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Holz Hausen firewood stack question.

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Pallet Pete, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    I have very limited space for drying firewood and after thinking about Dennis's firewood sheds made of firewood I got an idea. It looks like what I am thinking about is called a Holz Hausen stack. Does anybody here regularly practice this style of stack and if so how tall can you safely go ? How many face cords / cords can you get into one of these. It looks like it would be ideal when drying because the wood in theory would settle down towards the center and lock together. Anybody have thoughts on this ? Usually I use firewood bins but I might be able to get more in a stack than a bin I think.

    Pete

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  2. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

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    I recently saw something discussing the history of the term holz hausen in the US. In a nutshell, the author said it was all bogus; that wood is not dried that way in Europe, and it was a lousy way to do it. I think he said wood was only stored that way after it was dry, but I'm not 100% sure if I am recalling that part correctly.

    I don't remember if it was an web page article or video. I do remember finding the link during a Google image search for woodshed. I wish I had bookmarked it, but I didn't. :(
  3. CT-Mike

    CT-Mike Minister of Fire

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    I have used several of them stacked on a 3x3 grid of pallets. I went about 10' high, 12' diameter yields about 8.5 cords or so.

    [​IMG]
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  4. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

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    Wow that is a big HH!
  5. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    All of my firewood is stacked this way. I make mine 8 feet in diameter, which means that each 3 feet of height is more or less a cord. I stack mine about 6 feet high, so each one holds about two cords of firewood.

    One key is to make sure all of the splits slope inward, which requires that you place spacers occasionally in the way swagler85 did (note the splits that are perpendicular to the radius of the stack).
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  6. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

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  7. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I remember reading threads on here that basically concluded that they were a lot of work, didn't dry wood as fast or as well as a straight stack, but did pack more wood into less space.
  8. albert1029

    albert1029 Feeling the Heat

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    I built a small one (avatar picture)...it worked great on that scale..didn't use spacers till it started drying then inserted them...I have limited space for stacking and plan to make a larger one soon...they look cool too...check out this pic I found...you may have seen it...doesn't seem possible...

    Attached Files:

  9. adrpga498

    adrpga498 Minister of Fire

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    I usually stack mine up to 7 ' high. and about 8 ' diameter on 4 pallest for a base. I like the space saver and after the 2nd level of verticles on the inside I just chuck most of the "uglies to fill the remaing space to the top in the center.
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  10. Got Wood

    Got Wood Minister of Fire

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    For me the best reasons to build one are they look cool and chucking uglies in center.
    I dont buy the theory of seasoning faster or space saver (I can get just as much out of a square or rectangle shaped stack - lay out your pallets and do the math stacking with a cylinder vs a square/rectangle on same foot print)
  11. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    For a few years now I have been building holz mietes . . . but mainly because I get bored stacking the traditional way. What I have found is that:

    a) They don't take a lot of work once you have mastered the technique for getting the wood to slant in . . . the same, maybe a bit more time, to build than a traditional stack. Just be sure to always have the stack angled inward to avoid a blow out. I have yet to have any of these collapse on me.

    b) The drying time is bunk. The outside dries about the same as a traditional stack. The punks, chunks and uglies I toss in the middle (one advantage of the holz miete as you can just toss them willy nilly into the center) does not dry as quickly . . . but in my case I am a few years out so I have time to season the wood.

    c) More wood in a smaller foot print . . . theoretically this is true . . . unlike a regular stack you can go upwards and it will remain pretty stable. However, and this is a big however, once you go over a certain height it becomes more of a challenge (and time consuming) to stack as you will need a stool, step ladder, etc. For this reason I tend to keep mine to about five feet in height . . . which also means I may get about one cord of wood into roughly the same foot print as a traditional stack.
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  12. Coal Reaper

    Coal Reaper Minister of Fire

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    Cubes will hold more volume for a given area. Think cargo ship containers. Space is a premium on those boats. Or even shipping anything on pallets. Always square if possible. Never round.
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  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I agree with Coal Reaper. There is just no way you can save on space by stacking this way. If one wants to build one just for kicks or if they think it looks nice, no problem. I can think of no other good reason to waste time stacking this way. Also for those who say it doesn't take any longer, I fail to see why it would not. For example, when I stack wood, it is right where it has been split. I stack in such a way that I rarely carry any wood. It is simply pick up a couple splits, turn and put them on the stack. No steps. But if I were doing it the circle route, I'd have to walk around the pile, which I am not going to do! I've said it before and will again. Doing the work necessary for wood burning is hard enough work by itself. Why on earth one would choose to make it more work is beyond me.
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  14. RedneckRob

    RedneckRob New Member

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    A Holz Hausen will dry your wood quite a bit faster than any other method of stacking if its done properly. From what I've read here so far, the problem most have had or the reason for the slower than expected drying time has to do with the whats going on in the center of your Holz Hausen. You must stack the center with split pieces standing on end. This helps create the "chimney effect" moving the air through and up the pile as opposed to a loosely piled heap which would hold or trap moisture. This is a method of stacking fire wood that dates back to the middle ages. Its been tried and true for a very long time and is still widely used throughout Europe. So, if its done right, it really does work.
    As far as the original question goes, The volume of a cylinder is Height x Pi x Radius squared. Applied to the traditional Holz Hausen, we have lO x 3.1415 x 25, or 785 cubic feet of wood. A standard cord is 4 x 4 x 8 = 128 cu. ft., so the traditional 10-foot high Holz Hausen contains about six cords of wood, enough for most German winters. The 7-foot version will have volume of approximately 269 cu. ft., or two full cords of wood.
  15. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    After doing mine 2 years ago, and starting to disassemble it now while it is under a tarp, all I can say is that pole up the center is a royal pain in the ass.

    Can't say as though it hurt or helped out with the drying any. But it did take longer than normal to stack (may have simply been because I'm not practiced at that method) but did like it since it looked nice, and when well built, I didn't have to worry about my boy's knocking it over and getting hurt.

    pen
  16. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Thanks guys there is a pretty obvious difference of opinions on this one ! I think it is time to do a small one and see if I like it or not. It will give me an excuse to take my mind off other matters too which is nice.

    Pete
  17. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, try it & see if you like it. You're far enough ahead that you don't need the wood to dry as fast as possible so not much to lose. I wouldn't go too small as it'd get less stable. The 4 palette is a nice size if you happen to have any palettes lying around ;). I do mine about 6' straight up with the roof up to 8'.
    For the record I firmly believe that the "chimney effect" part is total bunk, but I like them anyway.
  18. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Done properly der Holtz can be quite functional.

    der holtz.jpg
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  19. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Now I know why my holz miete is not drying as quickly . . . I don't have the pink umbrella on top. :)
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  20. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum Rob.

    You theory is just a bit flawed and this has been debunked a long time ago. Probably if you did a search on this forum you'll find a thread that has this information. Also, your formula is correct but the size is not. Actually, I didn't even see a size that Pete mentioned in the original question. The reason the size is not correct is that you are counting the volume as the entire circle but I believe the correct method is to have nothing in the center. In addition, if you want to compare the holzhausen to a regular stack of wood, you need the same volume. You are comparing a stack of wood to a cord of wood. There is a major difference.
  21. golfandwoodnut

    golfandwoodnut Minister of Fire

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    you can see mine in my avatar, it is gone now it was a 10 foot diameter one. It was quite a sight and the talk of many a guest. Regular stacks just cannot cosmetically compare to a properly built HH. It really is not that difficult to build once you get the hang of it, unless you try to stack vertical in the middle. I have one small HH left, and I will continue to build them for the conversation piece, but most of my wood is now stack in a more conventional fashion.

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