What to burn in an open fire?

Discussion in 'Homes and gardens' started by Rois, Sep 19, 2008.

  1. Rois

    Rois Frequent Poster

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    I have just had my chimney cleaned in preparation for winter nights and would like suggestions on what to burn for fuel. I have an option of getting free oak wood left-overs from a local furniture factory. Also can collect lots of twigs from a field behind my house. What about newspapers etc? Don't want to have to go down the road of buying coal or fire-logs if I can avoid it.
     
  2. huskerdu

    huskerdu Frequent Poster

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    Last edited: Sep 19, 2008
    Twigs burn in a matter of seconds, so be prepared to spend the entire night feeding the fire. Newspaper burning will provide lots of smoke, lots of bits of burning newspaper flying up the chimney but little
    heat. There used to be a contraption available to turn newspaper into blocks for the fire. Anyone
    I know who tried one was disappointed but maybe some other AAM can give a positive review of these.

    Wood burns nicely, but will spit because of the moisture content.
    I dont know about oak specifically, but you will need a fireguard to avoid burning your floor covering.

    If you are looking to provide heat, and not just the look of a nice fire, I dont know of anything other than coal or turf which will be satisfactory.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2008
  3. SarahMc

    SarahMc Frequent Poster

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    Cheapest fuel would be a trailor load of logs, look out for small ads section of your local newspaper.

    It seems very sinful to burn oak.

    Twigs and newspaper are kindling, they are not meant to sustain a fire.
     
  4. j26

    j26 Frequent Poster

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    The oak left overs should sustain a good fire.

    If you break up the pieces reasonably small, they burn faster, but throw out a lot more heat.
     
  5. Bonaparte

    Bonaparte Frequent Poster

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    Myself and Mrs Bonaparte have been removing branches from the side of the road for a number of years. Initially we used a Bushman to saw them up but in recent times we purchased a chainsaw in LIDL and have had weeks of free fires. The oak off cuts will be an ideal way to start the fire and also keep is going when it lulls. Be careful with fresh timber as it can be harmful to the chimney. Ash is ok when fresh, however, some timber is best left to dry out.
     
  6. Rois

    Rois Frequent Poster

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    Just wondering why it would be harmful to chimney?
     
  7. purplealien

    purplealien Frequent Poster

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    Why?? Are you completely miserated - why have a fire at all if thats te case!!!Stay in the cold and put a few extra blankets on yourself - unbelievable!!!!
     
  8. Bluebells

    Bluebells Frequent Poster

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    Are you going about the roads sawing branches off Oak and Ash trees? How is it possible to find enough felled branches - as large as to need cutting up with a chainsaw - to feed 'weeks of free fires". Or have you been building up a supply over the years ?

    If the former, you are damaging the trees and making them vulnerable to disease. Some trees can only be cut in certain ways, at certain times, and for certain reasons. You will end up killing trees, for example Holly.
     
  9. Rois

    Rois Frequent Poster

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    "miserated" - whatever that means - no. But as I said in my original post, I have the option of FREE wood cuttings from a local furniture factory, 30 acres of land and woodland behind my house, and would rather use this free source of fuel - if suitable for an open fire, than having to pay out for coal or wood.
     
  10. Bonaparte

    Bonaparte Frequent Poster

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    Don't worry Bluebelles we are simply clearing up fallen branches. Look out next time you are on a country road, the ditches are littered with them. Generally the largest is about eight inches in diamater and I can assure you that the chainsaw is much more comfortable than the bushman.
     
  11. Bluebells

    Bluebells Frequent Poster

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    Profound apologies, Bonaparte, I'm sorry for thinking ill of you.
    Enjoy your walks, and the nice fragrant fire to come home to!
     
  12. Rois

    Rois Frequent Poster

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    Thanks for the advice. I have three black bag fulls of dry twigs (courtesy of the birds who blocked my chimney in the first place). I will use these and maybe papers for starting the fire. I will get the oak left-overs from the furniture factory, and will also collect the logs up the fields when I am walking the dogs and let them dry out before using - thanks Bonaparte - I don't have a saw, but might invest in one, as lots of fallen trees and branches around. Never had an open fire before so looking forward to it!
     
  13. Teabag

    Teabag Guest

    I read once that its illegal to go into a forest and pick up fallen branches and loose bits of wood. Something to do with the trees recycling nutrients and critters needing the coverage etc etc.
     
  14. Celtwytch

    Celtwytch Frequent Poster

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    And not sinful to burn other types of wood? Anyways, the OP is talking about offcuts of wood, that probably wouldn't be useful for anything else. I don't think s/he is planning to chop down any oak trees anytime soon!
     
  15. ubiquitous

    ubiquitous Frequent Poster

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    Its certainly illegal if you don't own the forest, as it is effectively stealing.
     
  16. Bubbly Scot

    Bubbly Scot Frequent Poster

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    The recent storms brought down one of our trees, ESB cut back a fair few too and left the cuttings....enough firewood to see us through a few winters. We supplement this with some coal though as we like the visual. I wouldn't burn paper because I'm worried about chimney fires.
     
  17. Rois

    Rois Frequent Poster

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    Please rest assured I have NO intention of cutting down oak trees or any other trees for that matter!! Just happy to collect the logs strewn around the bottom of the trees. I don't own the fields - the land was bought by developers about 10 years ago, but remains unused, so not sure where I stand legally if I collect these logs, is it really stealing considering it will eventually be used to build houses etc on? Should I ask permission from the developers first?
     
  18. z103

    z103 Guest

    Consider using a stove rather then an open fire. More efficient use of fuel, and you can still open the front to see the fire. If you get one with a hot plate, you can also make the dinner on it - or at least some toast.
     
  19. z105

    z105 Guest

    Of course, if the logs are on their land, then it's their property, or in other words if you don't own them then it is illegal to take them !

    Enjoy your fire !
     
  20. DavyJones

    DavyJones Frequent Poster

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    I don't know, but would there be an issue with burning treated timber? If Rois is getting timber from a factory this may be the case, (that timber is treated).