1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

basement wood drying test ?

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. bokehman

    bokehman Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    441
    Loc:
    Spain
    I think the fairest description of seasoned wood is that it has reached equilibrium with its environment. If you split it and it returns different MC readings at different depths from the surface then its not seasoned.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. uptrapper

    uptrapper New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Messages:
    48
    Loc:
    sault ste. marie, MI
    Not that this is the point of the thread but the mystery of the shrinking ice cube has already been answered. A previous poster stated the process correctly its called sublimation, the heating element and fan will speed up the process but, it still happened before frost free freezers. As a mater of fact ice cubes will shrink inside our outside the freezer.

    Mike
  3. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Messages:
    7,348
    Loc:
    NW Ontario
    It really was just a rhetorical question but I liked the troll explanation. Left quite an image in my mind's eye. We certainly can use the levity in this thread.

    As for the heating element, that is a cyclical dehumidifier drying the air which simulates nature's outdoor winter air indoors. The cubes themselves don't actually get warmed.
  4. free75degrees

    free75degrees New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    433
    Loc:
    Boston Area
    This thread is like a soap opera. I can't wait to see what comes next.
  5. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Messages:
    7,348
    Loc:
    NW Ontario
    There are some strange misconceptions WRT heat, cold, humidity, and the whole "relative" bit. Relative humidity is the percentage of moisture that air can hold at at a given temperature. The same air with the same moisture will have highter RH at lower temperature. That is the principle that dehumidifiers work on and why toilet tanks sweat and frost forms on your windows.

    I've heard people say that wood, electric, (add your fuel here), is a very dry heat. That is just hogwash. Heat doesn't dry the air. Cold dries air. Heat allows the air to absorb more moisture. That said, if your heat appliance consumes some of the indoor air, that air will be made up from outdoor air which has been dehumidified and lead to the misconception that heat dries air.

    Our lifestyle will put humidity back into the air. How much humidity the house has will depend on factors such as lifestyle, how air-tight the house is, how damp the basement is, what sources of humidity there are, and whether there is a HRV. How much RH there is determines how well wood can dry. If you take relatively dry outdoor air and heat it, it can and will have a greater drying action than when it is cold. If you try to dry your wood in your sauna, you won't get the same results.
  6. bokehman

    bokehman Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    441
    Loc:
    Spain
    It depends what they are comparing to. Don't forget some forms of heater exhaust water into the living space ("vent free"). Anything would seem dry compared to that.
  7. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Messages:
    7,348
    Loc:
    NW Ontario
    Yes, I'm aware of that thanks. This moist heat is what makes gas ovens better (IMHO) than electric for baking.
  8. karl

    karl Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Messages:
    1,057
    Loc:
    Huntington, West Virginia
    Bokeham, I don't know about in a bucket three feet from the stove. But in a iron kettle sitting on top the stove. I regularly evaporate 2 gallons a day. My stove is an insert and it has a heat shield on it too. You can actually rest your hand on where I put the kettle for a good 30 seconds. I measured the water temperature in it last year and it gets about 150 degrees.
  9. woodconvert

    woodconvert Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    Messages:
    818
    Loc:
    Fenton Michigan
    Yesterday started a somewhat unscientific test. I went out to the woodpile to get wood and I slipped and nearly broke my arse on a piece of wood burried in the snow. I picked up that piece of wood, brushed all the snow off (it was sopping wet) and took it inside and weighed it (I only have a digital bathroom scale that goes in .5lb increments...and I don't have a moisture meter). Anyhow, it tipped the scale at 9lbs as of 3:30 yesterday. I set it in front of the stove as i've done for years (approx. 12" from the glass) and left it. This afternoon at 4:00pm I weighed it again and it weighs 7.5lbs and is checked thouroughly. At 9:00pm this evening I weighed it again and it's still at 7.5lbs. I will weigh it again tomorrow morning. If it's 7.5lbs I will assume that is as light as it'll get.

    I do not know what the RH is at my hearth where the wood is at nor do I know the temp is that the wood sees. Some of the weight lost was obviously due to the surface moisture from thesnow/melting going on around here, and with it being warmer the stove has been puttering at 400F-425F.

