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Buying wood and lighting wood burner - advice and tips please ��

(20 Posts)
refinnejk Sat 01-Aug-15 18:58:48

So we have a new wood burner and now we need some wood! Apparently need to do small kindling fires to start with. I'd like to buy a small quality of wood and kindling until we sort out somewhere to store larger quantities of wood - can you buy small quantities?
I don't expect we will use the burner a great deal, just in the evenings and more at weekends. Expect to still use central heating. I have read that kiln dried wood burns too quickly, hard wood burns slower than soft wood but is more expensive. Tried calling a supplier for some advice but he was very abrupt and just wanted to arrange a delivery - don't think he's used to people knowing as little as I do about wood burning.

penny13610 Sat 01-Aug-15 19:05:20

Suppliers will want to sell you about a ton.
You can pick up bags of kindling and logs from station forecourts. It is an expensive option, but will start you off until you can work out where to store wood. And buy an axe, cutting wood keeps you fit, vents frustrations and saves loads.

Ruhrpott Sat 01-Aug-15 19:14:57

I usually buy bags of kindling from home bargains or collect it from our garden. I get wood delivered from our local tree surgeon. He delivers it in green net 20 kg bags for about £2 a bag or a big dumpy bag full. We have lots of trees in our garden so have a lot of our own wood in various stages of dryness but I do buy some in as well.

You should make sure any wood you burn has less than 20 % moisture (I got a cheap moisture meter from Amazon) and store it in a dry but open space so air can circulate. Also it's not good to burn fir/pine tree logs.

I also cheat and bought a blow torch from b&q to get it going.

purplemurple1 Sat 01-Aug-15 19:27:47

For lighting we just use a few sheets of newspaper scrunched up a couple of pieces of kindling (buy a axe and do your own) and a smaller piece of regular wood.

To light;
Clear out old ash, put in the above items, open the air vents and light, and shut the door. Once it is going add more wood and start gradually shutting air vents. You can buy fire lighter blocks or fluid if you want to make it easier for yourself but you don't need to.

Most importantly make sure your wood is dry so if you get fresh cut down trees cut and split them early spring and burn in the autumn or better still leave them a whole yr.
We like to have a mix of leaf trees (birch) and evergreen as leaf trees give more heat and a faster burn but evergreens give a nice ember bed and hold the heat for longer. Depends a bit what you can get though.

specialsubject Sat 01-Aug-15 19:31:51

Aug 1st. Scotland??? grin

it is MUCH cheaper to buy in big bags. When it turns up you then get exercise stacking it properly, chopping it smaller if needed, bringing it in to the house.

firelighters from wilko or poundland, knotted newspaper, kindling, match underneath. You'll need to play with the vents and also which doors to open/shut in the room.

NO new wood, wet wood, no fir/pine, no treated wood (pallets etc) - knackers up your chimney. If you chop your own, get more exercise stacking it in the sun, moving it, restacking it and keep for at least a year to dry fully.

kindling from pound shops, local hardware merchants, B and M, Wilko etc.

expect to do more dusting.

also just to check that your HETAS installer has given you the cert and done the building regs report with the council. And don't forget a sweep at least annually at the end of the burning season.

purplemurple1 Sat 01-Aug-15 19:43:03

Of course you can have new wood we have out own forest you just have to cut, split and dry it for long enough.

Ruhrpott Sat 01-Aug-15 19:53:17

We had our fire lit this week and we are in Wales. It was freezing and raining.

ohidoliketobe Sat 01-Aug-15 20:16:08

Got a decent store sorted asap and start stocking up on wood. Needs plenty of time to dry out and you'll fly through it in winter!
Plenty of youtube videos showing you how to get it going. We've found couple of loose scrunched sheet of paper at the bottom then a jenga type of stack of two pieces of kindling balanced on two others, about 4 pieces high. Light with vents all open fully and door very slightly ajar to let moisture out. once that's up add few bigger pieces of kindling/ rough sawn/ smaller very dry logs and shut the door to get it up to temperature. Throw in a bigger log, watch it flame up, adjust the vents down and then just needs topping up every hour or so. If it looks like it's dying out we chuck a few smaller pieces on again, or a little bit a newspaper again and it usually takes hold again

specialsubject Sat 01-Aug-15 20:18:08

when I say 'new wood' I mean wood straight off the tree.

it all comes from forests!!

