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It's been a bad year for seasoning wood

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by mike1234, Oct 6, 2009.

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  1. mike1234

    mike1234 New Member

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    Last year was my first year burning and like a lot of new burners I didn't have seasoned wood, and I didn't have enough. So I cut about 9 cords of wood last winter, enough for 2 years, thinking OK, from now on it will be seasoned and I will be at least a year ahead. I've had 2 fires this last week, and in both fires, the wood sizzled. Anything that was alive last winter when I cut it still has a moister reading over 20%, some as high as 30%. It just never got HOT this summer, and I know it takes 2 years to season some wood, but I thought all the other stuff I cut would be much closer to 20%. I think if would of had a normal summer, very little of this wood would be sizzling, even though it might still be above 20%.

    I am doing what I have seen suggested a lot in cases like this, I am splitting the wood smaller, hoping to get a little improvement, but I have little hope for that to help too much this year. And I am trying to separate the dead standing stuff I cut from the live stuff, the dead stuff will be dryer.

    The good news I do have about 2 cords of 4 or 5 year old hedge that I can burn when it gets really cold, the bad news, I have to clean the chimney at least once a month like I did last year because I am not burning dry enough wood. I also hope to cut another 9 cords this year, so I never, never post something like this again, I already have about 2 cords cut, but 1/2 that needs split.

    Like a lot of football fans are already saying, well maybe next year.

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  2. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    I had the same issue Mike. I then started splitting what some here call a lifetime supply of kindling. This solved the sizzling/no heat problem and now that I have 20+ cord in the supply chain, I am starting to split a little bigger with the idea that is has at least until 2011 to dry.
  3. bmwloco

    bmwloco Member

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    I have oak and locust laid in from 2 years ago.

    With a hot fire, I may throw some some of the recently cut, split and stacked oak in, but more likely, I'll
    wait until next year.
  4. compressedwoodsupplier

    compressedwoodsupplier New Member

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    If your having a hard time with unseasoned wood then maybe try some compressed wood like Envi Blocks.
    Works great.
  5. Hurricane

    Hurricane Minister of Fire

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    Sure sounds like a plug for your business !


    I think a lot of people are having the same issue. I struggled through last winter on standing dead that was not always dry enough, and I too said never again and split up over 7 cords and most of it is still wet. I do have two cords of some maple, white oak and standing dead that will hold me over. I broke down and covered the tops of my wood to keep the rain off.
  6. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    sounds like a solid plan to me!
  7. WoodPorn

    WoodPorn Minister of Fire

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    We've also got this 100% pure bottle of integrity for sale..........wink, wink.....nudge, nudge.....
  8. compressedwoodsupplier

    compressedwoodsupplier New Member

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    Yes yes it is a plug!!!! have to network where you find it fit...
  9. Greg123

    Greg123 New Member

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    Well I’m glade I’m not alone. Terrible year for seasoning, to much ran and not enough sun and when we had wind it was accompanied down pours of ran, I have almost five cord cut last year all ASH and I’m getting several pieces sizzling, I’m still able to get the stove hot and it’s still easy to get the fire going, I have my chimney brush ready to go for my monthly cleanings.
  10. WoodPorn

    WoodPorn Minister of Fire

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    very nice website!
  11. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I agree it was not the best summer for drying wood. Another reason to have more than a year or two of wood stacked and ready to burn. This stuff we are burning lights pretty easy and no.....it is not too dry.
  12. Lumber-Jack

    Lumber-Jack Minister of Fire

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    Wood too wet seems to be pretty much of a recurring thread in this forum, especially among hardwood burners. I feel for ya, but it also makes me glad I have so much standing dead (already seasoned) softwood available to me.
    Yes I know you get a much longer burn out of seasoned hardwood, and you don't have to handle so much wood, but I just can't see it being worth the hassle of storing it and waiting for the years that it takes to dry properly.
    However I'm not entirely out of the woods, so to speak, I got duped into cutting up and taking about a 1/2 cord of green walnut wood last spring which, even though I split up nice and small, still reads over 30% MC. Guess I'll have to baby-sit that wood for another year and hope (and pray) that by next season the MC has dropped somewhere close to the levels that I get all my pine and fir at. :p
  13. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, that pesky hardwood is overrated, you're not missing a thing. I pass up and give away oak, beech, hickory, etc if I can get my hands on pine. It's too much work watching the hardwood sit there and season. Takes too long to burn as well :)
  14. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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    guys find wood that you can burn now in your piles and sort them out... if you have already resplit then take those pieces and loosely stack them closer to your house or whatever is convienent for you .... let your wood breathe as now fall is upon us your wood WILL CONTINUE TO DRY! try to stack for a month..thats dec thats jan etc I know it is a pain ... but as it gets colder the dry air will suck the moisture out and as long as you leave the side exposed and don't stack more than 4 rows deep most of what you have will be ready by Jan (if it has been split since last year...)
    my wood from last oct seasoned more over this past winter than it did over this past summer.. but the splits that i resplit a month ago should be fine by jan..(but my intentions arent to use them till next winter)
  15. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Well, now you've got me worried so I had to break out the meter. These are results I got on my piles which set uncovered all the time, mostly in shade and a rainstorm came through yesterday, Delmhorst BD 2100 meter, no correction just raw numbers (all in percent):

