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Hardwood ends, $0.65 per cubic foot? And what is weight per cubic foot of hardwoods?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by BrianK, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    Hi folks,
    We have a local pallet company that builds pallets and skids from PA hardwoods, primarily oak and maple. They use rough cut 6x6, 3x6 and 2x6 stock, and sell the "ends" for $0.65 per cubic foot. The cut off ends typically measure 4 to 12 inches, average 6 to 8. Its nice wood for burning once its seasoned.

    They measure your truck or trailer, figure out the square footage, and charge accordingly.

    Yesterday I took my enclosed 5x8 trailer to pick up a load. This is clean, freshly cut hardwood, not kiln dried. Based on the weight estimate of the manager I talked to, 36 to 58lbs per cubic foot, I only filled the trailer 18 inches deep, or about 60 cubic feet, almost a half cord. He charged me $35. It was packed in tight, very little space between pieces.

    Two questions:
    1) Is that a decent price for that type of wood?
    2) What is the average weight per cubic foot of green hardwoods?

    I stopped at 18 inches in my 5x8, 2990lb GVW trailer, and was worried I was seriously overweight already based on the manager's estimates that the wood weighs 36 to 58lbs per cubic foot. I searched the internet and found wide variations, with claims that green oak runs 70lbs per cubic foot. If that's the case, my trailer was dangerously overloaded.

    If hauling firewood routinely, it looks like I'm going to have to sell the enclosed trailer and pick up a double axle trailer.

    What do you all do for hauling green hardwoods? Do you even figure out the weights and volumes, or just load up and go?

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  2. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I have a 5 x 10 with a 3500 pound axle. Yes, you can overload it with wet oak pretty easily.

    Sounds like the pricing of the cutoffs isn't too bad. Is it stackable?

    Half a cord of wet oak is gonna be around 2500 pounds.
  3. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    Its stackable in the same way any large blocks with one dimension all the same are stackable, but not like length firewood of uniform langth. It all has at least one side that is 6 inches, so we were able to stack it into the trailer pretty tight with very little lost space. But I'm not sure how I'm going to stack it to season it yet. Maybe just in a pile on pallets to maintain the most airspace.
  4. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Maybe use chicken wire or some such thing to make mini cribs??
  5. StuckInTheMuck

    StuckInTheMuck Member

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    If it was 60 cubic feet with "very little space between pieces" you got closer to 2/3 of a cord since a cord generally has 80-100 cubic feet of actual wood and the remainder is air space.

    Yes, I think it's a good price.
  6. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    Actually, I have been hunting through Craigslist for a cheap outdoor dog kennel made from fencing, maybe 10'x6'x5' high walls, with a door, for the small kiln dried blocks I'm buying from another location. It would be easy to cover and portable:

    [​IMG]

    However, this stuff seems too heavy/big for that kind of construction, but its only 30 miles away instead of 60.
  7. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Thoroughly air-dried (10-12%) or kiln dried domestic hardwoods (6-8%) weigh from 30 lbs (cottonwood) to 52 lbs (hickory) per cubic foot.

    Soft (Silver & Red Maple) 33-35,Black Walnut 38-40,Black Cherry 38, Red Oak & White Ash are around 40-42,Hard Maple 44,White Oak 47.
  8. jimbom

    jimbom Combustion Analyzer

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    "I searched the internet and found wide variations, with claims that green oak runs 70lbs per cubic foot."

    Anything weighing 70 lbs/cubic foot will sink to the bottom of the pond.
    Realstone likes this.
  9. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    You got it. Anything that's over 62 lbs/cubic foot will sink.Cocobolo,a Central American hardwood weighs about 68,the heaviest woods known are 75-83 lbs.
  10. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    A 12" cylinder, 16" long is just over one cubic foot. That would be some pretty dense wood. I would, however, happily pay 65¢ for it.
  11. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    I'm not sure what my 2c is worth here, but I also started to pick up the hardwood ends at a local mill over the last couple of years. 1 skid approx 6' x 6' x 5' high packed tight sold at the curb for @ $75. All maple and some oak, from what I was told. Took 2 trips in a my 6' bed truck - not quite front to back, even with the top of the box to haul it away. I started to burn it along with other hardwood harvested from the property after it sat for about 16 months.

    I made the mistake of stacking it too tight when I got it to the property (bought it in the spring). It wasn't "wet" but it was still pretty green I imagine. Either way I didn't leave enough room for the blocks to breath. When I started picking away at the pile the following spring there was some serious mold on a few pieces. Duh. So I just knocked the pile over on top of a couple old pallets, laid a couple old pieces of plywood over top, with a tarp over that (lots of airspace) and let it sit over the summer. When I started burning it in the fall it was awesome. I didn't lose a lot, but I did end up throwing a few pieces in the outside fire. Trying to be "neat" on the woodpile was a mistake I guess.

