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  • FIRST POST
    • Andy_WSM
    • By Andy_WSM 11th Feb 17, 5:26 AM
    • 2,081Posts
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    Andy_WSM
    I've got wood!
    • #1
    • 11th Feb 17, 5:26 AM
    I've got wood! 11th Feb 17 at 5:26 AM
    Installers finished fitting my Burley Debdale wood burner last night, having started 3 days ago on a very messy / awkward job. Hats off to Bristol Stoves for the fitting and Country Collection for the supply - really impressed with both.

    I did my 2 small fires to cure the paint and settle the stove yesterday, woke this morning (4am, I'm an early bird) to find there was still heat being radiated from the brickwork and the living room was still at 19C despite a frost outside and no other form of heat.

    Lit the stove with a quarter of a fire lighter, half a dozen small pieces of kindling and a couple of strips of pallet wood. Once it was going I put on some cut down packing crates that are made of either a very dense softwood or a hardwood and that's been burning happily now for over an hour - and it came at the best price. Free! I've got several weeks worth of supply of that stuff stored in the garage, all cut and ready to use. Lovely.

    Wish I had done this years ago - a pricy investment and hard to retrofit, but worth it in the end.

    We are not in a smoke control area here, but the stove is DEFRA approved should that situation change.

    I also had a cubic metre of seasoned, split hardwood logs delivered yesterday for £60 so have them stored in the garage out of the way of the British weather. The supplier was good enough to pick out logs that are small enough for my stove so I don't have any chopping to do of those.

    Who else has wood and what are your experiences?

Page 2
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 28th Feb 17, 2:21 PM
    • 23,508 Posts
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    Davesnave
    Hmmn. It's plain that these forums serve different people in different ways. I have to admire anyone that can write an average of 5 posts per day for the past 20 years.
    Me too. This site has only been in existence since around 2006, so it would be quite a feat. Don't knock heavy posters though; some are housebound or carers and that sort of thing. There are many reasons, including using the site an alternative to Faceache et al.
    I was looking to answer the following question:

    If I buy a wood burning stove, will it save me money on my heating bills?
    But that wasn't the title of this thread.
    Hopefully a search engine will bring you here, in which case my answer is as follows:
    Unlikely. Search engines look at thread titles.

    Probably not, but it is achievable. In order to effect this, you need a plentiful supply of seasoned and sustainable wood, which in reality, probably means having some land and the ability to plant trees. This combination will only apply to a few people.
    Yes the fortunate few; hence my post. Land has always a good investment for those with surplus money.
    If you buy wood, you wont save money over conventional heating.
    That's been covered ad infinitum on this forum and the vast majority of us agree with you. You are preaching to the converted.
    I'm afraid I wont be able to answer any supplementary questions, as my reason for posting this was to give others the benefit of my experience, rather than to be self-serving.
    Originally posted by grubbybumper
    I think you misunderstand the nature of this site. If you join a discussion and have very firm ideas to impart, you must expect someone to take issue with some of them. It doesn't mean you are wrong or they are wrong either, just that there is something worth discussing.

    Anyway, these are just a few of the threads which come up when your question is put into Google:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=3378856

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4814447

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2750384

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=3296678
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • silverwhistle
    • By silverwhistle 2nd Mar 17, 4:11 PM
    • 1,644 Posts
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    silverwhistle
    I'm just confused by their statements.
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    I was agreeing with grumpy, although you seem better qualified for the name.

    So grumpybumper said
    It can be done effectively, but isn't easy. If the advice helps just one person, it was worth posting this message.

    The wood source needs to be freely available, with the emphasis on free, otherwise you would be better off using central heating.
    I then proceeded to give MY figures and how it worked for ME, which didn't involve owning any land.

    HTH.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 2nd Mar 17, 7:33 PM
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    Davesnave
    I was agreeing with grumpy, although you seem better qualified for the name.

    So grumpybumper said

    "The wood source needs to be freely available, with the emphasis on free, otherwise you would be better off using central heating."

