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Drying wood quickly? Anyone heard of a Holz Hausen?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Marcus, Mar 6, 2006.

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  1. Marcus

    Marcus New Member

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  2. jabush

    jabush Feeling the Heat

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    I guess if a person were going to wait until Aug/Sept to get thier wood ready, then this thing might be worth a frantic try in order to dry it faster. I'd just as soon get my wood cut, split and stacked early. Plus with that mountain of wood you wouldn't be able to pick and choose what you wanted to burn. I like to be able to burn some less dense stuff when it's a little warmer out and save the high quality stuff for when it's colder. You can't do that if your locust/oak/whatever is in the middle of the pile.
    Also, I'm with Dylan....I don't see how that configuration creates any kind of "stack" effect to dry the wood. It seem as though the interior pieces would always be cold and damp.

    I would as well like to hear from someone who has utilized the HH to dry wood.
  3. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    A regular stack of wood is like a straight (non-circular) holz hausen - and exposing more of the wood to sun and wind. I'm not buying into the holz hausen, although it does look neat.
  4. Marcus

    Marcus New Member

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    I agree with all of you. I would expect wood to dry fastest when the most amount of surface area is exposed to sun and wind. In the HH very little surface area is exposed to sun and wind. I also don't see how the "chimney effect" could exist when the wood seems packed tightly and there really does not seem to be much of opening for air to enter or exit. I guess another reason to suspect it would not work well is I found only 1 or 2 references to the HH on the inetrnet. If it worked so well many people would likely know about it.
  5. Rob From Wisconsin

    Rob From Wisconsin Minister of Fire

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    Dylan,
    You obviously have no knowledge of the "Coriolus Effect",
    and how gases "rotate" as the rise up a flue.....
    Not to mention "Centrifugal" vs. "Centripital" forces......

    "Rob the Brain"
  6. NWfuel

    NWfuel Minister of Fire

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    Hello,
    I have been selling cordwood for 29 years now. I had a guy tell me about 20 years ago that the indians dried their wood with this same method. This is the second time Ive heard this. I wish I had paid more attention to him then.
    Thomas
  7. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    Go ahead and restack all your wood this way then, Thomas. Your drying time should decrease by 75%! It worked for the indians.
  8. Marcus

    Marcus New Member

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    Even if this technique did work- how many times would it fall over while trying to build it? It just looks like a pain to make. Then you have to take the whole thing apart to really make sure the wood on the inside is dry. Then you have to restack it all.
  9. Donna

    Donna Member

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    Hi,
    While taking an abandoned baby squirel to a refuge not far from our house, I noticed just such a stack of wood in the yard of the woman who runs the place. I believe she is of German or Dutch origin.
    I was aware of this method of drying, but had never actually seen one, it was facinating.
    The wood looked very aged, however, I have no idea of how long it had been stacked.
    Next time I have occasion to go there, I shall bring my camera. It is a sanctuary and is kept behind locked gates.
    Cheers,
    Donna
  10. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    As HotFlame found out this past weekend, your best bet is to get one year ahead on your wood supply, to ensure that you're always burning dry wood. People make fun of me for being a "wood hoarder" but I haven't sizzled a chunk all winter. There's really nothing to compare with truly dry firewood, and the best way to get there is with the appropriate application of time.
  11. Rick

    Rick Member

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    I don't know if this method works (as well as purported) myself, but I have seen similar stacks in Amish areas. The Amish seem to know their stuff. As far as air reaching the center wood, I've stacked wood very tightly (as tight as I could) over the years and inevitably the center wood always eventually dries. That may be a function of my climate.

    Rick
  12. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I've always thought of the Amish as being nice people trapped in a weird cult.

    You've got hard working Amish and goof-off Amish and everyone in between. They use chain saws and hydraulic splitters and pickup trucks like everyone else, by the way.
  13. Rick

    Rick Member

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    I should've been clearer, I was referring to the shape of the stack, not the time left to season. Eric, the nice Amish that charged me an exorbitant fee to dine with them didn't have any of those modern contraptions. But they did have a website :roll: .

    Rick
  14. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I have seen a few of these around here. Always wondered if they work?

    Someone with lots of wood to spare should try this method out and let us know if it works.
  15. Martin Strand III

    Martin Strand III New Member

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    Lots of naysayers; not much experience to totally poo poo this HH stacking method.

    Remember, the "top down" method of starting a fire is an old method recently rediscovered, and it works. And the "stack effect" of air movement inside a house was described and most easily evidenced in older leaky constructed houses when "tight" construction wasn't much known. Plus, saying the HH stack doesn't get as much sun - well, in a standard woodpile stack facing south, only the ends of the splits get direct sun anyway, so how much "less sun" is that? Adequate air movement may negate this. So, let's see...

    I'll commit 2 of my 6 cords this spring to a 7' diameter HH stack and follow up with this fall when the leaves turn to flame with a critical eyeball on splits from the north and south sides of the HH stack and compare them, with eyeball and a moisture meter, to splits from the standard woodpile stack. Stay tuned.

    Maybe the field mice won't recognize the HH stack as just a woodpile...

    Aye,
    Marty
  16. wahsega

    wahsega New Member

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    Drying wood quickly? Put in a 350 oven with the vent fan on. rotate every half hour. Use moisture meter to check for done. :sick:
  17. Marcus

    Marcus New Member

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    You're the man Marty. Looking forward to your scientific study. Maybe we can co-author an article for the magazine Modern Wood Burning Techniques.
  18. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    A lot. One end of each split in the HH pile is essentially completely blocked from both sun and airflow. The other side of my south-facing stacks still gets tons of ambient light and airflow.

    I think the wood will be burnable if it sits in a HH for a whole year, it just will be drier in more conventional, tried-and-true method stacks. Plus, like others pointed out, building that stack seems like a pain in the ass.
  19. Martin Strand III

    Martin Strand III New Member

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    So far, it's all conjecture.

    You know no more than anyone else. You have an opinion.

    I plan to find out for myself.

    Aye,
    Marty

    Grandma used to say, "Non illegitimi carborundum."
  20. berlin

    berlin New Member

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    It would definately be interesting to see how it worked. My friends in north germany stack wood similar to that without at pole, somewhat of a steep haystack type pile, but i never thought to inquire whether there was any purpose for it. I assumed that my friend was too lazy to stack it properly.
  21. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    And they would have a point. Plenty of blame to go around.

    Welcome back, Frank.
  22. adrpga498

    adrpga498 Minister of Fire

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    I need to split another 2 cords for next season, I already have 2 stacked the conventional manner in long single rows. So......I also will experiment with this HH style. IF nothing else, I think I may flip a few empty beer cans down the center, keep the slugs away. LOL
  23. bruce

    bruce Member

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    frank is back?
  24. Marcus

    Marcus New Member

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    Actually it looks more like a pointy breast than a phallic symbol. But still we are obsessed with breasts as much (probably more) than with phallic symbols.

    By the way, does anyone know German and know what Holz Hausen means?
  25. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Wood houses.
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