Roll on the Winter season 2017

Summer is pretty much over and we are fast rolling into autumn, which means it’s the beginning of our high season (phew, i can finally make some dosh; seasonal work is not for all so just as well i’m a saver).
This season i will be trying some new marketing out, including some leaflet drops and maybe some facebook +/google adverts too. Perhaps i should try to think of an incentive to try to avoid/mitigate the Xmas rush some way, i will give it some thought.  Our new van      ( yes it is white-, lol, shh don’t laugh!!) is looking good, running fine, has passed it’s MOT and hopefully will continue to serve us faithfully for a good few years to come.
This year i am looking forward to getting the van sign written, so that it will look more professional not to mention advertise our services. Once it’s done i will get the pictures up , which is another promise for this year… to take some more pictures of work for the facebook page so that interested folk can see and learn about what we do :).

I’ve just changed the theme of the website again so , hopefully you’ll agree it looks a bit tidier , i have plans to get a new logo done in the not too distant future and more site work on the TBD list too.

  *****  If you use solid carbon based fuels for your heating system, you should consider getting your chimney/liner swept at least once a year. For competitive quotes and a job done well with professional service contact Tom for a stress free quote.  *****

Summer Heat is on

Not posted in a while so just a quick post to let everyone know i am here , still available for work over the summer. Normal service ends the end of this month but i will be available on request until the autumn season starts back up again towards the end of August.

So if you have birds nest problems or “other” jobs the best time to get it done will be early July to mid August unless otherwise notified by post here. Thanks for your loyal continued support, Tom 🙂

It is 2017 ..and full blown season

Things are busy busy , still not got my database sorted … so many of them have been a waste of time ..i came up with my own solution but its still going to take a fair bit of work to complete. Not enough hours in the day i do so many things shall be done though for sure before the autumn season begins end of August / September. I am finally i hope finding more focus and dare i say it optimistic for a change 🙂 If you are looking for specific information check the menus at the side and you will probably find what you need under its category..if you don’t email and ask, i will try to answer as soon as i can. Contact form on the site is now working again ..finally ..i have such a love/hate relationship with technology , should maybe have stuck to my chemistry but that’s another story .. <3 Tom

Wood Burning Properties

Wood Burning Properties

There are a many types of wood to choose from, all of which have their own burning qualities and properties. Although there are references to burning green wood here; to get the most efficient and effective ‘burn’ in your wood burning stove, only very dry (at least <20% moisture) wood should be used. Wood always burns best on a bed of its own ashes, the following is a small guide only and by no means comprehensive.

In addition there are also the compressed reclaimed ‘eco’ type of logs and briquettes which do tend to burn well and for a decent length of time because they are dense and very dry. However, you should try to choose a product that does not break apart too easily.

The table below shows the types of woods and their properties.

