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Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by melikefire, May 10, 2009.
I am new to woodburning. Just wanted advice on correct way to stack split wood.
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Moved to the woodshed for a more targeted response. Take a look at the many threads here where folks have some very respectable stacks of wood with pictures.
Here's a good starter going on right now:
Yeah so it doesn't fall over.
I don't think there is a right or wrong way of stacking wood. Just as long as it stay up and
gets some sun and wind. That is all you need.
This link brings you right back to this post?
I try to stack mine in an area where I will not have to move it until it's time to burn it.
Whoopsee, that link should have been this post:
Thanks for the vote of confidence BeGreen.
melikefire, welcome to the forum. I see we aren't that far apart as we live west of Chesaning. Here is my method:
Stack the wood on something; you'll notice that we use poles. We just cut saplings and lay down two under each stack. This allows for air to get under the wood and keep the wood on the bottom from rotting and sinking into the ground.
Generally, we don't try to stack the wood tight and really neat and the reason for this is to allow better air movement through the stack. Stack the wood where it can get some wind. In our area the prevailing winds are SW. Also stack it in the sun if possible but wind is better even than sun.
We do not cover the wood the first summer. Don't worry about the rains as the wood dries off fast. The wood you see in that other post will not be covered until probably November or early December. Leaving it uncovered for that time frame allows for maximum evaporation of moisture. Then when we do cover the wood, cover the top only. Leave the sides and ends open. Again, don't worry when rain hits the sides of the pile as that moisture will usually be gone within 24 hours.
Also, the wood you plan to burn next winter should already be cut, split and stacked so it has time to season. And it depends upon what wood you have as to the seasoning time. For instance, oak takes much longer; 2 years to season. Ash or soft maple or other woods like these will season nicely over the summer months. The key is time. You simply can not go cut a tree down and expect to start burning that wood right away. If you do, that is when people start complaining they can't get heat from their stove, the wood won't burn and the chimney clogs with creosote.
Another word of caution is the wood sellers. Most will just say their wood is seasoned. That word is misused a lot! Even those guys who go cut tops after a woods has been logged off. They say it has been 2 or 3 years since the tree was cut. But that wood won't season worth a hoot until it is cut to firewood length. Also, most logs need to be split. Not split, they take a long, long time to dry out. Still, a lot of wood sellers split their wood just before delivering it. Bad.
There is no "right" way, but there are a sh_tload of wrong ways.
The fastest, with the most air flow, the closest to the wood burning appliance, with the least amount of touching (by you). I think cross stacking is the best but it is the most time consuming and takes up the most space. It gives the best airflow.
#1 rule is not to lay it on the ground!
#2 rule, don't mix seasoned and unseasoned.
#3 At least 25' from the house.
#4 close to a source of beer :cheese:
So a mouse can run through it but a cat can't chase it.
Are you saying perpendicular to the prevailing winds? I stack mine parallel to them because we get some pretty strong winds sometimes and I would be afraid of 40 mph gusts knocking rows over...
Andy, the way to overcome this is to not stack too high. Definitely don't go over 4 feet. Another is to not stack single rows. Stack double or triple, then each row will help hold the others.
I might add that we've experienced a lot stronger wind that 40 mph (try 80 mph!) and have never had the wind blow a stack over.
Dennis(Backwoods Savage) - I'm sure you mentioned it before but I don't remember,what do you use as a cover for your wood piles ? also do you have any pictures ?
Jeff, maybe I'll get a picture today if you want. We use mostly sheets of old metal roofing. Hey, maybe I'll take a couple and put on those new stacks for a picture. Keep watching.
I stack my wood on pallets. I cover the wood with plastic tarps right about when I plan to start burning in the fall. I like to leave the wood exposed to the wind, rain, and sun throughout the spring and summer. I think it seasons better that way.
Same here. Works for me!
Jeff, here is one of the older piles. You'll also notice there are no poles under this pile. This is on high ground and yellow sand. We don't get any rot if we use the wood in less than 10 years, but the wood does tend to sink into the ground. No problem, just throw that bottom row over onto the piles you will use the following winter.
Dennis,thank you for going through the extra trouble of taking pictures and sharing them with me.nice looking wood pile by the way.
Thanks Jeff. If you are really nice, I'd even allow you to come help me stack some wood next year! lol
one thing that I don not like about pallet stacking or rack stacking is. When ever it rains hard, water and dirt splash up and cover the first couple rows of splits with mud. They seem to never dry. I could put some stone around them but that sounds like work and could cost $$. Yuck.
I am still in process of stacking my wood but here's the system I am using:
For winter I plan on putting pallets on top with tarps attached to the top pallets. The top pallets will be raised about 6" along the length to allow runoff.
Shari, that's an awesome set up, thanks for the pics! A local stone/landscaping place gives away free pallets. I was over there yesterday and snagged about 5; that's all that I could fit in my Grand Cherokee. You've given me a reason to go over and grab more. I'll just have to pull out my 4x8 trailer and haul them up to VT once I get a good collection.
Thanks, Skier76, for the compliment. I feel this is a very secure method given we have five grandchildren under the age of 3-1/2 running around here every now and then. "Free stacking", without supports, makes me nervous as I am a little leary of one of the little ones bumping into a free standing stack and knocking a stack down onto themselves. If you find yourself in my area you are welcome to come on over and help me re-stack my other almost 3 cords into this arrangement!