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Holz Haufen Collapse

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Todd, May 13, 2006.

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  1. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    This is kind of embarrassing but thought I should bring it up for safety reasons. The other day I noticed a bulge on one of my Holz Haufens. I tried pushing it back in when the whole side came down like Mt. St. Helens blowing out its side. No, I wasn't buried or hurt, but it sure left a mess. I think that one area wasn't properly stacked downward in towards the middle. I'm not giving up on this just yet. It's going to be restacked but only 7' tall instead of 8'. The other HH seems fine and very sturdy I hope! Oh, and btw this gave me a chance to find out how the inner pieces are drying out. They are the same as the outer pieces.

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  2. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Another view.

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  3. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    dang todd, that a pile of wood. Im jelous.
  4. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    It would not be the first time a soaking rain and the after drying out process has taken down a wood pile.
    Stuff happens. I got 4 more pallets to catchup on my stacking efforts. which I hope to get some done inbetween cloud burst today
  5. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Well, I think I'm with Dylan on this. I keep stacking on pallets, and it works so well that I can't bring myself to do the holzhausen thing. The latest stack is well over my head at around 6' on a pallet that's 4.5 x 4. I've clearly gotten better at stacking this year. The running joke between my son and I is that one particular pile fell over 3 times last year. Now I can stack on pallets as high as I can reach and it holds up. The key is to rotate the peices 90degrees every layer. The pile is nice and square, dries really well and, placed on pallets, is really stable as high a I can stack.
  6. PAJerry

    PAJerry Member

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    Shrinking and settling are pretty pronouned on a reqular straight stack and have brought a few of mine down, but usually only a small section at a time. Having to redo the whole stack has got to be a real job, and might outweigh any benefits of the holzhausen. Just my $.02.
  7. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    Maby thats why I never see any of those fancy stacks when I am in the Bavarian Alps. Every German I see just stacks it in cord fashion and tops the stack with old pleces of tin with the sides open. The KISS principal at work.
  8. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    It took me about 2 hrs to restack the HH. This time it's only 7' tall. I'm still standing by this stacking method, it saves me lots of room for more wood, and it seems to dry as well or better than the traditional cord stack. If you build it properly I think there is little chance it will fall. I got a little careless on one side, and when I tried to fix it, I ended up pushing half of it over.
  9. Jefflee1

    Jefflee1 Member

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    The first Holz I built , one side of it fell over, like you I restacked it, and it is doing ok( not great but ok) it was 8' in daimeter, the one I am building now is 10' in daimeter, and I fell a lot better about it, I am only 3' high but it is soild. I think 10' round is easier to stack.
    Just my 2cents

    jeff
  10. adrpga498

    adrpga498 Minister of Fire

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    Todd,
    I know the feeling, after a week of settling I could see an off center buldge near the top of my HH.
    I restacked about 1/5 th of the top of 1 side. I am building the secound HH with less rush and more care to deatail LOL.
  11. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    One of the reasons I built my holz hausen is because one of my regular rows, all 16 x 4+ feet of it) toppled over after about two months on a windy night.

    Frankly, I won't be all that surprised if my first HH falls over because of how much I learned from building the bottom foundation courses.

    I had to restack about 1/4 of one of my other existing row stacks because it was leaning so much after a year.

    If my HH falls over, I'll rebuild it. I like the look of it out there, that much. It saves gobs of space, too. I figure the next one will be better built than the first.
  12. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Any pics you can share?
  13. adrpga498

    adrpga498 Minister of Fire

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    I'll be away for a week. When I return .
  14. Jefflee1

    Jefflee1 Member

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    None of when it fell, ut I will try too take a couple this weekend..

    Jeff
  15. Turner-n-Burner

    Turner-n-Burner New Member

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    Those of you building or rebuilding your HH's.... what purpose does that center pole serve? I don't see it doing much, and I'm wondering if I can skip it?


    -Dan
  16. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I think its just there for a height guide. No structural aspect. As I understand the pole is used to know when the wood is ready to burn. If you build a 8' HH with a 8' pole, when the wood seasons it will shrink, and the pole will be exposed when its ready to burn. Somewhere in the 6 to 7 foot mark.
  17. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    I used mine to plumb the pile. Leveled it before I got going. I also used another 7 foot stick with a mark at the half-way point, layed across the pile as I built, keeping the half-way mark against the upright pole, to determine how well I was keeping circular. It helped enough that I'd use it again. I also put three marks, six inches apart, at the top of my vertical pole, so I can see exactly how much things are shrinking and settling.
  18. Turner-n-Burner

    Turner-n-Burner New Member

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    Okay,
    So I've been away from the forum awhile, but my mind has been with you all as I processed my woodpile and built my own Holz Haufen. I was planning to post some assembly pics.... but before I even took the "finished" shot, I left town for the weekend and when I returned, I found this.

    MY Holz Haufen collapsed too! :(

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  19. scfa99

    scfa99 New Member

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    hmm, flat ground. any chance your neighbors kids screwed with it? i notice a basketball net in their driveway.
  20. Turner-n-Burner

    Turner-n-Burner New Member

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    I suppose anything is possible. They do have a ~6 year old. But I didn't find a body under the wreckage, so hopefully he wasn't involved.

    -Dan
  21. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Too bad,
    Mine fell over because I tried keeping the pile the same diameter all the way up to the top. After rebuilding I made it more like an Igloo. Seems ok so far. Are you going to rebuild the HH, or stack it in rows?
  22. adrpga498

    adrpga498 Minister of Fire

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    Same thing happened to me on my first one. I agree with Todd , I tappered the top on the secound go around and its been doing fine for 3 months now.
  23. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    I have mentioned this before there is another method to stacking . Splits are aligned vertically a with a slight, say 15 degree angle,
    to the center pole, then built out and up. The finnished stacking looks like a cone. Theory is vertical stacking allows the wood to dry faster. Gravity plays a part of removing moisture downward. Claimed is, this reduces the drying time. A long time ago I had stacked wood in this fashion but now I have conventional rows. I do not remember if it dried faster But sure did look like a neat way of stacking. Back in the 70's the golden era of wood burning just after the first energy crisis and gas lines. Many alternative ideas even books filled with them. Man I wonder if I still have those books in my attic, Where I could quote an actual scource or scan a picture of one.
  24. ourhouse

    ourhouse Minister of Fire

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    Elk I rember my dad tried that way of stacking a long time ago before he built a wood shed. I'll give him a call after another cup of coffee to see how it worked.
  25. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

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