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Another seasoning question

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Tim IA, Jun 6, 2008.

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  1. Tim IA

    Tim IA New Member

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    Hello all.
    Seems like every year I try to get 1 year ahead with the whole firewood storage thing. Well, I'm getting closer. I currently have enough wood for this comming winter I think, but very little of it is split yet. I picked up all of these rounds last summer. Will I be ok do you think if I get it split here soon? When you guys say you have 3 years worth of wood stored, do most of you store that as splits or rounds until the year it is needed? The wood is silver maple (similar to red maple I believe on the old firewood BTU charts)
    Just curous if anyone stores them as rounds vs splits. I'm sure they are drying some the way they are, but will dry the best when split.

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I store all of mine split. I won't cut up the next tree until the one that is bucked is split and on the woodpile. Just a personal wood OCD thing with me.
  3. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    imo wood doesn't start seasoning until it's split...but I have to concede wood that is cut into rounds also has a head start on seasoning cause I've seen the ends weather checked and gray.

    Cut trees stored in log lengths do not dry out though...late last month I was bucking logs cut over a year ago and some had new green branches sprouting from them...pretty sure they were elm trees.
  4. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Do yourself a favor and split it. It will dry and store much better than keeping it in rounds. Many species of wood will actually start to degrade faster in rounds, than it will if split.
  5. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, that's what I do...spit it. If my spit soaks right in & dries up real fast, I figure the wood's nicely seasoned. If my spit just sits there like a blob, then the wood doesn't want it, and it's got nowhere to go, so the wood's still green. Just spit it. :lol: Rick
  6. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Huh, what chu talkin' bout Willis. :lol:

    Edit: its s-p-l-i-t not spit, silly. :red:
  7. jpl1nh

    jpl1nh Minister of Fire

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    Silver maple dries pretty fast, but I agree with everyone else that the sooner you split it the better. I have a lot of rounds and a lot of log length in storage, but it's only because i've been bringing in wood faster than I can process it. I will cut and split ASAP, even wood for 6-7 years ahead which is about where I am.
  8. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Minister of Fire

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    So, what about rounds, branches, that are under 6" in diameter...that I never split.

    Seems to me there is a size below which the round will season "in the round".
  9. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    That be true, my own rule of thumb is: anything bigger than ~5" dia. gets a whack.
  10. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    That's about what my rule of thumb is, although I'll often go ahead run even smaller ones (down around 4" or so) through the splitter to have a nice supply of easily handled wood for my wife to get the fire going nicely before I get out of bed. If there's any doubt, jus' spit dat wood!. :zip: Rick
  11. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Minister of Fire

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    Ok, adjusting my thinking/planning/actions. I had figured some rounds in the 6" range would be good for slow buring, i.e., small splits would burn fast, too much exposed surface area. But, if the round isn't seasoned, then its heat content/delivery is compromised.

    On the other hand, with the planned new insert, I hope I can control the air feed sufficiently, that it will limit the burn rate even if the fuel load is made up of many smaller splits, right?

    I have some splits that are approximately 1/2 rounds, figuring the big open face of the split is enough to encourage seasoning. Can one get seasoning in a few months if the split is, say, 6" thick i.e., half a circle with a 6" radius on the end?
  12. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    What flavor of wood? Define few? If its ash, then yes. Just about anything else, then probably not (properly).
  13. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, it is in fact (white, I think) Ash. And I went out and measured, the thickness is not over 4" radius half circle on end. My memory exaggerated.
  14. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Jerry I also have a Quad and I split 4 ' diameter limbs now. My non EPA stove would burn everything inefficiently. Last feb we we got our quad I had to re split a lot of my wood at the advice of the dealer and discovered the stove just ran better. 6" rounds are now out of the question for me...I can load the stove fuller with smaller splits...and if it's our desire I can make it burn longer...a lot longer.

    The majority of the time though I just have a log or two in to maintain a 550 stove top temp. Yes it's true a 6" round will burn...it's just not as efficient.

    Just as an experiment split up some of those 4 and 6" rounds, set aside a weeks worth of smaller splits and observe any difference. I think you'll be presently surprised that smaller splits are the way to go. Also with smaller splits you can pack that baby tight, tight without bashing those miracle tubes on the top of the stove.

