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Rambling Boater

Which woods burn Ok in stoves?

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I know it's a funny time of year to ask this but we have access to some silver birch which has seasoned since last Autumn. Any good in a stove this winter or will it clog up the flue?

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I've got some silver birch drying too, I'll let you know early next year how good it is 🙂

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20 minutes ago, Rambling Boater said:

I know it's a funny time of year to ask this but we have access to some silver birch which has seasoned since last Autumn. Any good in a stove this winter or will it clog up the flue?

Perfectly OK so long as it is dry/seasoned

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25 minutes ago, Rambling Boater said:

I know it's a funny time of year to ask this but we have access to some silver birch which has seasoned since last Autumn. Any good in a stove this winter or will it clog up the flue?

It's a fine timber, it can turn to a pulpy dusty mess if left too long to season though.

I would always recommend regular sweeping on your flue when burning wood, I used to do mine once a month, done regularly it can even be done whilst the fire is still going.

6 minutes ago, blackrose said:

Avoid willow. It takes years to dry out

But it makes a fine firewood

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Birch is fine but burks quickly. Woods to avoid are, anything not well seasoned (at least a year prefably longer) and woods with a high tar content Pines and Firs, including Cypress which is readily available burns well but produces a lot of tar to clog the chimney, which is a bugger to get rid of. (personal mistake)

 

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From memory 

 

Oak and maple if dry and old will keep away the winter cold. 

Apple wood will scent your room with an incense-like perfume.

Birch and fir logs burn too fast blaze up bright and do not last. 

Beech wood only good, they say, if for long 'tis laid away. 

Elm wood burns like churchard mould, even the very flames are cold!

It is by the Irish said that hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread. 

But ash wood wet, or ash wood dry, a king shall warm his slippers by. 

 

 

--

 

Or something like that probably in a different order !

 

ETA ash is my favourite firewood. Always cut by hand with a bowsaw with a quality, clean sharp blade on it. 

 

Bowsaw hangs by fire so as not to get rusty. 

Edited by magnetman

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1 hour ago, magnetman said:

From memory 

 

Oak and maple if dry and old will keep away the winter cold. 

Apple wood will scent your room with an incense-like perfume.

Birch and fir logs burn too fast blaze up bright and do not last. 

Beech wood only good, they say, if for long 'tis laid away. 

Elm wood burns like churchard mould, even the very flames are cold!

It is by the Irish said that hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread. 

But ash wood wet, or ash wood dry, a king shall warm his slippers by. 

 

 

--

 

Or something like that probably in a different order !

 

ETA ash is my favourite firewood. Always cut by hand with a bowsaw with a quality, clean sharp blade on it. 

 

Bowsaw hangs by fire so as not to get rusty. 

Agree with this, apart from the bowsaw, I get lazy when 2 or 3 tons of ash arrives to be dropped off, chainsaw (with the elfin trousers gloves and hat) is my choice to get to splitting size. Just booked an 18 Yr old grandspawn to come up and split them, he's bored of being furloughed. First thing is to check his technique swinging a splitting maul. On that one, saw Ray Mears on TV with one hand near the heel, t'other near the head, pecking away at a big log. 🙄 Public skule kno know't! 

Edited by Jim Riley
Improvement.

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Chopping blocks make splitting easy and saves your back, my dad taught me that . I still have his 30” bow saw, steel with ally hand guard.

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46 minutes ago, Stilllearning said:

Chopping blocks make splitting easy and saves your back, my dad taught me that . I still have his 30” bow saw, steel with ally hand guard.

That'll probably be a Tyzack Turner saw. Or maybe an old Jack.

 

I've got 3 of the old Tyzack Turner green painted bowsaws. the 24" the 30 and the 36". That's in addition to my other 3 bowsaws which are the 24, 30 and 36" original Edsbyns Swede saws which even though they have no hand guard are lovely saws to use. Proper equipment.

 

I'd love to find a 42 inch bowsaw but they are rather unusual. 

 

Edited by magnetman

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2 hours ago, Rambling Boater said:

Birch would make good kindling then?

If it's decent lumps of timber it would be a waste to consider it as only kindling, it will certainly work as kindling as will any well seasoned timber 

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2 hours ago, magnetman said:

That'll probably be a Tyzack Turner saw. Or maybe an old Jack.

