Log burners - talk to me

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Log burners - talk to me

Post by thekungfury @ Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:03 am

My new house has a log burner. No idea of the spec yet but from the pictures I'd guess 4-5kW.

How much wood do you get through and how often is it used? Where do you buy it? Kiln dried worth it or a waste of money? Hard, soft or mix?

There is already a log store outside but what do you do with the wood? i.e. do you keep some inside to dry out fully and refresh the supply as it's used?

Have you got one of those fan things?

Do you get it cleaned/serviced? Do 11yr old chimney sweeps still exist, guv'nor?

Other things I haven't yet considered.
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Re: Log burners - talk to me

Post by ttwiggy @ Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:08 am

We have one and it's great in the winter. It's a bit too big for the room it's in but with the room doors open it heats up all of the ground floor.

We use the best wood we can get - kiln dried, mix of hard and soft. Good wood is the key to a woodburner as anything slightly green will just smoulder. I don't know exactly how much we et through, but two very large bags (the sort of thing that builders' sand would be delivered in) last us about a month in the depths of winter.

A chimney sweep can clean the flue. We have one of those fan things (a friend bought one for us), it's a good gimic but I don't think it does anything. But we have low, 18th century ceilings, and I've heard they are more effective in taller rooms.
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Re: Log burners - talk to me

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:17 am

Deep breath.
My new house has a log burner.

Good. Pic please.

How much wood do you get through and how often is it used?

Bit obv but it depends how often you use it. We use ours loads - daily in winter and autumn and probably most days in spring as it's just a nice thing to have on and take the chill off in the evening.

Where do you buy it?

We use a company called Andrew Heard logs but I doubt he'll stretch to your area. Never buy stuff from B&Q, BP etc - it's utter shit.

Kiln dried worth it or a waste of money?

Really unnecessary for a log burner. As long as the wood's seasoned properly then you'll be fine. It's worth buying a moisture meter to check the % content I think - you really want it to be <20% water in the wood. I once had a couple of tonnes delivered that were 40% and you couldn't actually light the stuff - I made them come and collect it all again and started using the above company since.


Hard, soft or mix?

You can burn both but I'd never pay for softwood as it burns too quickly. A mix of hardwood is really what you want.

There is already a log store outside but what do you do with the wood? i.e. do you keep some inside to dry out fully and refresh the supply as it's used?

I keep it all outside and bring in a basket at a time to use. It doesn't matter if it gets rained on outside so long as it's not sitting in water and actually soaking loads up.
Have you got one of those fan things?
I haven't but have heard they're good. Our burner's a 7kW one and kicks out more than enough heat without needing to move it around so much.

Do you get it cleaned/serviced? Do 11yr old chimney sweeps still exist, guv'nor?
Yeah we get ours cleaned every year or two - costs about £45 from memory.


Other tips: The wood is the main thing. If you've got proper seasoned wood, you won't have any problems. Pretty much everyone I've met who has had problems lighting fires/burners has bought shit wood. Wood with a moisture content of <20% should light off just a firelighter or by using some newspaper and kindling.

It may be a multifuel one like ours which means you can pull a lever and then burn coal on it too. We've never used it but it's nice to know it's there.
Last edited by Tokyo Sexwale on Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Log burners - talk to me

Post by Turntable @ Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:23 am

I happily fcuk coal and wood in together in ours. Coal is much warmer than wood, if less pretty.
Re getting wood. TS talks a serious game about wood and moisture content and meters and whatever.
I just buy wood and put it in and it works. Just find a local man who sells it in volume because you will definitely use a huge amount. There is no going back from woodburners and you feel a bit sick putting the heating on.
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Re: Log burners - talk to me

Post by Clown Ice Skater #4 @ Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:27 am

Tokyo Sexwale wrote:
I once had a couple of tonnes delivered that were 40% and you couldn't actually light the stuff - I made them come and collect it all again


Laugh. I would love to have witnessed this.

Mr Clown keeps wanting to get a wood burner in our house. It's 1920s so not huge rooms. I am against it because I think it would make the living room and bedroom hotter than the surface of the sun. Plus we don't really have anywhere to store a million tons of wood.
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Re: Log burners - talk to me

Post by ttwiggy @ Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:33 am

Whereabouts are you TKF? We use a company with the imaginative name of 'Logs, Logs, Logs' and they are excellent. They cover most of Suffolk, which is obviously useless information if you're in Yorkshire.
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Re: Log burners - talk to me

Post by Disastrous @ Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:36 am

This is relevant to my interests as my new house has one too. I'd not thought about it to this degree though and was intending to just fcuk any and all sorts on. We had a log fire growing up and I've always assumed nearly anything will burn so are you telling me that wood burners differ significantly? If so, this changes things and I'll need to give it some thought.

