Dan Dalrymple's website

Fun, light and G-rated pages from Dan's family tree, sailing the Great lakes in old Cal Yachts, burning Ohio firewood, herbal cures, my humble opinions on several '70s Great Lakes sailboats, and muzzle loading ballistic charts .

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Home
Our home page.

Cal Yachts
One of my favorite sailboats. I've owned a Cal 2-27 for over 20 years. I've owned larger, newer boats but the cal 27 remains my favorite sailboats for the Great Lakes especially Lake Erie.

fun sailboats
My humble opinion on several older sailboats that were popular on the Great Lakes during the '70s

Firewood facts
Interesting information on burning firewood as a home heating aid.

Our wood stove
We've backed up our home's heating furnace with a firewood woodstove for over 40 years.

Herbal cures
Our ancestors used many different items to cure their ills. Hundreds of these items, or herbs, as people called them were developed into the medicines that we use today. Note: For information only. We do not sell or promote herbs here.

Muzzle Loading
Muzzle loading ballistic tables from my son and my experiences with Ohio muzzle loading deer hunting.

my Family History
This web page contains a complete Dalrymple family line from Andrew Dalrymple, born in Scotland about 1682, all the way down to my grandson, Brian.

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Click links below to page down to correct paragraph . . .
These links don't cover everything on this firewood page, please page or scroll up or down to see all.

~Do wood stoves hurt the environment?
~What is "green" firewood?
~How do I "dry" firewood?


~What's best, fireplace or wood stove?
~My opinion on Outdoor Wood Stoves.
~What type chimney is the best ?

~Our home.  Heated 90% with firewood.

~How much money can I save?

~Click here to see the best firewoods to burn.   Note: This link will take you to another of our pages. This page will open in a new window, leaving our present page as is so that you may quickly switch pages.

I've supplemented our home heating system for over 50 years with a wood stove here in northern OhioOne cord of seasoned hardwood will provide more home heat than 225 gallons of propane, 275 ccf (27,500 cubic feet) of natural gas, or 133 gallons of #2 fuel oil.
Compare your local prices for each.

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Some consider wood fuel to be bad for the environment, however this is not the case if proper techniques are used.
  .
Firewood is a renewable energy resource like wind, solar and hydroelectric power. To meet the challenge of global warming, we’ll need to use more renewable energy and less oil, gas and coal in the future. Heating with wood can be a part of the solution, provided the wood is burned efficiently.  When wood heat replaces carbon-producing fuels such as propane, heating oil or electricity from a coal-burning plant, then wood burning has a positive impact on the world-wide carbon footprint. Today, important technological advances have resulted in cleaner burning, higher efficiency wood stoves.


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~ How large is our home?
We heat 90% with Firewood. . .

Our 15 year old home is a large ranch with a full basement. I would guess the total square footage to be about 2200. Our original (present) heat is a Goodman 3 ton Heat Pump with a backup gas furnace (propane) that kicks on when the outside temp drops to below 40 degrees.

We added the wood burning furnace and connected it into our existing Heat Pump/Gas furnace ductwork. The home is well insulated, however, with over 18 inches of fiberglass in the attic.

Our Hotblast 1300 heats our home in the coldest of Ohio weather. The Hotblast 1300 also keeps our garage warm. It's nice, during these Ohio winters, to jump into a warm car in the morning. The Hotblast doesn't use much firewood but the firewood must dry. It must be be properly stacked and air dried for a year or more. 
Click on the "Our wood stove" yellow button , left side of all our pages, for more about our Hotblast 1300 wood furnace.

Our chimney is Metalbestos, 6" double wall stainless with a ceramic refractory blanket insulation encased between walls. The flue is straight up, through the attic and roof. Chimney is not visible in this photo as it's on the back (north) side of our roof.

I burn Ohio's local firewoods including Oak, Maple, Hickory, Cherry, Elm, Locust, and Ash. I also buy several loads of slab wood from local saw mills, it dries quickly. I cut about half of my firewood myself. When I cut my own firewood I usually don't split anything that's under 10 inches in diameter. I use these large pieces to hold my fires overnight.  These large pieces must be air dried for at least a full year, sometimes a couple years.

Add a couple 7 inch x 20 inch Wild Cherries (or two 7" x 20" Elms) to a hot bed of coals, then put a good dry 8" x 20" White Oak, Locust, or Hickory on top and you have a fire that will heat for 12 or more hours and still re-ignite easily from the hot coals without a match.


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"Green firewood":  Ever try to burn freshly cut firewood?
  

Freshly cut, or firewood dumped in a pile won't dry and it won't burn well. Rain will run down and soak into cut ends while ground moisture will migrate up and soak into spongy inner bark. Wood left in a heap will soon rot and be rendered useless as firewood. Firewood must be cut into stove sized pieces and properly stacked to dry.

