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Thread: Firewood question

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    North Central WI
    Posts
    49

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    good tips provided on safety. You might be able to burn that hemlock if you split it real small as Maple Flats suggested, some species require time for seasoning even if they've been snapped or cut off the stump for quite some time but as you say this species does dry faster than others so you'll probably be ok here. I was offered a downed hemlock last fall, about 18" dia, got two nice logs out of it, got them home and was going to mill them and build an entry door for our log sugar shack but the logs were a little too far gone for milling, so I'm going to burn it in the syrup stove this spring. There is another larger hemlock on the same property and the owner said I could have that one as well so we'll see what shape that one's in......around this part of the country, hemlock is one of the best species for anything outdoors, we have an outhouse at deer camp made from hemlock, it's pushing 100 years old and still standing. Most has been logged off over the years so not too common to come across nice hemlock logs anymore.....if that other hemlock doesn't pan out, I can always use cedar as that's just as good if not better for outdoor projects.
    2010 - 12 taps, turkey fryer, 4 quarts
    2011 - 24 taps, homemade arch from old water tank, 16"x24" flat pan, 16+ quarts
    2012 - 9 taps, 3 pints, what a season
    2013 - 60 taps, homemade oil tank arch with 2'x4' flat pan, 16"x24" finishing pan on electric range, 55 quarts
    2014 - 80 taps, homemade oil tank arch with 2'x4' flat pan, 16"x24" finishing pan on electric range, 40 quarts
    2015 - 100 taps, 15 gallons
    2016 - 115 taps, 13.5 gallons
    2017 - 120 taps, 13 gallons
    2018 - 130 taps, 11 gallons

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Harvard, MA
    Posts
    201

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    I burn a lot of hemlock in my 2x5 so I have some experience that may help. We have a ton of it on my property, so much that Iíve given quite a bit away. I mix it with hardwoods in my evaporator. Iíve found it dries much faster than our hardwoods, but it still needs some drying time after splitting, to run well. Like most have said in these forums, make sure your wood is dry and split to wrist size. Bark in is no problem as long as itís split. Iíve dried it as little as 4 months with good results, but I can tell you when I split a downed hemlock thatís been sitting a year or more Iíve found it to be pretty wet inside. Have you tried a moisture meter - $25 or so at a hardware store or on amazon.

    Tom
    2021 is season 6.
    2016: 20 taps on buckets, 4 gallons on a borrowed 2x3.
    2017: 32 taps on buckets, 8 gallons of syrup, on a "loaner" Lapierre 19x48. Makeshift 8x8 sugar shack.
    2018: 80 taps with new neighbors. First time tubing. New 10x12 sugar shack, Lapierre 2x5. Made 17 gallons, sold 5.
    2019: 100 taps. 22 gallons. Added a small RO 50 gph.
    2020: 145 taps, 30 gallons, sold half. Murphy cup is a great addition.
    2021: tapped Feb 23, 150 taps. Aiming for 35 gallons. refractometer.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
    Posts
    383

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    I have all of the normal split wood of maple, white birch, poplar and even some ironwood for the evaporator. I just got a whole bunch of cedar posts that were from a lot of bunk beds. It is very dry, but is stained and likely has some sort of veneer on it.

    Cedar will burn like pine I suspect, hot, but can cause a creosote problem, but my concern is for the stain and veneer on it and if that would affect the syrup. I had no plan to use this, but I have a fair amount of it and will be getting more.

    Any thoughts if I can use this, or totally stay away from it? My gut says totally stay away from it.