    I then proceeded to give MY figures and how it worked for ME, which didn't involve owning any land.

    HTH.
    Originally posted by silverwhistle
    It was GB who first said that long term planning and sustainability means owning land. I didn't disagree with him, but the security he alluded to must come at a cost, yet he insisted it should be free.

    That's what puzzled me.

    If you can source enough wood for free from other peoples land, then I applaud you. I can't do that.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Gloomendoom
    • By Gloomendoom 3rd Mar 17, 5:43 PM
    • 13,060 Posts
    • 17,279 Thanks
    Gloomendoom
    It was GB who first said that long term planning and sustainability means owning land. I didn't disagree with him, but the security he alluded to must come at a cost, yet he insisted it should be free.

    That's what puzzled me.

    If you can source enough wood for free from other peoples land, then I applaud you. I can't do that.
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    I source wood on other peoples' land. The raw materials are free but the firewood isn't.

    it would only be free if they delivered it to my house, split and seasoned, and then stacked it in my log store.

    The reality is tree shaped.
    Advice; it rhymes with mice. Advise; it rhymes with wise.
    • silverwhistle
    • By silverwhistle 5th Mar 17, 11:38 PM
    • 1,644 Posts
    • 2,174 Thanks
    silverwhistle
    Well, it certainly costs in a bit of labour, but I save on gym fees for upper body work.:-)
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 6th Mar 17, 8:47 AM
    • 23,508 Posts
    • 89,312 Thanks
    Davesnave

    it would only be free if they delivered it to my house, split and seasoned, and then stacked it in my log store.
    Originally posted by Gloomendoom
    I get wood like that: 4x large loads. However, it still isn't really free; it's rent for a couple of fields, which I bought 7 years ago. I could also make a lot more than that if I rented to horsey folk rather than a farmer, but I like to see the land producing food.

    Then there's the 'free' wood I've just cut with the chain saw that cost me £400+ last month..... It will be about 2 weeks work, processing that, which could be productive in some other way. There are always alternative activities that could generate £.

    Nowadays, it's much harder to source free fuel. For a start, there are more people chasing it, and then there's recycling.

    Many years ago, before governmental interference, I used to fire pottery in outdoor kilns run entirely on scrap from a furniture factory. I'd just help myself whenever I wanted. They'd have far more than I could use. Someone could have heated their house with it, but nobody did, because energy was relatively cheap.

    All that sort of stuff is probably controlled waste now, being fed back into the system somehow. That's not wrong, but it doesn't help free loaders!
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • bertiewhite
    • By bertiewhite 6th Mar 17, 9:03 AM
    • 711 Posts
    • 747 Thanks
    bertiewhite
    I've had a real fire/woodburner for the last 5 years and luckily, I've always had access to free wood, in one form or another.

    I find that psychologically, real flames make me FEEL warmer even if it's not that warm, does anybody else find that?

    When I moved house the old woodburner was left behind as a selling point but I've recently been given a Vermont Intrepid woodburner for free. It needs a couple of new parts and the flue will cost a small fortune but given the price of a new one, I think it'll be worth it.

    I've even made a sort of woodburner out of an old gas cylinder and some exhaust pipe for my workshop and after a bit of trial & error it actually works quite well.
    • AndyC123
    • By AndyC123 7th Mar 17, 10:28 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    AndyC123
    I had a stove and the thing ate the wood, could not keep up with it, glad you are having a better experience with it though
    • Greenfires
    • By Greenfires 7th Mar 17, 9:46 PM
    • 625 Posts
    • 534 Thanks
    Greenfires
    Sounds exactly like the difference between a decent stove and a cheapo import. In stove world you often get exactly what you pay for.
    • lesta1980
    • By lesta1980 9th Mar 17, 6:14 PM
    • 111 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    lesta1980
    I've got an open fire and struggle to get it really going. Any advice? Tried all different things and can never get it really roaring.

    make a bed of scrunched up newspaper and tightly rolled cigar shaped newspaper with a load of kindling on top. light that then add some cut and dried logs when it's going and then it slowly just burns out without any attention. should be simple but i seem to just be wasting wood at the minute

    been chucking some smokeless coal on as well lately with mixed results as well
    • Greenfires
    • By Greenfires 10th Mar 17, 6:52 AM
    • 625 Posts
    • 534 Thanks
    Greenfires
    I'm guessing you have a grate in the fireplace? Are you emptying all the ashes every day? If you are then don't - wood burns much better on a bed of ash - so you can let the ash build up until the grate is completely covered.

