firewood question

jgarzasrMarch 17, 2008

Hi, We installed a Hearthstone Tribute in our new home, an just started being able to run it this week. The stove heats really nice. Since running it our furnace hasn't ran once.

Question - we are new to heating w/ wood. Our property is 5 acres Wooded. Where are house sits - I had to remove over a hundred scots pine. Can we burn any of that wood in our Wood burner? I know I have read to only use hardwood. And so far we have. We also had to remove some Maple, oak and cherry. But the bulk of the firewood we have is pine.

Should I stick to only the hardwoods?

Thanks.

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garyg

You can mix in some pine but it should be very well-seasoned.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 12:32PM
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jgarzasr

Thanks. This leads me to another question. When I use the wood from our property what is the correct way to season it.

Does it need to be split?

How long does it take to be "well seasoned"

Thanks.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 1:13PM
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sierraeast

We burn various species of pine from our property. We let it season well and i clean our flume more often than what might have to be done w/ hardwood.

Opinions vary on stacking/seasoning wood. Some say to stack the cut logs and season splitting them only as you need them, others say it's best to split, stack ,and let season. Splitting green or fresh cut timber is difficult and hard on equipment, especially your own equipment if done by hand!

I've had good luck stacking on pallets to allow air underneath during the seasoning process keeping the cut logs off of the ground.

The length of time to season depends on your location. Our property is in the sierra nevadas where we are building, but we currently live in the mojave desert. Needless to say it only takes a summer here in the desert to season out the pine because of the dry, blistering hot conditions of summer. If you are in a humid, less warm summer environment, i would think two summers of seasoning would work.

I like the idea of mixing the pine w/ hardwood. We generally get a good bed of coals going w/ the pine and then throw in some hardwood when we zonk out and periodically keep it going during the night. It's awesome not hearing the furnace fire up. Ours is rarely used.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 11:01AM
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old-vt-crafter

Cut the pine now and slice it to firewood lengths. You can stack it and split it in July. It'll be fine to burn next year. We've done this for many years and have had no trouble. The ONLY thing is to make sure you clean the chimney at least once a year. I clean the chimney in Sept just before we light the stove for the winter.
Pine burns fast and hot. You'll go through almost twice as much pine as hardwoods. We burn the pine at the beginning and end of the season and save the hardwood for the real heating season.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 8:11AM
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jgarzasr

Thanks for the replies. Nice to know that we may be able to burn some of the pine. We have loads of it - which some will be burned outside for the outdoor fires. Another question if you guys don't mind. When I go to clean my Flue - what is the easy way to do it. We have not clean out. The chimney runs from the stove to the top of the house. Do I just pop of the chimney cap and run a brush down? But then how do I get it out? Or will I have to disconnect the pipe from our stove to get it out the other end. Any info on this would be appreciated. Thanks.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 10:43AM
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sierraeast

You can purchase wire brushes from most woodstove outfits. They are round and you get the same diameter brush as your flume. They adapt onto a pole and depending on length, you can add on extensions. If yours is a straight run as you described, you should be able to take care of cleaning from the top removing the cap. If your woodburner has a insulating blanket at the base of where the flume pipe connects to the stove, you want to be careful not to run the brush down and compact the blanket. You can measure the depth from the top of the stove collar to the top where the cap connects and mark it on your pole, that way you'll know when you are far enough down. I clean ours about twice a month, especially the spark screen, as it affects performance if not clear. Ours has a bend in the house, so i have to take it apart from the inside as well, but i only do the bend in the house maybe three times a season. The upper part of the flume including cap/ spark screen seems to need attention more frequently than around the bend area.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 11:25AM
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sierraeast

Before cleaning ourselves, we had it done by a pro, so if you dont feel confident, it was around $100.00 to have ours professionally done by a chimney sweep. He actually compacted our blanket, but was unfamiliar with our stove type and mainly cleaned fireplaces.Because we clean it so frequently, i watched him in operation and saw i was something i could do diy. If you have the original manual, they should have maintenance advise for your unit. If no manual, im sure you can get that info by going to the mfgr's website or get advise from a dealer in your area. Do your homework because how i clean our unit might be a different ballgame as to how to clean yours w/o knowing the details of your stove/type.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 11:34AM
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jgarzasr

Our chimney from the roof of the house runs straight down through our roof, through second floor, and ends at the ceiling support - that is all triple wall pipe. I then have double wall black from the ceiling support box to the stove. That begins with a 45 - straight - to another 45 and then straight into the stove. Here is a pic:

So would I be able to clean it out w/o having to remove any pipe? Or should I remove the black pipe at the stove collar? Thanks.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 1:22PM
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sierraeast

Thanks for the pic. You have a similar setup only we are single story w/ a shorter bend inside. What i do is remove the inside pipes/bend and brush them outside. I take a platic bag and tape the hole at the opening on the ceiling to catch the debris when i clean the remaing pipe(triple walled) from roof to ceiling.

You will have to have extensions. Start off w/ the first length and twist and scrub on down to where you put on the extension, then cotinue.Measure and mark the pole so you dont bust through the taped bag. If you find that length difficult, you might have to clean down from the top as well as up from the ceiling which means there will be debris falling when you clean up from the ceiling. A shop vac w/ a filter for fine particulates works well for vaccuming up the soot.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 1:49PM
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old-vt-crafter

The above info is excellent. But the only thing I would add is to not get a "wire" brush, but rather the plastic one. The wire can scratch the metal chimney liner and creosote can gather in the scratches. The plastic brush does the job without scratching. Both types are sold at the stove shop.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 7:49AM
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sierraeast

Thanks for the tip on the plastic,o-vt-c. Ours is probably pretty scratched, didn't know about the plastic. I clean ours often enough where maybe it's not a concern.

Another tip when pulling the double walled inside is to mark the collar and pipe w/ tape as well as the diffuser and pipe before pulling so you will know that they are lined back up in original position when you put them back. Dont forget to pull the tape back off!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 10:11AM
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