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Wood stove questions

 
pollinator
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I’m considering trying to get set up with wood heat before winter, which around here starts about November. Really, heating season starts in October but we do have propane for now. Theres a variety of reasons I want to heat with wood but the reason I’m considering cramming it in as another project asap is due to propane prices and even availability. We just paid $1,500 for propane and it probably wont even get us half way through the heating season. And by then prices will be much higher most likely.

Propane worries aside, what all does this entail? Obviously we would need a stove, stove pipe, wood, wood shed, either a maul or splitter. Ive got a small saw already. I just know contractors are busy and I will definitely do as much work myself as I can but don’t feel comfortable cutting into our roof without professional guidance. Ive been researching stoves but should really go talk to a dealer to get it sized right for our house/climate. But what’s more important, getting the stove set up or getting firewood? Just trying to figure out if doing this is reasonable for this year still or if we should just plan for doing it next year and maybe just plan a wood shed and start cutting wood this fall/winter. But then I worry that propane prices/availability this winter will drive masses of people towards wood stoves by next year so then there would be stove shortages…

Any advice for a young wood heating novice ?
 
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Hi Brody;
I would start by seeing if you can get a contractor to install a roof jack & class A pipe near the peak of your roof.
This late in the year it would not surprise me if none are available until next spring.
I would indeed plan and build a wood shed and start filling it up.
If you do manage to get a chimney and a stove this season. Then I would purchase seasoned firewood to avoid trying to burn fresh-cut wet wood.

As far as stoves... well I am the Rocket stove guy... I say build your own Rocket Mass Heater...  
 
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The chimney is going to cost you far more than the stove will, even with self-installation.  Expect the parts to cost at least 1000$ if you want to do things properly to code.  First, understand the difference between stove pipe and chimney pipe.  Either single-wall or double-wall pipe can be used from the stove up to the first structural penetration.  Once the pipe passes through the second floor or the roof, it is a code requirement to use triple-wall chimney pipe.

Some people try to save money by passing the pipe through a window.  This is a mistake.  You need two 90 degree elbows that seriously cut down on your draft.  You'll get the best draft with a pipe that goes in a straight line from the stove, right through the roof.  The best position for the stove, if you can manage it, is towards the middle of your home, with the chimney going straight up, and passing the ridgeline of your roof.

Here is a link to the stove company I bought my chimney pipes from.  I self-installed both the kitchen and living room stoves.  It is not as hard as you think, and is just a weekend job for two people.

https://www.northlineexpress.com/
 
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So, you are staring at ground zero.

Why wood stove?

A rocket stove will cost probably less, and you would be a lot less likely to burn your house down.
Did we discuss efficiency?  Rockets use way less wood for the same but better heat.
Cutting enough wood for a "wood stove" with your "little saw" will wear it out in 2 years.

You could do a masonry rocket now and it would be dry by equinox, ready to go.
 
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Hi Brody,  You might look at pellet stoves that can burn pellets or corn cobs.  The pipes go through the wall and are easy as pie to install. The heat transfer could be more effecient than a wood stove. Wood stoves require a certain range temperature to work properly and they need more fussing and you loose a lot of heat out of them.

A Rocket could be built rather quickly.  You could even build one with out the barrell.  Depending upon the pitch of your roof and if your roof is metal, wood, slate, asphault will determine how easy it will be to install a chimney pipe. I put one up through a garage once, it was a breeze.

 
Brody Ekberg
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thomas rubino wrote:Hi Brody;
I would start by seeing if you can get a contractor to install a roof jack & class A pipe near the peak of your roof.
This late in the year it would not surprise me if none are available until next spring.
I would indeed plan and build a wood shed and start filling it up.
If you do manage to get a chimney and a stove this season. Then I would purchase seasoned firewood to avoid trying to burn fresh-cut wet wood.

As far as stoves... well I am the Rocket stove guy... I say build your own Rocket Mass Heater...  



