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Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by RayBurner, Feb 24, 2013.
I don't know how much climate makes a difference, but I live in SE Michigan.
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2 years seems to be the minimum for good results. Many recommend 3 or more even.
Here's a bunch more threads on the topic http://www.hearth.com/talk/search/9789211/?q=seasoning+oak&o=date&c[title_only]=1
Hello ray and welcome I am a Michigander too ! In our climate 2 to 3 years split and stacked is good for oak 3 if possible. All of your wood should be a minimum of 1 year split and stacked uncovered in the wind. This gives far better heat life and much cleaner burns. Here is a shocker for ya softwoods like pine if split and stacked burn clean and hot and are great for spring and fall in Michigan. What kind of stove do you have ?
Two years if split smallish(nothing bigger than 3x3 or 4x4 squares) will "work". I love squares/rectangles and my bigger stuff that I split 6x8 or 8x8 will probably get 4 years before I burn them. That's stacking them in single rows with a few feet between rows.
Thanks. I have Quad 5100i. Tomorrow will be the end of my first week. I'm looking for all the advise I can get.
I didn't know Pine was ok to burn.
When well seasoned, pine does just fine. The rumors about burning pine causing chimney fires come from trying to burn it when under-seasoned.
Any wood will burn when stacked and dried properly ! Some better than others but they will burn. When you buy wood keep in mind when they say 1 year dry they mean in log form if they say other wise run away there lying to you. firewood sellers generally buy logs and cut split them a couple weeks before you buy the wood. They are not even close to dry ! Get a moister meter and use it for a couple of years eventually you can do it by feel and sound. 20% moister max is what you want but split the piece in half and take the center reading to get the moister content. Any higher and you pumping creosote up the chimney and losing lots of potential heat. The wood when wet has to boil out the moister before it can really burn right and by that time it's expended it's energy and is burned up. Hang around here and you will be amazed at the info you will learn ray ask a lot of questions. Can you put up pictures of your setup for all us wood geeks ? We love pics here.
Is there a post on here that give each wood species and it drying time? If not that would be nice.
Check your inbox ray I sent you a pm.
If there's bourbon in it - then at least 4 years.
No bourbon - 3 years
Anything less than that you're cheating yourself.
In regards to seasoing oak, in two years it'll be so-so......give it three years or more, and it'll amaze you..
Pine burns great (and clean) when properly seasoned just like most other wood species.....
Welcome to the nuthouse. We WILL NOT be responsible for your ensuing addiction to hoarding firewood, year-round obsession with collecting it, nor the countless hours you eventually end up spending time on this site as you literally wear the letters off of your PC's keyboard......
Carry on, my friend......
I made an attempt at that here, but such estimates can only be rough approximations. A lot depends on how much sun and wind the stacks are exposed to, local temperatures, whether the stacks are covered, etc.
I haven't logged out since Nov 27 2011 really we aren't creepy right Scotty muwahaha !
If two years is so-so, I'll be living with the windows open all next winter! The remarkable thing about oak, perhaps any wood is that magic point when the moisture reaches critical level. My oak was 20 months seasoned in October, and would barely burn, yet by January seemed perfect, I can't imagine it any better.
It also depends on climate in MI 3 years is ideal but then we are surrounded by water too.
I think the medical term is Hearfirepicstowooditis
I've been burning oak all winter and it's probably seasoned only about 1 year, and it's doing fine.
The catch is that it is oak slabwood. The thicker stuff that I have to split is not that well seasoned and I stack that off to the side and will burn that next year.
One sign that your wood is ready to burn is that the ends have a lot cracks in them.
My parents have 25 acres about 15 miles from the house that is steep as hell and covered in oak.
Because of the seasoning time, I've never taken a bit of wood off the land, and actually take wood over there for the fire pit from my own home/stockpile.
Now that I'm keeping about 3 years ahead, I'm thinking this will be the year that I do some experimenting with oak and figure out a way to work that mountain.
Actually once wood is well seasoned those cracks won't be so prominent. Early on in the seasoning process when the middle is still wet and the ends starts to season you'll get those cracks, these happen pretty quick. As the internal moisture content and ends even up those cracks tend to close up. On my 3 years plus wood the cracks are probably less than they were at 3 months.
Pen, I'd work from the bottom up.....use gravity to do most of the work. I don't think I'd burn wood at all if I didn't have lots and lots of oak in the stacks.....
I hear ya. It's tight. 25 acres that's only 330 feet wide. Goes straight up for almost a 1/4 mile, then straight down the other side. I have a 4x4 30 horse John Deere tractor that can't climb much of it. Only have a 2wd 4wheeler and that can climb the front side, but not the back. Hoping it will be able to pull some stuff down the hill on that side w/out running me over.
Gotta try it.
My grandfather used to have the property and lived there his entire life. He never took wood off that hill, always the neighbors!
Funny to hear that Scotty....I have been burning for about 30 years and have had very little oak but a lot of locust through out the years. Probably more cherry than anything and beech a close runnerup. I have a nice stack of white and red now but it needs a couple more years.
Oh, you know me LP...I couldn't live without my locust, either...
What amazes me about well seasoned oak is it burns down to almost absolutely NOTHING. I haven't emptied out the ashes in my stoves (neither one of them) in almost two weeks and there is still very little ash in there. Burning mostly oak, locust and a little bit of maple and ash...
Three years for oak C/S/S. Single rows separated enough to drive between. Top covered only. For all I know, longer might be even better, but I've never been that far ahead to find out.
Always include the disclaimer for CAD. That disease can stress and break marriages. lol