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)

Cord of wood - Definition please

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by TarmSolo30+Storage, Jan 26, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. TarmSolo30+Storage

    TarmSolo30+Storage New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    5
    Loc:
    150km N. of Toronto
    I'm new here. Been lurking for a week or so, finally decided to raise my head.
    When you guys refer to X cords of wood are you referring to what we call a "bush cord" ie. 4' by 4' by 8' or a "face Cord" ie. 16" by 4' by 8' In other word 3 face cords equals 1 bush cord.
    It just seems when I read annual consumptions of "13 Cord" or "20 Cord" it seems HUGE if the unit of measure is a Bush Cord.
    BTW, my Tarm is not yet in operation so I have no personal experience on the consumption side of things.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    3,422
    Loc:
    Addison County, Vermont
    Welcome to the forum and to the boiler room. A cord is 128 cubic feet - 4x4x8. Some folks burn a lot of wood. I think you'll find that most with gasifiers are burning considerably less, although some of us get carried away and keep the house in a sauna-like temperature range and heat the entire outdoors as well, using a greenhouse as a heat exchanger. Some folks are also going through learning curve issues and getting things dialed in.

    I think it's fair to say that a properly configured gasifier should deliver somewhere around 50-60% of the theoretical maximum fuel value as usable heat. That works out to something like 10-15 million BTUs per cord, or about what you'd get from burning 100 gallons of fuel oil. All rough figures here, but should get you in the ballpark.
  3. slowzuki

    slowzuki Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    486
    Loc:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Locally, farm houses with old wood central heat burn between 7 - 16 full cords, yes, I know, its crazy.
  4. mikeyny

    mikeyny Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Messages:
    294
    Loc:
    upstate ny
    Someone please correct me if i am wrong here. The official cord measurement is 128 cubic ft of wood but there are many ways to stack it. The cord is actually measured with round log length wood. A stack of 4 ft long logs piled 4 ft high stacked in a row 8 ft long. No matter how many times you re-stack it , you may come up with a different amount of wood. If you split it, stack it and measure it you will be disapointed. I takes up much less space. So the actual measurement is quite inaccurate most of the time. I think I am right on this but, as my quote at the bottom says "I thought I made a mistake but i was wrong". So you figure that one out.

    Mike
  5. wsurfer49

    wsurfer49 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    40
    Loc:
    Northern AZ
    Exactly! A cord of logs, even split is a relative measurement. Cut, split and carefully stacked might be a much greater amount of wood than round and loosely stacked.

    I guess it is the best measure for now. I had heard proposals for selling firewood by weight but if you don't factor in moisture content then that would be even more inaccurate. I know how I stack my wood and that helps me judge my wood consumption and will give me some measure when I get my furnace installed. It is for now the accepted standard, 128 cubic feet. Now a face cord, there is a rather nebulous measurement. Rob
  6. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,100
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    4x4x8 or 128 cubic feet loose stacked.....
    However, that is meant to define 85 SOLID cubic feet or approx that....if such a thing ever existed!

    The 85 corrects for all the air spaces and short logs.
  7. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Maybe the reason Eric's neighbors are so happy with his gassifier is not the lack of smoke afterall! Maybe they are getting some 'second-hand heat' radiation off the greenhouse glass at night :bug:

    When I was young, we burned 20 Full Cord a year in an old, unisulated farmhouse with two wood stoves. And there was still frost on the inside of my bedroom window many mornings! I've graduated to a wood fired hydronic that looks like it's about 10 Full cord the first year. I suspect as I move along the learning curve (quit over-filling/starving for air, better wood, solar&storage;) I will use less.

    Bush Cord?? Never heard that before. NYS weights and measures says a full cord is 128 ft3, and if you sell by the face cord you must state the length of cut on a 4' X 8' face

    Jimbo
  8. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,738
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    I shut down and drained the greenhouse loop before the last deep freeze, and noticed a big drop in wood consumption. Finishing the insulation on the pipe run through the (now unheated) greenhouse made a big difference as well. No surprise there.

    I have a complex relationship with firewood. Notwithstanding nofossil's disapproval, I think ten cords per season is a pretty reasonable goal for my situation. I like to cut and split about twice that much over the course of a summer, but I'm not going to sell firewood and my allocated space behind the barn is all full up.
  9. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Hey, I'm here to help. You can store some at my place ;-)
  10. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,738
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    Our woodlot is just south of town, Jimbo. Stop by anytime when the ground is clear I'll take care of you.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page