Im afraid you’re probably right about hiring a contractor this time of year.

As for wood, I know of a few ways I could get a load of 8’ hardwood logs (leftovers from commercial logging) delivered. Id still have to cut and split though. I need to figure out if that wood is seasoned or what though.

Ideally, yes we would build a rocket mass heater. But considering other obligations, a lack of experience, a time crunch and probable code/legal issues involving a rocket mass heater, I dont think thats a wise choice right now. But definitely at some point in the future when we could enjoy the building process, not rush and preferably not break any laws while doing so!
 
Brody Ekberg
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Michael Qulek wrote:The chimney is going to cost you far more than the stove will, even with self-installation.  Expect the parts to cost at least 1000$ if you want to do things properly to code.  First, understand the difference between stove pipe and chimney pipe.  Either single-wall or double-wall pipe can be used from the stove up to the first structural penetration.  Once the pipe passes through the second floor or the roof, it is a code requirement to use triple-wall chimney pipe.

Some people try to save money by passing the pipe through a window.  This is a mistake.  You need two 90 degree elbows that seriously cut down on your draft.  You'll get the best draft with a pipe that goes in a straight line from the stove, right through the roof.  The best position for the stove, if you can manage it, is towards the middle of your home, with the chimney going straight up, and passing the ridgeline of your roof.

Here is a link to the stove company I bought my chimney pipes from.  I self-installed both the kitchen and living room stoves.  It is not as hard as you think, and is just a weekend job for two people.

https://www.northlineexpress.com/



We were discussing stove locations and narrowed it down to 3 spots, all in close to the middle living room area of the house. And I definitely will vent straight out the roof. So, looks like stove pipe will cost at least $1,000 a stove will cost at least as much but likely more and wood will cost as much if I can even find seasoned wood now.

Id like to do as much of the installation as possible but am not comfortable doing the roof penetration myself. Also not sure how our codes work or if a licensed person needs to install or if anyone can install so long as it passes inspection.
 
Brody Ekberg
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Pete Arthur wrote:So, you are staring at ground zero.

Why wood stove?

A rocket stove will cost probably less, and you would be a lot less likely to burn your house down.
Did we discuss efficiency?  Rockets use way less wood for the same but better heat.
Cutting enough wood for a "wood stove" with your "little saw" will wear it out in 2 years.

You could do a masonry rocket now and it would be dry by equinox, ready to go.



I guess I just have this idea in my head that building a rocket mass heater should be a long, fun project to take on with others or at least my wife. We could take time to design it so its both aesthetically pleasing and built just the way we need it. And figuring out how to use it will take some practice. And I could see possible code/legal issues although I havent looked too deeply into this yet. Plus, they’re very heavy and we would need to take account of that when figured where/how to locate it.

Basically what I’m saying is it was 37 degrees this morning and winter is coming fast. I dont know if it would be wise to try to tackle this sort of thing now or just save it for whenever we want to make a big thing of it and take our time enjoy the build. Ive already got a window to replace asap, a deer to get into the freezer asap, carpenter ants to battle asap all while this heat situation is bugging me. It would be nice though just being able to heat with small diameter scrap wood instead of full sized firewood.

If you have any information on whether or not its legal to heat a house with a rocket mass heater in Michigan, please point me in the right direction. Ideally I would love to heat with a rmh, but I also know my tendencies to dive into things and get in over my head and I’m already feeling that way without building my own custom heat source. Maybe just struggling through this winter with propane only could be an option while we plan for a rmh build next year. Although we already have other plans for next year (garage roof, lean-to, wood shed…). Owning a home is exhausting!
 
Brody Ekberg
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Arthur Angaran wrote:Hi Brody,  You might look at pellet stoves that can burn pellets or corn cobs.  The pipes go through the wall and are easy as pie to install. The heat transfer could be more effecient than a wood stove. Wood stoves require a certain range temperature to work properly and they need more fussing and you loose a lot of heat out of them.

