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Its funny but sad watching

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Backwoods Savage, Aug 19, 2009.

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  1. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Has anyone conducted a study on the effectiveness of the heaphausen? My pile for next year is 20x20x12H. It sits high on well drained cinder/asphalt and gets full sun and wind. I'm not worried about it drying. I do agree that the constant drop offs of fresh cuts from the tree companies, that get processed, heaped and delivered to customers this summer/fall will likely not be ready to be burned this winter.

    I'm also considering adding a couple rows of those 6x2x2 cement blocks around the bottom to keep the sprawl under control and make it easier to drive the loader into the pile. With a 12' high pile, any split that gets thrown on tumbles a long way before it stops.

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  2. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    heatit, don't think you are highjacking this thread. It is all about wood piles.

    I agree with your wife. If using plastic tarps, the blue ones are the worst of the bunch, but plastic is certainly not the best way to go. Rolled roofing should work just fine. It is a good way to use up some of those partial rolls. If using just tar paper, you would probably have to put some boards under it to keep it straight else it would tear up pretty fast. In fact, tar paper under plastic tarp might help the tarp. Perhaps an idea worth trying.

    Now on that 3' roll, I would advise you cut it. Then you have double the amount to cover rows. You do not need any protection on the sides of the pile; none at all. Holy cow, we have wood that is 6 years old or more and we never cover the sides or ends.
  3. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    For anybody that does end up using tarps of any kind, put down cardboard between them and the top of the stacks. Just the motion from wind will cause the wood to "sandpaper" through those tarps in no time.
  4. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Good idea on the cardboard. I always put choice pieces on top, bark side up to be kind to the tarps. Later, I cut long poles to lay on top so that I could remove the wood without disturbing the tarps. I found that the tarps leaked and froze to the wood. I always stacked three rows together.
  5. kbrown

    kbrown Feeling the Heat

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    BWS - Thanks for the advice. I never thought about the wood itself tearing up the plastic; makes sense. Had that happen on my pile last year, by the end of March, it was just threads blowing in the wind. Took another walk in the garage and found quite a few 2x2 PT left over from ripping down lumber this past spring for my racks. I'll probably fashion some type of support structure out of these and secure the roofing paper them and use them to set over the tops.
  6. Skier76

    Skier76 Minister of Fire

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    Irony from this weekend: Guy had his stacks covered to the ground; 10' away, a nice log splitter...uncovered. Oh, rained like hell in Southern VT this weekend. I felt bad, guy wasn't around.
  7. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    Around here (Central PA) I see a small number of woodburners who seem to be a couple of years ahead, about half of the group who stack wood in the spring or summer for use the following winter, and the rest who cut and split no earlier than the fall and perhaps right before they burn. So I would say that at least half of woodburners seem to appreciate the concept of seasoning wood before burning it, even if they don't all season their wood long enough. Still ,that leaves half of the woodburners receiving log loads, bucking, splitting, and burning without much seasoning time.

    I see a lot of stacks covered on top or even most of the way down the sides, but don't see too many that are completely covered in plastic the way some others have described. I don't cover my holz haufen at all, and the wood doesn't seem to get very wet in the rain. The top gets wet, but the sides stay fairly dry most of the time, and from what I can tell the wood inside doesn't get nearly as wet as i would expect. The rain that falls on the top follows a few paths through the stack, leaving most of the wood dry. The wood seems to be drying well, but I haven't burned any wood from a holz haufen yet, so I can't be sure.
  8. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    Most of the people around here leave their stacks completely uncovered, with the exception of the one guy that left his heaped pile uncovered and untouched for years, then covered it completely to the ground a couple weeks ago. People in this area also quite often burn their firewood within a month or two of cutting it, sometimes putting pieces in the stove the same day.

    I never cover mine at all, but I do season it for years before burning it, much to the snickers of neighbors. They think I'm nuts "to have years worth of wood cut and stacked", when it's so much less work to "cut it today and burn it tonight". Although, when they run out of wood in the middle of winter, guess who they look to for help? Ha ha! There are a couple reasons why I never cover it. I have way too many stacks of wood spread around to cover them all anyway (some almost a mile away in the woods). The tarps would only last in the wind and weather for a few months before they were riddled with "funnel holes" for the rainwater and pieces of them blowing all over the countryside. And in the winter when we sometimes have 3+ feet of snow on the ground (and even deeper drifts), it's almost impossible to get the tarp to move enough to get the wood out from under it, with all the ice and snow on it. Without being covered, I just dig down until I find the firewood and pull the pieces out of the snow. When there's snow on the ground it's COLD, so the snow just falls off the wood when I move it and very rarely sticks to it. In which case it can be quickly and easily brushed/knocked off.
  9. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    quads, we use old galvanized roofing for covering the wood. It works much better than tarps and much easier to work with too.
  10. Bobbin

    Bobbin Minister of Fire

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    We did a lot of splitting and stacking last summer and fall (about 7 cord). This past week we moved 2 cord under the filon shed roof on the back of our home and today moved another cord to the north side of the barn (my workroom is upstairs). Last year we stacked the splits on pallets in areas that were open to the prevailing breeze and in as much sunlight as we could find and not have the stacks all over the lawn. We covered them with sections of stockade fencing (recycled from the garden) and put a piece of tarp over the fence sections. We leave plenty of space between the stacks (for the cats to get in there and go after mice) and felt the benefit of keeping the top of the stack dry outweighed the possible downside of covering. Seems to have worked just fine by the looks of things this year.

    The wood stacked on the north side of the barn has two sections of the fence atop it and has the same tarp over the top, handing down by about 6" on all sides. I'll be interested to see how nicely it burns when the weather really starts to turn.

    We have a good deal of splitting ahead of us this fall, too.
  11. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    I wish I had a bunch of that, I'd put it on the roof of my house! (only half joking)

    Isn't it still a pain in the butt to get the wood out from under it when the snow is piled on top? I suppose the snow and ice slides off of it pretty easy though, unlike a tarp that sags and falls down between the rows.

    Really, I have never felt the need to cover my firewood, seems to work well for me. I keep a month's worth on the porch and if it happened to be raining when I stacked it there, it's only damp on the outside of the wood. That dampness on the outside disappears pretty fast, even in the stove.
  12. kbrown

    kbrown Feeling the Heat

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    Called this landscaping supply place while on the way home today. They want $85 USD per face cord. No deals on full cords or more. Plus another $60 for delivery. Of course they said it was nicely seasoned! I'm sure there must be lots of takers or else they wouldn't have a pile like that every year; but they can keep it....Scrounging is my life!
  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Actually it is pretty easy getting the wood from under the roofing. As I'm taking out some wood, until you take out about 1/2 there are no worries. Then I just angle the galvanized at a slant to cover all of it and of course the snow then just slides off or when you take the rest of that row then just remove the galvanized and stack it for use with the next year's cutting.
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