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  #51  
Old 11-13-2007, 05:10 AM
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Default Re: Mango

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayjay View Post
Here in the Philippines most of our firewood is well under three inches.
We have a lot of Mango, and some Mahagany. We also use Santol and
Nara. These are woods that many of you have not heard of. I beleive that
part of the problem I had/have with my oven is not getting it hot enough.
JJ
I am also in the Philippines and would be very interested to hear about where you get wood and what kind you use. I am seriously planning to put up an oven and any tips would help.

Thanks in advance
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  #52  
Old 12-09-2007, 11:20 AM
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Default Re: Choosing and finding wood

Found this interesting discussion of creosote formation on the web:
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What REALLY causes creosote to build up? Creosote is the condensation of unburned, flammable particulates present in the exhausting flue gas (smoke). The actual cause of creosote condensation, is the surface temperature of the flue in which the flue gas comes in contact. Like hot breath on a cold mirror, if the surface temperature of the flue is cool, it will cause the vaporized carbon particles in the flue gas (smoke) to solidify. This condensation is creosote build-up. If the wood you are using is rain logged, or green, the fire will tend to smolder. Wet wood causes the whole system to be cool, and inefficient. But, dry wood means a hot fire! A hot fire means a hot flue, and a hot flue means much less creosote.

Back in the early 1980's, tests were conducted to discover which kind of wood created the most creosote in a regular "open" fireplace. The results were surprising. Contrary to popular opinion, the hardwood's, like oak and madrone, created MORE creosote than the softwoods, like fir and pine. The reason for this, is that if the softwoods are dry, they create a hotter, more intense fire. The draft created by the hotter fire moves the air up the chimney faster! Because it is moving faster, the flue gas does not have as much time to condense as creosote inside the chimney. Also, because the flue gas is hotter: it does not cool down to the condensation point as quickly. On the contrary, the dense hardwood's tend to smolder more, so their flue gas temperature is cooler. Thus, more creosote is able to condense on the surface of the flue. So, saying that "fir builds up more creosote than oak" just isn't true! It is a misunderstanding to think that it's the pitch in wood which causes creosote. It's not the pitch that is the problem, it's the water IN the pitch. Once the water in the wood has evaporated, that pitch becomes high octane fuel! When dry, softwoods burn extremely hot!
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I tried some Yellow Pine in the oven last night. It burned very hot but left everything absolutely black . Assuming the previous discussion is true, I guess I won't try that again, at least until this stuff has sat around a couple of years to get bone dry.
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  #53  
Old 12-09-2007, 12:44 PM
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Default Re: Choosing and finding wood

GJ,

Just an adjunct to your post. Here, we have a lot of red pine that was planted mainly as a pulp/paper source. It's very fast growing and has become a bit of a pest tree, like box elder. The problem with it is along the lines of your yellow pine, I think. Whether the wood is seasoned or not, the bark retains a lot of oil/pitch/resin. It makes one heckava mess in a fireplace, woodstove or WFO, and I heartily recommend that my customers reserve it for mid-summer bonfires. It's one of the few woods I won't burn in my oven. Overall, I think that our ovens burn so hot with such complete combustion that the softwood/hardwood/creosote issue does not apply. Me? I'm just looking for that monster fire.

Jim
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  #54  
Old 12-10-2007, 07:37 AM
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Default Re: Choosing and finding wood

Thanks Jim,
I was kind of thinking the same thing. You could see the pitch pouring out of the wood and onto the floor of the oven while it burned. It looked like a pouring cauldron of fire.
G.
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  #55  
Old 04-02-2008, 01:17 PM
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Default Re: Choosing and finding wood

Does anyone have any experience of using smokeless fuel? I live in London (UK) and think I may get complaints from the neighbors if my oven curing is anything to go by (a lot of smoke from the wood brought from the petrol station: not sure what it was).. Was thinking about buying from this web site: Seasoned Logs - Coal - Smokeless Fuels : Smokeless fuel

any advice? Thanks Simon
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  #56  
Old 04-02-2008, 03:34 PM
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Default Re: Choosing and finding wood

I think what they sell in the UK as smokeless fuel is chunks of hard coal or anthracite. The news is that that may be all you are allowed to burn in a no-smoke zone in the UK.

Here in New Jersey, we're 50 miles from the biggest deposits of anthracite in the US, in eastern Pennsylvania. I'm across the street from the former Central Railroad of NJ, who's sole reason for being was to bring Pennsylvania anthracite to New York City, and you can't even buy the stuff here. Around here, it's way easier to get firewood, and it's even local since it's mostly a by-product of the tree removal business.

The short answer is that I don't know. We're often asked about burning coal in brick ovens, since there is a long NYC tradition of coal fired pizza. We've tended to discourage it because of the by-products of coal combustion.

You could perhaps get some more information from the UK solid fuel trade association:

Solid Fuel Association - coal, coke and smokeless fuels
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  #57  
Old 04-03-2008, 06:39 AM
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Default Re: Choosing and finding wood

Thanks i have given them a ring: they have never been asked the question before ! but said that they did not think it would be a good idea to use the smokeless fuel. They did suggest using charcoal ? any thoughts on the use of charcoal?

I have also phoned some of the wood oven pizza restaurants in London and they seem to use a kiln dried hardwood, which presumably reduces smoke, although their supplier is "trade only" unfortunately. I have an Aga cooker and last night filled it with logs to try to dry them out further, so I will try again tonight when hopefully the neighbors are in bed..

Simon
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  #58  
Old 04-03-2008, 07:03 AM
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Default Re: Choosing and finding wood

Smoke is only an issue until the oven gets to pizza temperatures. Once the oven gets to 700 or 800 degrees a new log on the fire bursts into flame with no visible smoke. Maybe you could start your fire with charcoal (which is ruinously expensive in the US compared to firewood) or smokeless fuel, and then switch to wood for your cooking flames. In any event, don't start the charcoal fire with liquid starters or other solvents. That's not what you want on your cooking floor.

For hardwood, look into hardwood flooring installers, and cabinetmakers, they would no doubt have lots of hardwood scraps.

Aren't AGA's in the UK solid fuel heaters? I thought they ran on anthracite.

Last edited by dmun; 04-03-2008 at 07:06 AM.
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  #59  
Old 04-03-2008, 07:25 AM
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Default Re: Choosing and finding wood

dmun...........agas were originally solid fuel but are available in electric, gas and oil-fired as well.

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  #60  
Old 04-03-2008, 07:30 AM
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Default Re: Choosing and finding wood

I have the pizza restaurant supplier getting back to me tomorrow to see if they would be willing/able to supply me with a large quantity of dried hardwood even though I'm not a restaurant, so fingers crossed. The Aga I have is gas (cheapest running cost in London) but yes they can also be solid fuel or oil or even electricity now: the logs seem to be drying nicely in there so I think that may work. Thanks for your advice.
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