    Green Cottonwood timbers, surface has been exposed for a while, ends heavily checked, split yesterday:
    Surface 28, 32, 35
    Center - 40+ ( off scale)

    Hedge cut split last fall:
    Surface 7.6, 9.0, 7.2
    Fresh split face, center 10.8, 11.5

    Hedge cut split early this spring, summer:
    Surface 7.8, 8.2, 9.0
    Fresh split face, center 23, 26

    Standing dead elm, cut split couple weeks ago
    Surface 11.8, 13.0
    Exposed split face in trunk from a few days ago 32, 35, 36
    Fresh split from ~8" diameter limb, 20, 21

    Kiln dried framing in house:
    Surface 8.0, 8.0, 7.7

    I was really surprised to see the surface readings so dry after rain yesterday, ground wet this morning when I left from work and a high of a little less than 70 today.
  16. skinnykid

    skinnykid New Member

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    Horrible year for seasoning!!! The Maple I put up in April isn't even showing any signs of trying to dry out! My Hemlock for the most part is a little dry. The three fires that I have had this fall have all been with Hemlock, no sizzling and making fine heat. I hope we get some super dry windy days soon, I have a bunch of hemlock but not enough for the entire winter, I will have to dig into the hardwood sooner or later.
  17. Ratman

    Ratman Feeling the Heat

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    Everytime I see that stuff I think of the 1973 B movie Soylent Green.
    You'd have to have seen the movie to understand.
    I'd rather freeze, thanks.
  18. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    Charlton Heston is rolling :)
  19. ikessky

    ikessky Minister of Fire

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    The summer was pretty good up here, but not overly hot. My wood piles looked great, up until a week or two ago. Now it hasn't stopped raining in a week and I only had enough material to cover maybe 1/3 of my wood. Hopefully everyone here is correct when thy say the surface wetness goes away quickly.
  20. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Just commenting - I did get a "spam" complaint about the envi-block post, but I'm going to say as a moderator that IMHO it was a reasonably legitimate suggestion - we do try to discourage heavy sales efforts, but this was not a real hard core pitch - I would have had more of an issue if the post had been "try product X - purchase it from us" If CWS only distributes in ME, then most of our users couldn't deal with him anyway.

    In addition, the notion of mixing overly wet wood with drier fuel - be it dry wood or an enviblock type product is a valid suggestion, and on topic for the thread... I don't think any of us would have taken offense if the same post had come from a non-industry based user, so I don't see why it would be a problem coming from someone that does sell the things. It is an arguably borderline case, but I don't think it goes over the limits. The spam report idea is more for some of the folks we get popping up occasionally trying to sell stuff that is totally not hearth related...

    And in regards to the later comments - Remember SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!!! :sick:

    Gooserider
  21. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Corey, isn't that what we've been saying all along? Wood is not a sponge....unless it is punky. It just doesn't soak up the rain and as soon as the rain stops the remaining moisture that fell in the form of rain just evaporates right off. Hence, we don't cover our wood until just before snow falls. Then we cover the tops only.

    It also says how silly it is to cover a wood pile when rain is coming and then uncover it, then cover it, etc., etc. There is a lot of work involved with wood burning; why make it any harder?
  22. ikessky

    ikessky Minister of Fire

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    Do you realize that you might have just made my month?!?!? ;-P I've been sitting here all nervous for the past week or two about my partly uncovered piles getting rained on.
  23. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    Mine doesn't even get covered in the winter, except with snow. Not saying it's right or wrong one way or the other, and certainly not recommending my way of doing it to anybody, but works for me. The cars are covered, the ATVs are covered, the bicycles are covered, and the house is covered. But not those pieces of old dead trees. I don't worry about the moisture on the outside of the firewood, and years down the road when I get around to burning them, the moisture on the inside has vamoosed.
  24. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    How long have the tops been covered on the wood you will be burning this season Backwoods?
  25. Archie

    Archie Member

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    That was B movie? This 11 yr old loved it! :lol:
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