Alder Produces poor heat output and it does not last well. Poor
Apple A very good wood that bums slow and steady when dry, it has small flame size, and does not produce sparking or spitting. Good
Ash* Reckoned by many to be one of best woods for burning, it produces a steady flame and good heat output. It can be burnt when green but like all woods, it burns best when dry. Very good*
Beech* Burns very much like ash, but does not burn well when green. Very good*
Birch Produces good heat output but it does burn quickly. It can be burnt unseasoned, however the sap can cause deposits to form in the flue with prolonged use. Good
Cedar Is a good burning wood that produces a consistent and long heat output. It burns with a small flame, but does tend to crackle and spit and the sap can cause deposits to form in the flue with prolonged use. Good
Cherry Is a slow to burn wood that produces a good heat output. Cherry needs to be seasoned well. Good
Chestnut A poor burning wood that produces a small flame and poor heat output. Poor
Firs (Douglas etc) A poor burning wood that produces a small flame and poor heat output and the sap can cause deposits to form in the flue with prolonged use. Poor
Elm Is a wood that can follow several burn patterns because of high moisture content, it needs to be dried for two years for best results. Elm is slow to get going and it may be necessary to use a better burning wood to start it off. Splitting of logs should be done early. Medium
Eucalyptus Is a fast burning wood. The sap can cause deposits to form in the flue and can increase the risk of a chimney fire if burned unseasoned. Poor
Hawthorn* Is a good traditional firewood that has a slow burn with good heat output. Very good*
Hazel Is a good but fast burning wood and produces best results when allowed to season. Good
Holly Is a fast burning wood that produces good flame but poor heat output. Holly will burn green, but best dried for a minimum of a year. Poor
Hornbeam A good burning wood that burns similar to beech, slow burn with a good heat output. Good
Horse Chestnut A good wood for burning in wood stoves but not for open fires as it does tend to spit a lot.  It does however produce a good flame and heat output. Good (For stoves only)
Laburnum A very smokey wood with a poor burn. Poor do NOT use
Larch Produces a reasonable heat output, but it needs to be well seasoned. The sap can cause deposits to form in the flue with prolonged use. Medium
Laurel Burns with a good flame but only reasonable heat output. It needs to be well seasoned. Medium
Lilac Its smaller branches are good to use as kindling, the wood itself burns well with a good flame. Good
Maple Is a good burning wood that produces good flame and heat output. Good
Oak Because of its density, oak produces a small flame and very slow burn, it is best when seasoned for a minimum of two years as it is a wood that requires time to season well. Good
Pear Burns well with good heat output, however it does need to be well seasoned. Good
Pine (Including Leylandii) Burns with a good flame but the resin sap can cause deposits to form in the flue and can increase the risk of a chimney fire.MUST be well seasoned. Good (with caution)
Plum A good burning wood that produces good heat output. Good
Poplar A very smokey wood with a poor burn. Very poor
Rowan* Is a good burning wood that has a slow burn with good heat output. Very good*
Robinia (Acacia) Is a good burning wood that has a slow burn with good heat output. It does produce an acrid and dense smoke but this is of course not a problem in a stove. Good  (For Stoves only)
Spruce Produces a poor heat output and it does not last well. Poor
Sycamore Produces a good flame, but with only moderate heat output. Should only be used well-seasoned. Medium
Sweet Chestnut The wood burns ok when well-seasoned but it does tend to spit a lot. This is of course not a problem in a stove. Medium (For Stoves only)
Thorn* Is one of the best woods for burning. It produces a steady flame and very good heat output and produces very little smoke. Very good*
Willow A poor fire wood that does not burn well even when seasoned. Poor
Yew* A good burning wood as it has a slow burn and produces a very good heat output. Very good*

Moisture Meters

The single worst predisposing cause of chimney fires today is wet wood. The recommended level of moisture is less than 20% to avoid chimney fires. You can read more about moisture meters here >(Moisture Meters)

This guide was originally taken and adapted from

Gone but never forgotten 5 long years

October the 28th this year marked 5 years since my father passed away. Since then i have always tried to make a short post here on the site each year to mark his remembrance and reflect on the passing years.
I can’t believe it’s been 5 very quick years since you left us and the pain of your loss doesn’t get any less , if anything it gets worse as i realise more and more all the sacrifices you made for us; to give us the many things and lifestyle we enjoyed .
All those many hours of work you used to put in, out in all the harsh weather Scotland could throw at you (often coming home late, soaked to the bone and filthy black from the wet soot).
Everyday more often than not you would risk your life on numerous occasions, free climbing buildings (many of which should probably have been condemned).

Also at home too in the evenings; endlessly calling customers (or going to their doors when most people didn’t have a home phone).Doing the book work to organise the many customers you had built up over the 46 years you spent as the local chimney sweep.
One can only truly appreciate a person once you have had the chance to walk a mile in their shoes and over the last 5 years i have come to realise i am lucky if i am half the man you were. Modern technology has made things a lot easier now than in your time and i only wish you could have stayed around to see some of the developments in the field.

You dealt with the many trials and tribulations that come with being your own boss in a business that demands its’ owner wear so many hats because delegation was impossible.
Now each passing year brings more memories of the many things i realise i took for granted because you never once complained or grumbled about all the things you had to do to keep the ship afloat; just gracefully accepting your duties as a husband , father and business man, taking it all in your stride.
I feel i can never do you justice in these few words i write here , only that you lived your life to the full and as each year passes i can only hope to try my best to emulate the high standards of the determination and integrity examples you set for me.

I love and miss you so very very much dad, i really hope you are in a better place being payed back as generously as you were with us.