Wood Heaters – Radiant or Convection?

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Re: Wood Heaters – Radiant or Convection?

Postby Cherokee Solar » Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:01 pm

Hi Kurt,

Good luck.

Now is the time to cut those trees up for next seasons firewood. Oh yeah, store the timber in burnable lengths on either plastic (drop sheets are good) or old sheet metal which you can usually scrounge from about the place, otherwise the whole lot may turn into soil - good for the plants, mind you. ;)

You only need to bring them in from the rain a few weeks before using them, it is the sugars and stored water you are getting rid of out of the timber - when they weigh less, they are ready to burn (about 12 to 24 months time here). Wet green timber will burn, but a lot of the energy in the combustion will be used to dry the timber + your flue will eventually clog up.

Oh yeah, make sure the wood stack can't fall over and squash something too - I've seen both our chooks and dogs running around on top of the wood stacks all about the place.

Liked the V8 analogy too. :D Nice one!

Chris
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Re: Wood Heaters – Radiant or Convection?

Postby offgridQLD » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:15 pm

Now is the time to cut those trees up for next seasons firewood


There is plenty wood around to supplement any we purchase.You cant see It all in the photo but this 90 foot tall stringy bark died a little while ago out front. I was a little worried in years to come it might fall on the house as it was only 20 feet away. I dropped it about two weeks ago. It made a nice play toy for my daughter until I cut it into three sections. Its not like the stringy bark variate I remember from the farm in SA. This one has some real hard density and weight to it. Tractor groaning shifting it around.

We have lots of monster size dead trees on our property that make that one look like a little twig. But there down in the valley and harsh terrain very steep. I was thinking some kind of sled and a winch driven from the tractors PTO could work. Cut the timber - load the sled then winch up a load.

That or just purchase it from the guy next door who sells fire wood. I Google earthed his place boy he has a lot of dead timber. His father had the dirt road we live on made back in the 40's and it was used as a private logging trail. The story is he won all the land in a card game up north.

Image



Kurt
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Re: Wood Heaters – Radiant or Convection?

Postby zzsstt » Fri Jul 20, 2012 9:56 am

Firewood.jpg
Firewood.jpg (76.88 KiB) Viewed 4080 times

I found a company that bring car engines, gearboxs and other parts in from Japan. They are shipped in stillages - stackable steel mesh crates that have a removable mesh front. The stillages aren't returned (too expensive) so I get them very cheaply.

Wood dries far more quickly when split, and even long dead trees are often too wet in the middle to burn cleanly. So we split the wood, then stack it in stillages. The stillage fits on the ute, so the wood can be split and stacked where the tree was, and so only "handled" once (it saves time not to load/unload repeatedly!). It is up off the ground so doesn't start to compost, has great all-round air flow and the stillages can be stacked 4 or more high, depending on the height of the forklift/tractor. A full stillage will hold about 1.8m^3, I'd guess a fair bit over a tonne depending on the wood and how neatly it is stacked (ironbark is 1100kg/m^3). They can be stacked up out of sight, and then brought out one at a time as needed. I made a small removable roof, just to keep the rain off the "current use" wood - surface water doesn't make any real difference except making it harder to light from cold!
Last edited by zzsstt on Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:48 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Wood Heaters – Radiant or Convection?

Postby zzsstt » Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:05 am

offgridQLD wrote:I was thinking some kind of sled and a winch driven from the tractors PTO could work. Cut the timber - load the sled then winch up a load.


It does work, but take care. Just down the road from a place we used to live, a guy was killed by a broken winch cable that was winching logs up a hill. When winching vehicles there is a relatively small length of cable, with limited "fly" range and normally a cloth or towel hung on the cable to slow it down. Winching up a hill makes the cloth "airbrake" impossible, and a big drum winch could have a lot of cable out. The guy I mentioned was 40m away from the winch and not even involved in the process....
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Re: Wood Heaters – Radiant or Convection?

Postby offgridQLD » Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:42 am

zzsstt ,
Your stillages creation would take Idea of the month hands down ;) Couldn't think of a more perfect solution.

A good mate of mine has a close friend that owns a Jap import wrecking yard. Might be making a few phone calls. I don't have front end loader on my tractor or a forklift for stacking them. I do have a set of forksfor the rear that go on my 3 point linkage that would be fine for picking one up and shifting it around. Would be great to have a row of them behind the shed out of sight drying away :) Bring one down at a time and sit it by the access door to the garage, very handy.

Regarding the winching cable. I don't exactly have the worlds biggest tractor for my needs its only a little 30hp 4wd Yanmar toy tractor. So I wouldn't be winching huge loads perhaps 250 - 500kg at a time to keep it safe . I was also thinking of using the new Polyethylene Fiber (synthetic rope) winching cables you can get now for 4wd winches.Very safe, light and still very strong. you can get a 250 foot length of it for around $200 and its rated at 9.5ton the breaking strain is actually a lot more than that. I would only be winching over grass so no trouble with abrasion. Still wouldn't want my face over it if it snapped (doubt it would snap with what I'm doing with it) But it wouldn't cut you in 1/2 like wire cable.

