So the initial costings came back at £2500 to supply and install the multi-fuel stove and whilst I am still seeking to reduce the price by either a spot of negotiation and/or another supplier, I have decided to proceed and get the job done. Apparently I should have it done by the end of March at the latest, so I might be able to take advantage and use it during the early Spring. So my immediate attentions now turns to what fuel and where can I get some.
What fuel and where can I get some?
So, by getting a multi-fuel stove instead of just a wood burner, I am told that I can use many different types of fuel. The only limitations I can think of at the moment are, firstly, I am in a local authority smoke-controlled area, secondly the fuel must be from a good and ecological source. Thirdly, its actually got to burn. I have a decent stock of logs and larger branches that I cut down from the garden last autumn and this whilst these may not be best, at least they are close to home and will help tidy up the garden. After that,I have a number of friends living locally, with tree-felling projects in mind and I have offered to help them with the work, if I can take the bigger logs away. Obviously, my friends think this is a win-win situation. Free labour and free removal and I get free heat!!
I’ve also started a bit of online research into paper logs, for those who don’t know, these can either be dry or wet logs (initially). Dry logs involve stuffing shredded paper into toilet roll inserts or similar and maybe wrapping a whole sheet of newspaper over it at the end. The wet version, involves soaking the paper for a few days and then compacting it into a brick or log shape using a specialist tool, like the image shown. They handy gadgets seem to cost around £20-40 depending on the size and quality. I shall certainly be looking into these more closely in the coming weeks. The wet version sounds like a summer job, because the bricks or logs need a few weeks to dry out. Part of the problem according to various writers on blogs and forums is getting them to burn long enough. Some have even suggested that the soaking time is really critical. I don’t want to sound lazy, but I’m not really up for testing the process to seek the holy grail. It has also been suggested that the paper logs or bricks should not bee used a the main fuel source and it must be supported by real wood. It does seem a pity not to be able to use the paper, because currently I burn outdoors all my junk and personal mail for security reasons. So it would be great if that could contribute to my heating.
I have begun to look into other sources of waste wood, there is a factory quite close and they have a large pile of broken pallets, which I have my eye on. A local wood are always selling coppice wood in their farm shop and fortunately this is very local to me.
We in the household are getting very excited about the idea of a real fire in the sitting room and any work associated with making bricks/paper logs will become a family job (well at least for the first summer).
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