I had envisaged sitting out in my workshop with a kindling axe, merrily chopping up old furniture and work tops and whatnot and bunging it in. I got a fire bowl not so long ago and burn absolutely EVERYTHING on it. It's quite magical. A mate dumped a bag of fcuking wet grass cuttings on it once and although smokey as shit, the fcuker still burned.
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Re: Log burners - talk to me

Post by Turntable @ Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:39 am

Clown Ice Skater #4 wrote:Mr Clown keeps wanting to get a wood burner in our house. It's 1920s so not huge rooms. I am against it because I think it would make the living room and bedroom hotter than the surface of the sun. Plus we don't really have anywhere to store a million tons of wood.


Nonsense.
Our house is 1600's with low ceilings. Wood burners have different outputs for exactly this reason and you buy the appropriate one for the volume of the area you want to heat.
Has no effect on the bedrooms, in fact I think ours are cooler on average because we have the heating on less.
As for storing wood, there is always somewhere. A ton of wood stacks neatly along a wall, under some stairs etc.
Stop lying and let him get his wood burner.
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Re: Log burners - talk to me

Post by Turntable @ Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:41 am

Disastrous wrote:. I'd not thought about it to this degree though and was intending to just fcuk any and all sorts on. .


I think you aren't supposed to, but I don't believe it and fcuk anything onto it. No idea what the consequences will be and don't care.It has been 6 years now and nothing bad has happened yet.
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Re: Log burners - talk to me

Post by Dirk @ Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:42 am

Turntable wrote:Re getting wood. TS talks a serious game about wood and moisture content and meters and whatever.
I just buy wood and put it in and it works. Just find a local man who sells it in volume because you will definitely use a huge amount. There is no going back from woodburners and you feel a bit sick putting the heating on.

This.
we have never had a problem burning wood, and can't imagine needing a moisture meter

Just be careful that some types of wood really stick up the window if collecting it from your land rather than buying
Last edited by Dirk on Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Log burners - talk to me

Post by thekungfury @ Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:43 am

Tokyo Sexwale wrote:
thekungfury wrote:My new house has a log burner.

Good. Pic please.

Can't clearly see the burner tbh but here it is
burner.JPG
baby burn
burner.JPG (25.05 KiB) Viewed 353 times


Tokyo Sexwale wrote:I once had a couple of tonnes delivered

Tonnes?!? Christ. I was expecting it to be a couple of petrol station bags per month.

I won't be buying petrol station or DIY store wood, obv. Also quite excited about buying a moisture monitor.

ttwiggy wrote:Whereabouts are you TKF? We use a company with the imaginative name of 'Logs, Logs, Logs' and they are excellent. They cover most of Suffolk, which is obviously useless information if you're in Yorkshire.

Royal County of Berkshire
Disastrous wrote:This is relevant to my interests as my new house has one too.

Get involved
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Re: Log burners - talk to me

Post by thekungfury @ Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:43 am

Dirk wrote: can't imagine needing a moisture meter

Shut your filthy mouth and let me buy a gadget
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Re: Log burners - talk to me

Post by ttwiggy @ Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:45 am

Laugh at the six logs piled up in that picture. They should be just about enough to get it lit.
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Re: Log burners - talk to me

Post by Turntable @ Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:46 am

thekungfury wrote:
Dirk wrote: can't imagine needing a moisture meter

Shut your filthy mouth and let me buy a gadget


Be careful.
Of course I get the need to own a relevant gadget but certain gadgets tip you over into weird old man.
I believe a moisture meter for wood crosses that line.
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Re: Log burners - talk to me

Post by Turntable @ Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:48 am

thekungfury wrote:
Tokyo Sexwale wrote:I once had a couple of tonnes delivered

Tonnes?!? Christ. I was expecting it to be a couple of petrol station bags per month.
Get involved


In the winter I probably go through the equivalent of a petrol station bag per day. Putting wood in a log burner becomes a hobby.
So whilst you definitely save money on your heating bill I think I worked out that my wood buying more than offset that saving.
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Re: Log burners - talk to me

Post by Disastrous @ Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:49 am

Turntable wrote:
thekungfury wrote:
Dirk wrote: can't imagine needing a moisture meter

Shut your filthy mouth and let me buy a gadget


Be careful.
Of course I get the need to own a relevant gadget but certain gadgets tip you over into weird old man.
I believe a moisture meter for wood crosses that line.



Agreed.

Incidentally, in Germany a man from the govt comes round annually to moisture test your wood store and woe betide you if you are caught burning something too green.

