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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Black Locust

Last year I had a chance to work with black locust, a wood that is fairly common here in the eastern U.S., but somewhat hard to find as lumber. A neighbor had four large trees removed, and I got the wood and split it all for firewood last winter. It burned hot and steady, and made a coal almost as nice as oak. The only downside to it is a rather pungent odor in combustion, and I wondered all winter whether one of my neighbors was going to say something to me about it. But they didn't, and I was blessed with a lot of heat from about three cords of locust.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Primal Urge to Burn Wood

It started with an innocent comment, but my man-senses jumped to alert.

"Barb says she used to burn firewood in a wood stove, but it was so dirty that she put in a gas stove." My wife seemed unaware of the challenge she had so nonchalantly thrown at me.

"Well, I guess burning wood is a little dirty, but the bark and dust are easily enough swept up every day. After all, who'd notice a little dirt in this house?"

Now she was rising to the duel, lasers shooting from her beautiful blue eyes. The battle was joined.