Author Topic: Firewood - foh free!  (Read 912 times)

Montecarlo

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Firewood - foh free!
« on: February 11, 2019, 02:39:23 PM »
Been collecting "free" firewood on Craigslist.  Meaning I grab my chainsaw and other gear and drive somewhere in my clown SUV and load it up with a pitifully small amount of wood before taking the haul home.

Called around to a bunch of tree services today asking how much it would be to get a couple logs delivered.  Most told me to pound sand.  I wasn't surprised, I know it is kind of an usual request.  One guy called me back.  Said he has a job tomorrow, and he'd drop off the logs on my front lawn for FREE so he doesn't have to pay the disposal fee.  I'll of course tip his driver.

How about that!

nereo

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Re: Firewood - foh free!
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2019, 06:11:07 PM »
Been collecting "free" firewood on Craigslist.  Meaning I grab my chainsaw and other gear and drive somewhere in my clown SUV and load it up with a pitifully small amount of wood before taking the haul home.

Called around to a bunch of tree services today asking how much it would be to get a couple logs delivered.  Most told me to pound sand.  I wasn't surprised, I know it is kind of an usual request.  One guy called me back.  Said he has a job tomorrow, and he'd drop off the logs on my front lawn for FREE so he doesn't have to pay the disposal fee.  I'll of course tip his driver.

How about that!
Hope the wood they drop off is hardwood.

Montecarlo

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Re: Firewood - foh free!
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2019, 08:46:35 PM »
Hope the wood they drop off is hardwood.

I say 50% chance at best.  But I'm not going to thumb my nose at a free cord of softwood.

terran

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Re: Firewood - foh free!
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2019, 05:45:13 AM »
As long as you're aware of the dangers of burning softwoods (fast creosote buildup causing chimney fires) and plan accordingly (lots of chimney cleaning) it sounds good.

nereo

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Re: Firewood - foh free!
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2019, 05:50:03 AM »
As long as you're aware of the dangers of burning softwoods (fast creosote buildup causing chimney fires) and plan accordingly (lots of chimney cleaning) it sounds good.
That's what I'm concerned about.  Burning 'free' softwood indoors could be penny-wise and pound foolish.  If that's what you get use it in an outdoor firepit.

Mtngrl

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Re: Firewood - foh free!
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2019, 06:00:22 AM »
Softwoods are fine as long as you regularly clean your chimney.
Where I live, the only wood available is softwood -- it's what everyone burns -- pine, fir, spruce and some aspen.

Car Jack

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Re: Firewood - foh free!
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2019, 06:23:47 AM »
I see businesses put pallets out for free all the time.  They tend to be a combination of both hard and soft wood, so can either be separated or if you burn a lot, burn it all and do a chimney cleaning in the summer.  The tools are cheap enough and you can do it yourself, if you can get to the top of the chimney without killing yourself.

What are you burning the wood in?  If it's a fireplace, you're wasting your time and sending heat right out of the chimney, actually increasing your heating bill.  An insert would be better but of course you have to traipse crap across your interior space.  Same for a wood stove in a living area.  Better is a wood stove in an unfinished basement and best (in my opinion) is a wood furnace in the basement, connected into a forced hot air system.

I do the last thing on that list.  I forest manage my property, giving me $1000 or so in tax relief every year and with free wood (save for the gas/oil/chainsaws/repairs to chainsaws/tractor maintenance), adding my own labor to the mix, I keep the house heated.  Got it up and running before heading out to work this morning.

I would be very careful about having some clown dump a bunch of green pine on your lawn.  Even if you can mix it in with your hard wood, pine is going to take about 5 years to really season enough to use it.  If it's a huge pine, like 25 inches in diameter, good luck with that....it's junk.  I take crap like that, load it on my trailer and bring it to our recycling center where they take junk branches and leaves.  Well, not 25 inches in diameter, but the garbage soft wood branches.

I really would call the guy back and make sure it isn't soft wood.

Fishindude

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Re: Firewood - foh free!
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2019, 07:37:24 AM »
I wouldn't want any type of pine, walnut or sycamore, but otherwise sounds like a pretty sweet deal.   Just remember that stuff will be green, so you need to cut, split and stack somewhere dry for at least six months or it won't burn worth a darned.   Probably a lot of free wood like this available if you just keep your eyes open.

