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

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by stanleyjohn, Oct 14, 2008.

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  1. stanleyjohn

    stanleyjohn Feeling the Heat

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    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.

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  2. MacKay

    MacKay Member

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  3. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    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 Feeling the Heat

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  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    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

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    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

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    Assuming the same moisture, the energy will be proportional to density. For the wood burner, that's the key.
  8. stanleyjohn

    stanleyjohn Feeling the Heat

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    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

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    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

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  11. stanleyjohn

    stanleyjohn Feeling the Heat

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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)
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