Wood Burning Stoves

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donguri
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Wood Burning Stoves

Post by donguri »

We have a Vermont Castings Defiant stove, it's a big boy and heats the place up nicely despite the fact that we have a huge open area in a 90-year old kominka with no insulation. (the first floor of our house is restaurant/bar space)

I don't know exactly how many cubic meters of wood we use, but it was a LOT more than we anticipated. We started using the stove in fall of 2017 and this is the first season that we haven't had to purchase any firewood. Last year we bought just one load. As others have said, neighbors now know that we can use wood, especially hardwood, so they often drop it off or offer it to us after their trimming/tree-falling projects. We also have become friends with one of the local lumberyard dudes-he comes to the restaurant almost every week- he often has ends or unusable pieces that he's happy to give us as it takes care of the disposal problem for him. We usually gift him a nice bottle of shochu that he keeps at the bar and everyone is a winner.

A new wood splitter is on the way to us this week, and I don't have any details because I let the Mr take care of it. Prior to that we were renting a wood splitter from the local Ringyo Center. 300 yen to use it for the day, so it was super cheap, but lugging it to and from just got to be a drag. We can make our operation smoother and save time if we have our own. Before we actually started our life here, I had visions of myself splitting wood with an axe like crazy and getting super fit. While I do enjoy slinging the axe, I broke a finger last winter which put me out of commission for the season and it's simply not possible to do it all by hand. We use too much and we have plenty other work to do with land maintenance, hatake, restaurant etc. A small hatchet is a wonderful thing as it makes chopping up starter kindling quick work.

Straight chimney all the way! We had the expert guys come out the first year to clean it (shocking how little residue there is) and show us how. The next year we rented the equipment to do it ourselves. And the following year we bought our own cleaning tool which is basically a set of telescoping poles with a brush on the end that you push up through the chimney. We've never had to set foot on the roof to deal with the chimney.

We've added drying racks as we go, so it's a bit of a hodgepodge of wood stands around the property. If you're just getting started, know that you will probably need more space and more wood than you think. And hey, it doesn't spoil, so if you don't use it all this season, it will continue to age and be useful next. Also, you may want to consider the area you want to use for dumping the wood before it gets split. It really piles up, hehehe.

It's a lot of work but I can't imagine life without our wood burning stove now!

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Post by Ibaraki llama »

I have a similar take to the others - we have a Hunter Inglenook high output stove and it goes through wood like crazy too. We had to buy a cubic metre this year as although we have a lot we ran out of the seasoned stuff. In my area it’s about 2 man.

But, as others have said, you can get hold of lots of wood locally from people who normally have to pay to dispose of it or dump it somewhere illegally. We got a lot of keyaki and kashi from a building site nearby who were more than happy for us to take it. I would have got more if I had a bigger chainsaw (they cut it into long trunks for their dump trucks so I had to bring my chainsaw to cut them down to smaller sizes so I could lift them into the kei truck).

We’ve also got in touch a with a gardener down the road and he now drops all of his wood off here. So we have more wood than you can poke a stick at now.

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Post by Chuck »

donguri wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 8:54 am
We have a Vermont Castings Defiant stove, it's a big boy and heats the place up nicely despite the fact that we have a huge open area in a 90-year old kominka with no insulation. (the first floor of our house is restaurant/bar space)

I don't know exactly how many cubic meters of wood we use, but it was a LOT more than we anticipated. We started using the stove in fall of 2017 and this is the first season that we haven't had to purchase any firewood. Last year we bought just one load. As others have said, neighbors now know that we can use wood, especially hardwood, so they often drop it off or offer it to us after their trimming/tree-falling projects. We also have become friends with one of the local lumberyard dudes-he comes to the restaurant almost every week- he often has ends or unusable pieces that he's happy to give us as it takes care of the disposal problem for him. We usually gift him a nice bottle of shochu that he keeps at the bar and everyone is a winner.

A new wood splitter is on the way to us this week, and I don't have any details because I let the Mr take care of it. Prior to that we were renting a wood splitter from the local Ringyo Center. 300 yen to use it for the day, so it was super cheap, but lugging it to and from just got to be a drag. We can make our operation smoother and save time if we have our own. Before we actually started our life here, I had visions of myself splitting wood with an axe like crazy and getting super fit. While I do enjoy slinging the axe, I broke a finger last winter which put me out of commission for the season and it's simply not possible to do it all by hand. We use too much and we have plenty other work to do with land maintenance, hatake, restaurant etc. A small hatchet is a wonderful thing as it makes chopping up starter kindling quick work.

Straight chimney all the way! We had the expert guys come out the first year to clean it (shocking how little residue there is) and show us how. The next year we rented the equipment to do it ourselves. And the following year we bought our own cleaning tool which is basically a set of telescoping poles with a brush on the end that you push up through the chimney. We've never had to set foot on the roof to deal with the chimney.

We've added drying racks as we go, so it's a bit of a hodgepodge of wood stands around the property. If you're just getting started, know that you will probably need more space and more wood than you think. And hey, it doesn't spoil, so if you don't use it all this season, it will continue to age and be useful next. Also, you may want to consider the area you want to use for dumping the wood before it gets split. It really piles up, hehehe.