    Other than it works and has worked for years, no dirty glass, no creosote problems, without a moisture meter I can't do much more.
  10. bokehman

    bokehman Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    441
    Loc:
    Spain
    Have you got asbestos hands? If your kettle is getting to 150F the surface must be at least that hot. Putting a hand on a metal surface at 150F for 30 seconds is enough to cause a very serious burn.
  11. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,601
    Loc:
    Adams County, PA
    There seems to be a suspicious absence of actual moisture readings from a decent moisture meter in this thread. Methinks a little hard data retrieved from a moisture meter could lay the issue to rest.

    For instance, if one would take a split of red oak from a live tree cut yesterday, or within the last week or so, take a moisture reading on THAT, then lay it by one's stove however he/she sees fit, then wait 3 days, or whatsoever time period one thinks sufficient, then SPLIT that piece and take an interior moisture reading again, I should think that would put the matter to rest.

    Oh, for experiments to be legitimate, I understand they must be able to be replicated by others, so to do it twice and get the same results would be real nice.

    One could experiment over a longer period of time, and create a graph for this thread, showing the decrease in moisture content of said split as a function of heat, temperature, and time, that'd be waaaay cool.

    Oh, and please post pics of said split drying :)
  12. Rockey

    Rockey Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Messages:
    627
    Loc:
    SW Ohio
    Take a second peek at my post. Lets make one thing clear here, we are discussing oak seasoning here. Ive tried it many times over. Nothing Doing. Ive tried many a splits and even debarked slab pieces no more thasn 2 inches thick. After a few days next to the stove it still pegs the moisture meter. You can clearly see the visible moisture line when it is cut with a miter saw. I don't doubt other species would have much better success, but it isn't happening with oak. Ive tried it time and time again out of frustration. Oak simply is very inhibitive to drying quickly. I don't doubt it burns better for the first few minutes as the very outer layer will be dried but after a while you will have a piece that will sit and smolder without much assistance from drier pieces or excessive air intake.
  13. woodconvert

    woodconvert Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    Messages:
    818
    Loc:
    Fenton Michigan
    Still weighs 7.5lbs.
  14. woodconvert

    woodconvert Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    Messages:
    818
    Loc:
    Fenton Michigan
    Odd, i've been doing it successfully for years as well as many other posters here.

    No, NO SMOLDERING. I just threw a piece in the other day that I dried just like i've done a bizzillion times. No smoldering, no sooty glass. It's a clean hot burn. 1-1/2lbs of water gone from a stick of oak in 24 hours....that's a lot of water!!. Short of a meter I can't do any more. I am tempted to cut the split on the miter to look for visible water.
  15. woodconvert

    woodconvert Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    Messages:
    818
    Loc:
    Fenton Michigan
    I just cut the split that I just dried. There is no visible sign of a "wet core". It doesn't feel damp...but that still doesn't give a moisture content and I don't have a meter. I will try to get my hands on one this week.
  16. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,711
    Loc:
    SE PA
    thx for doing the experiment....it would be great to get/borrow a moisture meter. If you get that far, you should test a second split before drying to see if the core is already dry/seasoned, and so you only needed to get rid of surface water/snow.
  17. wellbuilt home

    wellbuilt home Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    Messages:
    532
    Loc:
    NY
    Its kinda cold now and if you guys have some time on your hands you could take a wet split off the pile and cut it in half and weight both parts place one on the pile and lay the other under the stove . Reweigh them in a few days and see the difference. I think the piece under the stove will be dry.
  18. Yamaha_gurl

    Yamaha_gurl New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2008
    Messages:
    205
    Loc:
    Ontairo
    I really like this thread, lots of interesting things. I am currently doing the same, leaving wood by the stove that's going to go in next. Any one know of any online site to get a good moisture meter for not alot of $$?
  19. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,601
    Loc:
    Adams County, PA
    Ah, there IS a difference between WET and GREEN wood. I can have WET wood that is SEASONED and dry it out by the stove pretty quick. The question I think needs to be answered is if you take a piece of GREEN oak, from a tree just cut down, and the moisture reading on it is say, 32%, will putting that split near the stove cause it to dry out to say, 20%, in a few days??? I say NOT A CHANCE!

