General Question

wildpotato's avatar

Can you give some tips to this wood stove noob?

Asked by wildpotato (14903points) February 16th, 2014 from iPhone

I moved to a cabin in a deeply forested area in Massachusetts a month ago, and I want to pick the brains of some of you long-time New Englanders, upstate NYers, and Canadians (and many others, no doubt). I gave it a month before asking this question so I have some sense of what I’m doing and what to ask. Still a newbie, though, so if anyone could address these questions as well as add any useful tidbits I don’t know to request, it would be much appreciated.
Background info: I have little experience with woodstoves but decent experience with campfires. All I really know so far is, after getting it going, to do what the stove manual describes as treating the wood like a cigar – rake the coals to the front, set the wood in, close the door and keep the damper open fully, then close it a quarter turn after a few minutes and every so often to control the draft. Repeat.

Is this your preferred method too? If not, how do you do it?

In the Jotul videos I watched, the guy packed his stove full of wood and said to control the burn and heat with the damper. But when we tried that it got wayyy too hot and got the back of the stove glowing red, which I know is bad for it. So since that experiment we’ve been doing only 1–3 logs at a time, depending on their size. Is this the way to go, or did we make a mistake in how we tried the packed-full method?

I think I got a bum cord – sizzling logs and lots of fighting with it to get it to burn. Next cord will be bought through someone else, but got any tips in the meantime on how to best burn badly seasoned wood? And should I make a strenuous effort to get as much dirt off as possible (some logs have up to half an inch caked onto one end or side)?

If we are waking up and running out the door within an hour/hour and a half, is it worth it to get the stove going, or is it best to just heat during that short time with our propane and space heaters? The area to be heated is about 650 sqft.

Got any tips for overnight/extended burns? We have a Jotul 602C, and it’s a bit smaller than the stoves and fireplaces I’ve messed around with in the past. We were only able to get about three hours of burn time before it went totally cold even when we packed it full that one time. We burn only hardwood.

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40 Answers

Aster's avatar

I have experience with wood stoves. The ones with no glass in the door. I never thought about raking the coals to the front or touching them. If you have red hot coals you don’t have to do much to keep it burning all night if you have a large stove. You put some small logs on top of the coals followed by an enormous log. You crack the door of the stove open an inch and that really gets it going. At that point you close the door and leave it alone. It should burn for many hours. As far as whether to use space heaters before going shopping or out to eat I really don’t remember. I think we’d repeat what I just outlined but, then, we lived in Texas; not northern Canada.

CWOTUS's avatar

I have no experience with the Jotul stoves, and no recent experience with woodstoves, period. But I do know that if your wood is “sizzling”, then it’s not necessarily “badly seasoned”, but probably “not long-enough seasoned”. So buy a new cord of well seasoned wood now from someone that you trust, and buy an additional cord of unseasoned wood – at a discount, of course – that you can season yourself over the months until next winter. Seasoning wood just takes time, a proper cover, and dunnage to keep it off the ground.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I agree with @CWOTUS Get yourself another cord of wood and let the one you have now sit under a cover for later.
The burn time of 3 hours is not good and the fact that you have trouble with the damper makes me think you have a gasket leak around the door. When stove is cold—take a dollar bill and close the door on the bill, tug on the bill there should be resistance. If it a good seal the dollar with have to pulled with feeling you are going to tear the bill. Gasket kits are available at your local stove store or the interweb. Once you know the door seal is good light the fire and let it stabilize, get an incense stick and light it, now with a flash light ini hand and a slightly darkened room. Go around the edge and and corners of the stove with the incense smoke in the flash light beam. If the smoke appears to “go into the stove” you have a leak. Check with the friend at the stove store for “Stove Cement” to patch the leaks.
Wood must high quality hardwood, I’ve used maple, hickory ( the best ) and oak. Get your wood from a well known dealer. CHECK THIS OUT for Massachusetts cord wood.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I have a lot of experience with a wood burners. (I see @Tropical_ Willie is typing above me With a name like that you should automatically ignore anything he writes. :-) ) (I will remove that sentence after I finish answering.)
I have not used a Jotul stove but I did look up the parts list and see it is an older stove design from ~1988 and has a single baffle. No catalytic converter, no reburner stage no pyrolyzer tubes. It is a standard, old school stove with only 40% efficiency.
I have a monster Glacier Bay stove of that type in my basement 40% eff. My main stove in the living room and the one I use 95% of the time is a Lopi Freedom insert with reburner stage. It is rated at 73% efficiency and puts out very little smoke. When lit off there is NO smoke at all.
First, if the wood is sizzling it is not dry. Don’t panic though. Wood will dry out quickly if you stack it indoors in the room with the wood burner for a week. I have two racks that I alternate filling . One rack of wood is drying while the other is used to heat the house. I fill the when it is empty. and always have one full rack ready to go.
So step 1 is to bring wood, at least a week’s worth, into the house.
Step 2 I do not use the top damper for anything. Back in the 80’s the damper was used to choke the flame down when the concept of “air tight” was not the best. If you have a good seal on the door and the inlet damper seals off well, open the flue damper and let the smoke out. My Lopi does not have a flue damper at all!
Step 3 Test to see if your door seal is good. Rip a 1 inch wide strip of paper and shut the door on it. The door seal should push against the paper and make it a little difficult to remove. If the door seal is bad, replace the “asbestos” seal. If you can’t do that then you will have to rely upon the flue damper.
Step 4 Once you have a nice fire going, load the stove as full as you can. Let the logs and flame at the bottom effectively dry out the wood that is above it.
If your door seal is bad or the front damper leaks the stove will get crazy hot. Then the upper damper will be needed to control it.