A Rocket could be built rather quickly.  You could even build one with out the barrell.  Depending upon the pitch of your roof and if your roof is metal, wood, slate, asphault will determine how easy it will be to install a chimney pipe. I put one up through a garage once, it was a breeze.



My coworker is trying to convince me to get a pellet stove for the convenience but I dont like the idea of having to rely on pellets. Id feel much better about the situation having a RMH of traditional wood stove and just heating with wood. Wood is something that grows freely and abundantly. Pellets need to be made from wood, processed, shipped and be affordable. Too many ways for that to go wrong for me to be comfortable with.

Our roof is asphalt and the pitch is probably 4-12 or so. And I guess I’m not too worried about the chimney install being difficult, I’m worried about doing it correctly. We had a couple leaks in the roof when we bought the house and I’m still trying to find and fix all the damage and fight the carpenter ants. Our current roof is only 3 years old so I’m a bit hesitant to start cutting holes in it. Id hate to give water one more spot to start ruining things.
 
Brody Ekberg
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Heres a question for those of you who are pushing the RMH at me:

Is the venting the same for a wood stove and a rocket mass heater? Basically, could I install a wood stove this year and plan to sell it and build a rocket mass heater in the future and keep the same chimney pipe in the roof?

I really like the idea of heating with a rmh. It would be custom built by us which is fun, it could look however we want, it could be the most efficient wood heat and we could largely get away from needing to use the chainsaw by only using small diameter wood. All idealistic in my mind. But I tend to get wrapped up in ideologies and forget to look at the current situation (winter closing in fast). Permaculture has been problematic for me in this way. I would prefer to watch videos, read, maybe attend a workshop to practice the build before building something that I would need to rely on for heat throughout half my life. I dont feel at all prepared to do this right now and dont see me being able to get prepared fast enough.
 
thomas rubino
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Hi Brody;
Usually, log loads brought from a logging job were green when cut. They sit air drying in log length until they are delivered to you.
They are NOT seasoned wood.  
But if bought, cut to length, split, and stacked this year and then placed in your new wood shed you are building...  by next fall they will be burnable wood.
Some hardwoods are best seasoned after 2-3 years of drying!  

I strongly suggest you order in a truckload or five and get them at your house.
At the least, get them covered with a tarp for the winter.
Build a wood shed, and as time permits start getting that wood cut, split, and under a roof.

Attempt to find a contractor to install your roof jack this fall, failing at that make an arrangement for one to come asap in the spring.
Your stove pipe needs to be insulated once it leaves the roof, but indoors it can be a standard metal stove pipe.
Wood stoves bought new with fancy catalytic converters will cost you a huge sum of money.
A used but good box-style stove will be a couple of hundred bucks.

As the RMH guy I still think you need a mass heater.
Remember that you do not have to use a barrel as part of the stove, it can be all brick.
I want you to think of them as a Masonry heater.   Never call one an RMH near an insurance person.
You have a hand-built Masonry stove!   They will know what a Masonry heater is.
You should check local laws as some states only allow a licensed Masonry stove person to build.
Other states are not as strict.

The bottom line for me is, that a Masonry /Rocket stove properly built will have an exhaust temperature in the 200F range.
There will be No creosote formed, no chance of a chimney fire ever!
You will use much less wood than a box stove,   You will not even have a fire burning overnight!



 








 
thomas rubino
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A class A  roof jack and insulated pipe are used on every type of wood stove installed in a home.
So yes they are the same and you can sell that "used box stove"  later.
 
Brody Ekberg
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thomas rubino wrote:Hi Brody;
Usually, log loads brought from a logging job were green when cut. They sit air drying in log length until they are delivered to you.
They are NOT seasoned wood.  
But if bought, cut to length, split, and stacked this year and then placed in your new wood shed you are building...  by next fall they will be burnable wood.
Some hardwoods are best seasoned after 2-3 years of drying!  

