First I want to congratulate the OP on scounging PRE-BUCKED firewood. You are a journeyman of the scrounge if your biggest issue is the person felling, limbing and bucking your wood is not getting the length correct. You will become "master" of the scrounge when you get them to CSS it for you. A "Jedi Scrounge" when it is all cut to specified lengths!! Me, I am in love with the perfect stacks shown here with every piece within +/-" and exactly the length you want. I am a little too willy nilly at this and just eyeball everything. Most get pretty close but plenty are short and few a little long. Fortunately the 30NC has a cavernous fire box and those that end up too long get thrown in on an angle durring the day when I am at home. In a perfect world the 2" shy of tight is what I like and gives me the opportunity to load up easily enough. I do not think having the splits near touching the sides on an EW load would cause any harm but getting them in there while reaching past the raked forward coal pile is a bit of a challenge and I find in uneccessary for the extra 1/3hr or so of perfect burn time. For the OP the concensus here is that on a NS load with the splits outgassing into the glass you will get dirty glass. Beyond that it also contributes to more ourspill of ash if I load them beyond my doghouse so I try to keep everything inside the doghouse if at all possible. As long as you can safetly close the door(no cramming) I do not believe there is an issue to either the stove or you.