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Have u ever restacked from log cabin style to "regular?" How much less wood?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Bster13, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    This is my wood pile, it is stacked log-cabin style in its entirety to promote drying as a new wood hoarder:
    [​IMG]

    In using the various calculators (http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/cord-calculators.53294/) I calculate I have 3.51 cords right now, but no clue how much less I have as I know my log-cabin stacking takes up a lot more volume.

    I was estimating 15% less or 2.98 cords currently?

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  2. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    It will collapse quite a bit. Wouldn't be surprised to see 20-30% reduction. I only crib the ends of the stacks. Been doing that since I was six. PITA too unless you're building long stacks. I'm getting away from that for reasons of storage space management. So looking into building some racks and doing away with the cribbing for the most part.
  3. Stegman

    Stegman Feeling the Heat

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    +1. I'm guessing it'll reduce the size of your stacks by as much as a third.
  4. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    Damn, that's more of a hit than I was thinking. That puts my total capacity at 7.426 cords (with the 30% loss factor).

    I am hoping to stack log-cabin this year and then as I replace my stores over time, use the regular method. Just gotta get the wood drying well for next winter (thus the log cabin method).
  5. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    So long as there isn't much oak or hickory in that stack, it should be fine for next winter.
  6. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    Mostly Norway Maple and a little pine and a little oak.
  7. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    Yea i would say at least a third. I use to do that when i burned greenish wood. I did not like to go from tree to fire place but would stack like that for a few months or weeks then fireplace which basically was still green.
  8. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    This wood will have been stacked from ~December 2012 until next year's burning season (shoulder season starts in October? November? Can't recall in CT). I hope it will be "decent" by then.
  9. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    And I guess more importantly, if I were to re-stack it "regular" would you expect the moisture content to differ much at the beginning of next year's burning season?
  10. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    We stack that way on the ends only. The stack I am leaning against measured 54" when stacked in April, 2009. It now measures 44".

    Denny-April 2009h.JPG

    That ought to burn really nice next winter! ;)
    Pallet Pete and ScotO like this.
  11. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    Hrmmm your splits look larger than mine. Hopefully my smaller splits will Dey quicker. We'll see.
  12. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

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    Wow 10" shrinkage that's a lot
  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    All water! Good to get it out of there.
    ScotO and swagler85 like this.
  14. katwillny

    katwillny Guest

    Susi asked who is that handsome devil next to those piles of wood. lol.
  15. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Susi is crazy. ;)
  16. katwillny

    katwillny Guest

    Ive been telling her that for 15 years and she dont believe me.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  17. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I like to crib my stacks around every 8' or so......usually around the length of a cord. It helps me 'gauge' how much wood I've been using at a glance, and also helps keep the stacks tidy (because when you start using from one end of the stack, the un-cribbed splits like to slide and collapse).
  18. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    2.98? 3.51? 7.426??? And you are worrying about rough loss?

    You're having fun, right?

    Don't bother stacking that way. You have a year, the wood will dry. Get the cut ends facing the wind. That'll do you more good.

    And get a better top cover. A folded tarp with some logs to weight it, one every 2 feet, will do the trick. Then, when it is snowy or really rainy, you can drop the sides of the tarp. Lift them when the sun comes out.:)
  19. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    I was under the impression surface precipitation wasn't really something to worry about, it was more the water inside the wood that needs to leave.

    I am very worried about burning wood that is only one year dried. This wood includes most maple, but definitely Oak and Pine I was able to scrounge.

    I have this worry that my one year dried wood will clog my cat (I want a cat stove), smoke my house, creosote my chimney, and track in tons of wood scraps and bark to cover the living room floor... thus pissing off the luke warm fiancee about this whole thing.