I strongly suggest you order in a truckload or five and get them at your house.
At the least, get them covered with a tarp for the winter.
Build a wood shed, and as time permits start getting that wood cut, split, and under a roof.

Attempt to find a contractor to install your roof jack this fall, failing at that make an arrangement for one to come asap in the spring.
Your stove pipe needs to be insulated once it leaves the roof, but indoors it can be a standard metal stove pipe.
Wood stoves bought new with fancy catalytic converters will cost you a huge sum of money.
A used but good box-style stove will be a couple of hundred bucks.

As the RMH guy I still think you need a mass heater.
Remember that you do not have to use a barrel as part of the stove, it can be all brick.
I want you to think of them as a Masonry heater.   Never call one an RMH near an insurance person.
You have a hand-built Masonry stove!   They will know what a Masonry heater is.
You should check local laws as some states only allow a licensed Masonry stove person to build.
Other states are not as strict.

The bottom line for me is, that a Masonry /Rocket stove properly built will have an exhaust temperature in the 200F range.
There will be No creosote formed, no chance of a chimney fire ever!
You will use much less wood than a box stove,   You will not even have a fire burning overnight!



 










You probably have figured by now that I’m a total novice when it comes to heating with wood. Ive been dreaming about having a RMH in our home for several years but left it as a “sometime in the future” sort of plan. I figured heating with a stove would come first just due to necessity and reliability. You mentioned fancy new catalytic converter stoves but from the 4 websites I checked, almost none have cats. Most that I’ve looked at are in the $1,000-$2,000 range, dont have cats and burn quite efficiently. Obviously catalytic converter stoves are even more efficient and more expensive but efficiency isnt my main objective right now. But I do worry that if I just look around locally or online and find an old used stove that it will be horribly inefficient and burn way more wood than a new stove despite the cost savings. But yea im sure I could find a used stove for half the price (or less) of a new one.

I fully understand using the terminology “masonry heater” instead of RMH around insurance agents. And I understand how a rmh is a masonry heater. But I do not understand how to build them, the differences between styles, their weight, cost or timeline to build. And I understand I dont need a barrel in the heater but that really doesn’t help me visualize what my heat is coming from. I guess standard masonry heaters are like a fireplace and have no barrel or anything similar in their design right? Essentially a fireplace with a lot of mass?

One other thing to consider is that most wood stoves would allow for a teapot, pot of soup or something similar to be heated up on them while a fire is burning. If masonry heaters radiate slowly and dont have those hot exhaust temperatures, then we couldn’t really use them to heat anything up like a pot of soup right? Or does it just depend on design?

See how uneducated and unprepared I am with this!
 
Brody Ekberg
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I guess one other question is with a ranch style house (kitchen, dining room and living room on one end and relatively open but bedrooms and bathrooms down a hallway) is a masonry heater a good idea? Just wondering if the heat would radiate to the bedrooms at all. With a wood stove we could put fans up strategically to blow the heat around.
 
thomas rubino
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Ha ha, Brody a Newbie for sure!
I stick with my earlier suggestion of buying a used stove.
All box stoves no matter how new or old generally end up being run in a damped-down mode.
This causes the billowing clouds of noxious smoke that you see and it causes the creation of Creosote, bad shit that burns really really hot at dark thirty am while it is -20 outside...

In your home, this winter considering you have propane heat (however expensive it might be) If you get a chimney in place.
You could burn a box stove wide open with only a small amount of wood to keep it and you from overheating.
Several small fires over a winter afternoon and evening would certainly make your home more pleasant to be in and help stretch your propane a bit longer.
By burning small fires creosote would not become an issue.
Bricks could be stacked a few inches away from the stove body to help hold some extra heat longer.

When you have some free time search my previous posts.
You will find detailed photos and a long-winded commentary on my RMH builds.
From building J tubes with a piped mass to J tubes going into a brick bell.
To converting those same RMHs over to being batch boxes and then rebuilding and modifying/improving those stoves!
Now that I think about it, might take you a week or two to look at and absorb all that information...

