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How To Cover Wood Pile?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by drewsome, Feb 12, 2010.

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  1. drewsome

    drewsome Member

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    I know many on this forum like to construct their own wood racks, but I'm not particularly handy, and the wife likes things very neat around the house. So...

    I decided to pick up a few metal storage firewood racks at Brookstone. The units are actually very well rated, and the price isn't too bad (I've seen others online for over twice the cost). Anyway, they also sell vinyl covers which look promising except that they seem to cover the entire wood pile. Is this a problem? :roll: I thought you were supposed to cover the top of the wood pile from rain/snow, but then leave the sides exposed to sun and wind, to allow for the seasoning process.


    Here's a picture of the vinyl cover:

    http://www.brookstone.com/outdoor-log-rack-covers.html?his=2~46337~2~root_category@kwd~firewood&bkiid=searchResults|C4CategoryProdList1FDT|6962945

    What do my fellow wood burners think about such a cover??

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  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    You'd only use a cover like that if your wood was already 100% dry and the racks were up away from ground moisture.
  3. drewsome

    drewsome Member

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    But what if it's not 100% dry.... would you still recommend a TOP cover (leaving the sides exposed)?
  4. skyline

    skyline Burning Hunk

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    +1

    From their description:
    Firewood Rack Covers
    Heavy-duty firewood covers keep your wood clean, dry and ready to burn.

    Key word there.

    If your going to use the racks to dry your wood, use a cover if/when needed (plywood works well), leaves the sides open, and find a windy location. You can also put it over a black plastic ground cover but asphalt works even better.

    Matt
  5. CT-Mike

    CT-Mike Minister of Fire

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    I had one of those covers. Cheap vinyl, gets very brittle in freezing weather. Zipper ripped the first time I tried to use it. Don't waste your money.
  6. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    I have a tarp to cover the top of the pile ready if the weatherman says snow/rain.
    Gurus here say; uncovered it dries quicker/better. So far they've been right on everything else so, I'm
    following their recommendations
    Uncovered most of the time, dryer stuff, just has tarp on top.
    Down side is in heavy winds, I'm chasing ripped/torn tarps.
    Wood shed in my plans this summer
    Todays pic & I can smell the wood so I think it is seasoning, the odor means moisture is coming out of the wood? I think.

    Attached Files:

  7. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Dave, it's just the sawdust still stuck in your nose from all that cuttin' you do.
  8. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    My saw don't put out sawdust, it's so sharp it looks like noodles even with crosscuts ;)
    Well till I hit the rock, then I call it gravel!
  9. gyrfalcon

    gyrfalcon Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, forget those things. It's like putting your wood in a plastic bag and letting it sweat.

    I'm of the "don't cover" school of thought. If your stack is in a reasonably sunny, windy place, leave it alone. It'll season faster.

    At this point, I cover only the top of the stack I'm currently working through, and only if there's a forecast of rain. Being in VT, that doesn't happen a lot in winter. Snow brushes off easily enough, and it's easier to do that than wrangle a bunch of snow-covered tarps. Anything that's a little damp on the surface I just pile loosely near the stove and it's fine in a day or less.

    Water cannot soak through your firewood unless it's sitting in a pool of it for months. Otherwise, it's just a tiny surface layer that gets wet at all, and unless you're running a too-small stove in below-zero weather and you need to squeeze every fraction of a BTU possible out of it, you really don't even need to hesitate about putting surface-damp wood into the stove. This stuff ain't made of cardboard, and it doesn't soak up water.
  10. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Nix the covers . . . unless you're using the racks for well seasoned wood and just want to make things look pretty for your neighbors.

    Me . . . I season my wood uncovered and find beauty in a wood pile covered with a fresh layer of snow . . . in the Spring this melts away . . . and by Fall the wood is ready to go into the woodshed where it will be used later that year . . . or next depending on how much wood I go through.
  11. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    There is no need to buy racks and certainly not that cover that Brookstone sells. We cut our wood in the winter, split and stack in the spring and cover the top only the following late fall or early winter just before the snow flies. We cover mostly with old galvanized roofing but I also have some rubber roofing and only if forced will I use tarps. I hate tarps and they will last only one winter so end up being expensive.

    We stack the wood so wind will hit the sides of the stacks. Sunlight is great but wind is even better. This first picture is one stack covered with rubber roofing.

    [​IMG]

    The next 2 stacks are covered with old roofing.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is how our stacks look before covering. (I just hadn't cleaned up the strays before the picture was taken.)

    [​IMG]
  12. JotulOwner

    JotulOwner Feeling the Heat

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    I cover the top of the pile with secured down (very important) plywood, but I have tightly stacked 4x8 foot platforms. For single rows, uncovered may not be a problem during the seasoning process. In my opinion, the deeper the pile, the more important it is to cover the top.
  13. ChrisN

    ChrisN Feeling the Heat

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    Dang, Dennis those are some nice looking wood stacks. I can never buck my lengths into such consistant lengths. I've given up on covering my whole stack. I have a small 8X12 tarp I throw over the next section I will use to keep the snow/ice/wetness off befire I bring it in the house
  14. Gunks

    Gunks Member

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    Save your money on the rack and the cover. A few free pellets would do the trick to keep the wood dry.
  15. rphurley

    rphurley Feeling the Heat

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    I envy you guys that have the forsight and patience to cut uniform splits and stack it so neatly. It looks great and I'm sure it seasons well, but I just don't have the friggin patience! Nice Job!
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