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basement wood drying test ?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by lexybird, Nov 26, 2008.

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  1. lexybird

    lexybird Minister of Fire

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    im curious if anyone has tested how long wood approximately takes to dry in a very warm heated basement fairly near to the stove being used versus say conventional outdoor stacked wood pile left covered under a tarp ,does the dry high temperature stove heat really speed up the seasoning process for wood thats still a tad green? and if so how much in comparison time wise ?

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  2. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    You would be bringing in the bugs???
  3. woodconvert

    woodconvert Minister of Fire

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    I've never dried wood in the basement as my stove isn't there...but i've done it in my livingroom where my stove is at. If it's a "tad" green you can dry it in half a day. If it's more than a tad green i'll leave it for a full day or two. Oh, and my wood has no bark on it so no critters.
  4. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Relative humidity dries more than heat does. Cold drives moisture out of air. That is why winter air is so dry. What heat does is allow air to hold more moisture. Wood dries quite well outdoors in winter.
  5. lexybird

    lexybird Minister of Fire

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    well i shouldnt have said strictly in basements ,mostly im referring to the time frame otherwsie unburnable wood takes to get moisture levels down to 20ish percent that are located close proximity to the hot dry stove as compared to typical outdoor air drying under a tarp
  6. woodconvert

    woodconvert Minister of Fire

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    Lots of heat will drive the moisture out of the wood as well. Literally, depending how wet the wood is I can get a puddle on the hearth. That said, I also live in a bone dry house...but it still dries quicker in front of the stove than it would outside.
  7. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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    i have always thought people should cover green wood in the winter as they would in the summer(the tops)
    however i was splitting some green the other day it was heavy oak like normal... but then the cold came and seemly froze the moisture in the wood because it seemed it was 2xs as heavy... so my point is if it stay cold and the moisture is frozen in the log how will it ever evaporate?
  8. woodconvert

    woodconvert Minister of Fire

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    Standing on end, rotating periodicaly....2 days tops close to the stove if it's really wet.
  9. NitroDave

    NitroDave Member

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    Just don't use the close dryer..it's hard to sleep with it making all that noise. :bug:
  10. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    What about the oven? seems like that would work well...
  11. GaryS

    GaryS Member

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    I've often wondered about covering my plywood wood box in the basement and hooking up my dehumidfier to it. With the dehumidifier in the box draining water to the outside, it would pull the moisture out pretty quickly. That would just be for emergency drying though. I keep a small rick in my basement but leave the rest outside with a tarp over the top. I'm looking into a building a small wood shed or just getting a metal car port to sit over the woodpile, but that's off topic.
  12. slowzuki

    slowzuki Feeling the Heat

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    Inside most wood heated houses is much, much dryer than outside. I find finely split green wood takes about 2 weeks to dry down next to the stove. I'm not talking just the outside but the inside too. You are essentially using your house as a kiln.

    If your house is well ventilated, the total/absolute moisture is similar inside and out, however, when it is cold, it is usually nearly saturated outside meaning little evaporation can take place. That same air moved inside can hold loads more water and will pull it out of the wood to get it.
  13. ScottF

    ScottF New Member

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    It actually works great. I dried all the parts to a set of 4 windsor chairs that I made in the oven. I used all fresh cut green wood to make the parts because it steam bends much easier and turns much easier. Upon completion I put them all in the oven set at 150 degrees for about 3 or 4 hours (dont remember) It dried them all to a nice low moisture content of less than 10 percent. Its a great way to dry wood. Just make sure you take the turkey out of the oven first.
  14. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    The point I was trying to make is that heating air allows it to absorb more moisture and cooling air does the opposite. That is why you see dew on the grass in the morning or hoar frost develop when the temperature drops. Ultimately it is the relative humidity of the air that assist the drying, not heat alone. The point is wood does dry outdoors if the humidity is down such as when the temperature rises after an overnight low. Air tends to find its own equilibrium and pick up moisture if it is dry regardless of the temperature. Even stuff in your freezer will dry out if not well sealed.

