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Drying Red Oak - cool photo

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by cycloxer, Jan 4, 2010.

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  1. cycloxer

    cycloxer New Member

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    So a lot of people have asked how you know when your wood is ready to burn. Well you can use moisture meters, you can weigh it, you can wait a year, etc. - there are many methods. So I have some oak that was split in November and I wanted to see how it is aging. So I took a split and split it again. You can see from the photo the amount that has dried out and the amount remaining to dry. Pretty cool.

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  2. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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    wow good picture!!!
    do you debark yours as well?
  3. cycloxer

    cycloxer New Member

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    No, that piece just happened to come out that way. I burn all pieces of the tree, lol.
  4. BucksCounty

    BucksCounty Feeling the Heat

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    Very neat to see that. Just experienced that with a piece of ash I resplit yesterday. Very neat to see.
  5. cycloxer

    cycloxer New Member

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    I just thought this was a good picture to visually explain to people how wood dries out. You can't always see the moisture in the wood, but this picture makes it pretty clear.
  6. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I would have expected it to dry deeper at the end grain. Is that solely a moisture difference or is there a temperature difference that caused condensation?
  7. cycloxer

    cycloxer New Member

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    This wood has been stored outside in New England temps, covered. So the wood doesn't get wet from rain, but it is exposed to the outside air. It was all cut to length and split at the same time so maybe that is why. I have noticed this on a few pieces that I split so I finally took a photo. I brought the pieces inside and if I go to take a picture tomorrow you will see that the water marks are gone. The wood also has a pungent, oaky smell to it and it has that classic, dense oak feel.
  8. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    It has very wide annular rings, always a sign of very dense wood in a ring-porous wood like oak. That also means it is very slow drying because these woods do most of their drying along the long tubes next to the early (dark rings) wood. That's why it hasn't dried so much at the ends.

    Very interesting. Thanks for posting that. It's really good evidence that not all trees within the same species will produce superior wood. The BTU charts are only averages. Not all oak is equally dense. That wood grew fast and out in the open - the best place to find oak, ash and hickory, but not maple and cherry which grow denser under the forest canopy.
  9. cycloxer

    cycloxer New Member

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    Well I was going to post an updated photo to show that the water marks are gone after 1 day inside, BUT somebody in the house decided to put the splits in the stove since I left them on top of the wood pile by the stove. LOL. Sometimes you can't win.
  10. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Notice the point part of the pie is dry first- because it's thinner. I split oak pretty thin- sometimes in "planks" to speed it up
  11. cycloxer

    cycloxer New Member

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    Pantalones - What size splits do you make? How long do you dry them out? How does it burn?
  12. gregp553

    gregp553 New Member

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    I'm the first to admit I'm not very smart. So, assuming the darker color is wetter, why is the bottom edge of these pieces not drying like the upper edges? It's the thinnest parts of the wood? What am I missing here? And be gentle.
  13. GatorDL55

    GatorDL55 Member

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    You better clean the chimney in the morning so you don't get a fire from the creosote!
  14. cycloxer

    cycloxer New Member

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    I think a couple of wet splits in my 650 degree incinerator will be okay. I run the secondaries like a blow torch.
  15. kevinwburke

    kevinwburke New Member

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    I bet the Netflix sleeve would burn well too.
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