    I have split oak sittin' outside since March, and it ain't at 20% yet.
  20. Rockey

    Rockey Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Messages:
    627
    Loc:
    SW Ohio
    [/quote]

    Ah, there IS a difference between WET and GREEN wood. I can have WET wood that is SEASONED and dry it out by the stove pretty quick. The question I think needs to be answered is if you take a piece of GREEN oak, from a tree just cut down, and the moisture reading on it is say, 32%, will putting that split near the stove cause it to dry out to say, 20%, in a few days??? I say NOT A CHANCE!

    I have split oak sittin' outside since March, and it ain't at 20% yet.[/quote]

    Your a wise man.
  21. Woodrat

    Woodrat New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    55
    Loc:
    NE MA
    ----------------Have you ever TRIED it????????????

    - -Read my original post, as well as those of other people who are doing exactly what you say isn't possible and have been doing it for many years with great sucess. I am currently warming my bones with GREEN but DRY rum cherry that was standing 4 days ago.-
    - I completely AGREE with your observation RE:eek:ak sitting outside--- I have a good deal of it myself-- and if I tried to burn it without having it inside for a few days, it would definetly sit and smoulder til the interior moisture " cooked off".

    Woodrat
  22. Zzyk

    Zzyk New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2008
    Messages:
    56
    Loc:
    schoharie county ny
    Interesting discussion.

    I like to pile smaller splits in front of the wood circulator so the blower is right on them. A day or so of this seems to finish off my reasonably seasoned wood. Seems to work better with certian types of wood as well, but maybe I'm imagining things... I've never tired it with green wood, but maybe I will tomorrow.
  23. wellbuilt home

    wellbuilt home Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    Messages:
    532
    Loc:
    NY
    Ill tell you the truth I have a MM and Ive never used it on my wood pile . Ive been cutting and burning the same year for my hole life. Tomorrow i will cut down a tree and leave one piece on the wood pile and lay one under my stove and we will see the MC in a few days . I don't cut the trees down and start burning My wood get cut in the summer and split in the fall and burned in maybe january .I don't think the wood drys much until it get split and it doesnt seem to really get dry until it gets cold . Once its cold for a few week i start to see it looking burnable . I have a load of wood I'm burning now that is wet inside , when i split it . It been down and split for 11/2 years and the top covered . I don't know what it is but i have lots of it and it wont dry . I am burning it and it is cooking OK with no smoke and lots of hot coals with the air closed off all the way . I have a new Equinox and I am learning how to burn it . Its different from my DW cat stove. I will post my findings in a few days.
  24. woodconvert

    woodconvert Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    Messages:
    818
    Loc:
    Fenton Michigan
    Well, it's an experiment as far as this thread goes but like I said i've been doing it for a long time. I will try to dig up a moisture meter for some hard numbers but I gotta be honest, that piece that sat there for a day and then I cut it...well, I threw it in on a bed of coals. No other wood in with it. It burnt hot, stove went from 425ish to 475ish for an hour +. Didn't soot the glass, didn't hiss (I kept an eye on the fresh cut end to see if it unloaded any more water..none visible). And keep in mind, that wasn't a piece from a covered wood stack...that was on the ground, covered in snow. Yeah, not knowing the starting moisture content sux (for this thread) but more importantly to me is how it burns.
  25. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,601
    Loc:
    Adams County, PA
    I hear what you are saying, but what I want to know is moisture content? Ain't nobody in this thread yet that's done THAT experiment!

    I'm not doin' it cuz I'm too lazy, but if I'm gonna claim wood is "seasoned" in 4 days after cutting a green tree down, then I would think I would want to back it up with hard data, like, "moisture content".

    If I have a good fire going with a decent bed of coals, heck, I can but an 8 oz. glass of water in the stove an it'll "burn" er, I mean, evaporate.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page