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hickory- thumbs down...

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by shoot-straight, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. shoot-straight

    shoot-straight Burning Hunk

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    i had a large hickory i bucked, split and stacked last year. its either a pignut or mockernut. its burning terrible. not a whole lot of heat, and the amount of ash is simply insane. my stove is simply full of gray, fluffy ash each day. it doesnt happen with oak either. all the ash is keeping the coals from burning completely too, so i get a bunch of charcoal mixed in. i split it pretty small to make sure it dried quick. i checked a fresh split yesterday = 17%. not bad at all.

    any ideas?

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  2. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    I give my pignut three years before I burn it. It takes longer than oak. One year is not even close to enough time. Hickory is by far better than oak, much hotter and longer lasting, if it's properly seasoned. I'd say you are rushing things big time.
    ScotO and Ralphie Boy like this.
  3. Ralphie Boy

    Ralphie Boy Minister of Fire

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    I'm with kenster, tis green. You've got a couple more years to go before you can enjoy it.
  4. shoot-straight

    shoot-straight Burning Hunk

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    but its at 17%?

    is there a difference between green and dry?

    i can move what i have left and burn something else i guess....
  5. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    17%? How are you measuring? The only valid measurement is to freshly split a piece and press the probes of your meter into the freshly split face. You can't measure it from the outside of a round or split that has been laying around. Of course the outside is going to be dry. You want it dry all the way through.

    Green=wet=unseasoned. Dry = seasoned = decent burning.

    Hickory can be the best wood you'll ever burn. Don't waste it by burning it before it's ready.
  6. shoot-straight

    shoot-straight Burning Hunk

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    a fresh split. i took a piece off the stack, split it in half, and it was 17% on the newly split face side. the "older side" was 15%.

    before its asked- i am 100% sure its hickory.
  7. Ralphie Boy

    Ralphie Boy Minister of Fire

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    If tis really 17%, with the probes stuck in the center of the fresh side of the split, eyer ya sure tis actually hickory;? I've never seen 'bad burning hickory', but then tis a lot in this world I've not seen:confused:
  8. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I've never had hickory that burned bad, either. That's really odd....

    Is any of the wood you're burning punky or spalted badly? I love burning hickory, wish I had more in my stack to be honest.....
  9. shoot-straight

    shoot-straight Burning Hunk

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    it blew over in a storm alive. no punk whatsoever.

    i guess i will put it aside and let it sit longer.
  10. Shane N

    Shane N Feeling the Heat

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    Do you have pictures of the wood?
  11. Bacffin

    Bacffin Minister of Fire

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    2+ years seasoning. The longer the better imo.
  12. shoot-straight

    shoot-straight Burning Hunk

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    no pics, but i know my trees pretty darn good. i figured thats the reasoning for wanting the pics. again, i know my trees pretty good- not to mention all the hickory nuts around the stump. just unsure the exact species. certainly wasnt a shagbark thats for sure.

    i will say it was tough sawing and it had a light colored outer wood, darker heartwood.

    the area woods also has ash, walnut and poplar. i know them too.
  13. WoodPorn

    WoodPorn Minister of Fire

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    Are you measuring along the grain or perpendicular?

    IE: if your grain is N/S, then your probes should be N/S as well
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  14. shoot-straight

    shoot-straight Burning Hunk

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    yes, thats how i measure. both probes in the same ring.
  15. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Bring a split into your house for 24 hours to acclimate the temps and test again (resplit, test new face). Frozen wood can throw off readings in a big way.
  16. shoot-straight

    shoot-straight Burning Hunk

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    ok
  17. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    When you test it, and if it still test to 17% mc, toss it in the stove. If it doesn't burn, you have another issue.
  18. shoot-straight

    shoot-straight Burning Hunk

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    oh it burns, just not nearly well as i had hoped. i would say it burns like sweet gum. its the ashyness and the charcoal it causes that i really cant stand.
  19. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I know what you have already said, but that still lends to the wood not being dry enough.
    Ralphie Boy likes this.
  20. shoot-straight

    shoot-straight Burning Hunk

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    i'll check some more pieces and report back.
  21. WoodPorn

    WoodPorn Minister of Fire

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    The exessive coals are due to high MC...
    I've been there before.
  22. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    Thats odd, I burned it one year and it was one of the better woods Ive burned, mine was seasoned 3 years, didnt have a moisture meter at the time so dont know what it was. Maybe your meter's off? Put it aside and try it again next year or year after and see if theres a difference.
  23. shoot-straight

    shoot-straight Burning Hunk

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    Just checked 2 pieced that have been inside all day. 18 and 17%.

    Forget it. I just restacked it all for next winter.
  24. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Just one more reason I recommend getting 3 years ahead on the wood. These problem don't crop up then.
    AJS56 likes this.
  25. TimJ

    TimJ Minister of Fire

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    well, never burned bad hickory and never got the ash build-up your talking about........burn shagbark.........can't be too much different
    oldogy and TreeCo like this.

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