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Advice Needed on Storing, Splitting Wood

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Mass. Wine Guy, Oct 11, 2008.

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  1. Mass. Wine Guy

    Mass. Wine Guy Feeling the Heat

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    I'm soon going to have a Jotul Castine stove installed, along with two cords of good, seasoned hardwood delivered. I've burned wood before, but not for a while. Can anyone please suggest a cost effective (cheap) way to set up my wood for storing outside? I live in Massachusetts so snow and rain are definite issues. Would getting some wood pallets work well, as far as keeping the wood off the ground? Then cover the wood loosely with a tarp?

    Also, is a maul and a wedge or two a good basic setup for splitting logs and rounds? Any special kind of maul or modern gizmo wedges to buy over others?

    Thanks very much.

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  2. syd3006

    syd3006 Member

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    My experience is limited but I would say you have the right idea with stacking on pallets and covering with tarps. I would go with a fiberglass handled maul and you will probably want an axe for splitting some of the smaller stuff and kindling. I have benefited a lot from this forum, there are a lot of knowledgeable people around here.
  3. Mass. Wine Guy

    Mass. Wine Guy Feeling the Heat

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    Thank you very much. Great idea about the fiberglass handle.
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Palettes work well for keeping the wood off the ground. If you can stack it so that the prevailing winds can blow through the stack that is a good plan. Cover the top only until the snow gets deep.

    I work with a conventional 8# maul and a couple wedges. But it's not likely that you'll need to use more than the maul to reduce the size of some of the splits. With the Castine, smaller splits will give you faster heat. Larger splits should be used for lengthening overnight burns.
  5. olskool53

    olskool53 Member

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    I use pallets with a tarp on the top to let the wood breath. I prefer a steel handled maul its a bear to swing but i just don't like the feel of fiberglass.
  6. Mass. Wine Guy

    Mass. Wine Guy Feeling the Heat

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    Why? Won't the snow get the wood wet?
  7. Vic99

    Vic99 Minister of Fire

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    I live near you wine guy. I use pallets and have also built simple racks out of 2x4s. Try to keep the wood at least 4-6 inches off the ground if possible . . . more is better, mostly because of snow and rain.

    Once the temps drop, move the wood into a shed or an unheated porch/garage. Bugs will not be a problem at 40 F or less. It's a lot of work to move, but it will be SO easy to access during cold, rain, sleet, snow, etc. If moving is not an option, or you can only move some of your wood, then tarp the top of the wood stack well. If you don't, eventually the snow and ice in contact with the wood will frustrate you. I'll spare you the details, but I learned the hard way last year.

    I like an 8 lb maul. No use for a wedge. Axes are good for small stuff.

    Good luck
  8. colebrookman

    colebrookman Minister of Fire

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    Yup pallets and tarps to cover just the tops. Let the wind blow and increase drying. We get plenty of snow up here but the 'kiss' principal works great. Be cautious about storing large amounts of wood in your house or garage. Increases your fuel load tremendously if you ever have a fire.
    Ed
  9. Mass. Wine Guy

    Mass. Wine Guy Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks, all. I can just stack my wood for now, so I'll cover it up and get it off the ground. I hope to be able to have a small amount just outside my stove room, on a screened-in porch. But I'd only keep 1-2 days worth of wood here.
  10. Shipper50

    Shipper50 Minister of Fire

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    I think he meant to keep the tops only covered till the snow gets to blowing and drifting up on the wood piles and getting the wood wet. That is what happens here and it makes hard burning when wood is frozen and wet from snow.

    Shipper
  11. bsa0021

    bsa0021 Feeling the Heat

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    Doesn't anyone worry about termites and ants (summer) using pallets?
    I use treated 4x4s w/rebar on the ends.
  12. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    Most pallets are kiln-dried or treated to repel insects, so I expect it would be a while before you'd have to worry about termites or ants. Eventually, I suppose.
    I use scavenged cinderblocks. It keeps the wood higher up, and allows some airflow through too. Wrapping too tightly with tarps results in wet wood. Keep the water off, but the air flowing through as much as possible.
  13. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    Oh, and I'm not too fond of the fiberglass handles either. I prefer the feel of the wood. An 8 pound maul goes through most everything, and I keep a little hatchet by the door for kindling. Wedges are a necessity if you plan to split anything of a larger diameter or with knots. Some wood is also just plain harder to split.
  14. Skinn

    Skinn Member

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    I use pallets for stacking and then put pieces of plywood on top to keep the bulk of the rain off. I have a bunch of plywood that I have ripped down to about 2 feet wide in various lengths that I have scrounged over the years. This allows for good airflow while keeping most of the moisture off. Once the rainy/snowy season arrives the plywood gets covered with tarps that drape approximately a foot down the face of the stack. I have always been particular about balancing airflow with keeping the wood dry and found that this keeps it the best without a wood shed. One of these days I will just build a shed, I am thinking something that resembles an Adirondack lean too with ventilated side and back walls.
  15. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Mass. Wine Guy here's imo a cheap and effective way only if you live out in the country.