You and your wife can build your own Masonry heater!
When you build with bricks and clay mortar no mistake is a big deal!



 
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I suspect it would have much to do with how warm you want the bedrooms to be.  Secondly, is there a forced air furnace in place?  Because it is a ranch, I suspect there is.  I heat with wood in my ranch. I also have a forced air furnace.  I normally run the fan on the furnace 2x a day for maybe 20 minutes.... 9 and 9.   That helps to maintain a reasonable temp throughout the house.  
 
Brody Ekberg
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thomas rubino wrote:Ha ha, Brody a Newbie for sure!
I stick with my earlier suggestion of buying a used stove.
All box stoves no matter how new or old generally end up being run in a damped-down mode.
This causes the billowing clouds of noxious smoke that you see and it causes the creation of Creosote, bad shit that burns really really hot at dark thirty am while it is -20 outside...

In your home, this winter considering you have propane heat (however expensive it might be) If you get a chimney in place.
You could burn a box stove wide open with only a small amount of wood to keep it and you from overheating.
Several small fires over a winter afternoon and evening would certainly make your home more pleasant to be in and help stretch your propane a bit longer.
By burning small fires creosote would not become an issue.
Bricks could be stacked a few inches away from the stove body to help hold some extra heat longer.

When you have some free time search my previous posts.
You will find detailed photos and a long-winded commentary on my RMH builds.
From building J tubes with a piped mass to J tubes going into a brick bell.
To converting those same RMHs over to being batch boxes and then rebuilding and modifying/improving those stoves!
Now that I think about it, might take you a week or two to look at and absorb all that information...

You and your wife can build your own Masonry heater!
When you build with bricks and clay mortar no mistake is a big deal!





Good point with stoves being run damped down most of the time. With that in mind, we would probably be better off buying a smaller stove and burning it hotter than buying too big of a stove “just in case” and always having it damped down right? Especially since, as of now, we wouldn’t need to rely on wood heat. Also, I do already have bricks and rock to use as mass next to a stove.

Id love to build our ideal RMH with my wife using as much local ingredients as possible. We have a decent amount of clay in our soil at hole and we are surrounded by farmers who make hay. Sounds like cob could be an easy way to incorporate our natural environment into our heat source, whenever we tackle that project.
 
Brody Ekberg
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John F Dean wrote:I suspect it would have much to do with how warm you want the bedrooms to be.  Secondly, is there a forced air furnace in place?  Because it is a ranch, I suspect there is.  I heat with wood in my ranch. I also have a forced air furnace.  I normally run the fan on the furnace 2x a day for maybe 20 minutes.... 9 and 9.   That helps to maintain a reasonable temp throughout the house.  



The bedrooms can stay cool because we slee better that way and rarely have guests anyway. No forced air here, we have an older propane fueled boiler. It probably wont last many more years so ideally our next heat source will be dependable and last a while. But considering the fact that our current system consists of pipes full of water all around the baseboards of our house, the wood stove would need to ensure that none of them freeze.
 
Brody Ekberg
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Michael Qulek wrote:The chimney is going to cost you far more than the stove will, even with self-installation.  Expect the parts to cost at least 1000$ if you want to do things properly to code.  First, understand the difference between stove pipe and chimney pipe.  Either single-wall or double-wall pipe can be used from the stove up to the first structural penetration.  Once the pipe passes through the second floor or the roof, it is a code requirement to use triple-wall chimney pipe.

Here is a link to the stove company I bought my chimney pipes from.  I self-installed both the kitchen and living room stoves.  It is not as hard as you think, and is just a weekend job for two people.

https://www.northlineexpress.com/



So, Im just using simple logic here but it definitely could be flawed. My thoughts are, single walled chimney pipe would be best inside the living space as it would radiate more heat. Then double or triple walled in the attic to prevent useless heat loss. Does that make sense?
 
thomas rubino
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Correct,  single wall pipe indoors, metalbestos pipe in any unheated area, and on thru the roof.
It is not best because it radiates heat, but because it is all you need and much cheaper than the insulated pipe.
 
