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Cookies... and drying time.

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Creek-Chub, Jun 18, 2009.

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  1. Creek-Chub

    Creek-Chub New Member

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    So, I've got "enough" wood that is or will be well seasoned in time for this coming winter. More of it is cherry than is ideal (for me, anyway - no comment from you fellas burning nothing but pine and aspen). It gets damn cold here, and I'm heating a good sized, non-tight house. It's work to keep this place above 65 when it's below zero outside, at least with non-premium firewood. I do, however, have a ton of oak in rounds that haven't been split yet. So I got to thinking, what if I cut it into cookies, and stack as loosely as possible in pallets? I've got tons of room to store it that is completely open, gets plenty of wind and total sun. Any chance I'll be happy burning this stuff in January and February? I mean, anything can be burned, but will I get a leg up at all by making the extra cuts and turning the stuff into cookies? Just wondering if that capillary action would be sped up by cutting it into 3 or 4 inch thick rounds, maybe splitting them in half, and stacking as loosely as possible. Any thoughts? If not, I'll live, but curiosity got the better of me.

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  2. Creek-Chub

    Creek-Chub New Member

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    So in theory, at least - so long as they were optimally stacked - the cookie thing should work. Yeah?
  3. iskiatomic

    iskiatomic Minister of Fire

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    I think this could work...............However, I think you would end up with a lot of waste, and a lot of chips. If you have an 18 inch round and you cut your cookies to 1 1/2 inches or so you need to make 10 cuts using a 3/8 chain you just cut away almost 4 inches off the lenght of the log.

    Just my two cents, KC
  4. Creek-Chub

    Creek-Chub New Member

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    They're closer to 3' rounds, but point taken. Waste is acceptable as a substitute for speed in drying time. I've got lots of this stuff - certainly enough that I'm willing to sacrifice some scrap to improve my chances of being able to burn some when it's cold as hell out. Anybody else care to weigh in?
  5. Hurricane

    Hurricane Minister of Fire

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    My two cents thinks it will dry quickly but will also burn too quickly. I think the real short pieces like that burn quicker because the fire can travel through the grain, if you look at a log burning the ends get burned out quickly and the middle is the piece that lasts.
    I am no scientist just an observant country boy.
  6. Nixon

    Nixon Minister of Fire

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    Would splitting it fairly small help? I have done this when I was caught short on wood for the winter , but, It wasn't Oak .
  7. Creek-Chub

    Creek-Chub New Member

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    Ah-ha! Thought about this, but it would seem that this effect would be somewhat mitigated if I were to stack a few cookies on top of each other, or as tightly together as I could get them in the stove. I would in effect have a big dry piece of wood, or pretty close too it. Good dry oak, stacked in together like slab wood - i.e., not alot of air to penetrate and wick around, as is the case with smaller splits. I'm envisioning a rocking coal bed, then jamming in a few of these as tightly as possible before bed time. Damper down when appropriate, and good heat through the night. I never had a problem maintaining a good coal bed through the night last winter - the problem was meaningful heat throughout that time. It would seem that this might be a step in the right direction. Any other potential criticisms?
  8. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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    just split them into smaller splits than you normally would stack single row and wait .... if you get good dry cold nov and dec it will be okay in mid jan
    is the oak green?
    if it is real green like fresh cut good luck.. if it was cut say last year you gotta chance
    and i wouldnt waste it cause if worse case you gotts burn what you have this year getting that stuff split you will be happy next year and so forth
  9. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I cut alot of cookies when testing a chainsaw and throw them in on cold days for a real hot fire it will work! (you will lose part of your wood to wood chips)
  10. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    I think it should work to excellerate drying. Its a costly solution (wood +labor) although I think it is a solution. Stacking could be key, to ensure good airflow. Stack in the sun, 1' off the ground.
    I understand about oak. I stay away from it unless I have no choice. It just takes too long to ripen!
    Give us an update in the fall!
  11. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    Creek-Chub,
    What you are talking about wil work but I would not go over 4" thickness, do it now to utilize the natural drying time left this season, and I would recommend 2"x2" runners in the stacking process to prevent the cookies from coming into full contact with each other and leaving wet spots in the wood. In the over all if you run into burning problems the cookies can be broken up to resemble large ieces of coal and loaded that way. I have an EKO40 supplying heat in an old house 40-50 miles north of you and have burned chunks that are the result of off sized end cuts. They dry quite quickly and produce a lot of heat but of course do not last as long. The chips mentioned earlier can be burned if dried and stored in some fashion by just throwing in some cookies and then scoop up a shovel or two of the chips and pour on top of the cookies. If you want you can then place a cookie on top of the chips, like a sandwich cookie, and you will win in both the chips for btu's and dry fire wood cookies approach. The chips will coal up nice this way.
  12. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    1. Don't feel badly about the cherry. It gives a lot of heat and seasons rather quickly. I would not feel bad if I had to burn 100% cherry all winter. We burn some every year and it is good stuff.

    2. Cutting into "cookies" is not a great idea. Also, the theory about stacking them tightly together in the stove only seems to work as the fire gets going. Once the fire is going good, that theory has flown out the flue. It will burn much faster.

    3. Why not simply split the wood into a little smaller split than normal. Get it stacked, but stack it extremely loosely so that wind will go through the stack. Stack in single rows where it will get the most wind hitting the stack on the sides. Also preferably this stack will be in the sunshine too.

    4. Pray a lot that your wood will be ready to burn without giving you too much creosote.

    5. Get busy gathering wood for the year 2010-2011.
  13. Creek-Chub

    Creek-Chub New Member

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    Thanks for all the replies guys. I probably have about the most ideal drying conditions. Middle of a field, wind, and total sun. That said, I'll think I'll do some experimenting. I've got a bunch of this stuff already split small, so I'll cut a half cord or so of cookies, and see which I like once the real nasty cold gets here.

    And don't get me wrong, Dennis. I'm not knocking the cherry! It's just that we had a few weeks of the -15 stuff last winter, which was my first heating 100% with wood. I refused to turn on the furnace, but it was work keeping this place at 65 degrees with the cherry. I'm thinking it would be a little less work with some nice oak. Anyway, thanks for the input fellas.
  14. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Creek, Try and find some black locust. Very high btu's will be ready by this winter if you stack it in june early july.
  15. Creek-Chub

    Creek-Chub New Member

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    Doesn't seem to be much, if any, around here. I had a guy sell me some "Osage Orange" last year (pretty sure it was mulberry) in the dead of winter when I was sick and tired of burning slab wood, but that's about as hard as it gets - so far as I know. I've got a cord or two of Mulberry stacked up as well, but unless I re-split it the odds of burning it this year are probably slim. I'll keep an eye out, though. Thanks.
  16. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I can't imagine much advantage with slicing an entire log into cookies. What I have done though is to take end pieces from a log that has been cut for some time and has good checking and set them aside for sooner burning than the rest of the log.

    Better to julienne them instead.
  17. Apprentice_GM

    Apprentice_GM Member

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    +1 :)

    Great idea! And please post back here with results as well . . .

    My 2c on it would be to split smaller and stack loosely as Dennis (Backwoods Savage) has posted.
  18. Northwind

    Northwind New Member

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    +2
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