    Now, if you take that same dry outdoor air and warm it up, it will dry even better. However, if you have hot, very humid air, it will not do any better than outdoors in the cold. Many basements have elevated moisture levels because the moisture is being drawn up from the ground.
  15. Woodrat

    Woodrat New Member

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    My stove instalation is in the cellar with plenty of room to store up to a cord of wood if necessary. I keep 2 stacks of wood ( about 1/4 cord each) about 5 feet from from the stove with 20" box fans blowing the hot air coming off the stove through the stacks. I am currently burniing ash & rum cherry that was standing 4 days ago!!. If the splits are in the 3-6" diameter range, they dry very fast (if you have an adequate flow of ait & are burning 24/7 like I do) Ive been doing things this way for 35 years and am still amazed by how well it works!!
    Wood will dry in the cold weather, but pretty much only until the moisture becomes frozen in the wood---after that point- no more drying will happen til Spring.


    Best wishes,
    Woodrat
  16. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    On that I have to disagree. Have you ever heard of freeze drying? How do you explain ice cubes in your freezer shrinking?
  17. NitroDave

    NitroDave Member

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    It's from the freezer trolls, that turn out the light, licking the ice cubes. ;-P
  18. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    I find that about two weeks in the utility room containing my oil boiler (~75-80F and <30%RH) works well for me, one week is not enough. To verify, I weighed tubs of splits, and saw the weight drop by 15-20% over two weeks (I don't have a moisture meter). FYI, this is mostly ash wood, that has been downed awhile and famously fast-drying. I also find that if the wood has a couple months split and top covered outside first, it dries enough to send the bugs packing. I've done a lot of wood this way, and never had anything but a couple v small spiders.

    Of course, rotating two weeks supply indoors would not be fun/feasible if I burned 24/7. It works great for a WE burner, or if you need to stretch your seasoned wood by upgrading some unseasoned wood. I should finally get a year ahead this season.
  19. woodconvert

    woodconvert Minister of Fire

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    I did a test yesterday regarding this post. I took multiple pieces of relatively green oak (red oak) that were split in the fall. I don't have a moisture meter so I don't know what their moisture content was to begin with other than ain't no way in hell would I have burnt them (very heavy, obviously wet). Anyhow, I placed them next to the stove yesterday at four o' clock. This morning I threw a stick on the fire and it lit right when it hit the coals and is burning excellent. I know it doesn't match your steup but wood next to a stove will dry out wood on the quick.
  20. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Should of weighed the splits before and after.
  21. woodconvert

    woodconvert Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, I know. I didn't have time and this wasn't exacly scientific. The wood, by feel, is much lighter (obviously). This weekend as time permits i'll weigh a stick and then dry it for at least some real data.

    I've been doing this for years though..aint no doubt it works.
  22. lexybird

    lexybird Minister of Fire

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    interesting replies ,thanks everyone for your expertise on the subject ,lots of variables but it seems some say several days while others feel its closer to a couple weeks either way its damn faster than 8months ,im new at all this but in my experiance i have mix(approx 1/2 chord) of cherry oak ash and hemlock (<for startups and fast heat)i would say in my case one week of conistent 75ish-85 degrees in a large sized insulated utility room about 8 -10 feet from my stove has pretty much done the dry trick on the greenish splits/logs,i would say one week is needed to get the moisture to a reasonable content to burn correctly
  23. koavt

    koavt New Member

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    With regards to drying wood in a basement I have been told that is not a great idea. Due to the moisture content it can really raise the humidity levels, and result in mold formation. Wood kept outside in the winter does indeed continually dry. This is due to sublimation of the water molecules. You can effectively and quickly dry wet wood by standing the splits in front of your stove at a reasonable distance.
  24. Woodrat

    Woodrat New Member

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    Disagree to your heart's content--while I don't care about the shrinkage of my ice cubes due to the process of freeze drying (which I'm pretty sure we all understand)-- it matters a great deal to me that my wood can be dried in a very short time by utilizing the heat and dry air from the stove- as opposed to a very LONG time waiting for it to "freeze dry" Neither am I inclined to install a room and equipment to hold a vacuum in order to "speed up" the freeze drying process!
    I may ultimately be proven wrong, but one of the major attractions of this site (I thought) was to facilitate the flow of information and share/design simple solutions to problems we all face from time to time.
    Woodrat
  25. bokehman

    bokehman Feeling the Heat

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    So what was it that was easy to light, a red oak split that was "very heavy" and "obviously wet", or "a stick"?

    Personally, I don't believe a word I've read in this thread. I've got wood here that was cut and split in the spring. It's sat under a cloudless sky in the desert sun with RH lower than 35% and temperatures in the 90's every day, but it's still not seasoned yet. I can't see how 24 hours in a stove room could cause any noticeable change to the level of seasoning. Or maybe it's just that my idea of seasoned wood is very different to everyone else who has posted here.
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