Winter wood supplies

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leedarkwood
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Postby leedarkwood » Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:05 am

Yesterday was the day we were expecting to get our firewood for the year and we had a bit of a shock!

We had gone into the local forestry office to (we thought) order our firewood for the year, on the advice of the villagers, one of whom went with us. We normally order around 6 to 8 cubic meters, and it usually costs around 20 euro a cubic and is delivered in one meter tree trunk lengths on a lorry.

That is what we expected to happen this year. Only it didn't.

It turned out that what we ordered was permission to go into the forest and cut the wood! 2.50 euro a cubic, bring your own chainsaw and lorry. Yan and an American volunteer set off in the morning to meet a neighbour that was willing to do the actually cutting, and found that around 40 men from the village were also heading out to the forest, to meet the Gorski, the forest offical, who pointed out to each man which trees he could cut, about one out of every five, saving the straightest ones for growing on. The trees were black pine, about 40 years old. First he marked the trees with an axe blow, and then the base of the tree was cleaned with an axe and it was stamped to show that after the felling that had been a legal tree. All branches had to be cut and stacked neatly, leaving piles for rotting down but keeping the forest floor tidy. Yan was gone all day, working hard to move the cut logs down to the tracks for loading. We didn't get our wood in the end, but will go back on Friday to load our cut logs, as the load before ours managed to fall off the lorry and had to be reloaded, and it was getting too dark to continue! A hard but very interesting day he says, seeing just how carefully the forests are managed with the involvement of the local community. One lorry load is about six to eight trees, and will warm our house, workshop, volunteer room and the bookshop, four stoves.

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Postby booboo » Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:27 am

leedarkwood wrote:Yesterday was the day we were expecting to get our firewood for the year and we had a bit of a shock!

We had gone into the local forestry office to (we thought) order our firewood for the year, on the advice of the villagers, one of whom went with us. We normally order around 6 to 8 cubic meters, and it usually costs around 20 euro a cubic and is delivered in one meter tree trunk lengths on a lorry.

That is what we expected to happen this year. Only it didn't.

It turned out that what we ordered was permission to go into the forest and cut the wood! 2.50 euro a cubic, bring your own chainsaw and lorry. Yan and an American volunteer set off in the morning to meet a neighbour that was willing to do the actually cutting, and found that around 40 men from the village were also heading out to the forest, to meet the Gorski, the forest offical, who pointed out to each man which trees he could cut, about one out of every five, saving the straightest ones for growing on. The trees were black pine, about 40 years old. First he marked the trees with an axe blow, and then the base of the tree was cleaned with an axe and it was stamped to show that after the felling that had been a legal tree. All branches had to be cut and stacked neatly, leaving piles for rotting down but keeping the forest floor tidy. Yan was gone all day, working hard to move the cut logs down to the tracks for loading. We didn't get our wood in the end, but will go back on Friday to load our cut logs, as the load before ours managed to fall off the lorry and had to be reloaded, and it was getting too dark to continue! A hard but very interesting day he says, seeing just how carefully the forests are managed with the involvement of the local community. One lorry load is about six to eight trees, and will warm our house, workshop, volunteer room and the bookshop, four stoves.


Presumably you ARE or WERE attempting to get wood for the winter 2012 (12/13 months away?) not for this winter?

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Postby brianj42 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:09 am

The best time to cut trees for firewood is November through winter as the Sap/Water is less in the tree. During this time the water content reduces from about 60% to about 45%. We used to always cut in November, de-bark , split, then store in the warm cellar where the boiler is.

Splitting quickens the drying process as does the dry warm room. Safe burning is achieved at 20% moisture content which would take a min 6 months - 1 year left out in the open air but in a dry warm place can be achieved in 4-6 weeks.

FYI: Air dried one-foot long cut pieces generally dry to acceptable levels in just two months. Two-foot long cut pieces take about six or seven months for similar acceptability. Four-foot long cut pieces DO require at least a year.