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I think the first question with a wood stove installation is if you have, and want to continue to have, homeowner's insurance.  When I put in a stove my insurer was fine with it as long as a had a licensed installer put it in.  The licensed installer wouldn't put in a used stove so I had to get a new one.  Not so cheap.

But I love my stove.  It's in the basement of my ranch house and heats the basement and the main part of the upstairs perfectly.  The distant bedrooms are a bit colder which we like just fine.

As for firewood, it's nearly impossible to get dry firewood around here.  Even the "seasoned" stuff the firewood people sell is still too wet.  So do get some ordered and cut, split and stack it as soon as possible.  But it won't be dry till next year or, more likely, the winter of 24/25.
 
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Mike Haasl wrote:I think the first question with a wood stove installation is if you have, and want to continue to have, homeowner's insurance.  When I put in a stove my insurer was fine with it as long as a had a licensed installer put it in.  The licensed installer wouldn't put in a used stove so I had to get a new one.  Not so cheap.

But I love my stove.  It's in the basement of my ranch house and heats the basement and the main part of the upstairs perfectly.  The distant bedrooms are a bit colder which we like just fine.

As for firewood, it's nearly impossible to get dry firewood around here.  Even the "seasoned" stuff the firewood people sell is still too wet.  So do get some ordered and cut, split and stack it as soon as possible.  But it won't be dry till next year or, more likely, the winter of 24/25.



I talked to our insurance agent and he said a freestanding wood stove would only add about $100/year to our insurance. He didn’t mention it needing to be new, but I’m leaning towards new anyway just because I dont want an old leaky inefficient stove. Maybe I could find a used one that is suitable, and I’ll probably check craigslist, ebay and Facebook soon, but if that isn’t fruitful I’ll just buy new. Too little time to shop around much. Ill also look into getting some firewood soon so I can pick away at cutting and splitting it as time permits. Still will need to build a woodshed and probably buy a bigger saw and maybe a wood splitter. Although I can see me trying out a maul at least at first. And we do have a place nearby where I can rent a splitter from so renting a couple times a year and splitting all our wood at once is an option if I dont want to buy or use only a maul.

Any recommendations on how much wood I should get and how much it should cost? I have zero experience here and im sure that things like location, demand, time of year and many other things all come into play with these questions.
 
Mike Haasl
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I'd try splitting by axe if you have the time.  Just don't cut your leg.  I attached an old tire to my chopping block with scrap 2x4s so it holds the firewood in place.  That makes for a lot less bending and it is safer since the axe hits the tire instead of dropping towards my feet.

I have a mediumly insulated ranch of a typical size for the 60s.  It takes about 4 cords of wood to heat.  My wood is not the best, primarily pine, birch and poplar.

I don't know what "seasoned" wood goes for these days, I'd guess $300 per cord?  It's cheaper to get a log load delivered.  They'll dump 10 cords or so of freshly cut wood in your front yard but the pieces are all 8' long.  Those go for more like $100 a cord.

Around here a cord is 4' by 4' by 8'.  A face cord is 4' by 8' by 16" (or whatever length they cut the firewood too).

You don't need a wood shed.  I stack mine outside.  Just keep a cover on it (metal roofing, rubber roof membrane, etc) and keep the sides open to airflow.  Ideally site it in the sun somewhere.
 
pollinator
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This late in the season you will most likely struggle a bit to find truly dry firewood from any dealers. Consider pallets, as most of them are heat treated and fine for burning (you just end up with lots of nails in the ashes and a magnet fixes that problem so you can use the ash on your soil). If there are pine woods around you (isn't the UP covered with a lot of pine?) you might be able to get permission to go and scavenge deadwood and downed branches. These are often good and dry, and if you can break or cut dead limbs off trees they are the best.
 
