I have a fairly large pile of redwood boards left over from our old decks.
There are a few pieces I may plane down to recycle into something usable,
but most of it is just short bits and pieces.
It would all make great firewood for our woodstove, but I'm concerned about
burning lumber that has had a few coats of deck stain applied over the
years. The majority of the stain has weathered away, but I don't want to
cause any problems in our woodstove or chimney.
Would these boards be safe to burn in my woodstove?
Nope, none of the deck boards are treated. I take that stuff to the dump.
Any stain left on these boards is primarily on the surface. There is very
little, if any, of the stain that hasn't weathered away already.
I have already run several of the larger boards through my planer and made
some really nice shelves. But, most of the pieces are full of nails and/or
are too small to be of much use.
I've thought about gluing up the boards into panels I can do something
with, but I don't know what I would do with them? :) It's a lot of work to
go through without an end project in mind.
I suppose I could cut/plane the boards to remove any surface stain, and
feel safe burning it. But again, that's an aweful lot of work and it's kind
of rough on the planer knives.
Well, since you are sure they aren't CCA... I'd just burn the bastards.
As xronger said, probably not the best thing to burn... but unless you
live next to effi, I wouldn't worry about it too much.
Truth be told, when I replaced my deck, most of the old one ended up in
the fireplace the winter before. I didn't worry about it though, as it
hadn't been stained in at least 15 years.
It would be easier, more productive and greatly lower your heating cost to
just buy a pulp cord of logs for $45.00 then cut them up. Should work out to
about 14 to $15.00 a face cord. Can't say what it would do to the chimney
liner or the air for that matter.
That would be 8 foot logs (100" actually) stacked (measured) 4' wide by 4'
high. One pulp cord should yield about 3 face cord (8' X 4') if cut to 16"
lengths and split. I usually order 10 to 15 pulp cord and invite everybody
over for a logging party. I live in a national forest and propane is
expensive, so I heat primarily with wood. I order more than I need for the
year so that I've always got well seasoned wood to burn. This works out for
me to be about $215 to heat with wood for the winter and maybe $275 for
propane. Get them from either a logging company or from the Amish in the
Actually, that is just a "cord" -- 4 x 4 x 8 no matter how
the wood is cut to fit that. People around here may call it
a pulp cord simply because cutting them 8' long is the
Wish I could still burn in my stove, but my wife says it
bothers her asthma too much, so I took the stove out. Was
cheap to heat when we used it, but work to get the wood.
Damned gas furnace is ok but it sure is expensive.
You get 10-15 cords a year and burn most of it? and you buy
it for $215? I looked in the paper this morning and a cord
here costs a minimum of $125. If you can heat with $275
propane, why do you need so much wood? shouldn't be using
more than 4-5 cords a year at the most.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, February 12, 2005 11:54 PM
Subject: Re: Burning old deck boards in woodstove?
No, I burn 10 to 15 face cord, not full cords. One cord (or pulp cord)
yields about 3 to 4 face cord, but let's use 3. At $45.00 per pulp cord of
un-cut logs, that would be $15.00 per face cord. 15 face cord would work out
to $225.00. A face cord (some refer to it as a cord) would be about 16''
wide stacked 8' long x 4' high. A full cord would be 4' wide x 8' long x 4'
high. ( man, too early in the morn' for math).This year I figure I am going
to burn 12 face cord, that would be right around your 4 cord estimate. I've
always got excess out there aging. I like to cut them about 16 inches. Some
will tell you they get 5 face cord per full cord, but man! those would have
to be short. The $275 for propane is cheap, the furnace only kicks in during
the wee hours of the morning, if I'm gone, or the MS is messing with me.
This year, I pre-paid it so it was only $1.07 a gallon. If I were to pay
someone to bring me face cords of split wood 16" wide, around here it would
be about $55.00 down state it would cost about what you pay. People are
paying, not so much for the wood, but rather the labor that goes into it.
Out here in the boonies it's a lot cheaper. I'm heating 2000 square ft and
it's burning pretty much 20/7, 24/7 if I get up at night to pee. Doing that,
one must keep that chimney clean and well maintained. There are plenty of
logging companies here that do maintenance cutting. They don't have to truck
it far and are glad to sell the hardwoods that can't go to the lumber mills.
Ok, face cords. Nobody around here uses that
term. My understanding it is 4 x 8 feet by some
unstated length, so it isn't very precise. 4 real
cords per winter, sounds reasonable for a 2000 sq
ft house depending on the length of your winter
period. We usually let our fire burn out about
2-3 am, but the house was still above 65 when I
built a fire for the day about 6 am. I also found
that we used a lot of wood in the fall and spring
transition periods, until I switched to small hot
fires that lasted maybe 30 minutes to 1-1/2 hours
in the morning and the evening.
Sounds like you are saving lots of money on heat
compared to most of us. Good luck.
The stain shouldn't cause any problems. Shouldn't be enough left on the
boards. Just for peace of mind, burn a a clean load of fast burning wood,
spruce, pine, etc., every four or five loads to keep the creosote build up
to a minimal level.
while it isnt the best idea, many stained pieces of deck wood (and much
worse) have gone through many woodstoves, and i doubt its killed anyone yet.
if you dont want problems with your woodstove or chimney, keep them clean.
Right. People who say don't burn it as it is too much trouble aren't
looking at the big picture. A pile of cut-offs to be gotten rid of, a
house needs heat, what is sensible. BURN IT. I burn a lot of
construction wood that I wouldn't walk across the street to pick up but
I need to get rid of it anyhow, might as well get -some- use out of it.
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