I would not mess with pallets.   More time and effort required to tear them apart and break them down to fireplace size pieces than they are worth.

nereo

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Re: Firewood - foh free!
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2019, 08:15:47 AM »
re: pallets - make sure you know the labeling if you are going to burn or cut them.  Many have been treated with methyl-bromide (marked MB) and/or have stored toxic chemicals on them.  Do NOT burn any pallets with MB on the stamp - highly toxic!

Le Poisson

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Re: Firewood - foh free!
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2019, 08:30:45 AM »
Ahhh - free shit from landscapers. This is like a Monte Carlo roulette wheel dressed up as "supplies".

I hope your spin lands on 00 and you win all the cash, but other scenarios can play out too. In the past I've had:

1. The guy who dropped off a free 2 yard load of "mulch" that ended up being laced with shredded vines and russian olive which took root in our gardens. It's been 5 years and we're still pulling up that shit.

2. The guy who sold us a 4 cord load of "split & seasoned hardwood" that came to us in full rounds with leafs still growing out of it. We stacked it into measured cords and found out the 4 cords was only 2, got our money back and kept the wood.

3. The guy who gave us a free load of green unseasoned wood. Once he dropped it off we discovered it from an Emerald Ash borer infestation. Wasn't long before our trees started dying off on the property.

And then the good guys - folks who actually dropped off full rounds, or delivered seasoned firewood when they said they would, etc. Good luck. Hope you get a good guy!

Montecarlo

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Re: Firewood - foh free!
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2019, 10:00:36 AM »
I use a free standing wood stove.  I have a year's supply of wood in the back, split, stacked, and covered, so this wood won't burn until October 2020 at the earliest.  Considering building a solar kiln to speed up the seasoning.

Not too worried about creosote.  I only burn wood less than 20% moisture content.

Montecarlo

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Re: Firewood - foh free!
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2019, 10:04:05 AM »
I would be very careful about having some clown dump a bunch of green pine on your lawn.  Even if you can mix it in with your hard wood, pine is going to take about 5 years to really season enough to use it.  If it's a huge pine, like 25 inches in diameter, good luck with that....it's junk.  I take crap like that, load it on my trailer and bring it to our recycling center where they take junk branches and leaves.  Well, not 25 inches in diameter, but the garbage soft wood branches.

Why is huge pine worse than the smaller stuff?

Fortunately I told him I could only handle 18" diameter with my pitiful chainsaw.  He said he'd text me some pictures before coming over so I could accept or decline.

nereo

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Re: Firewood - foh free!
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2019, 10:16:14 AM »

Why is huge pine worse than the smaller stuff?

Most can't lift sections of 25" diameter green pine, nor cut it unless they have a chainsaw with a really long bar (or a lot of patience).  Once you've cut it up into 16-18" segments its a bitch to split even with a hydraulic splitter.  Not to say it can't be done, but it gets exponentially harder as the diameter gets above ~18" or so.

Fishindude

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Re: Firewood - foh free!
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2019, 10:19:34 AM »
I would never burn pine for firewood in a wood stove or fireplace inside my house, too high of a chance of creosote buildup and a chimney fire.  I might use a little of it if I had an outdoor wood boiler.   A small amount of it could be split into kindling and used as starter material.

Dabnasty

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Re: Firewood - foh free!
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2019, 10:21:33 AM »
re: pallets - make sure you know the labeling if you are going to burn or cut them.  Many have been treated with methyl-bromide (marked MB) and/or have stored toxic chemicals on them.  Do NOT burn any pallets with MB on the stamp - highly toxic!

Methyl Bromide hasn't been used since 2005 in most countries. I don't think US, Canada, or Europe allow it for treating packaging materials anymore. It's possible to find a really old pallet marked MB but very unlikely and even if you did I doubt it would have any significant residue left. Contamination by whatever they carried is more of a concern and there's probably no way of knowing about that. Personally I wouldn't worry too much about contamination unless I knew it was used in a chemical plant.