Mike Haasl
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I agree with Phil regarding the pallets.  As for the down pine, it's usually not that good and dry around here.  Down maple seems to be a good option if you can find any.  

Another option that might work is to find a wood burner person with lots of firewood that is dry.  Offer a trade of 6 cords of split/stacked green wood in exchange for 4 cords of their fully dry and several year old stuff.
 
Arthur Angaran
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Hi Brody,  Ist,  Never, Never, Never burn pine in a wood stove.  Watch for nails while cutting pallets with a skill saw.  

I understand the visceral need for wood. At the same time alternative heating and supplemental heating are closely related.  An oil radiant heater, electric ceramic forced air heater, inferred heater, etc.  It's possible to get these for around $50.00.  They will extend the life of propane. My wife and I point the heaters at ourselves.  The bedrooms are cooler, but you said you like that.  We have gone from 5 to 3 fill-ups in a cold year. 4 to 2 in a warm year. The cost savings for us is one fill up of propane. for cold years, and 1 1/2 fillups in a warm year.

So, wood, electric, oil, candle in small room, what other heat source could one supplement propane with?  Might be worth a day to look into it.

Stay warm, stay dry.
 
Brody Ekberg
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Mike Haasl wrote:I'd try splitting by axe if you have the time.  Just don't cut your leg.  I attached an old tire to my chopping block with scrap 2x4s so it holds the firewood in place.  That makes for a lot less bending and it is safer since the axe hits the tire instead of dropping towards my feet.

I have a mediumly insulated ranch of a typical size for the 60s.  It takes about 4 cords of wood to heat.  My wood is not the best, primarily pine, birch and poplar.

I don't know what "seasoned" wood goes for these days, I'd guess $300 per cord?  It's cheaper to get a log load delivered.  They'll dump 10 cords or so of freshly cut wood in your front yard but the pieces are all 8' long.  Those go for more like $100 a cord.

Around here a cord is 4' by 4' by 8'.  A face cord is 4' by 8' by 16" (or whatever length they cut the firewood too).

You don't need a wood shed.  I stack mine outside.  Just keep a cover on it (metal roofing, rubber roof membrane, etc) and keep the sides open to airflow.  Ideally site it in the sun somewhere.



Your house sounds similar to mine. It sounds like I can get a load of 8’ hardwood logs whatever diameter I prefer delivered for about $120/cord but they will probably be too green to burn this year. A neighbor is selling some standing dead hardwood, cut and split for $75/face cord. Do those seem like decent prices?

And i wonder if I’d be better off looking for dry wood to buy or just looking for standing dead hardwood to cut. Is that typically dry enough as is or do those still need to be seasoned?
 
Brody Ekberg
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Phil Stevens wrote:This late in the season you will most likely struggle a bit to find truly dry firewood from any dealers. Consider pallets, as most of them are heat treated and fine for burning (you just end up with lots of nails in the ashes and a magnet fixes that problem so you can use the ash on your soil). If there are pine woods around you (isn't the UP covered with a lot of pine?) you might be able to get permission to go and scavenge deadwood and downed branches. These are often good and dry, and if you can break or cut dead limbs off trees they are the best.



I do have access to pallets for free at work. Not a lot but enough to be significant. We have some standing dead trees on our property and Im sure I could find some more nearby. And yes, theres a lot of pine here. We’ve got 30 red pines in our yard, and we milled 26 of them a few years ago so I’ve got slabs to use if they’re dry enough.
 
Brody Ekberg
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Mike Haasl wrote:I agree with Phil regarding the pallets.  As for the down pine, it's usually not that good and dry around here.  Down maple seems to be a good option if you can find any.  

Another option that might work is to find a wood burner person with lots of firewood that is dry.  Offer a trade of 6 cords of split/stacked green wood in exchange for 4 cords of their fully dry and several year old stuff.



