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Wood fireplaces, chimney sweeps in VIctoria, and related discussions


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#41 jonny

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 11:02 AM

^^^ yes people still burn garbage.  Here on Gabe, it is quite obvious that 2 of our neighbours burn garbage and wet wood in their fireplaces and then dampen down.  The stench makes for going outside almost impossible.  When there is little wind the acrid smoke just hangs in the trees.  

 

One of our other neighbours has good burning habits, hot fire with seasoned wood, zero smoke, zero smell.

 

I have had several neighbours over the years who basically "roll coal" out of their damn fireplaces. It's horrible.



#42 Bob Fugger

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 11:25 AM

Salt Spring Islander in his 20s: "My weed guy..."

Salt Spring Islander in his 40s: "My firewood guy..."

 

 

He’s also my apple juice guy. :)

Matt.

 

Saltspring Islander in his 80s: "My prune juice guy..." 


Edited by Bob Fugger, 04 January 2019 - 11:25 AM.

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#43 Mike K.

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 11:49 AM

Was that in reply to me? These blocks are just wood. No filler.

Matt

 

Nope, I was referring to garbage. Burning anything other than wood will void your warranty.


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#44 Wayne

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 08:11 PM

Been burning wood in our ceramic tile wood fireplace insert since we moved here. It rocks! Heats our 1800 sq ft house for the winters

We buy our wood from a native on a local reserve and the wood is awesome. Beautiful actually. Magazine picture cords.

This year he was could not deliver wood. At the last minute we bought off of "used Victoria" from a person in Metchosin .

Literally got burnt, Wet wood, dirty if not muddy pieces. Just junk.

Looking at propane in the future.

#45 Mike K.

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 09:42 AM

Was it advertised as seasoned, Wayne?


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#46 Wayne

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 06:25 PM

Yes it was Mike

 

Double checked the add;  "SEASONED ready to burn split".



#47 Mike K.

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 08:21 PM

That’s not right. Sorry you got taken like that.

For future purchases I would recommend buying a moisture meter and testing the pieces.

As for mud, what tends to happen when harvesting some trees is they have to be dragged out to be bucked and that can leave mud residue on one half of the tree. Normally by the time it’s seasoned the mud has flaked off or looks more like a layer of dust and isn’t an issue at all, hence why your supplier supplied such “clean” would.

As an aside, what was the price that you were charged, and was it delivered at that price?
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#48 nagel

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 08:18 AM

I've had mixed results from the used market too.  First two times it was great.  One guy gave more than the cord I ordered and it burned very well.

 

Then the last time I did it the guy flaked on showing up twice, then a couple days later I come home and he's unloaded a pile of wood in the dark in my driveway.  Good wood on top, fithy wet sh!t under it.  Of course I didn't discover this until the next day, after I paid him, and that the cord was light by about 20% too.  That was the last time I did that. 

 

Now I have way more fun collecting free wood.  I wish I had room for more.



#49 nagel

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 08:19 AM

Also something similar happened to my father in law, who went in with his neighbour to order seasoned wood.  Shows up incredibly wet.  A lot of wood so he wasn't too mad, and it was at an unseasoned price to be honest, but there's no way he could use it this year.



#50 Wayne

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 08:31 AM

A moisture meter is a great idea.

 

It might not of been such of an issue, as I ordered it mid Aug, at least then it would have some drying time.. Delay after delay, ending up with the delivery the last week in Oct. Should of looked elsewhere.

 

I have had cords come with some mud or a light dust of dirt before. I sweep each piece before it comes inside, so never a problem.  But this was some serious mud.  Delivery was at night so could not tell.

 

Thankfully it has been a mild fall/winter and I have wood stockpiled from last year.

 

Once I burn thru this wet wood next year I will look at propane as an option.

 

Thanks



#51 Mike K.

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 08:50 AM

With all of the blowdowns I've helped people deal with over the last couple of weeks and I think I've hauled about 1.5 cords home since late December. I'll keep collecting and maybe come summer I'll have enough where I can start to sell wood that will be ready for the fireplace come October. 6-9 months is ideal drying time for softwoods and can be shortened considerably if we have a warmer summer. You also don't want wood to be too too dry as that's not ideal either, but it sure beats the wet stuff.

 

Generally speaking if wood was harvested in the summer months it won't be ready to burn no matter how many promises the seller makes. For a lot of these guys harvesting in 2018 to sell in 2019 is not part of their game plan.


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#52 Langford Rat

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 11:01 AM

The older I get, the less inclined I am to buck and split my own wood. I have been buying now for the last five or so years. My biggest issue is the size of some of these “cords”…even when they are touted as being “full-cords” or “true cords”. A cord is a cord…128 cubic feet….8 feet long x 4 feet high x 4 feet deep. If your pieces are in 16” lengths then the stack would be 3 ricks (faces) deep, If they are cut in 12” lengths then it should be 4 deep. More often than not this isn’t the case and when they show up with a small dump truck and drop a pile in your yard claiming it’s 2 cords, it’s hard to gauge until you restack it. By then you’ve already paid and your only recourse is not to buy from them next year. It also makes a big difference on who is doing the stacking. I worked with a guy one fall selling firewood. He had an old full-sized Dodge pick up with cattle racks on the box and sold a load as ¾ of a cord. One day I was left on my own to split and load for a delivery. I packed that thing like a jig-saw puzzle, turning each piece to maximize the space. He was not pleased when he showed up later that day. He figured I had managed to get over a cord in the truck. He could take the same pile of wood as me and make it look like it was about 25% more in volume….it’s all about that dead air space…



#53 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 11:05 AM

why does firewood always involve “my guy”, can’t the business be run effectively like a normal business? or is most of the wood contraband so a normal business with legitimate supply sources can’t compete?