On the other hand, cutting up pallets is way too much work. I burned mostly pallets in an indoor stove one winter and I spent way too much time cutting and scooping out nails.

nereo

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Re: Firewood - foh free!
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2019, 11:16:52 AM »
re: pallets - make sure you know the labeling if you are going to burn or cut them.  Many have been treated with methyl-bromide (marked MB) and/or have stored toxic chemicals on them.  Do NOT burn any pallets with MB on the stamp - highly toxic!

Methyl Bromide hasn't been used since 2005 in most countries. I don't think US, Canada, or Europe allow it for treating packaging materials anymore. It's possible to find a really old pallet marked MB but very unlikely and even if you did I doubt it would have any significant residue left. Contamination by whatever they carried is more of a concern and there's probably no way of knowing about that. Personally I wouldn't worry too much about contamination unless I knew it was used in a chemical plant.

On the other hand, cutting up pallets is way too much work. I burned mostly pallets in an indoor stove one winter and I spent way too much time cutting and scooping out nails.

I still come across them - generally on pallets from China.  No idea if/when they banned MB there.  But hey, after exerting to pull out the nails from a pallet you are often warm enough where you don't even need a fire ;-P

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Firewood - foh free!
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2019, 12:23:10 PM »
ould be very careful about having some clown dump a bunch of green pine on your lawn.  Even if you can mix it in with your hard wood, pine is going to take about 5 years to really season enough to use it.  If it's a huge pine, like 25 inches in diameter, good luck with that....it's junk.  I take crap like that, load it on my trailer and bring it to our recycling center where they take junk branches and leaves.  Well, not 25 inches in diameter, but the garbage soft wood branches.

I would never burn pine for firewood in a wood stove or fireplace inside my house, too high of a chance of creosote buildup and a chimney fire.  I might use a little of it if I had an outdoor wood boiler.   A small amount of it could be split into kindling and used as starter material.

Nonsense. Pine dries more quickly than any hardwood, and dry pine causes less creosote buildup than either green or dry hardwood. Green hardwood is the biggest culprit for creosote buildup, because creosote results from incomplete combustion, and green wood tends to smolder at a lower temperature than properly-dried wood, providing ideal conditions for creosote formation. There are numerous studies that confirm this. The idea that softwoods cause creosote buildup is simply an old wives' tale that refuses to die. The biggest issue with burning pine is simply that it burns much more quickly than hardwoods, so you have to feed the fire more frequently. If you get any pine with "fatwood" in it (highly soaked in pitch/resin) then of course, that should be set aside and used in small amounts for kindling.

Dabnasty

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Re: Firewood - foh free!
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2019, 12:30:28 PM »
re: pallets - make sure you know the labeling if you are going to burn or cut them.  Many have been treated with methyl-bromide (marked MB) and/or have stored toxic chemicals on them.  Do NOT burn any pallets with MB on the stamp - highly toxic!

Methyl Bromide hasn't been used since 2005 in most countries. I don't think US, Canada, or Europe allow it for treating packaging materials anymore. It's possible to find a really old pallet marked MB but very unlikely and even if you did I doubt it would have any significant residue left. Contamination by whatever they carried is more of a concern and there's probably no way of knowing about that. Personally I wouldn't worry too much about contamination unless I knew it was used in a chemical plant.

On the other hand, cutting up pallets is way too much work. I burned mostly pallets in an indoor stove one winter and I spent way too much time cutting and scooping out nails.

I still come across them - generally on pallets from China.  No idea if/when they banned MB there.  But hey, after exerting to pull out the nails from a pallet you are often warm enough where you don't even need a fire ;-P

China... of course they do.* lol

*Not verifying that they do, just being sarcastic.

Curmudgeon

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Re: Firewood - foh free!
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2019, 01:52:38 PM »
Nothing at all wrong with burning pine, or other softwoods.  It needs to be dry, you need to burn a hot fire, and you need to clean your chimney when necessary (every couple years for me) and you'll be just fine.   

Same rules as for hardwoods, in other words.

Montecarlo

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Re: Firewood - foh free!
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2019, 06:52:21 PM »
Badass quotient took a hit.  Guy never got back to me.  No wood for me :(

tyrannostache

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Re: Firewood - foh free!
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2019, 04:05:17 PM »
Where do y'all live that hardwood is available for burning? Out here, it's pretty much all pine or fir. I don't know what else we would burn. Better to burn what's local than import pests.

nereo

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Re: Firewood - foh free!
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2019, 05:11:27 PM »
Where do y'all live that hardwood is available for burning? Out here, it's pretty much all pine or fir. I don't know what else we would burn. Better to burn what's local than import pests.
New England.  A bit further south its almost all hardwood. 

