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do i have to be concerned - moisture reading

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by olliek, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. olliek

    olliek New Member

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    why do I seem to remember that drying stops as soon as temperatures drop below 50?

    In any ways, I am trying to make a dent by having than I burn, but here in suburban paradise possibilities are limited....

    Now please don't crucify me, but i sort of browsed around and came across the biobrick thread. Now what would you think if I bought a ton of these bricks use them and rather not touch the moist stuff until next year? I will most likely have to buy next year anyway so from what i heard the price compares to a cord of wood around here.

    i don't think I am a brick guy but if it bridges the gap, would you do it?

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Ya burn what ya gotta burn. If we had bricks around here and the price was decent I would burn some.
  3. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    If you cant get anybetter wood i prolly would do brick vs what you said was high kiln price. But honestly the 30% is not optimal but will still keep you warm, just leave it open longer before shutting air down to help boil off the water.

    Plenty of folks grew up cutting wood this time of year and later to burn this winter. Not the smartest thing but they were still warm. We know better and know you get more heat and less crosote but you still will be OK even at 30%.
  4. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    First, wood dries great in the winter because of the drier air. Second, bricks wouldn't be a bad idea, but I'd be more inclined to mix it with wood than use it as a replacement.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  5. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    It's relative humidity that's important, not necessarily temperature. The RH may go up when temps go down, but wood will continue to dry anyway. I remember visiting Eastern Colorado once in mid winter and one day it snowed a couple of inches. The next morning it was almost all gone, not from melting because it was like -10°F, but it was so dry that the snow literally dried out from sublimation. Depending on the climate, your wood can "freeze dry", too. I'm in the wet NW, so it's a lot different here, but as long as the air can still hold moisture, it will continue to pick up moisture from the wood. Even at 90% RH, wood can still get down to 20-25% MC. It just takes longer:). And, of course, the air must circulate freely through the stack.
    Gark likes this.
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Don't forget olliek, wind will dry that wood faster than sun. Sun is good, but only if you have good air circulation. Shoot, we've stacked wood in the shade many times and had no problems because it was in the wind. And I'm like Scott, I've never seen a need for a MM.
  7. olliek

    olliek New Member

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    i try and stack them loosely and two deep. i have couple of stacks in the shade that i think are more exposed to the wind, it's more like a location problem, unless i put them bang in the middle of the drive there are not a lot possibilities left. but thanks for the wind fact, i thought being fully exposed to the sun won;ld dry them more. learned something.
    i will give the brick a call on tuesday and see what he wants, i stacked away the last pile with relative frequents readings and it was only rarely over 25. so me breathing a bit easier.
    oh yea and the next winter, i am on that too, one tree down and one to go, then i need to figure out where to get free wood here on the south shore.
  8. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    If you can find some dead pine that was killed a year or 2 ago and cut that it should be ready by the time you split it and want to burn it in a few months, if kept out of the rain. That or some dead standing wood without bark on it. Know anywhere you can scrounge any piles of dead pine?
  9. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    "You burn what you got , seasoned or not"
    Like said, burn the driest stuff first, the other will be drier by that time.
    Lots of good ideas posted.
    You may be ahead already with 6 or 7 cords CSS.
    MMs help but if you get you wood CSS & five it a full year +, (oak 2 + years)
    You'll be amazed how much better 2 yr old seasoned wood burns, but 1 year seasoned will burn OK.
    Try to keep the rain off of it, burn season is close. Top cover is the best , still lets air circulate.
    The 50° temp & wood stops drying, is BS. IMO
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  10. olliek

