Wood supply

I live in southern Indiana and occasionally go into a local Amish store and they have some really good stuff. I don’t think that they are that strict but they are certainly interesting


This is my Lilly pad picker. There is a extension spring inside the 1” pipe the holds it in the closed position


Hello all.

I wanted to make a little report on my experiences with with pine wood vs oak.

Up until about six months ago I was using about 99% pine for the gasifier fuel. The main reason is because it is so handy using the scrap from my sawmill which is mostly pine and I already have it on my tractor forks and very easy to feed right into the chunker.

Whenever I dumped my hopper condensate tank from running the pine I would have a large amount of tar to drain off. Also now and then at a cold start up I would notice the throttle feeling a little sticky until the truck warmed up . After driving the truck a couple thousand miles or less I would be able to light up my intake manifold for a burnout cleaning.

For the last six months I have used near 100% oak . In this time frame I haven’t noticed a sticky throttle nor have I been able to light the intake manifold. When dumping my hopper condensate tank I notice very little tar .

The oak fuel cost me more time and effort because it is not a byproduct of my sawmill but I think I will stay with it for the truck fuel.

The furthest I have driven on a hopper of oak wood and also pulling a small trailer with my dakota was 120 miles . On pine wood a hopper would last on the same road about 70-80 miles .

I have seen very little difference in power or performance with the two fuels .



Wayne I am not at all surprised you see the same thing burning wood for heating. Typically oak drys very slow you might even find it is better after letting it sit for as much as a full year to dry. Around here hard maple is the best firewood you can get partly because it drys faster than oak.


Thank you Wayne for that report. I have noticed the same when burning cherry wood vs. poplar wood, poplar wood produces more tar hav ing thicker bark. I have not notice a sticky throttle linkage, but poplar produces more ash and not as many char pieces like the cherry wood. Hard cherry wood is my mainstay for wood gasification.


Thank you Wayne for that report! My fuel of choice is beech (both firewood and gasifier) but on my Chevy l mainly burnt oak.

I noticed oak produces best charcoal thugh. Instead of forming hard thick lumps of charcoal, it cracks in layrs, look at bottom picture.

Perhaps this greater surface area allso contributes to performance?

I read oak can cause problems with corosion. Anyone noticed this?


Ok I have a stupid question. I am working on splitting some firewood today and while I have split wood since I was a kid this one seems odd to me I don’t remember seeing waves in the grain of wood before so I was wondering if anyone knows what causes a tree to grow like this. All I can tell you is they did a timber cut off my wood lot and my forester said he would get wood that needed to be thinned out as fire wood for me. I am guessing he knew somehow that this tree had a messed up grain but honestly I do well to identify what types of trees they are I never know which ones are good or bad until it is obviously too late.


Hi Dan , i also have been splitting 2 giant gum tree’s that are down in my garden i also have some like that ,and its called Fiddleback

Google Fiddleback will tell you all about it



I am assuming that the bevel on that piece on top was the face cut from when the tree was felled?

Looks like “Butt Figure” ‘A wavy, rippled pattern caused by grain distortion where the root joins the stump.’ https://www.wooduchoose.com/BlogPost/?Figure-in-Wood (make sure you add ‘wood grain’ if you do an image search for ‘butt figure’ or you will find something else :grinning:)

I feel like I see this more in certain species, like cherry, and in older trees. I split a lot of firewood with an axe, and the wavy stuff is always a chore to split.


Thanks that one was the but cut but the waves go up the tree atleast 4 feet. That is about all I have split sofar.
Lucky for me I have a hydraulic splitter and it is a by direction splitter so the wedge is narrower it tends to cut more then split when things get rough.


Dave after reading that I sort of feel bad about turning it into firewood I should have taken that log over to my sawmill and gotten some interesting lumber.


yes over here hobbyist turners , builders , pay a premium for pieces like that so i believe .



That’s sugar maple, isn’t it?

Curly maple is likely worth more as lumber, beautiful stuff.

I would figure curl might be what is called reaction wood, like if a tree grew on a lean.

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Yes it is suger maple, but it’s a little late now for lumber unless someone wants 16 inch lumber… the back lot here is the base of mount with a brook and a swamp the maples all get center rot and become useless for lumber before they get big enough for sawing. There is some nice red oak out there though. Those trees are about 10 inches diameter and already have center rot issues. But it does make great firewood. Someday I might get around to tapping some for syrup.


Picture frames… :wink:


CarlOR, you nailed the answer – butt grain wave/ripple.
Even on a very strait grained tree like Douglas Fir this aways happens when that tree hits a certain weight-mass. The downward pressure of 20,000-30,000+ pounds does this grain downwards compression squashing.

Yeah. Bugger-do to split. I now been using a 34 ton force hydraulic splitter for the past 4 years. Just got old, and tired of sinking in 3-4-5 steel wedges and still having to saw completely to separated.
tree-farmer Steve unruh


I like that description. I always wondered why the butt cuts were twisted, waves, and squishing makes sense.
My little splitter is only 12 tons but I haven’t stalled it yet, but is probably slower/safer than the bigger ones.
One advantage is that I can move it around like a wheelbarrow.


Actually almost all the hydraulic splitters are the same speed. Typically the higher rated splitter have bigger cylinders and the pumps are not enough bigger to speed them up. It actually take a pretty big motor to run a higher gpm pump to speed up the splitter. There are the 2 stage pumps but I haven’t used them.
Now if you want crazy fast on a small motor look up the super split I think it is called 5 hp lawnmower motor with a rack drive setup a friend of mine has one I went over to help him one day and after that think made one split I told him no way you can run that I will just bring wood over for you or run a chainsaw.


Gary Gilmore made one from scratch i think its on here somewhere if not here its on the Yahoo charcoal forum , anyway sure is fast at what it does .

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