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  #21  
Old 05-02-2007, 03:12 PM
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Default Re: Choosing and finding wood

We also lost 5-7 European birch in the past few years. I remember reading something about a birch beetle. Ours had clear bore holes. I think the nurseries have started carrying an Asian birch which is resistant.

Either way, I burned our birch wood, and it did fine. It's seemed to be very dense and it burned well.

Does anyone else have experience with this?
James
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  #22  
Old 05-02-2007, 03:50 PM
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Default Re: Choosing and finding wood

James,

The only thing about white birch is that the bark has a lot of resin in it. Cured, with the bark on, it will go off like a bomb. I usually strip off as much of the resinous bark as I can. Otherwise, it's a straight grained, medium hard wood that burns well and hot.

Jim
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  #23  
Old 05-04-2007, 04:03 AM
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Default Re: Choosing and finding wood

Agree with Jim - Used to burn birch scraps in my shop when I was a cabinetmaker years ago. More heat than dried popalar and less ash.

Which brings up another source of aromatic woods - Cabinet and furniture shops - I always had a pile of cherry, oak, and other hardwood cutoffs/ edge trimmings in the back of my shop - I would have been happy to have someone come and haul them away.

Another source - There is a pallet building plant a few miles from my house - I have already talked to the owner and he said I was welcome to all the scraps I need to keep my oven burning. nice 10 or 12 inch pieces all in a huge pile. I have seen these kinds of places near most relatively large cities and they usually have a pile of scrap sitting nearby.

Truck/Trailer body repair shops usually have truck flooring scraps as well - these will require a little more cutting before use.

Christo
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  #24  
Old 05-04-2007, 10:24 AM
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Default Re: Choosing and finding wood

I have a question/concern in regards to burning pallets.
Several (actually many - 10/12) years ago a friend who ran a rather large shipping and receiving dept (1000+ pallets on hand) warned me against using pallet lumber for anything other than its intended use.
According to him, the majority of the pallets his company bought and used were treated with insecticides, fungicides, and water repellants to allow for prolonged outdoor storage and increase life expectancy. He warned that cutting, sanding, and burning were not recommended - the dust or smoke could be toxic. Naturally, he was speaking directly about the pallets his company used, but, he made a good point - Unless you know the actual source of any pallet, you have know way of knowing if it has been treated.
Since that warning, I have stayed away from using pallets for any building or burning .I have enough problems with seasonal allergies and certainly don't want to add toxic dust or smoke to the equation .

Maybe this guy was mearly "blowing smoke" and didn't want me asking for any of his pallets...I don't know. Has anyone else heard about treating pallets with the above mentioned???
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  #25  
Old 05-04-2007, 11:32 AM
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Default Re: Choosing and finding wood

RT,

Nope, haven't heard about treating pallets in my neck of the woods. Generally, they get beat up pretty badly and don't last all that long. I get two types here: sofwood for light loads and hardwood (usually oak) for heavy loads like brick or block. The really, really good ones are painted, so you know they have a $15 deposit on them. Natch, I don't burn the painted ones, but the other sort are usually donated in my direction when they aren't much good for anything else. I've never noticed any sort of chemical smell from them, and it seems that going to the expense of treating something that doesn't last all that long would be a waste of money. Don't know about other areas of the continent.

Jim
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  #26  
Old 08-15-2007, 06:48 PM
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Default Re: Choosing and finding wood

Has anyone used mesquite? Does it generate the BTU's? We have an abundance of it here and use it for BBQing in the pit
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  #27  
Old 08-15-2007, 08:05 PM
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Default Re: Choosing and finding wood

I've never used an oven (it's on my to do list right after 'build the oven' ) but we had a number of campfires when I was in NM. As I recall mesquite burned really fast - salt cedar being the only thing I've ever seen burn faster. For a sustained fire I wouldn't think it would be suitable - but as an aromatic it is of course great. The problem isn't that it doesn't burn hot - it does - but in order to get an oven up to temp you'd probably have to burn three times as much as you would hardwood or even of a denser softwood.

Out of curiosity - and having nothing to do with your question other than it got me thinking about NM - I wonder how well cottonwood would do? It's denser than mesquite although I don't think it's a hardwood.

Anybody ever use sweet gum?
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  #28  
Old 08-16-2007, 08:03 AM
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Default Re: Choosing and finding wood

Mesquite is a hardwood so I would think that it would be fine. In regard to cottonwood, it has about 1/2 the BTU's as oak. I burned it here one year and all I got was ash - I'll never cut it again.

Les...
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  #29  
Old 08-16-2007, 04:15 PM
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Default Re: Choosing and finding wood

Cool - maybe it was just the salt cedar I was remembering (a wood pile approx 10'x20' went in just over 12 hours - no, it wasn't that big of a bonfire. Pine would have taken less than 1/3 if that).
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  #30  
Old 09-13-2007, 10:49 AM
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Default Re: Choosing and finding wood

Regarding pallet burning, fumigation and heat treating are two practices used in the industry and one reason is not to spread disease/bugs to other countries when shipping items internationally. Here's a link with an example the markings, scroll down a bit: 337 - November 10, 2003-More Information - Institute of Packaging Professionals

Another for the Canuck: Canadian Food Inspection Agency - Plant Health Division - Policy Directive 01-05 - The Canadian Wood Packaging Certification Program
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