    olliek New Member

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    didn't someone tell me not to burn pine? <-- this is like school here
  11. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    Ah, the pine myth: http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/burned-again-by-the-pine-myth.89299/
    Properly seasoned pine is safe to burn as pretty much any other wood. Problem is you can burn it too wet leading to a lot of creosote which may then give you a chimney fire. Dry pine is great to get a fire going or for quick, hot fires in the shoulder season. Nevertheless, I do not think you need it for this winter but if you have trouble finding free wood, pine is usually very easy to get.
  12. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    And i have some pine that i cut in say june and split, its already at 17%MC It was green when i cut it up!!! And these are Big splits, 18" long and im checking the 6-7" diameter pieces for moisture. But yea, dry the stuff burns as clean as oak, but due to the HIGHLY flamible resins its possible to burn green trees with little effort, leading to the myth.
  13. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    That's really impressive (and encouraging). I assume that 17% is inside of a fresh split?
  14. olliek

    olliek New Member

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    aaahhhh the good news keep coming in... I have at least 2 40-50ft pine trees that i need to bring down. Well - I'd love it to be me, but due to the closeness to the house I guess i might need some professional help. I was getting agitated not being able to be burn all that wood, but now there is a whole new world opening up!
  15. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    Yea sprinter thats inside a fresh split. Some are in the low 20'a but most are under 20%?? Remember i live in the south, and we had several weeks where we either hovered near 100F or eclipsed the mark, and about that time we had not gotten rain for weeks. I attibute this to the rapid drying. I do admit its father along than i even thought it would be this time of year. There were 2 different trees, one was fresh cut i guess this spring and on a debris pile that i cut early summer and the other was in my wood cutting buddies yard (he wont burn it, except for kindling!!) that was recently cut. I mean i guess they could both have been on the ground for a month or so, its not like i severed the stump myself but they were still GREEN when i bucked them and then split it a week or 2 later.
  16. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    And another welcome to the forum. You are like many who have come here and it can be an eye opener when you find that indeed, you can burn pine!

    Actually I recall times in my youth when we took vacation. In northern MI, one can expect some cold air almost any time. Lots of old cabins with fireplaces in parks and such and almost all of them burned pine in the fireplace. So I've never thought it strange to burn the stuff but there are probably millions out there who still have the myth.

    It is a shame you can't cut those pines down. But have you considered hiring someone just to drop them and you do all the bucking? That could save you a lot and you still get to work on them.
  17. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    Thing about pine is you will get half the burn time out of it vs most hardwoods. This honestly is the main reason i shy away from it. Its just about the same work for the same volume of wood for half the heat. I did get the 1/4 of a cord or so that i did so that i could have some "bone dry" wood to test and see how it performs in my stove. If i like it i know i can get lots of it thats dead and will be read in short order if i decide i like it.
  18. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    But that is also one plus for burning the pine during the daytime hours or spring/fall burns.
  19. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    Shouldn't burn pine? I never heard that before I found this forum. I grew up in Spokane. That's all we had there. If you don't burn pine, you don't burn. Lots of fireplaces, few house fires (that I knew of, anyway...)
  20. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I think you can burn what you have. It would burn better if it were drier, but it will still burn. Burn the driest stuff you have, check the flue frequently, and I predict you'll stay warm. Get next year's wood stacked immediately so you won't be in the same situation next fall.
  21. James02

    James02 Feeling the Heat

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    Pallets!
  22. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    Yes, you can either seek professional help bringing the trees down, or rebuilding the house...;)
    Grisu likes this.
  23. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I doubt anyone here told you that . . . many of us burn pine or other softwoods.
  24. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Like others . . . I think the drying process will continue and you will be OK . . . especially if you start off burning the better stuff first . . . keep inspecting and cleaning your chimney when necessary . . . and you run the stove at the right temps.

    At this point it is highly unlikely you will be able to find any better wood for sale at reasonable prices . . . you can look . . . but I wouldn't hold my breath.

    I suspect you will be fine this year . . .
  25. olliek

    olliek New Member

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    and thanks again guys for all the input. much appreciated. I keep re-splitting and checking, and I seem to get a more consistent read around 20. I am feeling abit more relaxed now. Having said that I made a booboo with one of my stacks, but that's a story for another thread.

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