !

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 10:22AM
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loger_gw

My memory is becoming strange before I thought it would. I can nail or miss pass events w/o any reasoning.

I Feel I finally got a feel for BaymeeâÂÂs system, after looking at all the copper and ball valves? The word Boiler and circulating, finally said he is circulating hot water for heat. Any forced air is provided at locations and Ball valves possibly were to different zones. If this is the case, The Old School Term (50s), were âÂÂRadiatorsâ w/o forced air (working off the boiler) where I experienced them in TX. Not seeing an exhaust threw me until I looked closer.

Burning 10 cords is working and burning lots of wood. I feel your native wood is not as heavy or dense as our native hard woods in TX. I found a nice load of Red Oak 5 houses away today. I left one stick Respecting Rehabbing with one arm in use. That is like leaving Money. LOL.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 5:06PM
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baymee(LehighValleyPA)

Loger, I don't usually use wood from my yard unless it's pruning or dead-fall. As you may know, we had back to back Halloween storms hit us in 2001 and 2012, resulting in many of my trees going down.

In the first picture you can see how the snow on the green leaves slowly brought down all the trees on the cliff and laid them on my shed. I was overpopulated with sugar maples after a fire in 1988 burned all the leaves off the entire cliff and the maples took over. I cut every single one down after the storm and returned the woods to an open assortment of trees like it had always been. The cliff is so steep that you need a rope to climb up on most of it. It was a dump for the farmhouse above and is loaded with junk and glass from 1840 up to 1975, or so.

On one of the first cuts I made with the chainsaw to a one inch branch that was trapped, caused it to snap up at my face and I broke my nose. It's the second time I broke it and it was off to the side by about 1/2". A little crunching to move it back and it was good as new. But it bled like crazy. A little tissue in each nostril and I was back to cutting again. It bled for a few hours.

I just finished burning all the downed wood on my property from both storms, today, after two years.

The predominant species here is black ash, red oak and shagbark hickory. The ash borer is killing all the ash and as they come down, I burn them reluctantly. I prefer the pallet wood.

Over the past 35 years I have burned mostly pallet wood. I have a table saw set up for that.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 5:59PM
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loger_gw

Our 2010 ice storm produced our largest year of harvesting neighborhood wood and mainly live oak. The leaves on the live oaks held too much ice. There is a car and truck under the tree at the 2nd door neighborsâÂÂ. Trimming is not the Big Catch vs trees being taken out on the 70 X 120â lots. The builder planted one tree and we planted more and many need to come out now.

I have pallet stock for starting fires that was in planks, lasting about 3 yrs w/50% still left. Plus, I volunteered at Habit For Humanities and we put Tons of starter wood in dumpsters 03-09.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 8:59PM
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andyma_gw

I'm not a red oak fan. I don't like its smell, its stringiness and its lousy burn. I much prefer white oak or choke cherry. I had a fire going in the Defiant, cherry from a blow down in the front yard last winter. I could smell it whilst car crawling. Smells like a maraschino cherry . I replaced the broken latch on the Defiant's side door with a bolt and washers. I caulked the door edges with gasket material and pushed it in as I tightened the bolt. This has restored a great amount of the stove's "airtightness" . I have more repairs to go, but that was the most bang for least effort. The stove was rated at 40,000 BTU and heated a 1200 sqare foot house. That was 40 yrs ago . Most of the plates are cracked. The inner baffle burnt out years ago I snapped off the worst of the warped piece, I intend to strap it roughly back into place with lots of slack built in to accomodate expansion. Heating oil is about 3.40 a gallon. I have a hot air system . Firewood is 275 $ a cord. Most of the house also has 220 Volt electric baseboard. The chimney was put in an enclosed porch. Then a few yrs later, I rolled the porch away, and put in a 28 x 28 , 2 story addition on a 20 X 28 with a 12x12 ell. Story and a half New England farmhouse built about 1870 from local pine. So the chimney is in a center of the house now. Thanksgiving of '85 I tended a mason who corbled the last 5 feet over 4 inches to clear the ridge pole Instead of splitting the ridge each course of brick was hung out about 3/8 of an inch.to the north. The masonry is great. It retains heat and heats the sheetrock plaster in the stairwell.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 12:19AM
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ewalk

