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Steven P

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  1. That's the point, the logs as they dry send their moisture out into the air creating warm moist air. Warm air rises to sit just underneath the roof. If you could measure it, it will be more moist under than above the roof. If this is a problem for you then create more air flow under the roof so this moist air can escape and be replaced by drier air from outside. A cheap fan can do this, I wouldn't bother, it wouldn't cause me any worry.
  2. That condensation under the roof, the moisture comes from where..... If it drips back on the wood it's only going back where it started. If it worries you a lot you could get a -probably- cheap solar / battery powered fan to run on at dusk to create some air flow under the roof, will dry the wood out qucker too
  3. Are you looking for lumps of wood or for wood chip? If it is wood chip then a call around the local tree surgeons should see you get more than enough... but you might need to be prepared to accept a couple of tonnes at a time. Great for the garden to put under the flowers to supress the weed though.. let the neighbours have some too and hardwood lasts there longer than soft wood. Might not be able to specify a type and delivery but if you are able to wait until a suitable local job happens it should be free. Curious, I have never smoked food - what is wrong with softwoods? I assume each has its own flavour but why not?
  4. Axes - My X17 has got through about 8cu m since Christmas, and I think 5 logs that it wouldn't go through - these are now in the wood slowly rotting down for the insects. Much better than the heavier generic felling axe and the cheap maul - not sure I want to splash out on an expensive maul though (in order, the Fiskars is the best, the free felling axe we took of a thief is second best, and then it is a even split between the maul and B&Qs hatchet to be honest). I am not picky about the wood I collect. Listening to you all though, might have a look at the X25 later in the year. Now to the OP and his question about splitting the wood has had from his shed and his photos.... Nice fire by the way. The kinks within the wood are knots. This are where the side branches come out of the side of the tree. In finished timber it is less obvious what they are but on a fresh log very obvious because you can see the branch. Imagine the trunk of the tree, the fibres in it are running up and down and splitting that is just splitting the fibres from its neighbour. A branch is the same except the fibres in the branch run in the direction of the branch - in other words at right angles -ish to the trunk. The fibres in the trunk still go up and down though, and your first pic below is showing them running around a side branch - giving the funny shape. The second pic shows clearly the side branch and split in half lengthways. I might get corrected with a better technique but,... second pic below as an example. Remember the technique is to split the fibres apart and not to break through them - use a saw to cut across the fibres. If you split the log as you have with the split along the line of the knot / branch it will split OK. If you try at 90 degrees the axe will get stopped by the fibres of the side branch running in the other direction (try it one way then the other you'll see what I mean). Your axe will probably laugh at a small twig like in the 2nd photo... if it is on its own, but when it is 'buried' in a log its strength appears to be 10x stronger. So if you get stuck with a piece of wood, often turning it will get you a better split and if it is a big side branch split it out from the log, then prop it up on its pointy edge, branch pointing upward and then split the branch not the trunk.. just beware that the log could get a bit unsteady. Not sure if that makes sense. But, don't worry about it, logs aren't always pretty, and if it goes in the fire it burns Now back to axes......
  5. I like the calculations - I'll come back here and read this properly another time, but they are all missing out one part of the equation, which is better value for money. I am sure you will have noticed there is no straight answer to this. There is a premium added to kiln dried logs of course, and different suppliers will give you a slightly different volume of logs in a 'ton', builders bag or whatever (also the same supplier, depends how they are feeling). Hardwood isn't just hardwood, softwood isn't just softwood and if you look at the tables different woods have different amounts of energy in a volume (though by kg, and at the same water content they are all pretty similar). We buy logs by volume and not weight, a quick check for an example (ignore units) - Ash was "30" weight, oak was "45" for the same volume... but clearly there is more wood in the oak. So got to really compare like for like., If you get the same wood at the same moisture content, air dried will be better value, however... a supplier will tend to sell kiln dried, or air dried as far as I can tell and so making a direct comparison of value becomes even harder. So yup, we can tell you which will give you the best energy output by kg, but you are going to need to take these numbers and apply them to your local prices to work out which is best value.
  6. We all have to start somewhere and while a shed isn't generally ideal fire wood, you can still learn from it. If I had nothing, a shed to take apart I would buy a bow saw, a cheap hatchet ad a sharpening stone. Most of the shed wood will be pretty much kindling only. Use the saw to cut it to length, the small axe to split it, and the sharpening stone to keep the axe sharp. If the budget was a little bigger, get a Fiskars X10 (?) axe, a saw again and a Fiskars sharpening tool. Then you can start to add to that as your budget gets bigger and you get larger logs to split - I have an X17 I think and that will go through most things, I have a maul and hate it (it has never spit anything, breaking the wood through brute force). Next step up is replace the saw with sometihjng with some power - ask in the chainsaw section for advice there but lke all tool advice there are snobs who will want you to have the best and the lucky who have got away with a 2nd hand chansaw for £10 for the last 100 years. Chainsaw is a big investment by the time you get protectinve clothing (trousers, eye protection, maybe a helmet, gloves, ear defenders) added to the cost. Norwegian Wood is a great book to read
  7. Not an expert here. However. Are all your logs to be the same legnth or do yuo have clients that specify a 25cm log and some that specify 30? If so this makes it a bit safer, a 27cm log can go into the 30cm pile for example, a 35cm log can be cut to 25 and this adds al larger factor of safety if needed. I'll also assume and knowing what logs I pick up that some will be undersized - if this is not an issue, I guess cutting threm undersized will aso not be an issue. Just trying to make that 5cm end to cut off a bit longer. If your secs are tight though, I would be tempted to split the -slightly oversized- wood first keeping it in a seperate pile and with these thinner logs you can get a bench circular saw or siimilar (with suitable guards and guides, hold the long end and cut off the small pieces with thst.
