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All the wood heat literature emphasizes that dry wood burns better than wet, which leaves you with two choices: Either get some green wood and put it under cover for a year or so, or burn wood that is already good and dry, wood that you already have, wood that you can identify without special […]

By Yankee Magazine

Jan 02 2018

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All the wood heat literature emphasizes that dry wood burns better than wet, which leaves you with two choices: Either get some green wood and put it under cover for a year or so, or burn wood that is already good and dry, wood that you already have, wood that you can identify without special training. You need only look around you.

  • Rocking chairs: Any rocking chair that creaks is prime firewood. That creak means dry. It also means it will probably fall apart anyway, so you might as well get it first.
  • Louis Quatorze furniture: Wonderful stuff. Old enough to be very dry, big, heavy, with good-burning woods.
  • Queen Anne: Very high rating. About the only remaining dependable source of good walnut firewood.
  • Hepplewhite: Not recommended. Hepplewhite chairs look all right, but there just isn’t that much wood to them. You’ll burn through a set of six before midnight.
  • Shutters:Depends whether it’s a shutter that shuts. If it does, it could help you keep what heat you get. If it bangs, burn it.
  • Bamboo porch shades:You need the shades only in the summer, and you use the stove only in the winter. A real hand-in-glove arrangement.
  • Pianos:Pianos contain a great deal of champion firewood. Many people will hesitate, but if you can’t find middle C and haven’t had it tuned in more than five years, well.…

—Adapted from “The Very Last Word on Wood Heat” by Frank Heath, November 1978