Get 2 magnetic flue and thermometer s so you can monitor what is going on with the stove. Put one on the flue near the damper and one on the side of the stove. Mine are from Condar .
Once you get the hang of it you will learn a few things.
– All dry wood burns.
– The best firewood is free firewood
– Tax records,m pizza boxes and newspapers put out just as many BTU’s per pound as the best firewood.
– There is never any need to buy “accelerant” or fire starter gel. You can use discarded cooking oil, or grease, or even used motor oil (there I said it!) to get a fire going. That is recycling.
– Those small electric wood 5 ton splitters actually work. You can use them for making kindling.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Oh no! I can’t remove my joke sentence. Help!

LuckyGuy's avatar

It is a good idea to have a fan blowing on the stove to circulate air. I actually blow the fan in the direction of the wood I am drying out. Even with the wood a few degrees warmer than ambient its thermal mass will reduce temperature swings and it will dry out faster.

If you are science minded and have a good kitchen scale, you can study how wood dries out. Weigh a piece of firewood and use a Sharpie marker write its weight right on it. Weigh and record it every day for about a week and you will be surprised how much it loses. You will see the weight loss taper off.
All that moisture is going into the house exactly when you need it. That is another reason it is a good idea to store wood inside.
For fun you can weigh a piece of wood, put it in the oven at 250F, and bake it for an hour to see the limit. Keep that piece of wood for a while and you will see it gain weight as it absorbs water. It will try to gain weight until it reaches about 6% moisture. Neat!

CWOTUS's avatar

Hmm. On the other hand, there are great arguments against storing wood indoors, too. Such as embedded insects, larvae or eggs that can become active, including termites. (It’s always a good idea when storing wood outdoors to separate it from your dwelling and other wooden structures, because termites love – and need – to have a light-free path from one food source to another. If you butt the wood against the house, and if you have wood siding, then the termites don’t need to build their mud tunnels to travel to the house, and that’s some good eating for them.)

If you really need more moisture in the house, which really is a good idea, then put a pan of snow on top of the wood stove or on the hearth. It’s good to have water nearby anyway, in case sparks or cinders come out of the stove while you’re fueling it. A little water can save your rugs, your clothes, your floors – maybe even your house.

glacial's avatar

@CWOTUS Not sure termites would be a concern that far north – I’m seeing some range maps indicating they can infest in lower Massachusetts, but the dry wood maps seem to restrict them to the southern US. I have no idea why there would be a difference. I’m pretty sure @LuckyGuy is too far north to worry about them.

In our house when I was growing up, my father would line the garage with firewood, and keep one of these full by the stove at all times. At that time, we had a Franklin in the living room which we used alongside electricity. Later, he took out the Franklin and installed a woodburning stove in the basement, which would provide most of our heat. He keeps a small stash of wood in the basement with it – pretty much the same system @LuckyGuy describes.

