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Tiny Buffalo

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Funny, we don't seem to have the same issues down here.  My wife does stack some under the outside table by our back door, just in case of rain or snow. The rest is on the racks. 

We like to buy our next year's firewood right after the current heating season is over.  You get a better deal as the wood cutters want to clean up their places and cheaper as the season is over.  That lets it season for 6+ months as well.

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51 minutes ago, Frosty said:

A cord is 128 cu/ft. tightly stacked parallel firewood. No matter how long individual pieces are. There's actually an official Federal standard with regulations and fines to go with. 

That's correct; the 128 cubic foot volume derives from the earlier 4' x 4' x 8' standard.

1 hour ago, TWISTEDWILLOW said:

some other woods like elm and sycamore are considered garbage so no one really ever bothers cutting or splitting it

Elm is actually a great wood for burning, but its interlocked ("rowed") grain makes it so hard to split that it's not worth the effort.

54 minutes ago, Frosty said:

I HIGHLY recommend a wood shed to keep it dry

Couldn't agree more! One that's connected to the house so that you can get your wood without having to go outside is even better.


2 hours ago, JHCC said:

A rick (from the Anglo-Saxon "hreacas") is technically just a stack

By comparison, "rack" derives from either the Middle Dutch "rec"/"recke"/"ricke" or the Middle Low German "rek"/"reck"/"recke"/"ricke"/"rik", both of which refer originally to a horizontal pole that things can be hung from. 

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JHCC, I’ve burned elm myself and it is a royal pain to split, it burns alright but I don’t think it puts out the same heat hickory does.

I personally don’t get to overly picky about fire wood as long as it fits in the stove and it burns, I’ve burned a lot of wood some people around here shun like hackberry, persimmon, sycamore and so on….  I like to burn wild cherry because it smells nice but it doesn’t seem to last long. 

But When I have access to it though I always prefer to take oak and hickory over anything else. They seem to burn longer and put out more heat. 

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The Firewood Poem
By Lady Celia Congreve

These hardwoods burn well and slowly,
Ash, beech, hawthorn oak and holly.
Softwoods flare up quick and fine,
Birch, fir, hazel, larch and pine.
Elm and willow you’ll regret,
Chestnut green and sycamore wet.

Beechwood fires are bright and clear,
If the logs are kept a year.
Chestnut’s only good, they say,
If for long ’tis laid away.
But Ash new or Ash old,
Is fit for a queen with crown of gold.

Birch and fir logs bum too fast,
Blaze up bright and do not last.
It is by the Irish said,
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread.
Elm wood bums like churchyard mould,
E’en the very flames are cold.
But Ash green or Ash brown,
Is fit for a queen with golden crown.

Poplar gives a bitter smoke,
Fills your eyes and makes you choke.
Apple wood will scent your room,
With an incense like perfume.
Oaken logs if dry and old,
Keep away the winter’s cold.
But Ash wet or Ash dry,
A king shall warm his slippers by.

Oak logs will warm you well,
That are old and dry.
Logs of pine will sweetly smell,
But the sparks will fly.
Birch logs will burn too fast,
Chestnut scarce at all sir.
Hawthorn logs are good to last,
That are cut well in the fall sir

Holly logs will burn like wax,
You could burn them green.
Elm logs burn like smouldering flax,
With no flame to be seen.
Beech logs for winter time,
Yew logs as well sir.
Green elder logs it is a crime,
For any man to sell sir.

Pear logs and apple logs,
They will scent your room.
And cherry logs across the dogs,
They smell like flowers of broom.
But Ash logs smooth and grey,
Buy them green or old, sir.
And buy up all that come your way,
They’re worth their weight in gold sir.

Logs to Burn, Logs to burn, Logs to burn,
Logs to save the coal a turn.
Here’s a word to make you wise,
When you hear the woodman’s cries.
Never heed his usual tale,
That he has good logs for sale.
But read these lines and really learn,
The proper kind of logs to burn.

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I haven’t heated with wood since the early 90’s, but when I did, I never bought it. Those selling it all seemed to assume I didn’t know how to estimate 4 feet, 8 feet, and 16 inches.  Sometimes I would drive from Shawnee down to Duncan and pick up a trailer load of logs from one of my cousins who owned a tree trimming company, but normally I would just pick up the stuff the electric company guys would leave stacked beside the road when removing trees which  had grown over power lines. 

We owned (or rather the bank owned) an old two story house. About 900 sq ft on the bottom and 900 on the top. It had a Franklin stove with a blower that would heat both floors. Only downside to it was you could not have a fire just to have a fire.

It was an interesting house. It was built very early and did not have a bathroom inside the house when it was built. The guy worked for the railroad and his wife was a little person. The rails on the staircase and all of the counter tops in the kitchen were sized for her. 

And we don’t get enough snow or ice here to really need worry much about wet or frozen wood. 

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I tried searching for firewood btu charts but I’m not sure how accurate they are because it looked like different wood types would be at the top of some and lower on the list of others. But I did see Osage at the top of several that I looked at. 

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10 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

I think that poem is UK centric!

Yes, the "Lady Celia Congreve" was a bit of a giveaway! 

