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Old 01-09-2013, 10:07 AM   #1
Ceri JC OP
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Carrying/Drying Wood on engine?

I was thinking of putting my bashplate toolbox up for sale as now that I no longer use snow chains, I don't really need it. It occurred to me, however, that I might be able to carry small amounts of firewood in this. Not only that, but hopefully, the heat from the engine would dry it out, even if it was wet wood found on the floor.

I live in Wales and it rains a lot here. Consequently, I not only carry some cotton wool and vaseline fire starters, but also small amounts of kindling with me, as finding anything suitable trail side is a gamble in our weather. The problem is, even with this, it's often possible to burn through all your kindling, before you get up enough heat to dry the wood you've found. I know putting a load of light scrub in the middle of summer in Oz is asking for trouble. I'm talking about putting largish chunks of dead wood you find on the ground, soaked right through, maybe half hour before you stop to make camp.

So, has anyone done this before and what were the results?

PS, yes, I know about splitting wood to get to the dry stuff; just wondering about this as an alternative.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:12 AM   #2
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you will not dry a chunk of saturated wood in a half hour, sure, the surface will be dry, for the rest of the chunk, think more like a half a year
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:14 AM   #3
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I would tend to think that half an hour would not be sufficient to effect any significant drying. Even kiln drying sawn lumber takes days or even weeks. However, what would it hurt to try it around home when your survival or even just your comfort doesn't depend on getting a fire started quickly? The next time you're just going for a ride, strap on a chunk of wet wood and see how much drying has taken place when you're done with the ride.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerhonky View Post
I would tend to think that half an hour would not be sufficient to effect any significant drying. Even kiln drying sawn lumber takes days or even weeks. However, what would it hurt to try it around home when your survival or even just your comfort doesn't depend on getting a fire started quickly? The next time you're just going for a ride, strap on a chunk of wet wood and see how much drying has taken place when you're done with the ride.
Yes, I'll give this a go. From the sounds of it, it won't be spontaneously igniting and torching my bike.

RE: Drying wood taking days/weeks; are you talking freshly cut wood being weathered/aged so it'll burn without smoking too much? I know I wouldn't be able to dry wood I cut on the bike. I'm talking more wood than would already be okay to be burnt, had it not been rained on recently.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:48 AM   #5
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The "WTF?" thread is in the basement.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:29 PM   #6
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I would think that carrying a small hatchet/camp ax in the toolbox/bash plate would be better? Thus, splitting the roadside rained-on wood to get to the dry center part would be optimal. A folding saw and a plastic splitting wedge might be an easy addition to the kit. And lopping off any wet bark would cut down on some of the smoke. Granted, carrying some kindling and accelerant with the hatchet would optimize the chances of getting something started too.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:58 PM   #7
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what the heck is a bashplate toolbox . is this something on a motorcycle? do you use snow chains on a bike?
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAKEZ View Post
The "WTF?" thread is in the basement.
Can't find it? I checked the "Seen any really stupid/fucked up things lately?" thread...

I think people have been very gentle in their responses; it was a serious question, but nonetheless, I had expected a far worse jibing:useful responses ratio.


Quote:
Originally Posted by farmerstu View Post
what the heck is a bashplate toolbox
.

A smallish toolbox that mounts to the bashplate. They're popular on rally bikes, usually for carrying tools.

Quote:
Originally Posted by farmerstu View Post
is this something on a motorcycle?
Yes, a bashplate is a formed piece of material, often metal, on the underneath of a bike to prevent damage to the sump (underside of the engine) when bottoming it out when riding offroad over rocks/logs.

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do you use snow chains on a bike?
Not any more. I used to trail ride on my own F8 irregularly enough that I had sports touring tyres on a lot of the time. Snow chains worked well with these and the main reason I had the bashplate toolbox was to carry snow chains as:
A) The weight was low down and centralised, so I didn't notice it at all.
B) Given the use of chains, it didn't matter if they got messy/wet (the main disadvantage of a bash plate tool box)
These days, it constantly has knobblies on, which don't work well with snow chains, hence my not carrying chains/needing the toolbox any more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ibafran View Post
I would think that carrying a small hatchet/camp ax in the toolbox/bash plate would be better? Thus, splitting the roadside rained-on wood to get to the dry center part would be optimal. A folding saw and a plastic splitting wedge might be an easy addition to the kit. And lopping off any wet bark would cut down on some of the smoke. Granted, carrying some kindling and accelerant with the hatchet would optimize the chances of getting something started too.
I think that's probably the 'sensible' answer to the problem. I like folding saws and have used them in the past. I tend to not carry one on the bike as up until now, I've made do with either the saw blade on my glock shovel, or my Leatherman's. I used to use metal splitting wedges with good success, but not off the bike (as I didn't want the weight penalty). I must admit, I had no idea plastic splitting wedges existed. That sounds like it's worth investigating. Are they strong enough you can get away with using a rock, as opposed to mallet to drive them in? I must admit, I'm a bit paranoid about using hatchets/axes when riding solo/remote; I've seen first hand lots of injuries with them, compared to saws, often not relating to misuse.

FWIW, intended use of this is going to be for wood in a Kifaru stove (so relatively small in diameter; not massive chunks)
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:33 PM   #9
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If this wood is coming from planet earth, radiant heat from the engine isn't going to do anything to dry it out in anything approaching a reasonable amount of time.

You'd probably be better off holding chunks of wood above your head in your left hand in air stream while you ride your bike around at top speed... I don't recommend doing this.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
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If this wood is coming from planet earth, radiant heat from the engine isn't going to do anything to dry it out in anything approaching a reasonable amount of time.

You'd probably be better off holding chunks of wood above your head in your left hand in air stream while you ride your bike around at top speed... I don't recommend doing this.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't wet wood, exposed to heat, tend to generate smoke? Those flashing lights in your mirror might be a fire truck wanting you to pull over.

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Old 01-11-2013, 04:55 AM   #11
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Fuel Pellets

Hey Ceri JC,

I've never had this problem, as Ontario isn't as wet as Wales, and has extensive forests.

I can easily find dead branches of all sizes that are years old, bone dry, still on the tree.

We are also blessed w/ birch bark, which is plentiful, and an excellent tinder.

I would suggest looking into fuel pellets.

(Wood ones, not uranium ones, unless it gets really, really cold.)

http://www.wdpellet.com/what_are_wood_pellets.php
.
.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D R View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't wet wood, exposed to heat, tend to generate smoke? Those flashing lights in your mirror might be a fire truck wanting you to pull over.

Dry wood exposed to heat generates smoke too!
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:47 AM   #13
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I say try it, or you will never know and always wonder......
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D R View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't wet wood, exposed to heat, tend to generate smoke? Those flashing lights in your mirror might be a fire truck wanting you to pull over.

wet wood generates steam that mixes with the smoke from the burning dry wood
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:57 AM   #15
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Look for some of this stuff.






http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/product/MGR-826

I've used it to get a fire going on a kayak trip in the winter along a river. The wood was wet but wasn't "soaked" thru.
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