    We lay a pad of gravel over fabric paper say about 15'x30, make a 12' tent fame out of ash saplings now drag the logs up to it to be cut and split. While splitting we just throw it up there and in time you'll have a pile large enough to bury 3 small cars. Let it sit out in the sun all summer then in the fall cover it with a tarp and lash it down. It's OK if the lower sides are open a little cause ya still get ventilation. Now you can walk in with your wheelbarrow. Oh almost forgot when you 1st frame it out ya have to bury the supporting structure about a foot into the ground...or a good 50mph wind can lift the tent up.

    the advantage here is the time saved stacking...also you can safely pile wood 10'+ without worry of a catastrophic avalanche the most that ever slides down is a couple 4 pieces or so. Stacked wood can become a hazard when you go over 4feet...at least with me stacking.
  16. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1 Minister of Fire

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    You came to the right place! I would read up and down this forum if I were you. You will have just about every setup ever imagined. Search through the hearth forum too for older stuff.

    Good Luck!
  17. Mass. Wine Guy

    Mass. Wine Guy Feeling the Heat

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  18. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    That's sort of a lot of money for a maul, IMO, but I haven't used one of those mauls.

    (this is, however, coming from a hypocrite with a Gransfors hatchet and limbing axe...)
  19. Mass. Wine Guy

    Mass. Wine Guy Feeling the Heat

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    I don't need to have the very best stuff, but I'm not rich enough to buy cheap tools. If they cost more up front and last for years, I'm happy.
  20. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    I hear you- I'm about the same way. Snowe and Nealy and a few other brands are good solid standards that will treat you right.
  21. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Not having a wood shed yet, I bought many of these, and I have to say I am quote pleased.

    http://www.drillspot.com/products/311988/Seymour_30-360_Stack_IT_Bracket_Set

    (Check around for pricing, as one place I ordered 6 and got a reduced rate and better shipping)

    I layed out some pressure treated 2 X 4's (some left over from a backyard treehouse for the kids) and I ran it 10 feet for the horizontal runs.
    Then used some non pressure treated 2 X 4's for the verticle ends, and I am very pleased.

    So basically, I have 6 "runs" of wood stacked..measuring 4 feet high, by 10 feet long...I left about 6-8 Inches in between each row for air circulation/.
    Then used a cheap tarp I had left over from camping, and use it with a tent type approach to let air in....once the snow comes, I will pull out the poles and just drape the tarps over the tops of the pile.

    Will try to post a photo, but I need to learn how to make the picture size smaller to allow the attchment.
  22. countrybois

    countrybois Member

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    I haven't used one of those, however I don't know if you'll be happy with a 4 pounder as your main maul. I would recommend a 6# maul. I have both a 6# and an 8# maul with fiberglass handles that I have added and an 8# with a wood handle. I go for the 8# with fiberglass handle as my first choice most of the time. I don't notice any 'bounce' as some people say. Most of my wood is red oak.
  23. countrybois

    countrybois Member

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    One more thing, I wouldn't get one with anything but a fairly smooth handle. The reason: when you swing a maul the 'top' hand will be sliding from the head of the maul to meet your other hand at the end of the handle. Any 'grip' or waves in the handle, as the one pictured has will just end up giving you blisters. My 6# fiberglass handled maul has some added ribs on the handle and I don't grab that one for that reason alone. The fiberglass handle on the maul I prefer came from one of the big box stores. It is textured but very subtly<sp>. Just my $.02.

    Good luck
    Scott
  24. Risser09

    Risser09 New Member

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    I own the one you have linked, but it was only $30 at lowe's. Not a very good splitting tool, IMHO, except for really easy to split stuff. On anything that's moderate or difficult (which usually applies to most wood, unless you're cutting straight wood without knots) it will bounce right off, or stick right in because it has a sharp edge. Get an 8# maul, put a hickory handle on it, and put some pine sap at the base of the handle. This will take care of most rounds, and you'll build strength in the process. Use your saw for the big rounds that are all knotted up.
  25. johnsopi

    johnsopi Minister of Fire

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    I pile mine to dry, then move it and stack it for the winter use. To stack I use landscaping ties with a P.T 2x4 nailed on the top
    to pull it togather then you can cover it with a tarp or plywood with tar paper.
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