#11  
Old 09-03-2009, 11:14 AM
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Default Re: Definition of Dry Wood?

Here are pix of the stamps on 2 of my pallets. What do they mean?
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  #12  
Old 09-03-2009, 11:47 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Definition of Dry Wood?

Photo # 1 is a US built pallet that appears to have the HT code - meaning it was heat treated, not chemically treated for pests.
Photos #2,3,4 are Canadian (CN) and have been treated (fumigated) with methyl bromide (MB). Methyl Bromide is widely used as a fumigant. It is the primarly chemical used in the "tenting" (fumigation) of businesses and homes here in FL that are infested with drywood termites, powder post beetles and other wood boring pests. I do not believe there are any residuals left within the wood after fumigation......they certainly would not be allowed to fumigate homes with this stuff if there were. Basically the chemical is introduced as a gas within a confined space. It will basically kill anything moving until the space/air is cleared. I'm only guessing that the same process is used for pallets.

RT
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  #13  
Old 09-03-2009, 12:03 PM
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Default Re: Definition of Dry Wood?

So is it best to stay away from burning a pallet like this Canadian one in a pizza oven or is this one ok because of the fumigation process?
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Old 09-03-2009, 05:27 PM
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Default Re: Definition of Dry Wood?

"Neil: So you recommend against firewood suppliers?"

Not at all. Most of the reputable suppliers want you to be happy and be a repeat customer. You may just want to keep the wood you buy from them for a while before using it in your oven. In my experience, wood that is seasoned just well enough for use in my fire place is not quite seasoned enough for optimal performance in my oven.

As CanuckJim notes, good wood management; including buying, storing and seasoning is going help you get the most from your oven.

Wood types, availability and price vary widely across the country so local knowledge is important.
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Old 09-03-2009, 05:53 PM
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Default Re: Definition of Dry Wood?

I completely agree with Neil. The reputable suppliers want you back (I know my guy does) and will be straight forward about their wood. They also have the space to store the wood and at least let it season for a yr. The guys to watch out for are the tree trimming services and landscapers. They usually have limited capacity and are always looking to move the last big cutting job. I see a rash of ads from these guys in the spring (spring cleanup) and again in the late fall (Nov-Dec) when people are looking for fireplace/firepit wood. The true firewood suppliers have wood all year.

As for the pallets, I'm not going to recommend the methyl bromide treated.....I just don't know exactly how pallets are treated. My limited research says they use a fumigation process, which means it should be safe to burn.....but that stuff is deadly to anything that breaths when it is airborn and in a gasious state; if there is any residual from whatever process is used, it would certainly become airborn when burned.

RT
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Old 09-04-2009, 07:45 AM
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Default Re: Definition of Dry Wood?

Wa Wa,

Should have been more clear. Yep, the cracks in the wood are called checking. The round in question is a piece of white cedar that was cut standing dead. Great stuff that; ready to burn anytime. By the way, even when cut green, white cedar will be ready to burn in less than six months, long as the diameter is under four inches. It's always best to cut green wood in late fall, early winter, when most of the sap has retreated to the root system.

The round in the upper right is maple limb wood (checked and discolored) that was in the woodshed about two years. The split stock below is Hard Maple.

The stamping is usually on the outside support member. I get pallets from a guy in the siding business (hardwood and softwood), and there is no stamping at all. I don't even pull the nails, just scrape them out with the ash. No damage to the hearth bricks, either.

Jim
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Old 09-04-2009, 08:06 AM
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Default Re: Definition of Dry Wood?

I bought some "100% Hardwood Briquette" charcoal that I figured would be good to season my small refractory dome with this weekend. I just had a long talk with a firewood supplier on the So side of Chicago... more of a character who really enjoys talking about wood.

1st off he recommended not using briquettes in any WFO because any briquette... even 100% hardwood... uses ingredients like ammonium nitrate & other chemicals that we wouldn't want absorbed in our ovens.

He convinced me right away so I figured I use some of the lump charcoal I have around here. His thoughts were, while this is a natural charcoal, it might be too harsh to use in the oven. His point was that once you've burned something in an oven, whatever harshness, chemicals, etc, will stay with the oven & have an effect on what's cooked in there for a long time. This guy's company makes there own lump charcoal by the way.

This dealer says that he gets all his wood from down in southern IL and that unlike many of the other suppliers here in Chi that are using local wood & trying to turn it over fast, his is 100% hardwood and he described his seasoning process... trees that are "falled" in autumn, cut before Jan; stacked in certain sized rows & left to season down south where the climate is warmer, then brought up here & stacked again.

He sells his seasoned hardwood for $140/half face chord. Now another supplier that I have to drive past to get to this guy sells a half face for $45... He claims to know that this other dealer is not only selling greener, local wood, but is cheating it by mixing in soft woods.

What does everyone else here pay? My caution about buying form this guy is price and that he is truly a salesmen... he admits that he follows the philosophy that; " if you can't impress 'em with information, baffle 'em w/BS".

What are everyone's thoughts on this as well as his recommendations for using only kindling & hardwood for curing?
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Old 09-04-2009, 08:17 AM
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Default Re: Definition of Dry Wood?

It is interesting that almost all the wood used for fireplaces give off the same amount of BTUs per pound if well seasoned.

Hardwoods are preferred for fireplaces because they are heavier and thus a given volume give off more BTUs . You don't have to add wood as often (or clean out ash as often) which is a convienence for fireplaces or wood stoves.

For outdoor ovens this is not an issue. In my experiences, these things are not fussy and any well seasoned wood will work OK, hardwood or softwood. The strategy then is to look for the best value per pound of wood available locally.
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Old 09-04-2009, 09:29 AM
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Default Re: Definition of Dry Wood?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil2 View Post
It is interesting that almost all the wood used for fireplaces give off the same amount of BTUs per pound if well seasoned.

Hardwoods are preferred for fireplaces because they are heavier and thus a given volume give off more BTUs . You don't have to add wood as often (or clean out ash as often) which is a convienence for fireplaces or wood stoves.

For outdoor ovens this is not an issue. In my experiences, these things are not fussy and any well seasoned wood will work OK, hardwood or softwood. The strategy then is to look for the best value per pound of wood available locally.
Well I would think that in that value per lb calculation, the ratio of hard/softwood in the stack would have to be figured in... softwood not burning as long as hard.

I've narrowed my choices down to 3 dealers;
The guy that claims his southern wood is superior to everyone else's, includes only hardwoods - mostly oak with possibly some other flavored hardwood varieties; $65/ 1/4 face

The yard that claims 100% hardwood made up of mostly of mulberry, maple & some honey locust. Says wood has been seasoned all summer - does not season in stacks, but in HUGE piles; $25/ 1/4 face

Large local garden center, claims 100% oak seasoned for a year; $47/ 1/4 face

This is where the education from this post about how to look for appropriately seasoned wood will come in handy.

Now what types of things do I look for to make sure the wood they are claiming to sell me is what they say it is? How do I tell a hardwood from a soft?
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Old 09-04-2009, 09:39 AM
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Default Re: Definition of Dry Wood?

Just a random search turned this up:

Firewood Identification

I'm from the burn-anything-that's-not-pressure-treated camp, btw...
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