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Old February 28th, 2021, 06:32 PM #231
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Independent or dependent. A choice.

Blame or make better things happen.

Realist or idealist.

Life is all about choices ...dependency is near the top of that list.
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Old February 28th, 2021, 07:01 PM #232
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Originally Posted by JoeRinMD View Post
Thanks. Part of my personality is that I've always wanted to know how to "do stuff"...lots of different stuff. That quote resonates very deeply for me. When you look back at the Founding Fathers, they were truly Renaissance Men, in the best sense of the term. I remember reading that John Adams went back at least 3 times in his life to read Plato's Republic in the original Greek!!

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Leonardo da Vinci was pretty well rounded, and a good role model, too.
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Old February 28th, 2021, 08:33 PM #233
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Originally Posted by lazarus View Post
Or four times when itís a big tree. My dead ash was almost 30Ē at the base. Crap ton of work to quarter those rounds and haul them to the wood shed. Then split them. Then haul it to the back door wood shed when that one empties.

I go through about 3 cords a season in my wood boiler.
Even more if its ash
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Old March 1st, 2021, 04:57 AM #234
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Even more if its ash
and then there is Elm. wind twisted trees are a crap ton of fun to split up too.
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Old March 2nd, 2021, 11:30 AM #235
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Originally Posted by Archeryrob View Post
and then there is Elm. wind twisted trees are a crap ton of fun to split up too.
Iíve got some gum I am splitting in a couple of days that resembles that remark. Thatíll be fun. At least it is already sectioned and the sections are small enough diameter I can work with them in my log splitter.

But yeah, that ash was a PAIN to quarter the rounds with a wedge and sledge.
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Old March 2nd, 2021, 11:40 AM #236
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Wind twisted trees bind up even in a hydro splitter. The grain spins faster than the log will on the splitting ram. Then it just forcible dives the wedge through the grain. It can be a friggin mess.
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Old March 2nd, 2021, 02:27 PM #237
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Wind twisted trees bind up even in a hydro splitter. The grain spins faster than the log will on the splitting ram. Then it just forcible dives the wedge through the grain. It can be a friggin mess.
Yup. I have a 20t hydraulic press and it usually makes short work of a lot. But wind twisted...phew. Fortunately my boiler has a 19 3/4" capacity (nominal, like 24" if I insert on a diagonal). And the opening is pretty tall and wide also.

I've fit some pretty large partly split and splintered piece of wood in there that just would not split with the log splitter, axe or maul no matter how hard I tried.

A lot of that stuff though I leave for the fire pit if I just can't make it small enough.

Honestly the only two things I really dislike about the boiler is it is a manual exhaust damper rather than automatic (yeah, I don't know many automatic exhaust dampers on wood boilers or stoves either). The other is that because of the design (and likely this is a boiler issue, as I don't know of any that can), it just can't...what the heck would the term be fore a stove/boiler?

Idle? Simmer? choked? I don't think smolder would be the right word.

Anyway, its lowest heat is still pretty high, probably like 15k BTUH with a max output on wood of 110k BTUH. And generally if it is running really low with the automatic fresh air damper closed to the adjustable stop and the exhaust damper closed up a fair amount, then it likes to extinguish itself if the thermostats don't call for heat often enough. So I have to leave the stop set on the intake air damper large enough to allow it to burn at a low level, without extinguishing itself if it burns really low for awhile.

Anyway, generally if I load the fire box up and get a sustainable fire going, at lowest heat it burns the entire load down to ash in maybe a bit over 2 hours (I think I've stretched it to 3 with some long burning hard wood and REALLY loaded up with a few hot coals/embers left sufficient to stoke up another fire with twigs).

If the thermostats are calling for a lot of heat, like in the morning as the house is warming up, a fully loaded fire box takes about an hour to burn down to ash running with the intake air damper open a fair amount.

Which tells me, burning on low, it is really inefficient. Probably a catalytic recirculation for the exhaust gas would increase efficiency a ton. Which I've also never seen for a wood boiler.

Anyway, a whole lot of complaining from me. I like the system and when I am feeling lazy, I just let the oil boiler take care of the heating load for the house. It does mean days it is hitting low 50s it isn't usually worth keeping the wood boiler running as half the heat is just going up the chimney dump zone kicks in at 184F, which is basically the basement radiators, but with the damper choked down with it running that hot, the fire itself is burning on the low side. So I'd imagine a cooler burning fire, plus hotter water jacket is going to significantly reduce the extracted heat from the fire box and flu gas.

I just kind of wish it was more efficient running with a low fire. Both so I didn't have to feed it as often, but make it more worthwhile and less wasteful on a cool, but not super cold day. Often I'll fire it up if it is under 40F in the morning to take the heating load as the house warms up (67F daytime thermostat temp, 64F at night). Then I'll let it burn out somewhere between 10-12 as it is warmer outside and the heat load is minimal. I usually don't fire it back up at night on those days where it is in the 50s or even 60s during the day as it doesn't need much till morning with the house slowly cooling off all night.

When it is in the 40s, especially lower 40s or on a cloudy day I run it from 7am till I go to sleep.

I doubt I'll own this house in to retirement, but my next place I absolutely plan some kind of main heating source that'll use wood as a primary or secondary source. I am hoping the next place is 12+ acres with at least a few of those woods. Not quite 40 yet, I have a hard time wrapping my head around being a REALLY old man so far. But I sure plan on staying very active as late in to life as I can. Not sure I'll be cutting and splitting wood in to my 80s (knock on wood I make it in to my 80s), but I hope to be at least in to my 70s. Great exercise, I enjoy it and cheaper than anything else.

But might look at just a separate catalytic wood stove with blower to burn the wood to heat the main part of the house. Even if that means I have to be more selective on what I can burn. Seems like as I get older, the ability to just load up the wood stove 3 times a day is probably going to be kinder on my back, knees and a retired life style where I might not be around the house as much (and a wife who might not want to deal with it much*) compared to needing to toss a couple of logs in the wood boiler every 45-60 minutes to keep it burning low most of the day long like I am now.

*When I was in the office most of the time before the pandemic, I'd get it fired up in the morning and my wife would sometimes feed it after I went in to the office. Almost every day she would end up forgetting about it at some point and it would burn out. Then I'd get it fired up again when I got home from work between 5 and 6pm. I think maybe once a week she'd remember to keep it fed all day. Twice a week just feed it for the first 2-4 hours. Twice a week just totally forget about it and not feed it at all.

Being home from work 100% right now, certainly burned a lot more wood as I've been around to feed it all the time. Even though it has been a colder winter, I used a fair amount less oil (like 200 gallons all winter, rather than like 270 or so last winter). Of course last winter I used like 2 cords of wood and this winter about 3+. A better insulated basement I am sure helped a little to on the overall use of oil and wood.
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Old April 19th, 2021, 11:35 AM #238
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I never had a wood boiler, but I did have a wood stove in a previous residence. The damper had a screw with a minimum air setting screw on the plaate. At night I'd load it up with fuel, then close the damper down to the minimum setting. Always cheery red coals in the morning. Just had to be sure the evening load was place over a bed of active coals.
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