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6 months and still not dry

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by pro5oh, Sep 29, 2008.

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  1. pro5oh

    pro5oh Member

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    Stacked my wood 6 months ago 4ft high single rows covered with plastic on the top only on pallets. Every piece I've burned has sizzled (wet) with water bubbling out the end. Any hope that it will be dry enough in 1-2 more months???????????

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  2. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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    doubt it but you could split those splits into smaller splits....that will help dry faster
    there will be many more from the northeast going through what you are due to the very wet summer
    get wood now for next year....most hardwoods need more than 6 months to season some claim they can season wood in 6 months but they have the greatest conditions.... sunny,breezy. and hot summer
    oh another thing you will notice that by dec jan hopefully they will burn better
  3. Rockey

    Rockey Minister of Fire

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    What type of wood? Was it in the sun at all? I'd split a few pieces and report back with a moisture reading from the conter of the split.
  4. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    What kind of wood is it? Was the wood split? What size are the splits? Was the wood stacked where it would get sun and wind?

    The big thing now is to learn from what you did this year. The first thing is that you covered it with plastic, which is the worst thing to use. You can understand this just by lifting the plastic and most times, unless really dry you will find moisture under the plastic. For example, just try laying plastic on the ground and what do you get?

    Covering the wood when seasoning retards the evaporation of the moisture. Leave it uncovered and the moisture will evaporate all summer long. Don't cover it until late fall or early winter. Also always try to stack wood where it will get sun at least 4 hours per day (preferably mid afternoon) and hopefully where wind will hit the wood pile.

    Now you had best be on the lookout for some seasoned wood for this winter. We wish you good luck on this and hope it all turns out well for you.
  5. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    If it's oak, locust, or certain other dense woods- then I'm not surprised- especially this year. This was a very tough year to dry wood in the NorthEast.
  6. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    After the first summer of seasoning, I lay an old piece of corrugated steel on top of the stack to keep the rain off, if I can't get anymore in the woodshed. Still I don't burn anything unless it's had two full summers of seasoning, preferably three.

    It's also good practice to keep the stacks well off the ground so air can circulate underneath. Don't let grass/weeds block off this airflow.
  7. BJ64

    BJ64 Minister of Fire

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    I would like to also add that when somebody claims to be able to season wood in 6 months, take note of their location as well as the type of wood. In my area (Oklahoma) Pecan wood seasons rather quickly compared to Oak in Maine. My Mother's folks live in New Mexico. Types of pine over there may season quicker than my pecan.

    On the other hand you have gained some new knowledge. You may be interested in getting a wood moisture meter. Cheap ones like mine could be quite handy in your situation.
  8. jbroich

    jbroich New Member

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    What kind of moisture meter do you have, BJ64?
  9. Vic99

    Vic99 Minister of Fire

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    I agree that splitting smaller should help.

    When it's cold enough that you don't have to worry about bugs, see if you can't move the wood to a porch or some place partly enclosed. Stack the wood as loose as possible. You could then put a fan on the splits for a week. Just make sure that the moisture can escape the "room". Plenty of air flow is the goal. Did this last year with some success . . . you've still got time before it really gets cold.

    In the meantime, if you just need to get by, get some pallets and cut them up. As long as they weren't outside in the rain in the last few days, there is a good chance they are kiln dried . . . some are green, but you can usually tell. I use a sawsall to cut pallets so I can save my cahin on the nails. It's a bit more effort than cord wood for the gain, but works in a pinch. I did that last year as well. Lots of small hardware stores, warehouses, etc. throw pallets away.

    Many pallets have been repaired when they get old . . . make sure you don't burn pressure treated wood, stained wood, or wood with serious chemical stains. If it smells funny, don't burn it. That smell fills the room and lingers when combusted.

    Also, be carfeul with pine and spruce pallets. Don't load the stove with them as you could overfire. In fact, maybe mix it with some of your smaller splits. Trial and error.

    Start planning for next year NOW so that you can have wood that is seasoned 10-12 months if possible.

    It's frustrating to have wet wood, but most of us have been there.
  10. pro5oh

    pro5oh Member

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    Its stacked on pallets single file with plastic only resently added to the top only. Small splits, mostly ash. However it doesnt get much more than 2hrs of sun.
  11. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Good air flow around, through, over and under the stack is far more important than exposure to sun. Witness wood stored in a wood shed. No sun at all. Wood shed design has to allow for good air flow.
  12. Rockey

    Rockey Minister of Fire

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    Its Ash and it hasn't seasoned in 6 months. Pull it out of the creek and it'll be fine in a few months.
  13. Stevebass4

    Stevebass4 Minister of Fire

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    Thought one could burn ash while it's green?
  14. pro5oh

    pro5oh Member

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    I beleive you can, just dont want the creosote and hard starting, low heat etc. Gonna move a cord around this weekend for better exposure. Its all checked on the ends but sizzles in the stove.
  15. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    Well, if it was last weekend you did have a rather wet week.

    I'm surprised a lot of wood piles didn't float away on the humidity alone. :)

    If it really is that unseasoned wet, you might want to split some smaller if they are large and stack more loosely, at least that some will be a little sooner along.
  16. d.n.f.

    d.n.f. New Member

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    What kind of moisture readings should we be shooting for? I did a quicky search but my limited patience abilities put an end to that.
    I am getting moisture readings of 20 to 30 %
  17. Tfin

    Tfin New Member

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    I believe from what I remember reading around these parts is anything under 25% is good.
  18. d.n.f.

    d.n.f. New Member

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    So I am sitting on the bell. Sweet.
    Thanks. We are about to get the fall rains so covers go on the piles this week.
  19. pro5oh

    pro5oh Member

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    Yes, thats my weekend plan, restack losely in a different exposed area.
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