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Re: Wood Heaters – Radiant or Convection?

Postby Cherokee Solar » Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:49 am

Hi Kurt,

Dunno about that cable, it looks a bit thin to me.

I don't have a tractor here as it is too steep. I do use 4x4 recovery straps though to pull over trees with a bit of help from the chainsaw and the Suzuki. Much safer than without the straps as you can never quite tell where the load at the top of the tree is going to push it. Trees can be very unpredictable, I remove all trees within falling distance of the house. That 90ft tree is an Ash Wednesday regrowth tree here, some of the others are 150+ years old and they are very big (needing a 20t excavator to deal to).

Chris
Off grid solar + hot water. Heavily insulated + owner built flamezone house BAL-FZ. 300 mixed fruit trees + herbs + flowers + vegetables. Bees + heritage chickens. High up in the mountains north of Melbourne. http://ferngladefarm.blogspot.com.au/
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Re: Wood Heaters – Radiant or Convection?

Postby offgridQLD » Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:48 am

Dunno about that cable, it looks a bit thin to me


You would be surprised at how strong that rope is.

watch this video, much thinner rope than I was looking at compared to steel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDJ3QjvRZT0&feature=player_detailpage

I'm not actually trying to pull trees over with it just winch up a small pile of cut firewood (250 - 500kg). though I have done your trick many times. Standing at the base of that 90 ft stringy bark the balance was all wrong(all the weight was pointing at.... (my wife watching tv in the lounge :D ) So I shot some builders string up into the tree with a compound bow, then tied some lifting straps and winch rope to that . I then used a tackle block on the base of another tree that doubles the pulling strength onto the tractor. A good thing about the tackle block is you are driving the tractor away from direction to what the tree will fall.

Yes compared to deep in the gully below the stringy bark is a small tree. Down there a lot of the trees escaped the loggers and it's untouched.There are some trees I can see with the binoculars from the deck growing up from the valley floor and the white trunks go on for ever, They don't look that big in the pic but once you get down there its a different story. Just have to brave the onslaught of leaches and snakes to get to them .The vegetation gets dam thick down there but its worth the hike.

Image



Its crazy men like this that striped Maleny township and surrounding areas of a lot of its big timber but there are still patches including some on my own property with old growth trees.
Image

kurt
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Re: Wood Heaters – Radiant or Convection?

Postby Smurf1976 » Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:27 pm

offgridQLD wrote:The couple over road live in a little well insulated wooden cottage its tiny perhaps under 100m2 total for the entire house.It has a very small open plan kitchen lounge dining area perhaps 40m2 or less. They are also off grid like every one living on our road.They heat there home with a little modern portable fan forced LPG gas heater from two 45kg bottles. The kind of gas heater with the flat panel that burns with a very tight flame and perhaps consumes 1/4 of what ours dose so they go through perhaps 2 bottles of gas over the 8 weeks of peek winter. At $120 so $240 isn't to bad . While LPG is a expensive way to heat for them it's viable works out ok and they get away with it .

There was a time not so long ago when LPG was used because it was a cheap energy source.

We had an LPG heater in the living room and went through 10 x 45kg bottles a year and thought nothing of it. It was fairly cheap back then.

Oil was the first heating fuel to get expensive in the late 1970's. Then LPG started to get expensive 20 years later. More recently, electricity has become expensive. Now I see that mains gas is going up in 15% or so increments at a time, so it too will be relatively expensive before too much longer.

In the past, it was fairly straightforward to escape high fuel costs by using a different fuel. For example, ditching the oil heater in favour of electric or gas. But now that all household energy is getting expensive, there's really no choice other than to either use less or pay the ever increasing bills. Which brings us to wood, solar and good insulation....
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Re: Wood Heaters – Radiant or Convection?

Postby Cherokee Solar » Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:20 pm

Hi Kurt,

I hear you man about those trees. Some of the trees here in the creek gully below me pre-date white settlement. This photo shows a storm coming in, I wish I'd got a good photo of the tornado. I kept looking at and thinking, that's a funny looking cloud...

IMGP4568.jpg
IMGP4568.jpg (96.47 KiB) Viewed 4053 times


Chris
Off grid solar + hot water. Heavily insulated + owner built flamezone house BAL-FZ. 300 mixed fruit trees + herbs + flowers + vegetables. Bees + heritage chickens. High up in the mountains north of Melbourne. http://ferngladefarm.blogspot.com.au/
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Re: Wood Heaters – Radiant or Convection?

Postby jimbo » Sat Nov 29, 2014 1:26 pm

A bit of a dig but interested in what you ended up doing?
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