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Cover next years wood pile?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Greg123, Aug 27, 2009.

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  1. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Given LLs shrinkage observations, that seems to be a winning strategy and involves the least amount of material handling/risk of toppling. Split and toss into a big pile on well drained gravel or pallets or whatever, then stack and cover wherever you burn from the following fall. I just finished stacking my heaps that were cut/split last spring/summer ('08). The stacks are almost 10' and compressed against the ceiling of the shed. We'll see how much more the wood shrinks over the next 6 mos.

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  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Last Fall as I was trying to move my outdoor piles to my shed, I was being hindered by a lot of rain. Since I stack tight in the shed and the last to go in is the first to come out, I was worried that the rain soaked wood might not dry once packed in the shed so I stopped short of filling it. It screwed me up some because what I had left in the shed was not enough for the next heating season and the last year's leftover loose pile sitting out on the ground is being rained on every other day now.

    This year (only recently) is the first time I covered one of my outdoor stacks that is sitting up on pallets. I covered only the one stack that is to be put in last. When I do put it in, I will leave access to what was left over from last year and draw a mix from both as needs dictate. Most of the wood that I bucked this past Winter (some of it neatly stacked on pallets and the rest is in my trademark uber-heap-hausen) will stay out this Winter and I think I might toss the rubber roofing I have over some of it.
  3. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    Wood that I left in piles and did not stack never seasoned in the middle of the pile even after leaving it that way for a couple years. It was almost like the day I piled it there, maybe even getting a little slimy, and not the pieces touching the ground but those up more towards the middle. It reminded of corn that is put in the crib when it's too wet or not husked properly; it gets slimy, moldy, and heats up, sometimes to the point that you can see steam rising from inside the crib.

    I always stack and never pile. The only time my firewood is covered is in the winter; it's covered with snow!

    Stack it. No cover. If makes you feel better to cover it, go ahead, but at least stack it first.
  4. Greg123

    Greg123 New Member

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    Ya I'm right in the snow belt, in the hill's in Wyoming County, When lake Erie snow machine kicks in we get dumped on big time.
  5. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    The picture is from what we cut last winter and the stacks look the same now as when this picture was taken in April. The wood will not be burned this coming season.

    These stacks will be covered in November or December. Once they get covered they do not get uncovered until we get the wood for the stove.

    [​IMG]

    I would not leave wood just in a pile over the winter. I'd get it stacked and then forget about it.

    btw, covering a woodpile when it rains and then going out to uncover it is crazy. Either leave it covered or quit worrying about the rain. Also, trying to cover the sides or even partially covering the sides is not necessary.

    Why go to all that work covering and uncovering? Isn't cutting, splitting and stacking enough work already? And it is not necessary.

    We leave the wood uncovered the first summer which allows for the best evaporation. Then cover it before snow falls. Once covered, we forget about it until it is time to take the wood indoors for burning. We've never had a problem doing it this way.

    Some like to cover their stacks immediately. That is okay too but the wood will season just a tad better left uncovered that first summer. Those in the Pacific NW probably need to cover their wood right away.
  6. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I agree that single row stacks will season the best but multi-row stacks and heaps will still season albeit it will vary. A lot depends on how cool and damp the ground is, how large the pile/stack is, and how much wind can move through the pile/stack. Before I had a woodshed, I stored all my wood in stacks, three rows deep with junk sacrifice wood touching the ground. The stacks got covered in the Fall because in my area it was common to get a lot of rain late in the Fall that turned to ice.

    I hate stacking and really hate stacking the same wood twice so I often start with heaps. I keep the heaps small enough and to speed the drying limit their size and sprawl by surrounding them with a stacked row. I have a large mill felt that I stack/heap on to keep it off the ground and I just recently started using pallets in place of junk wood on the bottom. Sometimes I will rake all the bark/twigs/sawdust into an area and place my heaps on it by carefully spacing the first two layers in a criss-cross pattern (bark side down) and then tossing the rest on top.

    When I move my heaps to the shed, I sort the wetter from the dry, so the wetter stuff can spend another year in the shed to dry.
  7. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Eh Dennis, that is how I used to stack my wood before I built my woodshed, three rows deep on top of long poles. The only difference is that I put down a second layer of 5 foot long poles perpendicular to the long ones touching the ground. It helped to raise the good wood a little higher and tied the three rows together to minimize frost heave. When it came time to cover them, I also put long poles on top of the stacks and set the tarp on top of the poles. That gave a bit of air space under the tarp, kept the tarp from chafing on the sharp edges of the splits, and I could take out most of the wood without having to remove the tarps.
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    That would be me. Who is sitting here right now looking out the window watching the rain pour down. The stacks are so dry that I am afraid to smoke around them. :p
  9. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    my stuff's all covered up. i use old plywood, osb, and i got ahold of some real nice rubber roofing cheap, that's the best.

    i think of it this way, if ya had a big ole pole barn that was empty, would ya put the wood in there, or would ya leave it out in the snow, ice and rain???
  10. Ratman

    Ratman Feeling the Heat

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    Hey Dennis...
    watch out...I'm crazy!...and as mentioned before I like it.
  11. maplewood

    maplewood Minister of Fire

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    I don't cover, unless it's a week or two before putting the wood inside, and it's going to rain. Then I might cover a rank or two, just to keep the rain off it before I put it indoors. I have no problem with someone covering just the top as soon as they want (green, winter, or just before moving it). I agree with most that you never cover the sides.

    I never leave any of my wood in a pile - too much ground contact, too little air flow, too messy. I've got to stack it - to appreciate it more, to let the air flow through it and to be able to measure it. I stack on pallets.

    (The few rounds closest to the camera are some softwood for kindling.)
    [​IMG]
  12. gerry100

    gerry100 Minister of Fire

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    Leave the pile uncovered - letting it get as much sun and air as possible. It will reach equilibrium for moisture by the fall ( , 20%).

    Cover it when you stack it next fall.
  13. Bubbavh

    Bubbavh Feeling the Heat

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    I'm with Brotherbart!!!

    Split, cover, and forgetaboutit!!

    I got some pine that gets the same MC reading as the studs in my garage.
  14. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Do you split the studs and check the MC in the centre like you're supposed to?
  15. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    :lol: :lol: :lol:
  16. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Methinks we all are a bit that way! And most of us like it also.
  17. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    See my sig. %-P
  18. Bubbavh

    Bubbavh Feeling the Heat

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    Of course! How else will I know if my garage is ready to burn? I can't clunk them together because they are nailed.
  19. habsfan70

    habsfan70 New Member

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    I am from the school of thought of getting off the ground and leaving it uncovered but thats just me.
  20. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    I 'm leaving next years wood uncovered. This years will get tarped when it comes time to use it. We had such a wet summer, I'm taking advantage of the drier air now.
  21. Hurricane

    Hurricane Minister of Fire

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    I am going to cover all of my wood around mid Oct before the leaves start falling. All of my wood is under trees. I do not want all of the leaves to get on top and hold water. If I had it out in the open I do not think I would cover it.
  22. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Mine have trees over them too. In a few weeks the falling acorns and Beech nuts will sound like we are in a war zone hitting the rubber roofing over the piles. And the leaves will just land on top and blow off.
  23. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I'm trying stacking some wood on the driveway. I've been stacking under trees up to now. The sides get pretty damp, with mold growing on it. I think it's partly 'cause some of the covers got displaced at some point. The wood does dry though. It's amazing how quick things dry out in the open. I'd like to find some more substantial covering too, if I continue to store in the future under the trees.
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