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CWOTUS's avatar

Anywhere in Hawaii and the lower 48, termites are a concern.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Buggy wood is only useful for campsites. Nice, split wood is bug free. And even if there are bugs they are perfectly happy to stay in the wood. They don’t roam. They just sit and enjoy. Split wood that has been stored outside fora while in our climate has had a chance to get well below freezing and that kills most anything. I have never had a problem. In fact I do not know anyone who has.

My indoor firewood storage rings are 40 inches in diameter.

ccrow's avatar

I don’t know, @LuckyGuy… this year I had some wood with ants in it, and they were most definitely not killed by freezing. The wood was outside in winter temperatures for weeks, but after it was brought in and warmed up, I saw my cat over by the wood chasing ants. Ugh. I will say, though, that bugs have generally not been a problem.

JLeslie's avatar

I was going to send the question to @LuckyGuy, but I see he is already here.

I know nothing about wood stoves except that my friend had a very close friend who had one. One day the friend watched my friends two twin girls, they were very young at the time. One of them ran right up to the stove and laid both hands on it. Both hands burned very badly. Physical therapy for months so the scar tissue did not force her hands into a bad permanent position. Years of her knowing the smell of medical and just entering the door to any building with that smell was stressful. She still has scars on her hands from it.

Moral to the story, if there are kids around think seriously about using it, and if there are children in the house that are not your children and not familiar with it, don’t risk using it.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@ccrow I split my own wood, with a 27 ton hydraulic splitter. When I find a hint of bugs those pieces go in a pile that is used for the outdoor fire pits. I do not bring it inside. A pro who sells split firewood will do the same. He knows his reputation would be shot if he sold buggy wood.
I have never had a problem.
By the way, when I do find bugs while splitting, I leave those pieces face up so the birds can have a feast. They love it.

Coloma's avatar

I had wood stoves for a long tome too and all of the above advice is right.
You should always prepare the coal bed before adding a new log, stir up the fire to start it up well again. My daughter was 4 when we had a wood stove and never had an incident of her burning herself. We were watchful but I wasn’t overly concerned.

JLeslie's avatar

@Coloma I think the problem was they were just visiting, so they weren’t familar with it. They were 2 or 3 years old if I remember correctly. I wouldn’t take a chance, eslecially with someone else’s kids. It wound up ruining their friendship. Not solely because of the burn, it was how the friend handled the whole thing.

Cruiser's avatar

It is simple and comes down to choosing to burn hard woods like oak that will burn hotter and produce less smoke than softer woods like pine. Soft woods will produce more soot and increase the possibility of a creosote buildup and subsequent chimney fire.

Stinley's avatar

I’ve had a wood burning stove for a number of years – three different ones as we moved house. I agree with you and the others that your wood sounds damp, either from rain or not seasoned enough. So get some dry stuff now and leave the damp stuff to dry out. If your wood is seasoned, soot and residue shouldn’t be a problem, but even seasoned wood which is damp won’t burn properly as it doesn’t get hot enough and there could be a chimney deposit problem with that. However stoves are much less troubled by this than open fires as they burn more completely. If I remember rightly, your Jotum stove is a very good quality brand so your burn should be good.

Get some high burn stuff for the mornings. Pine is great and it burns fast and hot. Keep an eye out for stuff that’s lying around eg in skips or in industrial estates. Pallets can be sawn up, burn great and are free!

For slow burns – overnight – a hard wood will be best. Your fire needs to be good and hot before you pile on the big boys and turn down the draught flow.

You say it’s a wood burning stove. If this is all that you are burning, have a good bed of ash to keep in the heat and burn more completely. If you are using coal at all, you will need to rake the ash out daily to keep the coal burning.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I burn pine to get the flames going and bring the stove up to temp. As @Stinley said “it burns fast and hot” and it is easy to light. I like to keep my stove running hot so there is little chance of creosote buildup. I try to limit the idling time, i.e. choking back the flames so it will last all night. I prefer to let it burn hot and burn out. Sure, that means there are temperature swings but my oil heat is set to cover the dips below 60F. A full rack or two of wood will act as thermal storage and will even out the heat.
The best solution is to live with a guy who has prostate issues and wakes up every 3 hours to pee and load the stove. I now sleep through the night so my oil heat is usually running in the morning. That is a price I am happy to pay!

wildpotato's avatar

Wow, thanks everyone! This is quite a trove of information. Ok, we brought in a bunch of wood for now (I’m pretty sure it is bug free), and will pick up a better cord of seasoned wood from a more trusty source asap, as well as a cord of green to dry out for next winter. I’ll also get some pine for starting it in the mornings. For now we’ve been using Fatwood pine starter sticks, which have been very helpful especially with the less-seasoned logs.