Loger: 10 cords is minimium routine . All season from Sept to May here in the Great White North . Remember we get -30 F often here between Dec to March . I usually have the Oil Thermostat set at 65 so it automatically comes on mid morning , should I forget to restock the wood fce . The garage is the secondary source of wood burning and uses at least 4-5 cords with all the extracurricular Man Cave Activites. Although I do burn a lot of hard wood pallets in the garage during milder temps in the spring and fall. The Buck is cut and wrapped in the deep freeze. The Doe is smoking in Alder and Hickory for another few hours. Have some nice roasts and steaks for Xmas Season , and intend on making some Jerky and Sausage for Ice Fishing Season in February . Tis the Season Baby !

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 11:16AM
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loger_gw

You are having a Good Season from experience. IâÂÂm experimenting at age XX due to my recent good Ash wood burning and poor Red Oak burning. My goal is to split some Red Oak smaller (4X4) if needed since itâÂÂs a 3rd of my stock. The recent cut wood seasoned checks have started so fast I feel itâÂÂs the grade of wood vs being seasoned. The experiment is on, Have A Good Winter!

BTW, I felt I needed to water this past week due to the 80s and no rain (after I had winterized last week).

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 5:06PM
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baymee(LehighValleyPA)

Just got my coal. Cost $373 and should keep us toasty (75ú) and unlimited hot water for the entire Winter.

In the cold days of Winter, I burn one (foreground) Garden cart of wood per day. Coal takes up so much less space and doesn't make any smoke.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2013 at 5:51PM
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loger_gw

Good info/Pic Baymee. Attached is a 4X4 patio rack I consider a weeks need during mild cold mornings and nightâÂÂs needs. During freezing weather or rain I might double this and a wheel barrel load or put a tarp on some wood. Most of all, IâÂÂm going with smaller wood if itâÂÂs quality hard wood and the central unit is always âÂÂmonitoringâÂÂ.

North TX is TX as we had mid 80s last week.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2013 at 11:37PM
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baymee(LehighValleyPA)

With logs that large, you aren't getting much heat, but they hold overnight.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 5:27AM
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loger_gw

A Very Good Point! Not showing would be my small starter and mid size wood I burn during the day from the coals held over from the larger over night wood (3 Stages). We see very few weeks that require stock piling over a week due to cold or wet weather.

I experimented with 3 heavy expanded metal section stacked and bolted together as a grate to get air under the wood (between the pipes) to sift ash from coals and allow the fire to breath/burn better and I was impressed. There is no end to experimenting and work with firewood. I need to ck my ext /int air duck to know ash has not restricted it supplying air with doors closed.. Good Exercise!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 7:49PM
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loger_gw

We had a very impressive load of two 7â round, one 8â split Red Oak logs in a bed of coals to burn completely (last night with no coal left over). Very little ash compared to some hard woods or âÂÂadding more wood as neededâÂÂ. No coal was partly due to me building the fire at 9 PM and expecting it to hold over night (until 8AM). The âÂÂOld Schoolâ would be to put a less seasoned log or Green Back Stick in the mix to hold some coals. I heard for the first time last winter that some people soaked a log in water to get it to hold over night vs A Green Back Stick (at Bed Time).

Bottom Line! I/We have To Work With The Fire To Get 100% Around The Clock.

Attached: We have A Real Winter Storm here in North TX this morning. The sleet started before dark last night and we have inches of snow and ice mixed this morning. All snow/sleet has stopped with no serious tree damage noticed close by. Mother Nature Took Many Of the Leaves Just Ahead Of The Storm. The Live Oak showing is the sane one attached above with a car and truck under it in 2010 not showing (thinned/trimmed this past summer).

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 2:35PM
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