#21  
Old 04-24-2013, 06:37 AM
Master Builder
 
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Location: Japan
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Default Re: Box elder safe to use?

Hey Laurentius,
The owner of the land with the big oak logs told me it is OK to cut them up for firewood.
I measured the log at the first cut and it was 762 mm (30") with no branches for the first 12 feet. Should make some nice splitting wood. It looks like there is about 30' of tree before it branches off into little stuff.

This should keep me busy for the upcoming Golden Week Holiday, cutting off 14inch blocks of wood and trying to get them into the back of my van. They will be rediculiously heavy! Big chore splitting them into WFO size pieces!

Did you get your wood seasoning shed started?

I have not been working on roofs doing solar panels recently..just interior remodeling. That is nice work since we have had several rainy and one snow day recently!

There is another tree--Sugi that is about 2 feet through at the stump. Thinking about cutting that for firewood as well--but worry about it not burning very hot and a lot of smoke.
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  #22  
Old 04-24-2013, 01:16 PM
david s's Avatar
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Default Re: Box elder safe to use?

Hey Mikku,
Have you started curing your oven yet?
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  #23  
Old 04-24-2013, 02:06 PM
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Default Re: Box elder safe to use?

No curing yet, working 7 days a week. No time for fun. Also have to get my wood supply replenished so that it can dry over the upcoming summer months. Golden week (a Japan holiday) begins on the 27th, so might have some time then. We cannot quite shake the winter yet, the other day here was drizzle mixed with snow. The mountains surrounding Nikko were all white with snow again--Cherry blossoms and snow!

I heat with wood and now the WFO will be competing for this precious resource!
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  #24  
Old 04-24-2013, 08:14 PM
Laurentius's Avatar
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Default Re: Box elder safe to use?

Hi Mikku,

From winter to Golden Week, with no hot spots is unheard of for me. Great news on the oak, don't hesitate or someone will take it and sell it to shitake growers. Pass on the Sugi, very little BTU and it smokes like a SOB. Haven't started building my shed, my friend is very busy now. I'm busy with my herb and Jalapeno garden, since the weather is breaking. Got to go, baking bread as I write.
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  #25  
Old 04-25-2013, 03:48 AM
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Default Re: Box elder safe to use?

Oak from Fukushima and Tochigi is not suitable for Shitake mushrooms since the explosion at Fukushima Daiichi Reactors. There is too much cesium embedded in the wood. All the growers are importing oak from other regions or using an alternative media made from chips. We are supposed to send our ashes from wood stoves to the incinerator--along with burnable waste. They have scrubbers that can capture much of the radioactive particulates. I guess when I do my wood preparations--have to debark everything!

What is his herb garden you talk about?
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  #26  
Old 04-25-2013, 05:19 AM
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Default Re: Box elder safe to use?

I guess I am back into my "horses' butt mode". Laurentius--you said just two weeks ago that you burned old furniture and railroad ties in your WFO--but would pass on Sugi because it smokes and does not have a lot of caloric output?
What am I missing? I am assuming that a WFO needs rather small, split pieces of wood to get it up to temperature (I call it kindling)..Sugi as kindling burns pretty fast and there is a lot of that around! It splits pretty good too because of the straight grain--if you use the first cuts off the stump!

Usually I would not use Sugi in my house because of creasote buildup in the chimney...but for a WFO and a 1 meter tall stack, how much creasote can it build up in 39 inches?

Anyway--that is just the "horses butt" passing gas! ciao

Looks like I will have a few days off for Golden Week--time to mooch the forklift! I can get a fire started then go off to cut oak blocks--when I return with each load, I can add wood to the fire! My LP torch looks like $260 and still have to pay for the propane! That would be more than the refractory cement to just cure the dome.... Back to square one and just burn wood, if I cannot maintain the temperatures, that is called SOL in Northern Minnesota tango!
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  #27  
Old 04-25-2013, 11:48 AM
Laurentius's Avatar
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Default Re: Box elder safe to use?

