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How To Stack Wood in a Pole Barn

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Jeff Childers, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. Jeff Childers

    Jeff Childers Member

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    I am building a pole barn and would like to stack firewood between the poles under a shed roof attached to the side of the barn. These are 6" x 6" poles set about 3' in the ground. Do I need to worry about the load that my wood stacks will have on these poles? Surely the lateral loads won't be that much if I only stack 8' tall. The poles are 12' apart.

    If this IS a concern, what can I do to mitigate the problem?

    Do I need to leave a BIG space between the rows of wood or can I place the rows tightly against each other?

    Lastly, is there a problem if I stack directly on the gravel floor ro do I need to place something underneath the rows of wood?

    Thanks for your sage advice.

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  2. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    To answer the easy question first, I would keep them up off the ground rather than stacking directly on the gravel. Even if it were something simple like laying down two rows of some scrap lumber or cut down some pallets (cut one runner off just leaving one side and the center).

    That's a tough one on the poles. If I were building a brand new barn I would reinforce the stacking areas by adding extra wall purlins. It's much easier to add them when there's no metal on the walls and will only cost you a couple extra bucks in lumber.
  3. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

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    Jeff lucky you to put a pole barn up. I think that is the ideal setup. You sound fine with everything. Nothing to worry about...have fun!!
    You have a 3 sided opened building. You can probably stack tight. your call.
    As for the gravel floor, you could experiment and see how direct stacking works. But unless you get the ground perfectly flat you might have to restack tipped over rows. But then if you dont wanna mess with pallets or 2 x 4's or plywood sheets..then dont bother.
    Enjoy!!
  4. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Gravel will still retain moisture. Get an airspace under the firewood.
    jeff_t likes this.
  5. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    There's going to be very little lateral load.....the vast majority of weight is going to be on the ground. The poles basically just keep the ends from collapsing....
    I agree 100% with the others.......you need air space under the stacks. Make sure you sit the wood on something (pallets or scraps) that will allow air to get under the wood....
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  6. Jeff Childers

    Jeff Childers Member

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    Wow! Instant answers from peole who seem to know what they are doing! Isn't this forum great?
    Okay, I can lay down a few 2"x4" threads to stack on. No problem. But I'm still uncertain about how to reinforce the poles. There are no purlins under the shed roof on the side of the main barn. I guess I can put some in, though. I may install some on the outside of the metal, too, to keep the stacks from warping the metal skin of the main barn. I will plan on tight stacking the rows the first year and see how it works out. I have enough space to stack 2 years worth of firewood. Yea! I won't know what to do with properly seasoned firewood!
    Thanks for the answers!
  7. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree with protecting the metal. It would be a shame to scuff up a brand new building.
    ScotO and Backwoods Savage like this.
  8. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    So this is more of a lean-to with no walls? If so I'd still add one horizontal purlin as high up as you can to tie the posts together. Probably overkill, but that's OK.
  9. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I have rusty feet on some shelving to prove it.;)
    ScotO likes this.
  10. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I like putting wood in the barn but not before it has dried. Yes, this does mean you will handle that wood one extra time but that time and labor is worth it to have dry wood. Trying to dry it like you are proposing is tough and yes, you would have to have some space between the rows. However, you need air circulation to dry the wood and stacking it there, you just won't get it. Even if wind hits it, it won't go through because of the wall.

    As for getting it off the ground, landscape timbers work well too. We just head to the woods and cut some saplings. If I'm stacking and run short, I just lay down a couple rows of the splits and stack on top of them.
    northwinds and ScotO like this.
  11. cptoneleg

    cptoneleg Minister of Fire

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    Wait just a darn minute wheres the PICTURES?
    ScotO likes this.
  12. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    You tell him, Captain......
    He's obviously a newb, so we'll let it slide this time........but he better get with the program.....::-)
  13. northwinds

    northwinds Minister of Fire

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    I keep at least ten cords stacked outside the pole barn, and rotate five well-seasoned cords into the pole barn each fall. Mine is four-sided with
    two sliding doors across the front that stay wide open, except for the winter season. I stack 2 1/2 cords along each side on pallets, leaving a little
    room off of the wall. I also tend to stack so that wood leans away from the wall. If I don't use all five cords, there's less to move in next year.

    That leaves lots of room for the lawn tractor, trailer, atv., etc., in the middle of the building.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  14. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    You could retro fit support with cable and turn buckles at the 8-8.5' line on your columns. Just get a spool of cable - it won't need to be to heavy and 1 or 2 turn buckles per span. I would drill right through the column and thread the cable to a stopper but you could also use threaded eye bolts. This way, if it looks out of kilter you can tighten things up.
  15. ArsenalDon

    ArsenalDon Minister of Fire

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    wait..no one has asked...if you are using this area for drying wood...what kind of wood? makes a difference.

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