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3 Year Seasoned Oak, But is it Ready to Burn??

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by thephotohound, Aug 28, 2007.

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  1. thephotohound

    thephotohound New Member

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    I got a cord of 3 year seasoned + split oak last weekend for next to nothing. The catch is that it has been stacked in a 6 ft x 6 ft square with walls on 3 sides and no sun for those 3 years. It was not off the ground, but I didn't take the bottom 2 rows. The splits are 12-16" and no more than 4" wide. The wood seems to be structurally sound (if I crack two pieces together, it doesn't fall apart), it is also the weight of dry wood. However, it's covered in what appears to be dirt and is visibly wet.

    So, since it sounds like seasoned wood and feels like seasoned wood, is it really seasoned wood? I will stack it in a single row, with plenty of sun and wind, can I burn it this year?

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  2. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    Well standard disclaimer applies: A picture or two would help...but in this case is not warranted...lol

    My vote...Burn it. Sweep off all the smaltz (dirt, loose bark etc) lay down a couple of 4x4 on the porch, or under the porch somewhere close to the door of the house and let a little breeze through it for good measure...

    I would say whatever you do...don't let it get wet (as best as possible).

    Don't take offense (or anyone else) but seeing as you have a fire background based on pellet stoves you view burning "more of a (finese) science"...I on the other hand being of the boiler background (but burned in stoves for many years)..."Yeah it will burn".

    While it may not have been the optimal way to season the wood it should be dry enough...if not adjust the mix with other wood accordingly.
  3. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    I think that the equivalence "3 years since it was cut" == "3 years seasoned" is often abused, especially on craigslist, but if it has been split all this time and hasn't rotted away then I bet it will burn after a month or two of drying.
  4. myzamboni

    myzamboni Minister of Fire

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    sorry to stray off topic, but I haven't hear/seen the work smaltz in a long time. My mother used to use it in a similar fashion keyman (smaltz actually is rendered chicken fat, so I guess it is fitting).
  5. Henz

    Henz New Member

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    where did my posts go on this thread?
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Simple. Start an outdoor fire with some and see what you get.
  7. jpl1nh

    jpl1nh Minister of Fire

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    This is probably a stupid question but since you said its visibly wet and you didn't specifically say it was covered, aside from the three walls, was there also a roof or some sort of cover? If it's truly 3 years old, I agree with the others, dry it out now and you should be all set, (even if there wasn't a roof!) By the way, I just picked up a used Keystone, 4 years old in nice condition and can't wait to fire that puppy up!
  8. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    I thought so MZ...lol
    Everything is smaltz...the stuff that grows on the side of firewood, smaltz, the cheap fuel residue left at the bottom of the fuel tank, smaltz. The oil deposits dripping from leaky valve cover gaskets...smaltz... the accumulation of bar oil and sawdust...smaltz ;)
  9. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Or smutz.
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    der schmutz is on der vood
  11. thephotohound

    thephotohound New Member

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    No, unfortunately, it wasn't covered. I've stacked it in the sund and wind, so I guess we'll see what happens!

    JPL - Great find! I looked for a while and couldn't find a used Keystone. My wife and I loved how large the glass was... we bought it as much for ambiance as we did for heating...
  12. jpl1nh

    jpl1nh Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, it was a great find. I'm almost embarassed at how little I paid for it. I wasn't looking for a stove, couldn't afford a stove, but at $500 for a 4 year old keystone in fine shape, suddenly I had to afford to buy a stove! A little buffing with steel wool, some quick touch up with paint and it will look brand new. Not only that, but basically that was my dream stove when I had the bucks to buy one. Life is Good :coolsmile: Even though it wasn't covered, you probably just need to dry it now. I imagine much of the internal moisture has left the wood after 3 years. Just a top cover now if it ever rains again, and by mid-winer anyway you'll be fine if not sooner.
  13. thephotohound

    thephotohound New Member

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    You can say that again (life is good)!!! Good for you! Let me know how your paint job comes out - I have to do the exact same thing to mine...
  14. thephotohound

    thephotohound New Member

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    Well, I stacked it all last night... a few pieces were too wide for my stove, so I split them - no worries here... dry as a bone! I guess that answers that question. Once the surface moisture evaporates after a few weeks in the sun and wind, I believe I'll be in good shape!
  15. bcnu

    bcnu New Member

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    probably should ask this in a new thread, but thought I'd cabbage on here. I'm trying to store enough wood this summer to last 5-7 years. A neighbor just told me he thought wood might "spoil" after awhile. I'll have 11 cords under a shed that is open on two sides,stays very dry inside and is protected by large fir trees. The rest will be on pallets or off the ground and covered with tarps - and also have some protection from the fir trees. Should I remove trhe tarps in the summer? My wood is a mixture of Cherry, Ash, Fir, Oak, Maple - basically whatever I can get for my "free" labor.
  16. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    Once it's dry, cover it and leave it covered if you are storing long-term. I'm storing some potentially even longer, I stacked it on pallets and covered it down to the top of the pallet. If it stays dry, it will last indefinitely.
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