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Jenga Stacking Technique? Tips?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by XJma, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. XJma

    XJma Member

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    So I did my first 'jenga stack' end caps on one half of one of my 8' sheet metal pallets. I think the jenga stacks are way better for holding the ends together than my other methods so far!! However, they take forever to get up and going!! Throwing all the wood regular in the middle goes so fast.

    Are there any tips or tricks to doing the jenga technique? Here is my first attempt. Next time I think I'll stop at 4', this one is at 5'!! Then I realized that the ground wasn't perfectly level, so I added some rounds to the other side until I can add some counterweight!!

    My first attempt using this new technique. Until viewing the photos I really didn't even realize that the right side jenga was crooked...oops!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Also, I ran this one EW right after I had posted asking about best ways! After filling this one up I plan on running a long line of stacks inline with the ones you can see in the second photo on the right side, which are NS. Thanx for the advice!
    mikey517, Billybonfire, ScotO and 6 others like this.

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  2. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    Doesn't look too bad.
    I always build one end up a few feet, try to use half rounds or squares from center of larger rounds.
    Then as I'm working along throwing everything else in, I start the other end with the more ideal splits.
    It's more important to have the base of each end stable, the top couple feet will stay put

    The whole list thing is inevitable, mine always end up going towards the back. Keep a scrap rope/string with a rock for a plumb line only needs to be 4-5ft(if you get that anal)
    If the skids are rocking on unlevel ground, keep your eyes peeled for some scrap bricks, bang them in soft ground with a split
  3. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Perfect stacks
    Both stacks are nice
    Good location to fill the whole area with stacks of fire wood. :)

    I try to have a little angle towards the center on both ends.
    basod likes this.
  4. Nixon

    Nixon Minister of Fire

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    Looks good! You'll get quicker at cross stacking the more you do it . You just learn to select the end pieces as you split and toss them to the ends of the pallet .
    BTW , love the term Jenga stacking ! :)
  5. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    It looks more like the end of the skid is bending than your stacking as well
    You might want to crib those going forward
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Looks good especially if this is your first try. That one stack might give some problems later but if so it is no big deal.

    We stack 4 1/2' for the highest mostly and this will shrink down to 4' or lower.
  7. XJma

    XJma Member

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    Thanx all, I guess there isn't much of a trick other than experience? I did try to set aside square-ish looking splits of similar size, but I was in somewhat of a hurry. I basically stacked the jengas just a foot or less ahead of the rest, I guess I'm not that patient. This is seasoned wood I just bought and it's in the teens, all good stuff, IMO great for 'seasoned' in late november (when I purchased). In the second pic to the right, the stacks without the jenga ends are fresh split rounds over a year old, oak of course, what else would we have around here?

    Yes, the end is listing a tad...not sure if that had anything to do with the crookedness or if it was just me rushing? I finished up as it was getting dark and as you can see the very tops are not in the correct position. Next time I'll keep it a little shorter.

    Basod, what does 'crib' the ends mean?

    And yes, other than seeing people's stacks like this, I've never done it myself. I've stacked or help stack probably approaching 1,000 cords in my lifetime (I'm 31), but never in this manner, mostly in between posts meant to hold the stack up, and underneath a large porch in the corner of the foundation, so basically very ideal conditions in terms of holding the wood in place, not so much ideal in terms of ideal seasoning. Is there any other term for stack like this other than jenga?? When trying to describe them, that's the first term that came to mind!!
  8. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Use rectangles, squares or half splits for the cross stacks on the end.

    Take the time to pick wood that is more or less level with the other piece and stable without rocking.

    Don't go over 4-5 feet high.

    If you're going to have any slight leaning, lean inwards a bit towards the other stack if stacking in double rows so if they do shrink and start to tip they'll tip in towards each other and hold each other up. I also tend to have the cross stacks lean in a bit towards the middle.

    Have a good base -- whether it be pallets, dimensional wood, sacrificial wood, etc.
  9. golfandwoodnut

    golfandwoodnut Minister of Fire

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    These are the best tips, do not lean outwards, lean inwards or be straight.
  10. wingsfan

    wingsfan Feeling the Heat

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    Nice looking stacks. While I am stacking out the back of the pick-up,(usually) I try to match up sizes for the ends , so they stack up nice and level and square.
  11. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    I find I have the best luck to stack those criss cross ends only one or two splits higher than the center as I go. As I stack, if I find good end pieces, I toss them towards the ends and use them when I get there. At the same time, I save the ugliest of the uglies to go on the very top / center.

    If I were to stack the ends all at once, then fill in the center, it's hard for them to truly tie in together with pieces that fit snug.

    At the end of the day, even if it doesn't work on a few of the stacks and something falls over, so long as you don't go too high, or have little kids playing in the area that don't know enough to stay off the stacks, what's the worst that can happen?