Germany's dad was horrified that I would just burn whatever whenever without checking whether The Man says it's ok or not. Mental. That's what a moisture meter does to you.
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Re: Log burners - talk to me

Post by ttwiggy @ Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:52 am

A moisture meter today, annexing the sudetenlands tomorrow...
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Re: Log burners - talk to me

Post by Strawman @ Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:53 am

thekungfury wrote:Tonnes?!? Christ. I was expecting it to be a couple of petrol station bags per month.


500kgs is only a 1m cubed bag, approx.
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Re: Log burners - talk to me

Post by thekungfury @ Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:57 am

Turntable wrote:
thekungfury wrote:
Tokyo Sexwale wrote:I once had a couple of tonnes delivered

Tonnes?!? Christ. I was expecting it to be a couple of petrol station bags per month.
Get involved


In the winter I probably go through the equivalent of a petrol station bag per day. Putting wood in a log burner becomes a hobby.
So whilst you definitely save money on your heating bill I think I worked out that my wood buying more than offset that saving.

Does it heat the house or just the room you're in? The house is L shaped with the burner in the bottom of the L so I was assuming it wouldn't do much for the house.
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Re: Log burners - talk to me

Post by Hooli @ Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:31 pm

Wood burners are grate* things.

As said, damp wood doesn't work & won't light. Mine are multi-fuel & often run mostly coal, a full load of coal is still warm in the morning after lighting it about 7-8pm but I've never got more than three hours decent heat from wood before needing to reload it.

If you burn wood covered in paint, creosote etc it will clog the flue up quicker & depending how good your flue is (different grades of stainless) it may cause it to rot.

I know yours is already fitted but they need Building Control approval for fitting, so it might be worth checking that has been done. I know I've seen a clause in house insurance about this being required if the log burner causes a fire. Anything over 5kw needs a permanent air vent to the outside and a CO2 alarm if memory serves.








*I like it, it's staying.
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Re: Log burners - talk to me

Post by Turntable @ Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:39 pm

thekungfury wrote:Does it heat the house or just the room you're in? The house is L shaped with the burner in the bottom of the L so I was assuming it wouldn't do much for the house.


A bit of both. It definitely takes the edge off the rest of the house.
Unless it is bitter cold we tend to have the log burner on and the underfloor in the kitchen and then nothing in the rest of the house in the evenings, but I like a cold bedroom.
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Re: Log burners - talk to me

Post by Käsemeister @ Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:47 pm

References: I know nothing about wood. Not at all. None.

thekungfury wrote:Kiln dried worth it or a waste of money? Hard, soft or mix?


Kiln dried is approaching a scam. You pay more for someone to dry your wood to below natural moisture levels and then you have it delivered.... and it sits in the store absorbing natural moisture until it's back up to higher levels. Beyond pointless.

Like TS said, moisture meter if you must (and gadget= must), but anything below 20% will be fine. I had one for the boiler for a while, but rapidly became confident I could judge it by touch/weight alone. The German and Scandi obsession with it is about clean burning - the drier the wood (up to a point, 16-18%) the more cleanly it burns, until it gets too dry (10-12%) and turns to paper and is worthless. Dis is right that ultimately anything will burn, but an open fire is very different to a log burner - waste gasses and icky stuff can wander around a lot more than in a closed log burner where they get stuck to windows and clog the much narrower flue. Once a year or every other year is enough for flue cleaning depending on how often you use it and how clean the wood is you're burning. You'll soot up a lot quicker with coal (dependent on coal type) if you go multi-fuel.

Log tonnage is sales bollocks too - you can have dumpy bags which weigh 200kg and those which are closer to 500kg depending on type of wood and moisture level - a cubic metre of pine weighs an awful lot less than beech or oak for example.

Buying and storage - the drier the better, obv, however wet wood does better for airflow so being shut in a shed is actually worse than being out in the open with just a roof but no walls as the wind will help draw out moisture. Obviously the bigger bulk you can buy in the better, but that depends on space and how much you're prepared to handle thereafter. 5kg bags at a petrol station are £5, I have recently paid £1100 for 28 tons. One is ready to burn and reasonably dry, the other was 3m cords and green. Dumpy bags are common, but better if you can find a little local man who'll turn up and tip out a trailer - tends to be the same money if not a little cheaper for more as it's a less measured load. If you get obsessive about it, then three piles - green, ready, and basket indoors. If you the ready pile is a half decent log store then it'll be good to go as soon as you pick it up. Tonnage you use is down to how much you like it... We use about 8t a year for the boiler, and a further 1-1.5t (actual, not bagged) for the log burners. But then we like the lifestyle thing of having a nice fire crackling away in the corner so often light it for the feel rather than actually needing the heat from it.