Photo on right: Seven cords of firewood, properly stacked. I like to have about seven cords, dried, and ready for heating my home for one Ohio winter. Some winters I only burn about four cords but it's better to have extra than to run out. Firewood (properly stacked) will last several years.

Note: March 3rd, 2014. Four degrees above zero last night.  2013/2014 was an exceptionally cold Ohio winter. I've burned six cords of firewood this year. Only one cord left to heat the rest of this winter. I hope the rest of March is warmer!

Freshly cut firewood is called "green" firewood. It contains a lot of water. This large amount of water is not on the outside of the logs, it's inside, absorbed into the wood fibers. Proper air drying is the best way to remove this water from your firewood. This moisture exits the firewood mostly through the ends. This is why it's important to cut your wood into 18 to 22" pieces. Then properly stack the green firewood and leave the ends exposed to the open air for 6 months to a full year. Shorter logs will dry faster, I try to cut mine all about 18".  Some green firewoods are more than half water by weight. Green firewood must air dry before it will burn efficiently.

Burning green firewood doesn't provide much heat into the home. It causes more smoke and will coat your flue with creosote. Freshly cut (green) firewood has up to 60% water content and won't burn well in your wood stove. First, you must let the firewood "season", which allows the moisture to escape. When the wood gets down below 20% water content, it's ready to burn. 

When "green" firewood is burned, the water in the wood must be boiled into steam to get rid of it. Thousands of BTUs are used to boil the water out of the green wood. These BTUs are lost as home heat since it they are  returned into the outside air as the steam returns to water vapor.

Let's look at White Oak, a Excellent burning firewood when "dry or seasoned**".  Here's an example of how much water is in "green" White Oak".

1 cord of "green" White Oak weighs about*   6,290 pounds. 
1 cord of air dried White Oak weighs about* 3,710 pounds.
                                                                                  = 2,580  pounds of water in a cord of "green" White Oak
 Water is 8 pounds per gallon, so divide by             8
                                                                                 =  322  gallons of water in a cord of "green" White Oak

If you must  burn Green firewood, this means that 330 gallons of water must be boiled out of this "green" firewood before it can heat your home. Try to imagine how much heat is required to boil over 300 gallons of water. Your firewood's heat, used to boil this water is lost  as home heat.

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How efficient is your wood stove or fireplace?  Click link below . . .

                 Click here:  Wood stove/fireplace efficiency facts:


Dry firewood weight by cubic foot . . .
Weighing a single cubic foot of dry wood is a good way to determine the heat value in BTUs of the species as a firewood. Click here for more . . .


See Chart, find the best firewoods to burn:  Firewood heating and weight values. with notes . . .  Sixty different firewoods listed.  (You will remain in this website.)

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Firewood Measurements: A single cord measures 8 feet long, 4 feet high and 4 feet wide or 128 cubic feet.

I cut my firewood into 18 inch pieces and make three rows instead of the two rows shown in the photo at left. I stack the center row a little higher than the outside rows then I cover the entire top of the stack with scrap corrugated cardboard. This keeps water from the center of my stack. I do not cover the sides of the stack. In order to keep the wind from blowing the cardboard, I hold it down with heavy pieces of firewood. Heavy corrugated cardboard is readily available by asking for scrap cardboard boxes at retail stores. They are usually glad to get rid of them.

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Remember: Just one cord of seasoned Red Oak, Hickory, or Ash will provide more BTUs than 225 gallons of propane, 275 ccf (27,500 cubic feet) of natural gas, or 133 gallons of #2 fuel oil. Compare your local prices for each.

Example: Today, 2/19/2014, propane is selling here in Wayne County for $3.78 a gallon. To purchase enough propane to equal a single cord of firewood (225 gallons, see above) will cost me $850.50 plus sales tax. I buy a cord of White Oak firewood slabs, cut to size and debarked, for $80. I buy it directly from the saw mill so I need to haul it, stack it, dry it, bring it inside and burn it.  Using a propane furnace saves all this labor. I usually burn 4 to 6 cords of firewood per winter. By heating with firewood I can save over $400 per month during the winter months. Working with firewood isn't for everyone. If you enjoy working with firewood, it's well worth the savings.

Firewood with High or Very high heat output (Oak, Ash, Hickory, Sugar Maple, etc.)  
1 cord = 21,000,000 - 24,000,000 BTU = 200-250 gal. of fuel oil or 250-300 ccf of natural gas.
Firewood with Fair heat output (Cherry, Elm, Silver Maple, Black Walnut, etc.)
1 cord = 17,000,000 - 20,000,000 BTU = 150-200 gal. of fuel oil or 200-250 ccf of natural gas.
Firewood with Low heat output (Buckeye, Cedar, Cottonwood, Willow, etc.) 1 cord = 12,000,000-17,000,000 BTU = 100-150 gal. of fuel oil or 200-250 ccf of natural gas.


