can you determine if wood is hard or soft by its weight?

stanleyjohn Posted By stanleyjohn, Oct 14, 2008 at 12:25 AM

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

    stanleyjohn
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Mar 29, 2008
    506
    28
    Loc:
    southcentral Ct
    I have a good mixture of wood in my area anything from oak,maple,apple to birch and pine.I have cut all types and now after all is split and seasoned have a hard time knowing what im burning now.Assuming that all the wood has near the same amont of moisture in it!can i tell by weight if the wood is a soft wood or hard wood?I know that some of my wood feels like styrofome while others feel like a hard rock.
     
  2. MacKay

    MacKay
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 21, 2008
    49
    0
    Loc:
    SW. Pennsylvania
  3. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jul 12, 2006
    5,497
    552
    Loc:
    Schenectady, NY
    No. For instance, Southern Yellow Pine is denser than Poplar.

    Oak should be easy to tell by the open grain structure.

    Matt
     
  4. stanleyjohn

    stanleyjohn
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Mar 29, 2008
    506
    28
    Loc:
    southcentral Ct
  5. begreen

    begreen
    Mooderator 2.
    NULL
    
    Staff Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    61,885
    7,908
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Not really, there are dense softwoods and light hardwoods. But you can tell the difference between wet and dry wood of the same species by weight.
     
  6. wallis54806

    wallis54806
    New Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 15, 2007
    63
    0
    Loc:
    Northern Wisconsin
    A species clasification as hard or soft wood is irrelevant when it comes to burning it. If the moisture content is equal, the denser wood will produce more heat. The exception may be woods that have a lot of pitch, and may produce more heat per pound because of it.
     
  7. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    May 20, 2008
    6,589
    1,424
    Loc:
    S.NH- Mass's smoking section
    Assuming the same moisture, the energy will be proportional to density. For the wood burner, that's the key.
     
  8. stanleyjohn

    stanleyjohn
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Mar 29, 2008
    506
    28
    Loc:
    southcentral Ct
    The main reason im bringing this subject up is to determine which of the wood that i have to burn will give me the longest burn on that last load before bed.
     
  9. Corey

    Corey
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 19, 2005
    2,301
    158
    Loc:
    Midwest
    In that case, you'd simply be worried about the density of wood. Assuming moisture content is equal, you wan the heaviest wood for a given size. Also, roughly square chunks pack pretty good into the stove. Rounds also seem to burn a bit longer, lastly would be the pie shaped splits.
     
  10. MacKay

    MacKay
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 21, 2008
    49
    0
    Loc:
    SW. Pennsylvania
  11. stanleyjohn

    stanleyjohn
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Mar 29, 2008
    506
    28
    Loc:
    southcentral Ct
    thanks for the link!now ill have a better idea what im burning this year.In future years ill try to find a way to sort out what i cut and stack so i know what im burning :)
     
  12. Bubbavh

    Bubbavh
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 22, 2008
    475
    0
    Loc:
    NJ Piney
    I just had a split of Pine fall off the pile and land on my foot... Sure felt hard to me!!
     
  13. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy
    New Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Feb 29, 2008
    744
    0
    Loc:
    Chateaugay, NY
    assuming all have the same moisture content, the heavier woods will be more dense. this is only if they are already seasoned. green maple can weigh almost as much as green cottonwood.
     
  14. smokinj

    smokinj
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Aug 11, 2008
    15,981
    1,412
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    Well I have been working on nothing but softwoods I have 2 blowen tires wore out back ITS ALL HEAVY
     
  15. billb3

    billb3
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 14, 2007
    4,354
    610
    Loc:
    SE Mass
    if the pine is eastern white pine it will be the lightest, you'll be able to stick a screwdriver into the end of the split easier than the others and the grain will look like pine compared to all those others.

    you might want to avoid the softwood if you're loading up for an overnite burn and save the softwood for extra trips to the woodpile.
    oak , maple, apple, cherry and pine are the major species in my woodpiles and I can pick out the pine easy. We have birch here , too, but it rots too easy. (it's a crappy species of birch apparently none of it lives much longer than 25 years, either)
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page