    59C53F2C-2EA4-41CA-BB65-614EC6F6E923.jpg
    60920D3F-2735-42DF-8B32-CBF657E0CB8E.jpg
    First year will be this coming season in 2022.
    5 pan block arch - 84 taps, 75 on 3/16 lines, 9 on buckets 5/16 spouts

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Haverhill, Ma
    Posts
    835

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    hardwoods create coals which will lengthen your shutdown times between stopping firing and being able to walk away from the pan. Just sharing my experience. YMMV.
    2019 - New 12X12 boiling pavilion
    2018 - New Mason 2X3 Hobby XL and homemade RO
    2017 - 49 taps on gravity, 6 on buckets.
    2016 - 19 taps on new 3/16 tubing, 24 on buckets
    2015 - 51 taps, 26 buckets
    2014 - 50 taps, 14 buckets, steel railroad toolbox converted into arch, new 2X3 continuous flow Phaneuf from Homestead Maple
    2013 - 33 taps, 12 buckets, steel railroad toolbox converted into arch, steam table pans
    2012 - 26 taps, 10 buckets, steel railroad toolbox converted into arch, steam table pans

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Nashville, MI
    Posts
    519

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    It will make great campfire wood. Don't use it in the evaporator. That coating could cause an off flavor in your syrup.
    2004 - 2012 2x3 flat pan 25 to 60 taps
    2012 2x3 new divided pan w/draw off 55 taps
    2018 - didn't boil surgery - bought new evaporator
    2019 new SML 2x4 raised flue high output evap. 65 taps
    made 17 gal syrup
    2020 - only put out 53 taps - made 16.25 gal syrup
    2021 - going for 50 bags and 50 on tubing

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
    Posts
    383

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pdiamond View Post
    It will make great campfire wood. Don't use it in the evaporator. That coating could cause an off flavor in your syrup.
    That was my thinking and my fear as well. Some of it will be headed for the ice hut.

    B68EFD09-3CB7-4337-8EBF-9FAD192A40B7.jpg
    38E4ACF2-53D6-4A3D-BA4F-C1043B5BB276.jpg
    First year will be this coming season in 2022.
    5 pan block arch - 84 taps, 75 on 3/16 lines, 9 on buckets 5/16 spouts

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Williston, VT
    Posts
    438

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    HOLY COW! How many bunk beds did you have?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pdiamond View Post
    It will make great campfire wood. Don't use it in the evaporator. That coating could cause an off flavor in your syrup.
    I think there are several environmental reasons not to burn it in the evaporator, although I don't think it would create an off flavor since the smoke shouldn't be passing near your pan. As for burning it as campfire wood - that creates the same environmental impacts and would be even worse since any toxic fumes from the coatings would be more likely to be inhaled.

    The best solution is to repurpose the stuff.

    Ken
    Ken & Sherry
    Williston, VT

    2017 - 13 gallons on 65 taps (12 buckets, rest 3/16), 2x4 flat bottom, modified cargo box sugarhouse
    2018 - 90 gallons on 418 taps (gravity lines), Leader 30"x10' Vortex Arch & Max Raised Flue with Rev Syrup Pan, New Sugarhouse
    2019 - Burned through alot more money: heated kitchen, 2x2,000 and 375 gal ss sap tanks, CDL1200 RO, Bauch Vac Pump, More taps, etc., etc., etc.
    https://www.facebook.com/pumpkinhillmaple/

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
    Posts
    383

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    Probably the best idea. We will likely make some flower boxes and other outdoor boxes with them. They came from a place that had many bedrooms and they are replacing the furniture.

    Maybe I can make some walls out of them for my next sugar shack!
    First year will be this coming season in 2022.
    5 pan block arch - 84 taps, 75 on 3/16 lines, 9 on buckets 5/16 spouts

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    1,209

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    I been thinking about this thread and I could agrue both ways, burn or not burn. I think it comes down to one simple rule, "if there is any doubt about safety then don't do it".
    125-150 taps
    Smokey Lakes Full pint Hybrid pan
    Modified half pint arch
    Air over fire
    All 3/16 tubing
    Southern Ohio

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Corbeil, ON
    Posts
    65

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    If you make a flower garden out of it make sure to not plant anything you would eat near it. There could be lead or worse in the stain which can leach into the ground. Repurposing for a sugar shack seems like the best idea.
    2021 - Year one. 15 taps using 5/16" and drop tube into buckets. Homemade barrel evaporator with 2 steam trays. 4.7L syrup.

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