Firewood from Building Sites

We managed to get nearly all of our wood this year from local building sites. The builders are only too happy to empty their expensive skips of offcuts and waste wood. So, if you have a van and time next year start early. You too could have free heating over the winter next year!

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By Tarranty from Warwickshire

Editor's Note: Building material can often be treated with chemicals to preserve it. Be sure that you are burning only untreated wood.

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January 15, 20090 found this helpful

Most lumber is pine or cedar, which burns quickly and hot. It can start chimney fires so be careful.

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January 15, 20090 found this helpful

Should you fear chemicals in any of the wood; whether treated or not?

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January 17, 20090 found this helpful

Hi, Tarranty,

My uncle married a girl from West Warwickshire (last name Tanner) during WWII. She lived with my family until the war was over. Her family sent us beautiful children's annuals every Christmas as a thank you. I just wanted to say 'hi!' I loved her, and seeing your post made me think of her again.

Hugs, Nancy in MC

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April 21, 20090 found this helpful

Most building lumber in Canada is treated with chemicals which can cause serious illnesses, like cancer, if you burn them....so be careful!

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April 21, 20090 found this helpful

I've always heard not to burn pessure-treated wood and when I googled it I find: "Pressure treated wood is not to be burned under any circumstances. Other products that are on the do-not-burn list are plywood, particleboard, chipboard and painted or finished wood. To be fair, there was one government study that did not find any more toxicity in the smoke from pressure-treated wood than from regular wood. The ash, though, was definitely more toxic, because the arsenic does not burn off. So you wouldn't want to add this ash to soil or your compost heap. All of us who have heated their homes with wood know how the ash is everywhere and on everything!" We just need to know what we're burning I guess.

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April 21, 20090 found this helpful

Another problem with this hint is that it's getting harder and harder to find construction sites that will give up their scrap wood. They are just as imaginative as we can be when coming up with uses for it and they don't want to give it up.

And don't even think of going in after hours either! The penalty for this has really gotten rough! People try it all the time and I've heard of some stiff fines and even jail time for pilfering scrap wood!

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April 21, 20090 found this helpful

The chimney sweep who cleaned my fireplace recently said not to use real wood as it clogs the flue. She recommended using pressed logs.

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April 21, 20090 found this helpful

Thanks for the creative thinking even though it might not be advisable to burn all scrap wood. In a desperate time this could be of much help.You certainly stimulated some dialogue here. All the best.. and watch out for popping nails!

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