I’ll try the paper-dragged-in-the-gasket thing tomorrow morning. My guess from just looking at it is that it may be an issue – the woven cloth strip thingee is frayed all around and looks to be worn completely away on the bottom edge.

For the thermometer, should I definitely get the magnetic surface type, or can I use an infrared thermometer? We do a lot of cooking, so the latter kind would be more versatile – if it’s appropriate for using with the stove, of course.

I love the idea of a pan of snow on the hotplate – it gets so dry in the stove room!

We might have kids visit at some point, and will make sure they respect the stove or are kept away from it. Good thing to keep in mind, for sure.

@Stinley Wait, ash is good? We are indeed only burning wood – but I always thought it was best to keep ash out of the coal bed as much as possible so as not to choke the airflow. I’ve been raking and sweeping it out each morning before I start it up. But I’m mistaken, and it’s good to leave ash in there?

LuckyGuy's avatar

@wildpotato Magnetic surface types are so easy and are always readily visible. I mark mine with a silver sharpie so I can readily see if the stove is above or below my desired temp. 400F for the front surface. 700F near the secondary combustor. If you have a catalyst stove (you don’t) the temp will be 1100F
If your house is dry you don’t need to bring snow inside. Water from the tap will suffice. Also the wood you are bringing in will have moisture in it. If you bring in a ton and it is at 30% moisture it will put 400 pounds of water or 50 gallons into the air as it dries down to 10%. That is way more than a small tray of water.

I don’t clean the stove out every day. I leave some ash until it gets about 2” thick and then I empty it out – usually in about a week. Remember, my stove burns hotter than yours so I can burn other things in it without making a mess. cardboard boxes, milk cartons, newspaper, mail, chicken bones.- poof – it all turns into heat.

Welcome to a whole new world!

Stinley's avatar

I didn’t believe at first that it would be better to leave a bed of ash and i used to clean the ash out regularly (about 1 or 2 x a week). But I got lazy and left it and I can see the difference. The ash i used to clean out was filled with little charcoal bits and pieces but if I leave it, these burn away and I’m left with just ash (and nails from the pallets!) So I think that the bed of ash contains the heat and allows for a better burn.

If you have a grate then you may need to make sure that the pan below it is emptied as one of the things I’ve read was that if you don’t have a draught adjuster at the top of your stove, then your only source of air might be the ones down by the grate.

I’ve never added water to the room – I love the dry heat and hate humidity.

A lot of it is trial and error as to what works best for your stove, wood type, and the environment you want in your house. But it is good to understand the variables and how these can be adjusted. You’ll be a dab hand in no time!

LuckyGuy's avatar

@wildpotato I just thought of a couple of other things you need to have.
1) A fire extinguisher for about $20. You’ll never use it. But it’s their in case your neighbor needs it.
2) A good pair of welding gloves with cuffs that cover your forearms. Always use them when yo open the stove. You never want to be surprised by a log that rolls out. Also it will protect your hands and keep them baby soft.
3) A pair of clear safety glasses. Why? Because the heat emitted when you open the stove can hurt your eyes.
4) An all metal garden shovel to rake the coals and empty the stove.
5) An all metal ash can.

Things to NOT buy.
1) Any product that is used to accelerate the fire and get it started. Use paper, sticks, used cooking oil, used motor oil, ol candle wax. Don’t waste money and the world’s resources.
2) Any product that purports to clean your chimney. Just use dry wood and run it hot periodically. Check the flue before and after the season. Why before? Because squirrels, bats, or birds might make a nest in there.
3) Any new cooking trivet. They last forever. Go to GoodWill and get one that belonged to someone’s grandma . It will cost you $1 and you will be able to pass it down to your grandchildren.

Use the stove as a way to get exercise, save money, pollute less and clean up your area. It’s a win-win-win-win proposition.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Oh! One more thing. Expect the wood burning experience to be messy – not as messy as a dog (Sorry dog owners. I had one, so I know.) but still messy. There will be wood chips and ash on the floor near the stove. Keep the vacuum cleaner handy. I rarely put mine away.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Remember to put any ashes from the stove in a METAL Container with a lid. I’ve had two different neighbors that didn’t, one had to rebuild part of the deck and the other had a wild fire in the grass behind their house.