THe downside is that these trees change funny colors every fall, and droves of new yorkers drive up to gawk at them, clogging all the roads. 

Montecarlo

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Re: Firewood - foh free!
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2019, 06:02:03 PM »
Indiana here - but hardwood is more expensive than in New England.  I suspect most use here is recreational.

Le Poisson

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Re: Firewood - foh free!
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2019, 05:14:01 AM »
I'm near Toronto, but really anywhere people have trees in their yard, they will be cutting out branches/old growth.

Where do you live that there are only softwoods - that seems more bizarre to me.

Montecarlo

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Re: Firewood - foh free!
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2019, 07:00:56 AM »
I'm near Toronto, but really anywhere people have trees in their yard, they will be cutting out branches/old growth.

Where do you live that there are only softwoods - that seems more bizarre to me.

Pac NW is mostly softwood coniferous trees.

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Firewood - foh free!
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2019, 07:14:46 AM »
Where do y'all live that hardwood is available for burning? Out here, it's pretty much all pine or fir. I don't know what else we would burn. Better to burn what's local than import pests.

I live in an oak-hickory forest in North Georgia. 98% of the trees around my house are hardwood. Like you say, burn what's local - just make sure it's dry!

Fishindude

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Re: Firewood - foh free!
« Reply #26 on: February 14, 2019, 11:02:59 AM »
Guess I'm spoiled.   Can get just about whatever kind of hardwood I want without too much effort.  Usually burn, oak, cherry, ash or locust.

If you're in Indiana Montecarlo, you should be able to get your hands on some ash.   Bugs pretty well wiped out every ash tree in the state, but there is still a lot of standing dead stuff in good shape.

Highbeam

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Re: Firewood - foh free!
« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2019, 12:02:22 PM »
We heat 100% with firewood and mostly coniferous species.

Nonsense that pine is any more dangerous than other woods when burned properly in a modern stove. Nonsense that it takes longer to dry, it's actually one of the fastest. Nonsense that size of the tree matters as you will be splitting it anyway. Nonsense that a hydraulic splitter has any trouble with pine of any size.

What you really want to be careful of is that the man doesn't drop off rotten wood, huge crotches, or very low btu wood like cottonwood or willow.

What gave pine a bad name was idiot operators smoldering a huge green pine log in their old stove with the air choked way down for maximum burn time. Send it my way! I'll be happy to take a log load of conifer.

Prairie Stash

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Re: Firewood - foh free!
« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2019, 12:52:12 PM »
I've picked up wood this way. I've also sold the wood after....If you don't like what you get then you can list it online and sell it.

I sold a 1/2 cord of willow that way, I got it for free. I said it was willow, listed the stacked dimensions and put some pics of it up. A couple weeks later I had $50, the guy picked it up and had a chance to look before buying.

Theres a local tree service that allows people to pick up wood from their yard. I've used them for free mulch, I picked it up so I knew what I was getting as I loaded it into my trailer. I encourage you to pursue this farther.


pecunia

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Re: Firewood - foh free!
« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2019, 01:23:11 PM »
Free wood can be rotten.  Rotten wood can be wet.  Free wood may mean free bugs.  I had some poplar a few years back.  It burned good.  Nice bright flame.  No heat.

BDWW

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Re: Firewood - foh free!
« Reply #30 on: February 14, 2019, 02:31:48 PM »
I'm near Toronto, but really anywhere people have trees in their yard, they will be cutting out branches/old growth.

Where do you live that there are only softwoods - that seems more bizarre to me.

You don't get out west much I take it?

nereo

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Re: Firewood - foh free!
« Reply #31 on: February 14, 2019, 03:34:08 PM »
I'm near Toronto, but really anywhere people have trees in their yard, they will be cutting out branches/old growth.

Where do you live that there are only softwoods - that seems more bizarre to me.

You don't get out west much I take it?
or the other poster getting east.  My family owns 12 acres of woodlands, and I can't recall as single conifer on the property.  Different biomes in different regions.