In an ideal world then yes buying seasoned logs for a year is the way to go, but you can achieve safe/normal levels in a short time if you use your noggin, and as Lee has said, on 8 cube, its the difference between 320lvs and 40lvs for the sake of a days work and correct drying procedure.

We do the same each year that Lee has now done and thats cut your own through the mayor and woodsman.

Having built a log home and owning a very expensive wood moisture meter I can confirm the above figures.

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Postby leedarkwood » Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:17 am

Yes we have all our firewood for this winter dry and stacked round the house, plus enough already to get us well into next winter. Some of this load I might bark cleanly and cut into exactly 33 cms lengths and use for cordwood building.

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Postby booboo » Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:40 am

leedarkwood wrote:Yes we have all our firewood for this winter dry and stacked round the house, plus enough already to get us well into next winter. Some of this load I might bark cleanly and cut into exactly 33 cms lengths and use for cordwood building.


I should have known that of you, you are a smart cookie. You didn't let me down! :)

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Postby Mat » Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:54 am

why is it unsafe to burn wet logs? We just chopped down a couple of old fruit trees in the garden and the girlfriend's father put a couple of entirely fresh logs on the fire before he went out because he said they would burn slower and still be warming the house when he got back. He's a retired city dweller (as well as a fantastic boozer) and I have no respect whatsoever for his 'village skills'.

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Postby brianj42 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:03 am

Mat wrote:why is it unsafe to burn wet logs? We just chopped down a couple of old fruit trees in the garden and the girlfriend's father put a couple of entirely fresh logs on the fire before he went out because he said they would burn slower and still be warming the house when he got back. He's a retired city dweller (as well as a fantastic boozer) and I have no respect whatsoever for his 'village skills'.


High water content means they don't burn as good and high sap will cause the chimney to coat with tar. At some point in the future the tar can ignite and the chimney goes up like a 747 jet engine. Pine is bad for this as it has a very high Sap content. Mind you, apple and pear trees have low moisture and sap content so shouldn't be too much of a problem short term, I wouldn't burn grren logs constantly though, at least dry inside for a month.

Here's a woodburning guide: http://www.rural-smallholdings.co.uk/ru ... ing-guide/

And a nice poem.

Beechwood fires are bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year,
Chestnut's only good they say,
If for logs 'tis laid away.
Make a fire of Elder tree,
Death within your house will be;
But ash new or ash old,
Is fit for a queen with crown of gold.

Birch and fir logs burn too fast
Blaze up bright and do not last,
it is by the Irish said
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread.
Elm wood burns 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
Pear wood smells like flowers in bloom
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.

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Postby leedarkwood » Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:29 pm

I remember being told as a child in Canada about someone sending their daughter out to get 'green' logs to slow down the cooking stove and the girl came back looking sad, saying 'Sorry, I can't find any green ones, there are all brown!'.

We put oak logs on our stove and then cover them with wood ash, that keeps the fire in, and it is easy to shake the ash off again when you get home.

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Postby mememe » Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:51 pm

Wet green logs are not only a chimney/flue fire hazard, as Brian has already explained, but the excess water content also has the effect of constantly damping down the fire, thus reducing the net heat output (I believe).

It's like pouring half a litre of water onto your fire every 10 minutes (but I'm afraid that have no test meter figures for this) :lol:

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wet wood

Postby adele » Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:48 pm

will not disagree with what has been said but if you run on metal pipes for fires then just as long as you clean them regularly (metal pipe brush cost 3lv) you will not get any problems, also not all areas allow you to cut your own wood now our village and surrounding areas stopped the village allotments 12 months ago so unless you have trees on your land you are left with purchasing wood by the ton which is now at 100lv but you do get weigh ticket to prove amount which has cut out all the rip off merchants selling by the cube you dont pay for space inbetween the logs and you can have then just cut or cut and split, but it is all green wood, we have run on green wood for 4 years now and have never had a problem.


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