    Yeah it's a hassle splitting smaller after years of doing it the other way...but you get over it real quick and eventually don't give it second thought after about the 3rd hour of splitting.
  15. Tim IA

    Tim IA New Member

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    Thanks for all of the suggestions. Think I will have to try the "spit" thing sometime. The fence where I stack all of the wood against needs a little help and when that is fixed up I will start in on the splitting. Figure I really shouldn't start splitting until the temps are in the 90's with high humidity. Seems like that is the weather I end up splitting in most years. Oh well.

    Tim
  16. Carl

    Carl New Member

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    I'm beginning to think this wood burning may be an exact science which would leave me out.
  17. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Carl...time to think again, my friend. :) Rick
  18. Carl

    Carl New Member

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    ROTF......so this must mean I can still use the wood I have processed next fall. Now I feel much better. :)
  19. Bill

    Bill Minister of Fire

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    I am curious how your getting the smaller splits to burn slower. My Morso calls for very small splits, but they burn extremely hot. One time I got the stove up to 650*, with the air control turned all the way down. So after that I used mixed loads. I always liked to ad a big split and load her up at night for the over night burn. Just a habit from way back. I might fiddle with this concept more, next winter. I just split a cord of wood real small to use for starting fires real fast.
  20. 11 Bravo

    11 Bravo New Member

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    I think you'll be fine if you split it very soon. Friend and I just cut, split, stacked 8 cords of standing/green maple, red elm, cherry, and red oak 3 weeks ago. We marked some of each just to see how much it dries by Nov 1st. All of the types were 35-40% on the moisture meter, so curious to see what it is by October/November.........and we are splitting it smaller
  21. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Smokey after loading for the night and once the fire is going well I pull out my primary air 3/4 of the way out sometimes a little more...that way everything is burning well but slower...there is no smoke coming from the chimney. I only load it fully at night. Trouble is my previous splits were to big and I was always banging those re-burner tubs at the top of the stove. With the smaller splits I can fully load the stove without smashing those tubes.

    btw I'm a new EPA stove burner when I got the stove I signed up here to better figure out how to do things since we never got a manual with our used floor model QF4300st...like the OP says the non EPA stoves would burn any size split and that limited my experience. During the day I'm burning 550* when I load up for night or to leave the house it hangs between 400- 475* stove top temp at the reduced primary air. Just say'en most of the time I'm a burn hot type of guy since we're cutting our own wood and have no need to stretch it out...we burn for warmth and use whatever it takes to get there.

    I don't think I've ever been to 650* with this stove.
  22. Carl

    Carl New Member

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    If you can't get a slow burn with small pieces dampered all the way down you must have an air leak. When dampered down the air allowed into the fire to create combustion will be next to non so the fire shouldn't be able to burn much at that setting. Some newer stoves have a bypass to keep the fire alive but it still should burn very low even with the bypass.
  23. Bill

    Bill Minister of Fire

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    It's a new stove and doesn't leak. The secondary combustion plate was alive with flames. I had the damper open until the stove got hot, then shut the damper, and it baked at the 650 for quite a while (could smell paint and I had baked it a few months earlier) and then gradually went down. I had very dry small splits and it was loaded to the gills. I believe the very dry wood and the small size caused the minor overfire. Good thing I was in the living room and shut the damper, or something bad could of happened. Never had a fire like that since.
  24. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Yeah EPA stoves can get a lot of air with the intake closed. When the 30 took off on me last year with the bone dry oak it went from 500 to 750 with the intake shut completely down. Only thing that started bringing it down was when I slapped a piece of tin foil over the secondary air intake.

    These ain't ya daddy's old airtight stoves.
  25. Carl

    Carl New Member

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    The new quadrafire yosmite ran pretty hot on me once so far. I had put in a small load to take the chill off before bed and it got quite hot. No matter what I did it wouldn't calm down? I stayed up the extra hour watching it roar away. After thinking about it I had emptied the ashes just before and remember a funny clunk when I closed the ash pan door and closers. Sure enough, the ash pan hadn't sealed properly which was causing the overburn letting in tremondous amounts of extra air. I tried another such fire with a little fear but made sure the ashpan door was properly closed with no problems. It did have flames of burning gasses due to the epa stove but a low temp which was fine. The moral for me is to check the ash door for proper closure after dumping it. Actually I don't have to empty it often so not a problem. :)

    No more fear of touching off very dry wood.
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