  8. Kind of glad the wood is worthless, its gong to keep me warm all next winter Sold some in the last few weeks (my excess) which will pay for the coal I'll burn to.. so not quite worthless.
  9. I'd go with Ratman, eliminate the simple - like what you burn - first
  10. Reading this, there are 2 options for strangr smells. Ones that sould be inside the stove and ones that sould be outside the stove. There shouldn't be a smell from inside the stove coming to the outside of the stove. I guess inside stove smells should be easy to work out. Put smethng selly in the stove and see if you can smel it when the door is shut! If this is the case then one f the jonts needs sealing better and that could be your 5" to 6" connection, it could be thr connetion to the stove, it could be the door seal but you will ahve a starting point then. Sometimes if I put bread in the stove, yo can smell toast outside.... and this could be ideal since it stars no smell and ends up with smell so you dont cotaminat the room before you burn it (otherwise, put your smell in a plastic bag, seal it up, put it in the fire the next day) Outside stove smells - nothing to do with the connection. Could be a hot metal smell, could be dust, or cleaning products, could be builing materials getting too hot (plasterboard in the ceiing?). If it is outside stove smell and it is recurring then there is something not quiet right, maybe you are burning the fire to hot biut I can't think what else it might be. Just to note, mine wll smell when I have a good hot fire n it - a hot metal smell (assumng you have had the stove for a while, new stoves stink as any paint r finishes cure) Dampers: I have 2, 1 for top air, one for bottom air into the fire box, not really. Top air burnes off fumes from combustion - how wood burns. Bottom air is for coal though cannot hurt to also have top air. However in the comments Damper refers to a chimney damper, a metal plate in the chimney that closes it off, reducing the draft and so the fire
  11. Thanks, at £15 a time for the battery, £50 for the saw, £15 for the charger - adding a few batteries is going to put it in the range of gumtree or e-bay second hand top branded electric saw with a wire. I mostly cut firewood to length at home so that might be a better option. If I had some of their other battery kit I might consider it more.
  12. Painted stove? so scrapping it off a new stove is maybe not acceptable? I'd go for the get the stove nice and hot and see what you can scrape off with something non abrasive - perhaps a wooden spatula? Get quite bit off like that... and getting the stove hot will help of course, when you have the windows opens for the smoke to get out. When it's mostly off you can use something like an old cotton T shirt rag to wipe more off. It might take some time, scrape, clean, wipe, let it heat get hotter, repeat. Thinking to my cooking, when it's as clean as you can get it like that, let it all cool, wet it and perhaps try a dishwasher tablet - mildly abrasive but shouldn't scrape up the paint like wire wool could and see how that works. Needless to say, do that in as small an area as you can
  13. Likewise, not sure how easy it is to steal an amount of firewood, OK if you are going to nick it for your own use but to steal it and sell it afterwards, £30 for a boot full maybe and you'd be there for say 20 minutes loading up, more to load up a transit. Unlikely to be able to sell them to a bloke in the pub either - have to go online and again, that leaves traces. Far easier just to break the door in and take your TV. I'd worry about drying them in the garage and the moisture coming off - 1 tonne of logs could have a lot of water in them. But for the first question, I don't worry about it, just goes in the fire like any other log, and it doesn't spread so much in my log pile. I don't tend to have a lot of wood in the house all at once so it will get burnt fairly quickly once inside
  14. I was looking to see if anyone had any thoughts in this. There are a couple left in mine, and I have some pocket money to spend. It says it takes the 20V battery, I would be using it to cut firewood
  15. So... I'm not a builder so take this with a pinch of salt of course. A builder will take out some of the horizontal cement from the bricks a course above the bricks to be removed, slide through metal plates and support them. Take out the bricks, put a new lintle in, let the cement set and then repair the holes they first made.. I think. You could just wng it and hope for the best, take the bricks out, put a new lintle in quick, but I do't think this is a sensble idea because..... Looking at the brickwork you have exposed, there are parrallel verticle edges, 1 brick out fro the edge of the fire place... the ones you are wanting to remove. Then you have the lintle that you want to remove and then above this is looks like the vertical edge continues upwards and under the plaster. chances are you will be replastering this wall anyway.. so why not take more plaster off going upwards and see if there is another lintle further up? Can you look from the inside to see if this is the case, even if your head wont fit, hold a camera up and take a photo. If there is, just take al the bricks out to that point, put the new one in where you want it and rebuild the wall. Becuse of these vertical breaks that's why option 1 won't work. But I am not a buildier


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