#54 Mike K.

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 11:19 AM

You tell me if it's worth it:

- buy a $20 permit to buck as much wood as your truck can haul, probably .75 of a cord only IF you've got a proper truck (1 ton +)

- spend $40 in fuel getting to and from the cut site

- spend $x on chainsaw fuel, oil, plus maintenance, not to mention the investment of buying a good saw and all that comes with it (safety equipment, special tools)

- spend 4-6 hours collecting, cutting, bucking and stacking the wood into your truck (.75 to 1 cord)

- season it for 6-12 months

- stack it back onto a truck and deliver it, likely another $30-40 in fuel costs if you're living in Sooke/Metchosin/Langford and delivering a truck load to Central Saanich

 

Add 25% to that if you didn't haul a full cord to begin with.

 

Then you're expected to sell that full cord for $300. That should answer why so few people sell firewood and why anyone "in the business" isn't in the business for very long.


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#55 Mike K.

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 11:37 AM

The older I get, the less inclined I am to buck and split my own wood. I have been buying now for the last five or so years. My biggest issue is the size of some of these “cords”…even when they are touted as being “full-cords” or “true cords”. A cord is a cord…128 cubic feet….8 feet long x 4 feet high x 4 feet deep. If your pieces are in 16” lengths then the stack would be 3 ricks (faces) deep, If they are cut in 12” lengths then it should be 4 deep. More often than not this isn’t the case and when they show up with a small dump truck and drop a pile in your yard claiming it’s 2 cords, it’s hard to gauge until you restack it

 

Wet wood is stacked with more space between the pieces in order for it to season. How you stack it once it's seasoned will be very different than how you would have stacked it when it's bone dry. Either way, that cord seasoning in the guy's yard takes up more space than it would stacked one foot deep along the wall of a house or a shed, etc.

 

But here's the thing. The ultra-low prices people pay for cords more or less dictate the sort of transactions that take place. Margins are ultra thin on the seller's side, expectations are always ultra high on the buyer's side. So you meet in the middle: guy drops off 85% of a true dimensional cord, the buyer pays the ultra low price of $300.

 

I know some guys who won't sell a cord for under $450 and they won't deliver to someone unless they get the sense he/she understands how the system ought to work. These guys properly season their wood, they deliver as close to a true cord as they themselves would expect, they mix the wood types (avoiding nonsense like alder/red cedar unless requested) and they're a pleasure to deal with/professional. But they also deliver 1/5th of the volume of the guys that cut corners but who have a large customer base solely based on the fact that when October rolls around and you don't have seasoned/somewhat seasoned wood you're looking at a $350/month heating bill courtesy of Hydro, so place your bets.


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#56 nerka

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 06:07 PM

If you are paying more than roughly 300 a cord you are paying a premium to natural gas per BTU of heat. More than 300-350 a cord and you are probably paying a premium over a heat pump on Hydro's Tier 2 rate.

 

Course there is more to it than that. Significant upfront capital cost switching to a heat pump. Reliability in a power outage is an issue.



#57 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 06:13 PM

just wear a sweater. that saves you $100 per cord.
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#58 Mike K.

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 09:58 PM

That’s if you have gas. And even if a connection is available on your street you’re still responsible for the cost of the final connection which could run into the thousands.

I would imagine most folks who use a wood stove don’t have the option of gas, otherwise they would be using gas as a primary heat source.

But look what happened this fall. The gas line ruptured and suddenly the need to conserve arose.
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#59 nagel

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 07:44 AM

If you are paying more than roughly 300 a cord you are paying a premium to natural gas per BTU of heat. More than 300-350 a cord and you are probably paying a premium over a heat pump on Hydro's Tier 2 rate.

 

Course there is more to it than that. Significant upfront capital cost switching to a heat pump. Reliability in a power outage is an issue.

Interesting.

 

I'm heat pump primary with wood as my backup.  I like to live risky.



#60 Wayne

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 08:26 AM

Mike K., on 08 Jan 2019 - 9:58 PM, said:

That’s if you have gas. And even if a connection is available on your street you’re still responsible for the cost of the final connection which could run into the thousands.

I would imagine most folks who use a wood stove don’t have the option of gas, otherwise they would be using gas as a primary heat source.

But look what happened this fall. The gas line ruptured and suddenly the need to conserve arose.

I called Fortis about getting natural gas.

 

Cost was $47 000.  We currently do not have gas up to our street.  They mentioned if I canvassed neighbors I could reduce cost if some were aboard.



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