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on 27 January 2014
Having never had a real, proper fireplace in any of my homes, I am something of a newcomer to the world of log fires. However, that all changed in early December 2013 when I bought a wood burning stove for my conservatory. Having then been ruthlessly mocked by a friend about my purchase of a large mound of freshly cut apple tree logs and thinking I could just shove them in my new stove (seemed reasonable at the time), I decided I needed some expert advice and help.
Enter ‘The Log Book’ by Will Rolls, and if I thought I was keen about my new burner beforehand, reading this book got me properly excited!
While not an especially long book, it is nothing if not comprehensive on the subject of wood and its burning. Admittedly there is some geeky stuff in here that, if I’m honest, I don’t really understand, but I’m sure those bits are right up some people’s street, especially it you’re a fire expert. As far as I was concerned, I just wanted to find out how to get my wood burning stove up and running without a/ spending hours trying to light it and keep it alight and b/ spending loads of money on the ‘wrong’ fuel (e.g. new apple logs).

Rather than try and explain what this book says (you can read it for yourself and find that out!), let me lay out the results of me reading it:
1 - I now have a good stock of well-seasoned logs that burn perfectly
2 - I am in the process of building my own log store (for all those newly cut apple logs!)
3 - I have removed the grate from my multi-burner to make it a wood burner only and it works better than predicted by the manufacturer as a result
4 - I can load / light a fire in under a minute and keep it going all day - all with a single match (plus newspaper, kindling and logs)
5 - My conservatory is, if anything, a little too hot! It’s the warmest place in the whole house and has been transformed from a dirty, cold glasshouse to a cosy living room

So, in conclusion - if you want a book that will tell you everything you need to know about logs (choosing, seasoning, storing etc.) and burning them (including which vents to open on your stove at any given time) and even what to do afterwards, this is the book for you. It also makes an excellent firelighter when you’re done. Probably.
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on 19 January 2013
Thinking of reducing your exhorbitant heating oil or gas bill by shifting to renewable energy? A simple way is to buy a wood stove and start using logs from local woodlands. 'The Log Book' is one of those really useful, practical books that anyone with a wood stove should buy. Going right back to basics it explains what happens when you burn wood and how to get the most out of it without polluting the atmosphere or wasting money. Rolls is a forester by training so he knows his wood from the trees. He walks the reader through the process of buying logs - important tips here on how to avoid ending up with damp wood, and how to operate the stove efficiently using the stove air intakes sensibly.

I know a lot about wood myself but came across some gems, such as being able to use softwood in the stove as long as you burn it dry and hot. I'd always stayed away from pine because of the resins in the wood. He cautions against the old habit of trying to keep the stove going all night by 'banking' it down. This just pollutes the neighbourhood all night and also doesn't help the longevity of your stove. Full of good facts and figures on how to work out the costs of heat and how much wood you need in a season this is a 'must buy. My only quibble? Advice on buying a stove. Maybe the next book?
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on 22 January 2013
Great book - well presented, knowledgeable author and fair mix of readability and science!

Best of all if you like people to think you know what you're talking about when it comes to fire, wood, nature, survival (and all that sort of thing) then this book well equips you. Also a good investment practically I should add as you will learn how to burn fires most efficiently for the rest of your life.
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on 16 June 2013
I bought this for my Husband, we have a wood burning stove and he is really into how different wood burns and which wood burns better than others, so this is a great book to dip in and out of with good pictures
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on 3 December 2014
If you have, or are thinking of acquiring a log burner, then you will need several things. Matches, kindling, fuel... and this book.

I can't commend this book highly enough. From choosing the right sort of log burner for the space it's going to fill, to boffin-pleasing equations about heat available per cubic metre of wood, this book covers pretty much everything you would need to know about the joys of wood burning stoves. Refreshingly brief, unpatronising and totally devoid of waffle or jargon, author Will Rolls crams stacks of really useful advice into logically ordered chapters, in under 100 pages. Want to know what kind of trees produce the best fuel? Answered in here. Most efficient way to get the fire up and running as quickly as possible? Need an equation to work out moisture content of your green logs? Also answered in here, along with even the most basic and practical questions of best places to find cheap, reliable fuel sources (his best hint: go to a pub with a log fire, buy a pint and ask the landlord. Brilliant)