    How big are the logs you're using, and are they split or still in the round? And are you sure they're dry? If you're buying them in nets from a garage or similar, they're normally wet through and often a bit on the chunky side. Any chance of posting a pic so we can have a look?

    Obviously it's a bit hard to tell just from your description, but it sounds like the fire is "blowing itself out" due to a clean grate and too much draught coming up through the fire.

    We light our open fire using a single small firelighter block between two chunks of wood, then another couple of bits on top of them at right angles, then another one on top of them at right angles again - a bit like a jenga pile. Works every single time without me having to touch it at all.
    • Andy_WSM
    • By Andy_WSM 10th Mar 17, 8:22 AM
    • 2,081 Posts
    • 4,496 Thanks
    Andy_WSM
    I've just bagged myself 4m3 of very tidy pallet wood offcuts from a manufacturer not too far from me for the bargain price of £20. Sure it's not the longest burning, but 4m3 will go a good way towards next Winter's fuel requirements. The nice thing is that most of the offcuts are the same width / length so it can be stacked very efficiently. I do have to make one cut in each piece to make them fit my stove, but 5 minutes with a chop-saw the other day and I had cut enough wood for days worth of heating. Only having a small fire first thing (5am) and last thing now as the weather has got plenty mild enough by day.

    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 10th Mar 17, 9:04 AM
    • 23,508 Posts
    • 89,312 Thanks
    Davesnave
    I've just bagged myself 4m3 of very tidy pallet wood offcuts from a manufacturer not too far from me for the bargain price of £20.
    Originally posted by Andy_WSM
    That's a lot of wood, regardless of the type! You must have a van.

    'Fraid I wimped-out and bought a big load of ash & beech yesterday. It was cheap because they weren't split terribly well. Feeling it today from all the splitting.....
    Last edited by Davesnave; 10-03-2017 at 9:07 AM.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Andy_WSM
    • By Andy_WSM 10th Mar 17, 9:11 AM
    • 2,081 Posts
    • 4,496 Thanks
    Andy_WSM
    That's a lot of wood, regardless of the type! You must have a van.

    'Fraid I wimped-out and bought a big load of ash & beech yesterday. It was cheap because they weren't split terribly well. Feeling it today from all the splitting.....
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    I haven't shifted it all yet - managed to get it stored on a mates driveway. I managed to get 1m3 into the car, TETRIS style - and stored away in the garage the same way. I'm having to make a temporary wood store alongside the shed for the rest using a tarp and some battens, but well worth the effort whilst it's that cheap!

    Like you my back is reminding me that i'm no spring chicken any more! I've commited to moving another car load tonight and the rest within a week.

    • bertiewhite
    • By bertiewhite 10th Mar 17, 9:30 AM
    • 711 Posts
    • 747 Thanks
    bertiewhite
    I've just bagged myself 4m3 of very tidy pallet wood offcuts from a manufacturer not too far from me for the bargain price of £20.
    Originally posted by Andy_WSM
    I love pallet wood for all sorts - making fences & even garden furniture and then the offcuts are used for kindling.

    The best bit though is I had to bargain with people when I lived in Lincolnshire because it was big business but where I live now in Wales, they can't get rid of them!!
    • lesta1980
    • By lesta1980 11th Mar 17, 10:49 PM
    • 111 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    lesta1980
    I'm guessing you have a grate in the fireplace? Are you emptying all the ashes every day? If you are then don't - wood burns much better on a bed of ash - so you can let the ash build up until the grate is completely covered.