 

I've got 3 of the old Tyzack Turner green painted bowsaws. the 24" the 30 and the 36". That's in addition to my other 3 bowsaws which are the 24, 30 and 36" original Edsbyns Swede saws which even though they have no hand guard are lovely saws to use. Proper equipment.

 

I'd love to find a 42 inch bowsaw but they are rather unusual. 

 

Mine is a Tyzack and Turner.

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22 hours ago, magnetman said:

From memory 

 

Oak and maple if dry and old will keep away the winter cold. 

Apple wood will scent your room with an incense-like perfume.

Birch and fir logs burn too fast blaze up bright and do not last. 

Beech wood only good, they say, if for long 'tis laid away. 

Elm wood burns like churchard mould, even the very flames are cold!

It is by the Irish said that hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread. 

But ash wood wet, or ash wood dry, a king shall warm his slippers by. 

 

 

--

 

Or something like that probably in a different order !

 

ETA ash is my favourite firewood. Always cut by hand with a bowsaw with a quality, clean sharp blade on it. 

 

Bowsaw hangs by fire so as not to get rusty. 

 

I've lost count of the number of times this old chestnut(!)  has come up on CWDF,   It refers to open fires and is IRRELEVANT TO STOVES.   Any really dry wood will burn well in a stove set up for proper wood burning, ie with no grate but the wood burning on a bed of ash at the base.

As to birch, as has been hinted previously, it will rot from within before drying out if not cut into short lengths.  This is because the bark is impermeable (think birch bark canoes!) and the wood can only dry through the cut ends or if split.

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1 hour ago, Mac of Cygnet said:

 

I've lost count of the number of times this old chestnut(!)  has come up on CWDF,   It refers to open fires and is IRRELEVANT TO STOVES.   Any really dry wood will burn well in a stove set up for proper wood burning, ie with no grate but the wood burning on a bed of ash at the base.

As to birch, as has been hinted previously, it will rot from within before drying out if not cut into short lengths.  This is because the bark is impermeable (think birch bark canoes!) and the wood can only dry through the cut ends or if split.

Yes to this, its the density of the wood that affects how long the wood burns. A lighter piece per volume has less fuel in it. 

The bit about green Ash is still right though. 

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Well seasoned birch is a lovely wood to burn and often produces blue and green flames, as mentioned above it definitely pays to cut to size when fresh - but this applies to any timber as cutting seasoned wood is both harder and wears out any blade designed for green wood very quickly. 

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26 minutes ago, BWM said:

Well seasoned birch is a lovely wood to burn and often produces blue and green flames, as mentioned above it definitely pays to cut to size when fresh - but this applies to any timber as cutting seasoned wood is both harder and wears out any blade designed for green wood very quickly. 

Especially eucalyptus and elm :)

never have I regretted not splitting prior to seasoning more than with those 2

  • Haha 1

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Seasoned yew is quite a nice wood to burn but it is hard on the bowsaw blades. 

 

I find that the rhyme I posted above has been quite accurate in 25 winters of burning plenty of wood on boat multifuel stoves. Wood burning is one of my favourite things about living on boats. 

 

It is true that beech needs seasoning. 

 

It is also true that oak and maple need seasoning. Ash doesn't although it is sensible. 

 

Birch and fir do burn fast. 

 

Apple smells. 

 

Elm is ok though in my experience but again hard on the saw. 

 

Don't forget that hardened saw blades and chainsaws are relatively recent inventions. In the old days you would have to sharpen and set the teeth manually so a hard as nails wood would be seen as a negative. 

 

An alternation

 

 

"chestnut only good they say if for long tis laid away" 

"Beech wood fires burn bright and clear if the logs are kept a year" 

 

Works for me anyway and I have never had an open hearth fire or a house or any of that sort of nonsense. 

 

 

 

Another nice firewood is Teak, or Iroko. Old jetty posts washed down by the floods. Lovely smell and slow burning. 

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I often pick up bits of willow locally, there's a few Crack Willow in the wood near me. I find it pops and spits sparks when the stove door is opened. I oft wonder if that led to the invention of gunpowder by an enterprising Chinese man staring at the fire. 

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