Hi Mikku,

When I said pass, if you're putting the time and effort into cutting it down, then into manageable pieces, splitting and drying it, the effort out weigh the benefits. Curing your WFO, what fuel or source of heat should you use? Let me think???? What about W-O-O-D?? Why waste money on LP torches, BBQ charcoal, when you already have wood? BUY MEAT($260 worth)! Why all the fuss? To avoid cracks! The best way to avoid cracks, Don't heat the oven. The best way to avoid getting and looking old? Die young! If people can build these fantastic ovens, why can't they manage its most essential component (FIRE). I hear that early man had someone whom sole purpose to the clan, was to carry with them at all time live embers, before they learn to make themselves. Now, that micro-management at its best.
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  #28  
Old 04-25-2013, 12:31 PM
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Default Re: Box elder safe to use?

The reasoning with the propane torch was to be able to maintain a consistant temperature without standing around watching the oven. If I am not busy, it is very enjoyable just to stare into a fire and day dream. But not for days on end doing staged firings. That is the reasoning behind cutting wood and firing at the same time---multi tasking. When you get tired of one thing, do the other!

I am not adverse to spending money on a tool if it can be used for another application as well. I have mountains of tools in my storage that sit around for years between usage and are extremely expensive. If the torch were half the price, I wouldn't blink. Cannot justify a one time use item---unless I want to start laying asphalt as a sideline too!

The "old days" of carrying the embers around are not that old. I think that there are still many gas appliances around that use the standing pilot light. Gas operated refrigerators and freezers come to mind--those that do not have electrically operated ignition devices and gas valves.

Is that the origin of "carrying a flame" or old flame in reference to a previous love?
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  #29  
Old 04-25-2013, 12:55 PM
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Default Re: Box elder safe to use?

I never said that the reason for curing my oven was to avoid cracks! My feeling is if you are going to invest your time in building an oven, trying to do each part correctly (or as correct as you can at the time)..then try to do the final part of curing the material before putting it into use.

Most of us are amateurs trying to do a professionals job. We are seeking out advise on how to do things properly without the knowledge you get from experience. I am certain that the old time oven builders in Italy weren't daytime accountants, doctors, skiers, salesmen etc. They were part of a guild of builders that traveled around making and repairing ovens and the sort. They knew their materials and how it reacted.

I know a lot of builders in general that take short cuts all the time. They say.. this is close enough! That is close enough! Their reasoning--it is too expensive; or not important; or someone won't see it. You can tell by their finished product- its a half assed job not worth wasting good materials on. Sometimes called "chuto humpa" or "heta koji" (unfinished); (poor quality).
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  #30  
Old 04-25-2013, 01:02 PM
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Default Re: Box elder safe to use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikku View Post
The reasoning with the propane torch was to be able to maintain a consistant temperature without standing around watching the oven. If I am not busy, it is very enjoyable just to stare into a fire and day dream. But not for days on end doing staged firings. That is the reasoning behind cutting wood and firing at the same time---multi tasking. When you get tired of one thing, do the other!

I am not adverse to spending money on a tool if it can be used for another application as well. I have mountains of tools in my storage that sit around for years between usage and are extremely expensive. If the torch were half the price, I wouldn't blink. Cannot justify a one time use item---unless I want to start laying asphalt as a sideline too!

The "old days" of carrying the embers around are not that old. I think that there are still many gas appliances around that use the standing pilot light. Gas operated refrigerators and freezers come to mind--those that do not have electrically operated ignition devices and gas valves.

Is that the origin of "carrying a flame" or old flame in reference to a previous love?
Hi Mikku,

Don't get your panties in a wad, I'm not on your case. My point is, Don't make a big deal out of curing the oven, and standing watch, like its a new born. Make a fire, when its hot enough, close the entrance, go about your daily grind, do it again until its cured. With all the caution in the world, you'll probably get some cracks. I hope that building the oven wasn't a cover to adding to your tool collection? About my herb garden, I grow dill, fennel, rosemary, tarragon, basil, sage, mint, lemon grass, jalapeno chili and this year I trying Tien Tsin peppers.
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