(She was actually quite an interesting woman. Her husband and all three of her sons served in the British Army, both her husband and one of those sons were awarded the Victoria Cross, that son was killed in WWI, and another was killed in WWII. She herself served as a nurse in Belgium and France during WWI and was decorated by both countries for her bravery and dedication to her patients.)

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Some quick research doesn't turn up confirmation of a link, but given that Walter Congreve (Celia's husband) and William Congreve (the rocket inventor) were both from Staffordshire, I'd be surprised if there wasn't some family connection.

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I was asked due to my history of technology interests and being located near EMRTC which has a "powder press" and  blast pads to test such items.  I researched them and decided what they really needed was a Machinist with such interests; but I'd be happy to supply real wrought iron for them to work with from my stash.  Didn't hear anything from them for months and then got a crash priority request to make one in a couple of weeks.  I turned it down as I would have to quit my full time job with benefits  to do a "one off" deal.

Didn't mind the time spent on research and would have loved to be involved in "The Rockets Red Glare"; but I am probably happier that I didn't take that job...

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Never had to pay for wood to heat the house, as there was always plenty to be found for free.  Friends clearing land that had been burned in wildfires, pallets, crates, etc...

I worked at a company that had a literal mountain of pallets, many were oak.  I would get off work, back the M-715 up to the pile, and start knocking pallets apart with a 3# drilling hammer. Stack it neat until it started getting dark, then use pallets as side boards and stack full pallets up to 6'.  Back up to the fence at the folks house and toss it all over onto the wood pile. Repeat the next night. During the day Dad would cut them down to stove length and stack it all up. Some oak boards had really nice feathering, and got set aside for wood working projects.  Did that until they had a recycler come in and haul them all off.

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I ordered a cast iron tuyere grate from blacksmith store for the tiny Buffalo Forge project,

I just checked my tracking number and it’s at the post office in town, I was surprised it came in two days from North Carolina!

I can’t even order parts from Tulsa and get them for a week? I chose the cheapest freight that blacksmith store offered too.

ill  pick it tomorrow and get a picture of it on here. 

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JHCC, great poem. The best wood is closest to home and least price.  The common wood in my area was pine, spruce and aspen. Pitch pine burns hot and long. It also liberally adds creosote to your chimney, so beware. Aspen burns hot and quick. Its great for early morning fires to take the chill off. It also helps clean out creosote, so use it often especially if you burn a lot of pitch pine.

I've heated with wood most of my adult life and enjoy all phases of it. Ive cut with and for many people, but only once for money. She wanted the wood cut to lengths and I stacked it in rounds 4'x4'x8'. Wood cutters have a name for this, but I don't remember, perhaps its called a face chord. Anyway, she paid me by the stack. I priced it for what the local wood guys charged. A neighbor came over and split it and stacked it 4'x4'x8' and of course the number of  stacks were appreciably fewer than mine. So she called me very irate and accused me of overcharging. She has a masters degree and is a semi well known artist. And yet she couldn't grasp the fact of the labor difference and larger quantity of wood when its split and stacked. 

A close call: I lived in a valley at about 8700'. The top of the valley was 9200". I was at the top and dropped a good sized standing dead Ponderosa. I live up the left fork of a Y intersection in an area, back then, that had very little traffic and most went up the right fork.I cut a round and as it begins its journey downhill, out of the corner of my eye i see a car coming up to the Y. I'm too high for him to see me but since his being there is rare, he most likely would head up the other fork. No matter what, the play is in progress and all i can do is "enjoy" the show. Of course he turned up my fork and the round was about 2/ 3ds down the mountain.  I look at the intersection of log distance, car distance, and rate of travel of both and the answer is plane,,, Well, he stops about 20' from the point of impact, waits for the round to finish its journey, gives me a wave and continues on.  To the day I don't know if he was just giving me a lesson or what. What i do know is my shop motto is "God smiles on Fools and Blacksmiths,,, and I'm both. He certainly smiled that day and the ole Coyote and Kokopelli were laughing to beat the band.

So the moral,,, When cutting trees, or anything for that matter, Never Assume Anything.

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I had a good fire going in the woodstove once and tossed in some 1.5" x 14" strips of 3/4" particle board. That stuff burns extremely hot. Had to regulate the air as the top of the stove started turning red. Opened the doors when it was done ,and the inside of the stove was totally clean, and the firebricks inside looked new. A chimney inspection showed the same results, totally clean.

A tight stack of cardboard will get the stove hot right now on a cold morning. It also creates a nice glowing ember behind due to the corrugations.

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It basically makes fire clay. Adding grog like crushed brick & wood ash does help strengthen the clay. You can check for the amount of sand by putting a ball of the clay in a mason jar covered with water. Shake it up and let it sit overnight, the different ingredients will settle out in layers.

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Sand or crushed fire brick, pottery, etc. reinforces the clay and the voids allow steam to escape so it won't spall or heat check so easily. 

I'd fish out pebbles and stones, they might pop when heated and having shards of hot, broken rock shooting out of the fire at high speed is not a goodness thing.

Wood ash makes a good binder to help keep it together. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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