New member and and a new stove

sweedish

Member
Feb 6, 2019
98
Michigan
Hello All, I am a new member on here, although I have been reading many of the past conversations on this forum, and they have been very useful. In the last 2 months I have bought a house and have gotten married. The house is quite large, around 3000 sq ft Bi level house, quite an open floor plan, and has an upstairs fireplace and the downstairs fireplace had an insert from the 80's in it, which I have removed and was glad I did, due to it was not connected to a liner, and there was 6" of creosote on and around it. I Shopped around, and have bought a Kuma Sequoia insert for the downstairs fireplace. I am having my local chimney sweep install it. I decided on the Kuma due to this house only has electric heat, and I was looking for one that would heat the entire house. I liked the BTU's and the efficiency of the Kuma, I do have the blower attachment for it also. The old house where we were living had electric heat, but also had a backup generator. While those are quite handy, My feeling is they will never pay for themselves, I live in the thumb of Michigan, and am hoping that this insert will be able to provide us with heat in the event of a power outage, and a place to warm a meal on if needed in addition to hopefully cutting the electric bill considerably.

As far as Gear, I got a stihl farm boss for Christmas, and I also bought me and my dad a logox tool. have 3 gorilla carts, and also a 6' by 10' trailer for hauling wood, and also a tractor that is being lent to me. I have 28 acres of woods with quite a bit of down dead, standing dead trees. Trees around here that I have noticed so far are pines, birch, cherry, walnut, and some maple.

PPE I have the chaps, bugz goggles logging helmet, and ear protection. I also have a moisture meter coming and a temp gun coming.

I will be providing further posts with reviews of what seems to work for me, and also the journey with the new insert.

Anyone have any experience with burning standing dead? So far most of what I have cut is mainly pine, although there is a bid dead maple I have my eyes on when I get some spare time.
 
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jatoxico

Minister of Fire
Aug 8, 2011
4,067
Long Island NY
Welcome aboard. Sounds like you have a good handle on what you need to do. For the most part the experienced wood cutters here will say that standing dead is no guarantee getting dry wood. I would urge you to put in a metal block off plate and insulate the smoke shelf with Roxul for maximum heat from the insert.
 
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sweedish

Member
Feb 6, 2019
98
Michigan
I did get my moisture meter today, and I grabbed a couple of Random bigger rounds and split them, the one standing dead maple read 17.5% and the pine was 20.5%. These have been css 2 weeks ago, they are stored outside covered. Ideally I’d have it dried a bit longer, but I don’t think buying off of Craigslist this time of year would get you anything better.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
10,641
Southern IN
Did the sweep clean all that crap out of the chimney, before installing the insulated stainless liner (which I assume you have, to the top?)
For accurate moisture reading, bring a large round up to temp inside for a day or two, then split and measure on a fresh face. It will read correctly, outside temp wood will read high.
Guaranteed dry wood; Go out and find some small <8" standing dead trees with the bark fallen off. They should be ready to burn, with 20% or less moisture.
And we need more Sequoia reports and pics as you familiarize yourself with it! ==c
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
4,386
07462
Install a block off plate in the smoke chamber of the fireplace, if inclined add rockwool insulation on top, this will add more performance to the insert.
 

sweedish

Member
Feb 6, 2019
98
Michigan
I’ve talked to the sweep, and hopefully next week it should be installed. I’ll post some pics and feedback as I progress!
 

sweedish

Member
Feb 6, 2019
98
Michigan
And I did clean out the creasote that was around the old liner as I pulled it out. As a helpful tip, when using a shop vac to clean it, make sure your filter is in good order, I must have gotten mine wet and it disintegrated. It was like taking a leaf blower to the soot! I guess sometimes soot happens. Was quite the mess, glad the wife wasn’t home.
 

jatoxico

Minister of Fire
Aug 8, 2011
4,067
Long Island NY
I did get my moisture meter today, and I grabbed a couple of Random bigger rounds and split them, the one standing dead maple read 17.5% and the pine was 20.5%.
FYI, moisture meters are calibrated to be accurate at room temp (unless you have a pricey adjustable one). To get the correct reading bring the wood into the house for a day or so then split the wood and take a reading on the freshly split face, with the grain, prongs pressed firmly in.
 

jatoxico

Minister of Fire
Aug 8, 2011
4,067
Long Island NY
Ok, I’ll retest the 2 I tested yesterday, I brought them inside, see what they read after work
Cold wood will read false low. When I was starting out I found I could burn pretty successfully with moisture up to about 22-23% in my stove. More than that and it started to become a struggle.
 

sweedish

Member
Feb 6, 2019
98
Michigan
What kind of stove do you have? cat or no? I retested today, pine dropped a couple of percent after being inside for a day. The maple stayed about the same. So good to know my meter seems to be alright. I plan on storing a few days or a weeks worth of wood inside once I get the area around where the insert is going cleaned up a bit. Figure keeping it by the insert where the blower can touch it will help it along.
 
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Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
10,641
Southern IN
Ok, I’ll retest the 2 I tested yesterday, I brought them inside, see what they read after work
Bring in your biggest specimen, let it warm up for a day, then split and test on a fresh face...
 

sweedish

Member
Feb 6, 2019
98
Michigan
Ok, me and the sweep had a bit of a disagreement, he wanted to do an uninsulated liner, I wanted an insulated, I asked him to do an insulated, and gave me a punishment price, 400 bucks more than for what the guys who sold me the stove who would have to travel 2 hours. So, I ordered a preinsulated liner kit, my question to the members is what do you use as far as insulation at the top of the chimney?
 

sweedish

Member
Feb 6, 2019
98
Michigan
I also already have a block off plate mocked up, do I need to also put insulation around the liner where it goes up the chimney at the bottom also?
 

weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,360
Central Mass
You doing it yourself or you waiting for the stove guys? I would still put a metal block off plate even with insulation stuffed in there. Get ready now, it's easier to do before the stoves installed.
 
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jatoxico

Minister of Fire
Aug 8, 2011
4,067
Long Island NY
I also already have a block off plate mocked up, do I need to also put insulation around the liner where it goes up the chimney at the bottom also?
Yes, fill the area above the block off plate as well as you can with Roxul.
 

TWilk117

Member
Dec 20, 2018
199
Mount Laurel, New Jersey
Ok, me and the sweep had a bit of a disagreement, he wanted to do an uninsulated liner, I wanted an insulated, I asked him to do an insulated, and gave me a punishment price, 400 bucks more than for what the guys who sold me the stove who would have to travel 2 hours. So, I ordered a preinsulated liner kit, my question to the members is what do you use as far as insulation at the top of the chimney?
My guy said I didn’t need insulation on the liner either, in my south jersey climate, he said the rules are written for people in more northern climates (like you I suppose.) we did it anyway since I already had gotten it. Putting it on took less than 4 minuets. He said a liner without the insulation would vibrate more and shake the crud out on its own...