purplemurple1 Sat 01-Aug-15 20:33:54

Oh ok I see what you mean id just call that wet wood.
I mean we own a forest cut down our own trees, cut and split the wood and leave it to dry.
I thought you meant only buy pre cut and dried wood so couldn't understand your reasoning.

refinnejk Sat 01-Aug-15 21:59:23

Thank you! Loads of great advice and info. Will get a moisture my we and maybe an axe! I can't quite see myself (or even my husband) using an axe, at least for its intended purpose! Is it not as hard as it looks?! Great that I can get a bit of kindling. Log supply man said I should make my own from pallets but as someone has mentioned I though that was a bad thing to do. Also I don't have any pallets?! Nor do I have a forest so in the short term I'll try and get a bit of wood from a garage and some kindling from Home Bargains. I live in West Yorkshire, not Scotland. I was shivering in the house two days ago (I'm always cold, permanent bone of contention with other half, who is always too hot) It's been raining all day and I now have the heating on. Very depressing. Thanks again for all the detailed info.

refinnejk Sat 01-Aug-15 22:01:27

When I buy wood will I need to store it a while before I use it?

penny13610 Sat 01-Aug-15 22:09:55

Wood should be good to burn when you buy it. If it is wet, change supplier.
Everyone should own an axe and a maul grin
My kids cut the kindling, have done since they were about eleven.
We used to get broken pallets for free from the local B&Q, ask, the worst they can say is NO.

dontcallmelen Mon 03-Aug-15 16:46:59

Hi if you buy seasoned or kiln dried wood, you can use it straight away, if not seasoned then needs to dry for up to two years, we buy seasoned wood & stack in a wood store in the side alleyway, the store has a floor slightly raised from the ground(made from wide planks of wood,so logs can breathe) & has sides/roof all constructed same as the floor, we get our logs delivered in those big jumbo bags, approx £90.00 each & a few large sacks of kindling from a tree surgeon, firelighters from wilco/tesco etc

PlainHunting Mon 03-Aug-15 19:44:37

It will cost you a small fortune to buy in small quantities. We buy a truck load (6 massive builders bags) twice a year, plus get occasional top ups from local farmers (but they need to dry out for 2 years before use).

I would ask neighbours for recommendations as quality and dryness varies hugely. We were ripped off before finding a good supplier.

As for kindling, the Certainly Wood stuff is best. Lots of garden centres and stove ships sell it. Their firefighters are vastly better than the supermarket type too. I have had wood from them too but wouldn't again.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 03-Aug-15 19:55:42

Last year we bought kiln dried logs. I was thinking of buying some logs this week and saving £15 a load by going for hardwood logs. Not kiln dried.

Any opinions on this?

fiverabbits Mon 03-Aug-15 20:01:48

My DH made wood stores out of pallets with a sloping roof of slates and planks at the front which come out to make it easier to stack/ unstack the stores, the ones that come ready made are very expensive. They are built against a garden wall but are open at the front to help the wood dry out. We burn pallet wood (also use this to start the fire ) but we have a chimney liner and have the chimney swept every 6 months. We light the stove most days even when hot as it provides our hot water. We have just had 3 ton of loads so that we will be hot in the winter, you have to think ahead with a wood burner.

tunnockt3acake Mon 03-Aug-15 23:58:11

Do not buy small bags of wood from petrol stations far too expensive !

The more you buy the cheaper it is eg a ton bag delivered free

dontcallmelen Mon 03-Aug-15 23:58:48

Viva hardwood are fine, we swoped to hardwood last year, found they burned slower than kiln dried so was a win win situation, lasted longer & cheaper.

echt Tue 04-Aug-15 06:08:53

OK, posting from Australia, so possibly some aspects differ.

YY to thinking ahead. You need a store for green wood to dry off. Avoid petrol stations selling packs of logs. Plan. Use a garage or build a wood shelter.

Are you anywhere where wood is for free? Here, chopped-up trees are frequently left out on nature strips - we haven't bought any wood in two years, though we are in an admittedly leafy suburb. If you see wood, pick it up. Don't wait for winter. Don't neglect picking up kindling, it takes as long to dry and is vital.

Good axe, splitter, and possibly chainsaw are needed. We have all of these, though the chainsaw is only used if two people are present.

Check the wood-burning code for your area - some stuff is not allowed because of treatments.

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