    How big are the logs you're using, and are they split or still in the round? And are you sure they're dry? If you're buying them in nets from a garage or similar, they're normally wet through and often a bit on the chunky side. Any chance of posting a pic so we can have a look?

    Obviously it's a bit hard to tell just from your description, but it sounds like the fire is "blowing itself out" due to a clean grate and too much draught coming up through the fire.

    We light our open fire using a single small firelighter block between two chunks of wood, then another couple of bits on top of them at right angles, then another one on top of them at right angles again - a bit like a jenga pile. Works every single time without me having to touch it at all.
    Originally posted by Greenfires
    only clear the ash when it's overflowing

    the wood seems dry, and have had it stored in the dry as well in my wood store, doesnt spit or overly smoke

    just seems the fire hardly ever gets really going
    • A. Badger
    • By A. Badger 12th Mar 17, 11:05 AM
    • 5,142 Posts
    • 6,544 Thanks
    A. Badger
    only clear the ash when it's overflowing

    the wood seems dry, and have had it stored in the dry as well in my wood store, doesnt spit or overly smoke

    just seems the fire hardly ever gets really going
    Originally posted by lesta1980
    When you say an 'open fire', if you mean the sort of small grate often found in houses built in the 20th century, they were designed to burn coal and many won't handle wood all that well.
    • silverwhistle
    • By silverwhistle 12th Mar 17, 1:14 PM
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    • 2,174 Thanks
    silverwhistle
    'Fraid I wimped-out and bought a big load of ash & beech yesterday. It was cheap because they weren't split terribly well.
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    What is cheap round your way? I haven't bought any wood yet and I'm getting to the end of my 3rd season. The problem is I've probably got a couple of winters' worth but not yet dry enough. Chestnut and apple in particular seem to take a long time to dry.

    To see me out this season I'm burning briquettes, pallet wood and mahogany! The latter are small offcuts from a boatbuilder and about a solid wine case full. Although I've kept a few bits for a friend who wants to make fishing plugs there's not too much else you can do with them so a few bits go on the fire every burn to give a nice bit of flame!
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 12th Mar 17, 1:38 PM
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    Davesnave
    What is cheap round your way?
    Originally posted by silverwhistle
    £65 for a big trailer load, but as I said, variable in size/quality of cutting, although dry enough to use straight away. It's a sideline of a local business with other more proftable aspects, so the people they get to do the cutting are less 'trained' than some.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • edwink
    • By edwink 12th Mar 17, 4:27 PM
    • 1,685 Posts
    • 11,767 Thanks
    edwink
    I'm another on this forum with stoves and when we had then installed 8 years ago we had our gas supply turned off
    We have a multi fuel stove in the living room which supplies us with hot water in the winter months and also supplies 10 radiators. We also have a large wood burning stove/cooker in the kitchen which is just a little smaller than a range. This stove is easy to use as a continuous burn over the winter months. It is normally still going in the morning and as it is in the centre of the house it never feels cold for us.

    We purchased our very first supply of logs when we had the stoves installed as had not accumulated any by then and have never purchased any more since. We rely on local builders/chippies to drop of pallets, roof timbers and wood off cuts which we get delivered around every month or so. We have a constant supply of logs as we back on to a common. Also for the last couple of years contractors for the nearby railway have been clearing all the trees and shrubs on the embankment near the railway lines since a tree came down on one of the lines 10 miles away. The year before last we were given around 2 ton of logs (Ash) and some oak and last year we had around 11.5 ton delivered by the same contractors. All cut in to the nice sizes ready for splitting. We now estimate to have around 6 years supply ahead of us which is great because at one time we only had about 1.5 years supply stored.

    Living like we do is not for everyone as at times it can be hard work but we enjoy it and just take it as part of our chosen lifestyle. It has been very money saving for us having the stoves installed and have never really worried where the next batch of logs is coming from or when. Not having a gas bill to pay for the past 8 years has paid for the stoves easily.

    Not a lifestyle for everyone but we enjoy it immensely
    Last edited by edwink; 12-03-2017 at 4:31 PM.
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