    So I'm trying to A) get enough wood for worst case next year (4 cords) B) Get two years ahead (8 cords total) and C) not piss off the Fiancee such that we eternally fight about it and she starts off with a bad impression.... thus the cross stacking to maximize drying in the time that I have. Are my worries about 1yr dried wood unfounded?
  20. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    I don't buy that surface precipitation isn't something to worry about. It is really easy to cover those stacks appropriately. Do it. Also, the water evaporates out of the ends and split sides of the wood. But mostly the end. The cell structure runs that way. If you face the cut ends into the wind, the water will evaporate more quickly. Heck, if you stack fairly wet wood inside and point a fan at it for two or three weeks, it'll be dry enough to burn. To minimize number of stacks and area taken by the stacks, just stack the wood the normal way.

    I burn ironwood, beech, maple, hickory, a little cherry,little white birch, little apple. I don't have oak. Oak is not going to be ready for you to burn next year no matter what you do. Maple and Pine will be absolutely fine next winter, if you just cover it, after stacking it with the ends facing the prevailing wind, and exposed to the wind. Don't stack it where it is protected from the wind.
  21. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I got a good chuckle out of that post. Most people look at me like I'm crazy when I insist that wood needs at least a year to dry before burning in the stove. I don't think you'll kill a cat stove with 1 year seasoned wood. So long as it's not not all Oak, you'll most likely have a great experience with it. 1 Year will be fine with most wood, 2 years even better, 3 = cordwood nirvana. ;)
  22. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Hmm. I shold have addressed your other worries. Let me preface by saying I burn a cat stove.

    One year seasoned wood will NOT: clog your cat
    smoke your house
    cause creosote problem in your chimney.
    The mess involved in wood handling is on you. Put the splits in a container to carry them to your stove, if you are concerned about the inevitable wood detrius. That will contain it. You have the problem whether the wood is wet or dry.
    Tuneighty likes this.
  23. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    The other thing that has been on my mind.... at first it was easy with just one pile, but now pickup truck load after pickup truck load of wood, I can't say I am skilled enough to identify all the wood types in my splits.

    I wonder if I'm going to be standing outside in the cold with a hatchet in one hand (to freshly split a piece of wood) and a moisture meter in the other, sampling each piece before I carry it inside. :eek:

    As I get more oak, I figure this will become a bigger problem. :p
  24. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Start a separate stack for the oak. Different species are pretty distinctive. Your pine will be easy to recognize...lighter than the hardwoods by a long shot, really good for shoulder season or to put a piece with hardwood to get the fire started quickly on a cold start. Maple grain is very evident even a year after splitting. Take a good look at the species as you cut and stack them...observe the bark and the grain. Beech for instance is entirely smooth barked,,,has cells that flake off on the oputside rather than bark that builds up and develops ridges. Ironwood develops s very thin, fine shaggy bark, which will stay on the wood when dry, but you can peel off if you try. Maple gets deep ridges. Ash gets deep ridges that are interconnected, making small elongated distinct enclosed areas...quite distintive. White birch is easy...white and peely. Black birch peely but not white. Cherry has relatively smooth shiny red bark...as does very young, small birch.

    But it won't be a big problem for you as you burn. You'll have sections of each type of wood. Almost all wood will dry enough to burn quite nicely after a year of proper stacking and exposure to wind. If you come across a piece of wood in your stack that is wet and just won't burn well, check and see if the wood around it looks the same. If so, move that wood to your oak stack, and let it season for a while longer. Of course, you can try one or two other splits from this group of wood, to be sure you are not dealing with an isolated wet piece of wood, before moving the bunch of wood out of your current burn stack.

    While splitting small will speed up drying time, you really have enough time to get most hardwood dry enough to burn well next year. So keep at least 10% of your splits fairly large, so you'll have some larger splits to put at the bottom back of your firebox, to give you overnight burns, and to keep your fires burning slow and steady. Lots of small splits have a lot of surface area and will burn more quickly, and hotter. You'll use more wood, and get shorter burns.
  25. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    I agree with Rideau. Try to separate the oak as you stack. If you can't identify it now, it will be easy when you try to burn it next year so move it out then. Don't bother with the "log cabin" stacking. Top cover. The rest will burn just fine in a year. If you can get a year ahead to where you're always burning 2 year old wood, you be golden and better off than 99.99% of people on the planet that burn wood for heat.

    Being three years ahead is a great idea in theory, but certainly not required for a wonderful and safe burning experience.

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