~What's best, a wood stove or a fireplace?

Average fireplace,
15% efficiency (at best),  my US Stove Hotblast 1300 has 65% efficiency
. Some newer woodstoves are higher.

Wood stoves are more efficient at heating a room or home with the same amount of wood, in comparison to a fireplace. This is because a stove is closed and controlled, whereas much of the heat output of an open fire escapes up the chimney rather than into the house. An average open fireplace will have an efficiency of up to 15 percent, but the chimney will cause a negative efficiency overall, as the fire in the fireplace burns down in the evening. The hot chimney will continue to pull warm air from the room, causing cold, outside air to be pulled into the home. This results in a very high heat loss.

What’s wrong with most masonry chimneys ?
* Many are old and were not built to present day specs.
* They are often oversize and not insulated, resulting in poor draft and excess creosote formation
* Proper clearances to combustible (wood framing, siding, etc.) are not maintained
* No room for expansion of the flue tiles, resulting in cracked and damaged liners
* Most masonry chimneys over 10 years old should be checked by a qualified contractor.

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Stacking and drying firewood.
Stack your firewood to speed up the drying process. I usually stack my firewood three rows wide. I make the center row a little higher than the outside rows then cover the top of the stack with several layers of scrap cardboard (this is important as it keeps rain/snow from the center of the stack). Do not cover the sides of the stack. I hold the cardboard down by setting a few pieces of firewood on top. This cardboard usually lasts a full year or more and can be burned in your woodstove as you burn the firewood.

Firewood should be cut into 22 inch lengths or shorter depending on your woodstove's firebox size. I cut my firewood all about 18 inches long. Shorter pieces dry faster. Split firewood will dry a little quicker but splitting isn't absolutely necessary. Firewood dries mostly from the ends since this is the way that the water travels through the tree normally.

Firewood should never be left outside in a large uncovered pile, it will rot in the center of the pile. It should be stacked neatly in a dry area with space between the stacks so that air can circulate through the stack.

It's best to split and stack firewood soon after it's cut. This allows the wood to dry faster. Here's a quick drying trick if you're able to do it. My father taught me this trick. When cutting firewood in the summer while the leaves are healthy and still on the trees, fell the tree, don't cut it more. Let it lay with the leaves on until they wilt away. It takes a few weeks or so but the leaves will pull most of the moisture from the tree. This will give the firewood a good start in drying.

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~My opinion on Outdoor Wood Stoves.
These outdoor wood stoves are very popular. On the good side, they are very safe. No fire or ashes are inside your home. These stoves burn about any kind of wood, wet or dry. However, most require a lot of firewood.

The biggest reason that they burn a lot of firewood is in the way they burn it. These furnaces have two modes. I call one mode the "blast furnace" mode, the other is the "smolder" mode.

Water is used to transfer the heat from the stove into the home. The firebox is surrounded by water. This water around the firebox cannot be allowed to boil. When the water requires heat, an electric blower forces air into the combustion chamber like a blast furnace. This causes a lot of smoke and heat to exit up thru the flue. The fire must then be extinguished quickly before the water boils. So, when the water temp reaches about 180 degrees, the furnace shuts off almost all the air to the firebox. The fire shuts down, smoldering, until more water heat is required. When the water cools down, the "blast furnace cycle" starts again.

Another way to demonstrate this . . . when my Hotblast 1300 is happily heating my home on a 30 degree Ohio day, the damper in my 6 inch flue is more than half closed. I could go up on my roof and hold my bare hand a foot or so above the top of the flue for a couple minutes without getting burned. This means that almost all the heat that is produced by the firewood is remaining in my home.

Try doing this with an Outdoor Wood Furnace as it's heating on a 30 degree day. I'm afraid that you would be left with third degree burns on your hand. Now think about this? Is this large amount of heat that is exiting through the flue helping to heat your home?

Several of my friends have Outdoor Wood Furnaces. There are times when these furnaces emit high volumes of nasty, black, smoke. They also burn at least twice as much firewood as I do, while heating similar size homes. They never seem to have problems with creosote due to the large amount of heat in the chimney. They have large fireboxes and only require stoking about two times a day, but remember, you do need to dress up and go outside to stoke them.

Again on the good side, these stoves are outside with no smoke, flame or ashes inside the home. They burn about any kind of wood, wet or dry. They hold a large amount of firewood and only need to be stoked a couple times a day.  They save their owners a lot of money in home heating costs.

Most Outdoor Wood Furnace owners love 'em.
 


You also might enjoy looking at our Apple Creek United Methodist Church website at  http:www.applecreekumc.com

Dan Dalrymple, Wooster, Ohio
This page last updated on March 03, 2014.