    What I love about this stuff is that it's clean, really easy to handle, load in the truck (and the stove - especially when my better half is up in the middle of the night feeding the fire). Doesn't "roll" on her in the stove. Stacking a couple of square blocks tight together in the fire makes a pretty good overnight burn. And I thought the price was pretty good too ($35 to load the truck).

    anyway, just chiming in fwiw...
    Realstone likes this.
  12. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    I was wondering if, the way this is cut, it might season quicker. I'm under the impression that green oak usually takes a full year or two to season, but maybe that's not the case with this kind of mill cut wood if its properly stacked?

    Here's my first load. It didn’t look like this much while it was only stacked 18" deep in my 5x8 enclosed cargo trailer:
    [​IMG]

    I'm going to build seasoning racks using 2x4s and old bed frames (I have a half dozen frames lying around, and the headboard brackets make them easy to tie together) for corner braces. They already have 90* hinges, I think I'll just need to put cross braces on them.

    And the children are way past the play fort stage, so the one in the background is also going to be re-purposed as a small firewood shed.

    My 5x8 enclosed cargo trailer is currently advertised on Craigslist. I'm hoping to sell it and pick up a used tandem axle utility trailer so I can safely haul more wood per trip.
  13. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    Yeah I let it sit a full year (spring to spring) then kicked it over and let it sit scattered (and covered) until the fall. I think some of the skids sit for a while at the lumber mill too (depending on time of year) so it may have had some dry time before I got it. Looks just like the pic you showed. Even with my stacking fubar, it burned great that fall I gotta get a bit creative too - lots of palettes here but I need something to contain this stuff. I don't recall the actual weight calc I did when loading it up. I also wish I had a good trailer for this kind of thing. I'm going to grab a couple more skids this year so I guess I better get organized...
  14. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    I wonder to what length we would have to go to season this kind of wood "properly" yet quickly.

    Here are some photos I found online under "seasoning wood":
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I might try to lay out these blocks in patterns with considerable spacing while keeping stacks stable to facilitate proper seasoning.
  15. rwhite

    rwhite Minister of Fire

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    I burn a lot of 2x4 mill ends. They usually dump a small dipsy dumpster off ends on my 5x8 trailer. It has 12" sides and when it's mounded pretty good in the center comes to about 1/3 cord. I pay $20 a load for fir so I'd say $35 id pretty good for hardwood. Even though it's rough cut is it kiln dried?
  16. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    No unfortunately this stuff is not kiln dried. I pick up smaller stuff from another manufacturer that is kiln dried oak. Burns hot and fast and has gotten us through along with a cord of nicely split oak and ash firewood that a friend gave me when we installed the stove the third week of January.
  17. NH_Wood

    NH_Wood Minister of Fire

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    I'd buy that load for $35 in a second. I'd split it all to 2" kindling and be set for years. I love bone dry oak for kindling - burns for a long time with good coals and catches the side splits real well. Cheers!
  18. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    I would definitely not stack those pieces. Sure they would stack nice and neat with all those flat sides but there will be virtually no air moving between the pieces. I'd vote for lose piles or chicken wire bins. The piles would allow you to stir them up a little every few months.
  19. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    Even if I deliberately stack them with a 1-2 inch air space between rows and offset each successive level?
  20. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    I dont know why that would not work.
  21. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    Kinda like playing Tetris! Seems like a lot of extra work to me. With the pieces being all different sizes it would be like a giant, 3-D puzzle and I don't see how you've gained anything over piling it, 'cept it will look nicer.

    If this is going to be an on-going source for you, why not experiment with it? Leave one load in a pile and neatly stack the other load with the above described air spaces. Test them next year before burning season and let us know how it goes. From that point on, you'll know what works best for you and if the stacking is worth the time and trouble.
  22. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    I've got homeschooled teenagers in my household. We'll call the stacking "phys Ed" ;-)

    All the pieces are 6" on at least one side and either 3" or 6" on an additional side. They stacked in real tight in the trailer, hardly any air spaces. I can stack these fairly uniformly. I'll probably build a rack and put steel screen on the backside of the rack to stack against.
  23. cptoneleg

    cptoneleg Minister of Fire

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    Check Moisture now and see what it is, may be surprised.
  24. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    I'm hoping that is the case. If I can burn this stuff this coming season it would solve a real headache as I just installed the stove this winter and have nothing seasoned for next year. I'm going to pick up a moisture meter today at Lowes.
  25. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    Well, here's my first ever firewood rack (zero cost - all scraps I had lying around. The brown painted stuff was from the frame of a domestic hot water solar panel I no longer use). I tried to leave some space between the wood, but in the end it wasn't easy to maintain as much spacing as I had hoped. On the other hand it was quite easy to stack. The base of the rack is 20 inches deep, the stacks 6'6" wide, and I stacked 5'6" high, about a half cord total. Real nice wood and worth $35 to me. Now if it just dries quickly. (I'd really like to burn this next season.) The rack is in the sunniest spot on my lot, and perpendicular to the prevailing wind so what space I did manage to leave is parallel with the wind.

    I cut the bed frames in half and used 8 foot 2x4s, 4x4s to tie in the bottom corners and some plywood shelving I just tore out of the storage room at my office for the base:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The roof line was too high on the right, drove me crazy so I reset it level after the photo.

    I'm debating whether to cover the rack with Ondura roofing now, or leave it open and wait till fall.

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