Thats a good idea. I see a lot of people with totally ridiculous amounts of firewood. Like 10 years worth. So maybe they would be willing to trade.
 
Brody Ekberg
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What about stove location?

Ive attached a rough floor plan of our house and the numbers in red are the 3 places I’m considering putting the stove. Some people recommend the basement but i dont like that idea. Other recommended putting it in a corner and venting out a wall but I know 90 degree corners in your stove pipe will decrease draft. Plus, I thought having the stove more centered in the house would make more sense than putting it in a corner. Im leaning towards spot #2 in the picture.
F0C54F9D-A476-49D0-B20B-BDE39590305B.jpeg
[Thumbnail for F0C54F9D-A476-49D0-B20B-BDE39590305B.jpeg]
 
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I’m with you on spot# 2 as well Brody.
Spot 3 seems another good choice but I’m assuming spot 2 is closer to your roof ridge making the cost of outdoor piping go down.
A bit easier to glance out your bedroom door to see how the fire is doing with spot 2 as well.
 
Phil Stevens
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Standing dead is a great option...I'd go for that in a heartbeat as it's more likely to be good and dry.

Also, spot #2 is good for its central location. Under the ridgeline, and able to radiate down that hallway.
 
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#2 makes the stove the focal point of the room. And if it has a glass door, it will become that. A woodburning fire TV! You can't do a lot else on that wall, given the necessary clearances.

The argument for #3 is twofold:
- first, there is room for more people and furniture and they can all see the fire TV
- second, there is always some mess associated with a wood stove, along with an oversized protective pad underneath and in front; corralling that mess close to the door makes it easier to keep things semi-tidy.

Edit: I didn't notice the closet by #3. Access could be awkward when there's a hot stove nearby.
 
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If it were mine, I'd likely put it between  #1 & #2. That keeps it centrally located, warming thewhole house, like #2, but gives a bit more clearance to halfway traffic, and nothing in your closet smells intensely like smoke (or becomes a risk, if it falls out of the closet). I think #1 is going to be hard-pressed to get the heat down the hall.
 
Mike Haasl
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Those seem like good prices to me Brody!  I doubt the standing dead hardwood will be dry enough for this winter.  Standing dead in the arid parts of the country is great to burn but around here I think it's still too wet.

I like location 1, then 2.  I'd rather have a warm kitchen and living room and a cooler bedroom (number 1).  3 is too close to the closet and stoves take up a fair bit of room.  Where are the basement stairs?

I like the basement but I have a walkout so getting wood there is easy.

If the chimney is on the ridge it makes the roof penetration tricky.  Having it a foot away from the ridge is great.

In my experience, burning pine is fine as long as you clean out your chimney periodically and the pine is dry.  I think many pine problems are from people who let creosote build up in their chimney and then threw in a load of hot/fast burning pine and it ignited their creosote.
 
Brody Ekberg
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Gerry Parent wrote:I’m with you on spot# 2 as well Brody.
Spot 3 seems another good choice but I’m assuming spot 2 is closer to your roof ridge making the cost of outdoor piping go down.
A bit easier to glance out your bedroom door to see how the fire is doing with spot 2 as well.



You are correct about the roof ridge. But, something we thought of yesterday about spot 3 is that there would be much less firewood mess in the house because we could bring wood in the nearby door and the stove would only be a few steps away instead of having to haul firewood across the carpeted living room.

As for stove pipe, do I need to get above the peak of the house or just a certain distance above the roof surface?
 
Brody Ekberg
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Phil Stevens wrote:Standing dead is a great option...I'd go for that in a heartbeat as it's more likely to be good and dry.

Also, spot #2 is good for its central location. Under the ridgeline, and able to radiate down that hallway.



Would standing dead hardwood (cherry, maple and elm) likely be burnable this winter? Or would it still need to be seasoned somewhat?
 
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