Since acquiring this book, I have taken a much less lackadaisical approach to using the wood burner. I'm now far more selective with the wood I burn (no more lumps of random wood with unidentified varnishes on them) to creating a much better storage area for drying out next year's fuel pile. Perhaps most insightful of all is the long term care of the wood burner. I had no idea that heavy metals and salts would be such a problem in unsuitable fuels, and would corrode the flue at a horrifying speed. Following the advice in this book will save you time, hassle and money in every aspect of using your log burner, so get it now if you haven't already got it. Or if you don't have one, get it for someone else who has a log burner and revel in burning wonderful aged ash logs together, basking in their superior BTU output and slight smugness of new found knowledge. Or just read it anyway; it's quite an interesting and easy read in its own right.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 21 November 2015
This is a short and accessible guide for those new to log burning stoves. It will only take you a few hours to read, and if you are already familiar with burning logs in a stove then there is probably not much that will be new to you.

It is written by a forester and published by Permanent Publications, who also publish the Permaculture magazine, so it is no surprise that it is all in favour of the ecological benefits of burning fresh timber on a multifuel stove.

Obviously there are different views on such things, the Earthcare Manual which is like the permaculture bible takes an even stronger green line and recommends building your house round a masonry stove.

This book serves the purpose as an enthusiastic and helpful missing manual for those new to wood burning stoves, the Kindle version is decently produced. I’ll probably buy a paperback version to leave with our stove when we do eventually move.

I would however offer a note a caution that if you are going to be using a woodburning stove the volume of wood that you will burn is considerable, like enough to fill a garage, so it is not a labour free option.
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on 13 July 2014
This short, well-written and easy-to-read book is an excellent introduction to burning wood successfully in your home woodburner. The conversational style makes it accessible for an ordinary person with no previous knowledge of the subject, there are practical tips, clear instructions, a troubleshooting section as well as a glossary and a large reference section, supported by the author's own website.

Having known Will Rolls personally for many years, his passion for and extensive knowledge of all aspects of growing, handling and burning wood really comes through in The Log Book. This gives the book a wide appeal, making it a must-read for those who, having seen the attraction of a real fire, are beginning to wonder about chopping and storing their own wood - read it and reach for an axe! Soon you'll be searching for your own spinney, copse or woodland!

There's sufficient depth here to hold the interest of those with a professional involvement in forestry, wood, tree surgery, biomass, sustainable heating, solid fuel combustion and stoves. In the same simple style the author walks through the maths for calculating the heat energy used from a given quantity of wood and explains the wet basis and dry basis methods of determining the moisture content of logs, as well as explaining why this is important. The only criticism is that, sadly, he doesn't clarify his own opinion in the great Norwegian log storage debate (as referenced in the Disney movie Frozen).... is it bark up or is it bark down?
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on 18 December 2013
This is a really helpful book about wood burners. I got this book as I am thinking of installing a wood burner and alongside advice about the practicalities of choosing one, it also gives some science into combustion and different wood types which was interesting. There is advice on choosing a place to source your fuel and tips about cleaning and maintaining your stove, and plenty more. The book is clearly laid out and easy to read and would make a great resource to anyone who is looking to invest in wood burning stoves as a heat source.
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on 24 November 2015
This is a real must have if you have a multi-fuel or wood-burning stove. Whilst it's a short book it's crammed full of info on how to run any stove at it's best. If you go for wood there are some great tips on how to get it in the right condition for burning in your stove. Highly recommended and a great example of less being more.
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on 21 December 2013
As someone who gained a wood bruning stove when moving house a couple of years ago, and also being in a job where I am often promoting the concept of woodfuel to others this book has proved to be really useful - I wish I'd got it earlier! Whilst I knew the basic theory and how it should be used putting some of the extra information into practice has already proved to help make my stove burn more efficiently. And I also have a better idea of what I'm promoting to others now!

It is concise and well laid out - the language is accessible and the simple diagrams used make it an easy read whether you use it as a reference book or read through from beggining to end. From how to clean the glass to what type of wood to burn in what way the book covers all the key practicalities in addition to providing a bit of theory to set it in context.

If you have a log burning stove or are thinking of getting one then this would be a really useful addition to ensure you get the most out of it - well reccommended.
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