    Experiment and have fun.

    pen
    AJS56 and Backwoods Savage like this.
  12. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Only the splits on the outsides of the cribbing matter. You can toss slightly smaller/thinner pieces in the middle. That way you're not hunting for 3 or 4 perfect pieces per layer, only 2.
    AJS56 likes this.
  13. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    I do all my stacks like this. I have a stack that's been standing for 5 years, never budged.

    I recommend the ends favor inward moving to the top of the stack, your right side there looks to favor outward going up.....she'll likely be fine though.

    I'm also concerned about the 2x4 overhang at the ends of your stack, should weight cause it to bow it may result in a greater lean outward of the end stack......possibly resulting in a catastrophic failure of the entire row ;)
  14. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    Save the half rounds for the ends if possible. They sit sturdy when stacked. You can also tie in the jenga stack to the main stack every so often by running a couple splits half on the jenga, half on the stack. Are you stacking piles from closest point to furthest from the access? Helps to make retrieval easier as the oldest wood is closest.
  15. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    XJma - crib/cribbing term used in shipping wood blocks or other material used to evenly distribute weight and allow forks/rigging to pick the load
    the area under the 2x4's where the 4x4 is now ~1.5' back its creating a fulcrum, bending the 2x4 rails and causing some of the list you have.
    Those are good skids, just have to figure they were constructed to keep tin evenly distributed - not 400lbs of wood levered over the end
    it's not going to matter how straight you stack the end though, as the weight adds it will bow the 2x4 rails and end up like that.

    You could crib the rail ends with small 4x4 blocks or 2 - 2x4's(not sure if those are rough cut or milled)
  16. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    The inside is where I tend to stick my kindling . . . nice little cubby holes pre-built . . . or small rounds.
  17. charly

    charly Guest

    Had an old timer tell me over 20 years ago to always stack your firewood so stack is going North and South,,,, I thought he was pulling my leg,,,, asked why ,,,, he said so your firewood pile gets dried on both sides that way... Sun comes up in the East and sets in the West.
    Coal Reaper and Lakeside like this.
  18. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I'd say you did a darned good job if that is a first attempt. Best trick or tip I can give you is when you are splitting (especially bigger rounds), make your splits "square" and uniform......then keep those splits in a seperate pile off of the side. When you are ready to "stich" the ends of your stacks together, use those squared off and uniform splits. Works like a charm.

    I also do a stich stack in several other places down the row, to help stabilize the stack......
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  19. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Somewhat true on the sunshine but if you have more than one stack, only the outside rows get the sun on the sides. A better explaination is that basically in most areas the wind flows west to east. In a few areas, perhaps Kansas and north, they get move south to north flow so stacking east to west would make sense there. Wind is still more important than sun for drying wood.
    charly likes this.
  20. timusp40

    timusp40 Feeling the Heat

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    Use that technique on all my stacks. These have been up for a year or so. Now they are top covered for winter.
    DSCF3502.JPG
  21. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    i am glad you don't live near me with stacks that look that nice! Dam fine job. 5 cord rows?
    ScotO likes this.
  22. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    Good work XJma. If you are unsure of weather they are good enough or not you can come to my house anytime and practice. I will accept the work that I see in the pictures just fine. I use pallets and stack two rows on them with a good space in between. This allows for good air flow and use of space. Getting ahead is the best thing you can do with your wood. I have almost all my wood for next year stacked. I am going to try to have 2014/15 cut/split/stacked (c/s/s) by the time spring gets here. Then I will move up the ladder in Scotty's club of firewood haorders. ;lol Hey. Speaking of that. Where the hell are those stickers anyway Scotty? I told you the we have priorities and the little women can wait! She won't mind if the stone is done from the ceiling down to about halfway. ;lol Then left like that for a while.
  23. timusp40

    timusp40 Feeling the Heat

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    Good eye Myway! Actually closer to 4 cord. They are cut to 16". I know Backwood and others also criss cross the ends of their stacks. Have not had one fall yet, but I noticed that as the splits dry over time everything starts to shift and lean.
    ScotO likes this.
  24. ailanthus

    ailanthus Feeling the Heat

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    I usually angle my ends inward slightly, as in, the top of the stack is ~8" farther in than the bottom - not necessary, but that's how I do it. Also, if I'm doing double rows, and I usually prefer to, I try to angle them toward each other slightly - think of the splits at the face being slightly thicker than those toward the middle of the stack. This can help if and when the inside of the stack dries & shrinks slower than the faces.

    Your attempt looks very good - I would wedge something under the rail on the right hand side of that stack, though - It probably was straight when you stacked it, but might need more support underneath at that end.
  25. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    Suggestion for the long rows: Use a 3/8 nylon rope from end to end of the row, about mid pile. Stack the top half over that rope and the entire row is sewn together.

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