CWOTUS's avatar

… and outside. When you take the ashes and cinders out of the stove, put them in a covered metal container outside and away from flammable materials. People have no idea, sometimes until after the first unintended fire, how much heat is retained in supposedly “dead” ashes. Those ashes often cover coals that will appear to be “cold” until the ash cover is knocked off.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@CWOTUS True. I keep my ashes in a metal can in the garage in a spot with lots of clearance. That pail stays warm for a couple of days! I figure it is putting BTUs into my garage. When I dump the ash I spread it out along the edge of my gravel driveway or in the woods if it is a wet day.

wildpotato's avatar

After trying the gasket paper-slide test, it definitely needs to be replaced. On the bottom edge there was zero resistance, and only a small amount on the side and top of the door. Too bad the stove has to sit cold for 24 hours prior to replacing it, but at least we’re getting some warm weather now. 52 yesterday!

@LuckyGuy Fire extinguisher was the very first thing we bought for the house. I would have refused to bring wood inside to dry without it.

I was advised against welding gloves because, I was told, they are designed to be able to handle hot metal splatter, which cools very rapidly after initial contact – versus padded hearth gloves that can withstand continual heat for a somewhat longer period of time. I ended up with these which are good and quite protective, but are not heat resistant enough to handle a glowing log. I was a bit disappointed because I was hoping to avoid having to buy log tongs, but oh well.

You advise against Creosote-sweeping logs? (That is, when we get our stove running properly hot enough after replacing the gasket asap) I figured on using one once a month just to be safe, but if you say it’s a scam, I’ll bite.

And as you say, no need for a new trivet – upon moving in we were pleasantly surprised to find that our old Chemex trivet now has a new home.

The added mess is no biggie – I was actually able to fold the stove area cleanup in with a chore I already do daily by positioning the catbox exit area in the same space. Dyson to the rescue!

@all Thanks for emphasizing safety with the ashes. We will be extra careful. We inherited a large compost pile upon moving in, and are just learning how to deal with that, too – does anyone know if it’s ok to just dump ashes on the pile indiscriminately, or is there a maximum proportion to aim for?

LuckyGuy's avatar

@wildpotato If the gasket looks good but the bottom or top of the door fails the paper test, it is possible to adjust the hinges – IF they are rolled steel – not cast! Give the hinge a whack with a mallet and it will move ever so slightly. Then look at the door latch. They are usually adjustable. There might be 2 or 3 washers that act as spacers. Pull one out and the door will seal tighter.
Welding gloves have worked fine for me for decades. Unless it is a critical emergency you do not need to lift a flaming hot log. If you need to move a burning log you push it with a new log you are putting into the stove.

Ash disposal. I used to put ash in my garden but I was told it is not good to add it to clay soil. The soil turns into concrete. After years of trying to use it in an environmentally manner, I gave up and just dump it in low spots around the property: along the gravel road to the barn, or for filling in tire tracks in the mud. In the spring I sprinkle some top soil over it and throw on some grass seed. I do not use it for my garden. Now that I burn everything and all kinds of trash I do not know if it is toxic. Is laserjet ink is good or bad? Or aluminum foil bits that might sneak in, or magazine print?. Who knows. I just use ash as bulk not for its nutrient content.

I am so glad you are getting into this. :-)

wildpotato's avatar

Finally got the gasket replaced. HUGE difference! It burns way better, each log takes like an hour to burn instead of half an hour, and I can load a lot in at once without it getting way too warm. Haven’t tried an overnight burn yet – not sure it would be more cost-effective than continuing to let the propane heater take the night shift – but I’m certain it would at least be possible, now.

It has also really helped to keep wood inside – so much so that we took a closet door off and have it stacked full, and are planning to do a second so we can switch between them weekly like @LuckyGuy describes.

Many thanks to all! Fluther is so damn useful sometimes.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@wildpotato I am so happy this is working out for you!
I’ll pass along another tip but this might be too much. Wood will dry out even faster if you have a fan blowing on it to give it forced ventilation. Sure, it takes electrical energy to run the fan, but on a cost per BTU basis, electricity is about half the price of delivered propane. I run a box fan on the medium setting and have it blow air at the pile when I am not in the room. (I don’t like the noise.) The benefits are threefold: it dries the wood, the moisture from the wood goes into the house, and it circulates the air and heat. And, as a 50 Watt heat source, it is cheaper than propane.
Stay warm!

chyna's avatar

^Gotta love those engineers that know all the cool stuff.

