Swag Shoppe

Frequently Asked Questions

Got Questions? We Got Answers!

  1. Grizzly Adam
    Section I: Site Issues

    Before reporting an issue with the Firewood Hoarders Club website, please do the following:


    • Search the forums to see if the issue is already being addressed and read that thread in its entirety before posting.

    • If you are experiencing a problem, please hit the reload button and see if the issue goes away. Some users, especially those using mobile devices, are prone to truncated loads meaning the entire site does not load. This often manifests itself as the submit button either not loading or functioning.

    • Also, if you are experiencing the issue on a mobile device please check and see if you are still experiencing the issue when the device is connected to a strong WiFi connection.

    • Please list any devices, operating systems, and browsers used when reporting a problem. Also, it is really helpful if you try loading the site in a second browser and see if the issue is still present. Screenshots are always helpful, but please be careful to not copy any private information that may be displayed in the screenshot.

    • If your question is not answered elsewhere in this guide or if the suggested fixes do not work, please feel free to post in our Suggestions & Support forum and we will be happy to assist.


    Q: Why Won't the Picture Uploader Work?

    A:
    First, try reloading the website-- this fixes the issue most of the time. If you are still having an issue, please update your Adobe Flash Player-- our uploader depends on it. Also, large images are notoriously difficult to upload so please consider shrinking your large images to less than 1000 x 1000 pixels before uploading.


    Q: Why Do I Keep Getting Logged Out?

    A: This seems to be a Firefox only problem. Simply check the "Stay Logged In" button and the problem should go away.


    Q: How Do I Tag Someone?

    A:
    In the main text window (reply box) simply type @ followed by the name of the person you wish to tag. Typically after typing the first three letters of the person's name suggestions will start to pop up, but that may not occur if the person has non-alphanumeric characters in that portion of their name.


    Q: Can I Contact You or Mail You Something Anonymously?

    A:
    Yes! To anonymously contact us, simply log out of your FHC account or open an "Incognito" window in your browser. Click the contact us button at the bottom of the page and from the pulldown menu choose who you wish to contact (Grizzly Adam Scotty Overkill swags ). Use an anonymous email address, but one that actually works so that we can contact you back. There are many anonymous email services available, or you can use a throw-away Gmail or Hotmail address.


    Section II: Firewood

    Q: How is firewood measured?

    A: The standard measurement for firewood is the cord, a volume measure equalling 128 cubic feet. This can be pictured as a stack of wood 4’ tall, 4’ deep, and 8’ long. Another common measure is the face cord, also known as the rick. This is a single row of firewood 4’ tall and 8’ long. The depth of the face cord depends on the length the firewood is cut.


    Q: What is seasoned firewood and how do I know when my firewood is ready to burn?

    A: The term “seasoned firewood” is a bit misleading-- it simply means that your firewood has been sitting around for a period of time. Here at FHC we prefer dry firewood. Dry firewood has a moisture content of less than 20%. To test the moisture in your firewood, split a sample piece and jab your moisture meter into one of the “fresh” sides.


    Q: Why won’t my firewood burn?

    A: Chances are your wood has a high moisture content. See the question above. If your firewood is properly seasoned, you may have a problem with your draft.


    Q: Is it true that pine causes chimney fires?

    A: No. Chimney fires are caused by the build-up of uncombusted carbon, known as creosote. Unseasoned firewood produces an abundance of creosote. Unseasoned firewood and neglecting to clean your chimney causes chimney fires. Pine has a bad reputation because it burns better than other woods when unseasoned.


    Q: When is the best time to cut firewood?

    A: The right time to cut firewood is early enough that the wood will be dry when you go to burn it. For some woods this is as little as six months, others take three years. After that, it’s all about personal preference, most people like fall because of the cooler and drier weather. Consult FHC’s Firewood BTU & Dryings Chart for drying times.


    Q: How do I dispose of ashes?

    A: Even days after the fire has gone out, the ashes may hold enough heat to reignite if given fuel, oxygen and enough time. For this reason they must be stored outdoors in a covered metal container at least three feet from anything combustible. It is important that only non-flammable metal vessels are used to transport wood ashes from your wood burner to the storage container. When you are ready to empty your storage container, contact your local waste management services to locate a local facility where you can dispose of the ashes. Alternatively, a quick search online will reveal that ashes have a plethora of uses around the house, garden and yard. NEVER put ashes in the garbage.


    Section III: Wood-Burning Stoves


    Q: My stove manual says not to build a roaring fire in a cold wood stove. How do I safely bring my stove up to temp?

    A:
    This is really pretty easy, you just have to listen to your stove. Load your stove as desired and follow the guidelines for building a fire. As your wood stove heats up it will begin to creak and pop. Once the stove is up to temp it will become quiet. Use your dampers to keep the fire under control if it tries to heat up too quickly.


    Q: What size wood stove do I need?

    A:
    Each wood stove typically comes with a rating for how many square feet it can realistically heat. Use this rating as your starting base and then take other factors into consideration too-- such as a high ceiling, old windows, an open or closed floor plan, and the draftiness of your home. It is better to get a stove that is too big than one that is too small.


    Q: I just installed a new stove but it only heats a couple of rooms close to it. What gives?

    A: A wood stove is essentially a space heater and it is best to have it centrally located in your home. Forced air systems and an open floor plan can aid in spreading the heat. Sometimes a second stove or another source is necessary to keep your home adequately heated. Also see our section on determining the size of stove you need.


