Fire fuel for heating - what do you use?

Denim Deb

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Nothing special in my house. Just wood.

We have our own forest so we harvest ourselves and rent a log splitter. Wood we use is mostly red maple. Sometimes elm or oak and could be a few other hardwoods as well. We've only been here a year, so we've only gone through this process once. We didn't haul enough trees out last winter so we'll probably have to buy a cord or two again this year. But we'll get better and more efficient as the years go by.

Unfortunately, the location of the wood stove is such that the upstairs doesn't really get heated. So in our bedrooms we have space heaters for nighttime. We also have propane, but it also doesn't heat the house efficiently :\.
Why rent when you can own? We have an electric splitter, it does a great job. And I know a few people that have the manual splitter. They say it works well.
 

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We use cedar and douglas fir. It's the wood available here. Burns just fine and we haven't had any real buildup. The chimney sweep has asked if we even burn very much each year.
Most folks don't realize that, if the evergreen is very dry when used, it leaves very little residue. Burns hot and fast. We've been using it for years and never get creosote buildup in the stove pipe.
 

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Why rent when you can own? We have an electric splitter, it does a great job. And I know a few people that have the manual splitter. They say it works well.
We need a heavy duty one - the kind that hooks up to the tractor. So it ends up being worth it if we just rent once or twice a year. We borrowed an electric last year and had a lot of wood that couldn't be split. Elm is just too hard.​
 

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We have a gas splitter, but I'm more likely to just use the splitting maul.

We buy our wood in spring or early summer the year before we will use it. I've found I prefer the 8-12 inch diameter trees. Less bark thickness and since our firebox is small, it makes it essier to cut in the proper size
 

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We need a heavy duty one - the kind that hooks up to the tractor. So it ends up being worth it if we just rent once or twice a year. We borrowed an electric last year and had a lot of wood that couldn't be split. Elm is just too hard.​
If you don't mind me asking, how much does a wood splitter cost to rent in your area?
 

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If you don't mind me asking, how much does a wood splitter cost to rent in your area?
I think it was about $100 for the weekend (though we got it on a long weekend and got an extra half-day). But I don't entirely remember because we had bought a couple other things on that bill.
 

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Oh, and correction, it wasn't hydraulic, it was gas. But either way, several thousand to buy new :(
 

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That's not too bad considering the current cost of a new one. Not having to maintain it, store it, etc. would make renting worth it from where I'm sitting. Ours is older and paid for long ago, so it's nice to have around any time we want it, but if we had to buy one nowadays we wouldn't do it. We only use that equipment a handful of times per year, so if we could get our act together to use it for an entire weekend, $100 isn't too bad a price at all.
 

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That's not too bad considering the current cost of a new one. Not having to maintain it, store it, etc. would make renting worth it from where I'm sitting. Ours is older and paid for long ago, so it's nice to have around any time we want it, but if we had to buy one nowadays we wouldn't do it. We only use that equipment a handful of times per year, so if we could get our act together to use it for an entire weekend, $100 isn't too bad a price at all.
That's what figured. As long as we're well organized and only need to rent it once or possibly twice a year. At that rate it could take us 20+ years to pay off new...and then like you mentioned you may have repairs by that point anyway. So from where we're sitting right now, it seems the right choice. But if the situation changes we'll explore other options!
(Also the rented one is great - two sided. With two of us working it we were just flying. So nice to use, and so much wood got split!)
 

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That's what figured. As long as we're well organized and only need to rent it once or possibly twice a year. At that rate it could take us 20+ years to pay off new...and then like you mentioned you may have repairs by that point anyway. So from where we're sitting right now, it seems the right choice. But if the situation changes we'll explore other options!
(Also the rented one is great - two sided. With two of us working it we were just flying. So nice to use, and so much wood got split!)
Never saw a two sided one but that would be a wonderful thing to have! Sometimes I wish we had two going at the same time, as sometimes there will be people waiting for every single stick of wood that comes out of that splitter...like a watched pot never boiling.

We use ours vertically due to the HUGE logs we are most often splitting, many of them 3 ft across, 2 ft deep.
 
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