Stinley's avatar

@wildpotato compost should be layered with different materials and turned every couple of months. You can buy compost powder. I’ve never used it but it is supposed to help break down the materials. Remember no cooked food, unless you want vermin (coffee grounds, teabags and eggshells are ok)

We use welding gloves also. We picked two up dirt cheap as they were not a pair but both right hands – perfect as we only use one glove!

LuckyGuy's avatar

As I was filling my stove I just thought of a couple of things you don’t find in the book.

The stove is safe when the door is closed. Bad things can happen when the door is opened. That is why I wear gloves when I open the door.
Never panic. Think right now how you would react if the following occurred:
1) A piece of wood popped and shot a spark out onto the floor in front of you. Just reach down and pick it up quickly and move it to the stone/tile area or flick it back into the fire.
2) A log rolls out of the stove. You have your welding gloves on. Just push it back into the fire and close the door.
3) You dropped a match and something in the house catches fire. Try to slap it out. Use the fire extinguisher. Do you know where it is? It should be close but not too close so it gets warm. I have two in the living room, one on each side of the stove about 10 feet away.

Use the stove to get rid of food oil you don’t need. I ate an expired can of sardines packed in oil today. I poured the oil onto some newspapers and shoved the mess into the stove. Whoosh! I did not leave it in the trash where it would stink up the house, or pour it down the drain where it could clog the pipes. I converted it into heat + CO2 + H2O. Perfect. Start thinking that way.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Just thought of another one. Most mass has a measurable physical quantity called heat capacity. Heat capacity is the the amount of energy it takes to raise the temperature of a mass one degree. The units are typically BTU per pound or Joules per degree C.
Why is that important? You should try to take the wood into the house on warmer days. If it is super cold day like today -8F, -22C, you should wait until the temperature goes up a bit. If you bring wood at that temperature into the house it will take a lot of energy to melt the moisture that is stored inside and warm it up to room temp. Let nature do it. Leave the wood outside until the temp is above freezing. Let the afternoon sun warm it for you. Then bring it inside. Of course you can’t always do this (since you only need wood when it is cold, right?) but you should try. That is another reason why it is nice to have wood stacked and stored in the house ahead of time.

wildpotato's avatar

Some excellent wood stove bonuses we discovered: grilling is so easy now! We just toss in an extra log and 20 minutes later carry the coals out to the grill in the ash bucket. No more charcoal, yay. Also, instant s’mores any time we want. Thank goodness our house came with an ancient built-in barbeque so I can keep making fires every day even in the summer.

I’ve been looking into buying three-ish cords of green wood, and have been surprised by the high price of many offers – some are more than what I paid for my (less than fully, as it turned out) seasoned wood in the middle of the winter a few months ago. From your guys’ experience, roughly what percentage less whould I expect to pay for green wood in the spring than seasoned wood in the fall/winter?

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LuckyGuy's avatar

@wildpotato You asked about the price of green wood vs seasoned. Sadly the difference is quite small. When you buy wood, you are actually paying for the labor and other costs that got it to your house. In virtually every case the seller gets the wood for free. It is the labor, fuel, transportation costs, time, employee wages and benefits, insurance, etc. that cost. that free wood needs to be cut to length, split, loaded into a truck, unloaded, stored, loaded on a truck and brought to your house. Those expenses are the same whether the wood is wet or dry.

I get my wood from my own property or from a tree surgeon friend who would have to pay to dump a load at the Town’s Resource Recovery Center (the Dump).

wildpotato's avatar

Gotcha. Makes sense. Thanks for the detailed reply.

LuckyGuy's avatar

If you get the green wood now It will have plenty of time to become seasoned wood in Sept. ;-).

You want to stack it in the sun, preferably under a ledge so most of the rain does not get on it. Warning…A pile of wood left outdoors for the summer will become habitat for many critters: mice, snakes, chipmunks, yellow jackets, squirrels, birds…. a veritable zoo of forest dwelling creatures.
Make sure to use gloves and bang the pieces together when you move it into the house in the fall.

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