    Q: How high should I mount my stove pipe thermometer?

    A:
    Most manufacturers recommend that you install your thermometer 18” above the stove.


    Q: Do I need a flue damper?

    A: With most modern stoves it is believed that a damper installed in your flue is not necessary. However, they make for a very inexpensive safety feature to help you defend against a runaway fire.


    Q: What is an O.A.K?


    A: An Outside Air Kit, or a Fresh Air Intake device, helps to prevent backdraft smoking caused by negative pressure in the home while drawing fresh air from the outside to fuel your wood or pellet burning appliance.


    Q: What do I do if I have an out of control fire?

    A:
    You want to shut off as much air as possible. Close all dampers to try to suffocate the fire. Some members report success by covering the fire with a heavy coat of ashes, but opening the stove to apply the ashes could worsen the situation. A chemical extinguisher that consumes the oxygen inside the stove, such as Chimfex, may also be employed.


    Q: How do I clean my chimney glass?

    A:
    With the stove reasonably cool, clean the glass with a vinegar and water solution on a rag or paper towel. Newspaper can be used as well and may provide extra scrubbing abrasion. Stuck on residue can scrubbed off with a damp cloth and some ash from your stove for abrasion. Commercial rubbing compounds designed for wood stoves are also available. Avoid using ammonia based cleaners as they can cause pitting in some types of fire glass.


    Q: How hot should I burn my stove?

    A:
    If you flue temperature is too low it can accelerate creosote build-up, if it is too hot it can damage your equipment. Try to cruise in the safe burning range of 300-650 degrees Fahrenheit (150-350 Celsius).


    Q: Do those Creosote Sweeping Logs actually work?

    A:
    Nothing replaces a good chimney sweeping. The claim is that they will loosen creosote build up in your chimney where it will fall down through the flue and safely into the firebox where it can be removed. The concern is that some of the loosened creosote may fall down into the flue area but stop short of the fire box, causing a dangerous build up where it is most likely to combust. In the best of circumstances the CSL and similar problems are unlikely to do any good, but they may actually be more likely to cause a chimney fire than to prevent one.



    Section IV: Pellet Stoves & Their Fuel


    Q: What does “Scraping the pot” mean?

    A:
    A buildup of carbon will eventually manifest on your pellet stove’s burn pot causing problems such as clogged air holes and problems with feeding or igniting. A metal utensil can be employed to remove the carbon.


    Q: What size pellet stove do I need?

    A:
    Each pellet stove typically comes with a rating for how many square feet it can realistically heat. Used this rating as your starting base and then take other factors into consideration too-- such as a high ceiling, old windows, an open or closed floor plan, and the draftiness of your home. It is better to get a stove that is too big than one that is too small.


    Q: I just installed a new stove but it only heats a couple of rooms close to it. What gives?

    A: A pellet stove is essentially a space heater and it is best to have it centrally located in your home. Forced air systems and an open floor plan can aid in spreading the heat. Sometimes a second stove or another source is necessary to keep your home adequately heated. See the entry above on determining the size of stove you need.


    Q: What is an O.A.K?

    A:
    An Outside Air Kit, or a Fresh Air Intake device, helps to prevent backdraft smoking caused by negative pressure in the home while drawing fresh air from the outside to fuel your wood or pellet burning appliance.


    Q: What is a clinker?

    A:
    A clinker is a hard chunk that forms in the burn pot, does not exit with the rest of the ash and has to be scraped out.

    Q: Are softwood or hardwood pellets better?

    A:
    In many cases softwood pellets are preferred over their hardwood counterparts, but each brand is unique. Check out the Pellet Fuels section of our Ratings & Reviews section to get current reviews for many of the brands on the market.


    Section V: Power Equipment

    Q: What kind of 2 cycle oil do I need?

    A:
    The most important thing for choosing oil to run in hand-held equipment is to make sure the oil is designed to run in air-cooled engines. Look for the label to specify use in chainsaws, mowers, trimmers etc. Using an oil primarily designed for marine engines or other water-cooled applications can result in excessive deposits or ash clogging up exhaust ports and spark arrestor screens.

    Oil mix ratio is a hot topic on any forum and FHC is no exception. The correct answer is somewhat complicated as it depends on application. Most modern equipment manufacturers of handheld equipment specify a 50:1 ratio using a high-quality oil rated for air-cooled engines. In unmodified equipment, that's just fine but you will still read many arguments for mixing in more oil. I won't get into all that here but suffice to say ratios between 32:1 and 50:1 will not cause problems.

    When it comes to vintage equipment, older chainsaws usually spec a mix ratio of 32:1 or richer, often down to 12:1. These specs were given in a time where mixing in ordinary 30wt engine oil with the gasoline was common. You generally should use a modern oil specified for air-cooled engines mixed at the same ratio you would use for newer equipment.
    WeldrDave, Eric VW and HDRock like this.

Recent Reviews

  1. Stinny
    Stinny
    5/5,
    Anyone new to burning wood for home heat will find the answers they're looking for here! Great job Grizz... !
  2. Eric VW
    Eric VW
    5/5,
    Great information! I've passed this along to some friends considering wood for heat.
  3. CleanFire
    CleanFire
    5/5,
    Very useful information !