It's a lot of work but I can't imagine life without our wood burning stove now!
VC Defiant stove is a beautiful looking stove. Good to hear you are likely it. I have heard that Vermont castings stoves are hard to use at first, how was your experience with first using it? Have you had to replace the catalytic screens yet?

Oh, I also have like you said an image of me getting super fit by splitting wood. Wood splitter sounds like a must. And probably get a chimney cleaning kit from the beginning. Great info.

KumamotoHunter wrote:
Sun Feb 14, 2021 12:09 pm
Here's mine:

Image

I have a DutchWest "Federal" catalytic stove, model FA285. It came with the house I bought. It's twenty years-old, but still works fine, despite various cracks inside and the rear legs breaking in the Kumamoto earthquakes of 2016! I replaced the catalytic element and gaskets last year. My ceiling in the room with the stove is about eight meters high(!), so I have a ceiling fan to keep the heat down.
https://www.dutchwest.co.jp/products/stove/fcheater/

I also have a stove top fan which I bought from Amazon. Remarkably effective!

Image
https://www.amazon.co.jp/-/en/dp/B08VVZ ... 20&sr=8-14

This year I bought 660 kg of wood from a local NGO. Half hardwood and half softwood. I also often get given wood by local people who are clearing land for various reasons. Lots of chestnut especially.
https://kbiomass.org/goods/

I bought a manual wood splitter on Amazon, plus I use an axe as well. Similar to this one:

Image
https://item.rakuten.co.jp/kaientai-2/i ... 0033295910

I highly recommend NOT having any horizontal sections in your chimney. I do, and it sucks to clean. I am going to get a new chimney put in soon, and it will go straight up to the roof. Will cost 400,000 yen to get done, so am saving up (it's not a huge priority).
Wow, that is a tall ceiling! After, the earthquake did you get your chimney inspected or could you just tell that it was alright? How often do you need to replace your catalytic screens?

Sounds like those heat propelled fans are a must.

Chimney installation here are all so expensive! Thanks for the great info!

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Post by KumamotoHunter »

I could tell it was okay after the earthquake. I clean it and patch up any holes once a year. I replaced the catalytic element a few years ago; it was simple to do. I think it needs replacing about once every five years or so. Costs about 30,000yen for a replacement.

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Post by Zasso Nouka »

@Chuck, just to give you an idea of what you might be looking at once folk around you know you'll take wood off them here is our unprocessed pile over by the cafe.

Image

Image

Image

You're bound to get some wood that is either really wet or half rotten so just use that to keep the decent stuff up off the ground so it can dry out until you get around to splitting it.

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Post by DocDoesFarming »

Damn that's way more than what you had when I visited.

What's wrong with the rotten kind? Does it make it a nightmare to clean the pipes or something?
I write a load of bollocks, don't take me seriously.

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Post by Zasso Nouka »

It's building up quicker than we can burn it :D
DocDoesFarming wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 10:17 pm
What's wrong with the rotten kind? Does it make it a nightmare to clean the pipes or something?
It's wet and flaky and although it can dry out under a roof it doesn't give much heat when you burn it so not worth the effort of cutting and splitting. We normally just pile it up somewhere and let it break down into the soil or burn it if dry enough

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Post by Tora »

Rotten wood does not give off as much heat but it sure ignites easily if it’s dry. Heck, even the wife can get the stove going well from a cold start on the first time using rotten wood!

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Post by Chuck2 »

Zasso Nouka wrote:
Sat Feb 27, 2021 1:29 pm
@Chuck, just to give you an idea of what you might be looking at once folk around you know you'll take wood off them here is our unprocessed pile over by the cafe.

Image

Image

Image

You're bound to get some wood that is either really wet or half rotten so just use that to keep the decent stuff up off the ground so it can dry out until you get around to splitting it.
Hi Zasso Nouka,

I am the former user named Chuck, for some reason I just couldn't reset my old password and sign in.

Thanks for sharing your photos. I have been walking around my property and trying to figure out the best spots for where I am going to chop and stack firewood. I haven't given much thought to where I should place possible free wood. Seeing your photos, I should do some more thinking about it. Looks like you got a lot of work a head of you.

The plan is to buy wood for the first and probably even for the second season. We are hoping to have the stove installed over the next few months. We have talked to the owner of the near by mountain to see if we can cut down trees from there, and we got the ok. Looks like I'm going to have to get a new chainsaw too. I was hoping that getting a wood burning stove was going to save me money, lol, looks like it is going to cost a lot of money too. Almost kinda having second thoughts.

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Post by Zasso Nouka »

Upfront costs on a maki stove can be quite expensive but from then on it gets cheaper. Can't remember precisely but if you already have a chainsaw then don't rush into buying a new one, so long as the bar is at least 40cm long that should do just fine for cutting down most trees and then chopping them up.

Do give some thought to where you are going to store unprocessed wood to make life easier later on, unfortunately for us our wood store is quite far from where the unprocessed wood is.