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Who knew that anyone could write more than 100 pages about heating your home with wood? Well, that’s exactly what Will Rolls did in the second edition of The Log Book: Getting the Best From Your Woodburning Stove. He is a forester who specializes in using wood as fuel.
This book contains everything you ever wanted to know about combustion, the science of burning, buying a wood stove, maintenance, and buying or producing your own fuel (a.k.a. wood). It is worth noting that the author is British, and the book was originally published in Britain, so there are some British spellings (“draught” instead of “draft”) and UK websites are listed as a source of more information. However, the book is still a wealth of information for people who live in other areas.
For example, ash is ash, regardless of whether you’re in Europe or North America or the North Pole. Rolls gives you tips on removing ash from the stove, using it in your compost pile, using it for pest control, and using it as a household cleaner. Even his information on buying a stove can transcend the ocean because he give specific details about stoves — size, rated heat output, primary and secondary sources of air, pre-heating, air-wash, boilers, direct air ventilation, and more — rather than making brand recommendations.
Even though the UK websites won’t be useful to me in Illinois, they have given me loads of ideas about what I might be able to find online. It had not occurred to me to look online to find a chimney sweep or that there would be a National Chimney Sweep Guild, as well as more regional associations in various states. The NCSG has a directory online where you can find certified professionals near you.
Since we have a woodburning stove in our basement as a secondary source of heat, I am very happy to have this book in my library now!
Disclosure: Chelsea Green Publishing provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.