Overall heating - if run properly a log burner, far more so than an open fire, can be both a spot heat or a background one. L-shaped or not, lighting the fire in the morning, closing it down and letting it burn down gently through the day will be enough to keep much of the house warm (assuming it's big enough and you leave doors open). Alternatively you can just chuck a few logs in, blaze away and sit there in your kecks.

The only thing to "learn" really will be the best / most efficient way of lighting it and that will be down to the particular brand / design of burner and the draw from the flue. I can light both of ours and have them roaring within a minute, my sister's I struggle to get a single flame out of and I had to learn the way to do it with that one. Everyone has their own way of doing it, but which works for you will be a matter of trial and (smokey smelly) error. Kindling, kindling, kindling.

Finally, get used to scrumping for wood. That really is addictive. Fallen branches, pallets, old furniture, anything that burns well and burns cleanly. Beware treated wood however, unless you like dying.


Hooli wrote:If you burn wood covered in paint, creosote etc it will clog the flue up quicker kill you.


FTFY

Hooli wrote:Anything over 5kw needs a permanent air vent to the outside and a CO2 alarm if memory serves.


Memory doesn't. It depends on the design and the area being heated. One of ours is 9kw needs no vent at all down to the size of the room its in, the second is 14kw and yes it has an airvent, but its built into the fire not the room so the only airflow is direct between outside and combustion chamber, not the old fashioned fuckmeit'sdraftywhyisthereaholeinthebloodywall vent.
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Re: Log burners - talk to me

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:54 pm

Turntable wrote:Re getting wood. TS talks a serious game about wood and moisture content and meters and whatever.
I just buy wood and put it in and it works.


That's interesting and you must have forgotten when you first got your stove and couldn't light it or keep it burning properly and were getting frustrated about its heat output. After lots of persuasion (but the wood is dry) I managed to convince you the wood was the issue and you bought some properly seasoned stuff and it lit and burned no problem.

I use a lot of wood I've cut and seasoned myself and so a moisture meter is a handy thing - I can't remember the last time I used my meter on bought wood as I've got a decent supplier now. If I was ever in the situation where I couldn't light my fire and keep it going, like TT was, then I would use it to see if the wood was the problem first before doing anything else.
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Re: Log burners - talk to me

Post by Käsemeister @ Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:58 pm

This. And that.
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Re: Log burners - talk to me

Post by ttwiggy @ Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:59 pm

Tokyo Sexwale wrote:
Turntable wrote:Re getting wood. TS talks a serious game about wood and moisture content and meters and whatever.
I just buy wood and put it in and it works.


That's interesting and you must have forgotten when you first got your stove and couldn't light it or keep it burning properly and were getting frustrated about its heat output. After lots of persuasion (but the wood is dry) I managed to convince you the wood was the issue and you bought some properly seasoned stuff and it lit and burned no problem.

I use a lot of wood I've cut and seasoned myself and so a moisture meter is a handy thing - I can't remember the last time I used my meter on bought wood as I've got a decent supplier now. If I was ever in the situation where I couldn't light my fire and keep it going, like TT was, then I would use it to see if the wood was the problem first before doing anything else.


I'd agree with all this. When we first had ours installed we were very disappointed with it, but once we found good seasoned wood from a recommended supplier the experience was transformed.
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Re: Log burners - talk to me

Post by thekungfury @ Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:05 pm

Käsemeister wrote:Loads

Ta :thumbup:

Laugh at 28 tonnes. I reckon I'll be alright with less than that tbh.
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Re: Log burners - talk to me

Post by thekungfury @ Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:12 pm

Also, kindling. Do I just buy a little axe/hatchet thing and whittle some down from my log supply?

Of course I'm buying a little axe/hatchet thing btw.
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Re: Log burners - talk to me

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:12 pm

thekungfury wrote:
Käsemeister wrote:Loads

Ta :thumbup:

Laugh at 28 tonnes. I reckon I'll be alright with less than that tbh.


I reckon we get through 3-4 tonnes a year in just the burner, in comparison.
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Re: Log burners - talk to me

Post by Strawman @ Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:19 pm

thekungfury wrote:Also, kindling. Do I just buy a little axe/hatchet thing and whittle some down from my log supply?


I found a proper 'here's johnny' long handled axe far easier to split logs with.
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Re: Log burners - talk to me

Post by Käsemeister @ Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:20 pm

Tokyo Sexwale wrote:
thekungfury wrote:
Käsemeister wrote:Loads

Ta :thumbup:

Laugh at 28 tonnes. I reckon I'll be alright with less than that tbh.


I reckon we get through 3-4 tonnes a year in just the burner, in comparison.


Not arguing, but are you sure, as that's an awful lot... Is that bagged or actual?
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