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Lesson in seasoning...

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by CowboyAndy, Jan 12, 2009.

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  1. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    Well, I guess I am still learning! This being our first year burning has been interesting to say the least.

    I have learned that:

    even though it can have some good size cracks/checks, it can still be wet.

    even though it doesn't have any noticable check/cracks, it can still be dry.


    Seriously, I have some stuff that has been in direct sun/wind for a while, great color and checking and sizzled for a good 25 min. but I burned some stuff that has no visable cracks and lit instantly and burned awesome!


    I don't think I'll ever understand this stuff!

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  2. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Locust will not check.
    Very small splits of most wood will be dry if ends are checked.
    Big splits can still be wet in the center if the ends are checked.
    You can't depend on checks!
    You can depend on sounds. Should sound like baseball bats hit together when dry.
  3. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    "I don’t think I’ll ever understand this stuff! I think you already know now, going into next year you will have more time to prepare that will make all the difference!
  4. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Hang in there Andy. I've been burning wood for a bit longer (since youth and I'm drawing S.S.) than you....and I don't know squat! But you'll probably catch up to me before the end of the season. lol
  5. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    Well, the stuff that is not cracked at all is Boxelder aka sh!t maple aka manitoba maple. Nice and light, burns great and not a single check mark on it!

    Ya, I will be so much more prepared. I said to my wife last night that this is probably going to be the hardest year for us as we learn all there is to know about not only burning but cutting and storing the wood as well. I am doing alot of things different next year...


    There is so much to learn, isnt there!
  6. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    well with running the furance there is.I have burnt wood for a long time but this is my second season with the furance its a differnt Beast all together!
  7. ikessky

    ikessky Minister of Fire

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    You're not alone buddy! I told my wife the exact same thing. The learning curve will start all over if I switch to a furnace with secondary burn like I am planning to in the next 5-10 years.
  8. jeff6443

    jeff6443 New Member

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    Well I 'm way short this year I have 2 cords maple split n stacked for next year . If I bring it in it drys fast
    . Next year look out . I focused on the machine not the fuel . Cant wait till next year , I haved saved big all work , wet wood Last
    Dec gas bill was 350.00 summer is 35.00 dec 53.00
  9. bsruther

    bsruther Minister of Fire

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    Last winter was my first season burning wood in the stove. My wood was fairly dry, but it was all low BTU wood. I ran out before February.
    This season I'm burning all hardwood and have a pretty good system going. I figured out what works for me...I think.
    There are still some things I'll do different next year and probably the year after.
    To me, you seem to be doing pretty darn good.
  10. TreePapa

    TreePapa Minister of Fire

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    I've often heard / seen the checks referred to as "splitting cracks" as in the wood is easier to split, esp. w/ ax or maul, if you wait until it develops some splitting cracks. Around here (sunny so. calif.) we don't have the option of splitting wood when it's frozen (the rounds won't fit in the freezer). But wood will eventually dry here anyway, but certainly faster if split.

    Peace,
    - Sequoia
  11. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    Well, evetything we have is split fairly soon after being cut. The biggest downfall is how long it has been seasoning... we just started cutting in june, managed to cut about 10 cords from june to october. Our single biggest mistake was where we stacked the first 1 1/2 cords... right at the end of a roof line (meaning the roof was pointing down towards the wood) so it got rained on and just totally soaked. I think what happened was that we went a few months without any major rain and the wood was really starting to dry then we got a month of solid rain and that just totally f-ed me. But, lesson learned. Everything is stacked in the open sun/wind.
  12. ikessky

    ikessky Minister of Fire

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    Not to one up you, but I didn't even start cutting wood until late September/early October. I ended up chasing standing dead stuff and even some of that was still a little green. Live and learn I guess. This year I will start cutting in March/April and I have a nice open field that I can stack it in. Plenty of sun and wind, so I should not have any worries next year. Hopefully I can get a full year to two years ahead of the game now that I have a wood hauler and don't have to depend on others to lend me their equipment!
  13. shaw24

    shaw24 New Member

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    Ok what is "checking"? New to burning wood...haven't really started burning yet.
  14. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    ikessky, you will do even better if you get your wood cut before March/April. If you can't cut it all up by then, at least fell the trees. Doing things this way leaves much less moisture that you have to evaporate before burning the wood.

    That, sirs, is the biggest reason to cut your wood during the winter when things are dormant. Cut in March or April and the sap is going up already. Cut anywhere from November through February, or mid-February and there is less sap to contend with.

    The only thing I'll cut come March is some soft maple and that is for deer food. After a hard winter, come March they are getting pretty hungry and they love soft maple. After cutting them, we'll usually leave them lay for several years which provides an excellent place for the deer to bed.
  15. bsruther

    bsruther Minister of Fire

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    It's cracks created by the wood losing moisture. When you look at the end of a log, (cross section) the cracks you sometimes see are checking.
  16. ikessky

    ikessky Minister of Fire

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    I'm going to try to get as much felled as I can in the next few months. Hoping to get a few loads cut for my grandpa and dad also.
  17. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    If you have any spare time, we need some cut too. lol
  18. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    It's simple. If it's been in your woodshed for a year, it's probably ok. If it's been two years, you're golden.
  19. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    What if i dont have a woodshed? you mean to tell me that it will NEVER SEASON?!?!?!?!?!?!?
  20. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    thats right and your furance will blow up!!!!! lol I built wood racks as close to my furance as i could and still being safe (holds one cord) there is a huge differnce in the wood after 48 hrs. but now i have it on a 10-14 days rotation in the rack before buring Klen dry baby!
  21. ikessky

    ikessky Minister of Fire

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    We'll see if I even get enough time to cut wood with them, let alone for them! I just feel bad because Dad has been talking about how he won't have enough to make it through the year and will have to use more propane. Grandpa, on the other hand, probably has enough wood for the year, but he's getting up there and I hate to think of him still breaking his back to get wood into the basement.
  22. waynek

    waynek Member

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    Getting wood into the basement has always been a chore because there are steps involved. Did it for years...figured the exercise was good for me. Drawing rocking chair money now and my wife wants to help so I remodeled a basement window near the stove. Hinged both windows and built a portable chute that telescopes. The wife gets her kicks chucking wood into the chute and I can keep up with the stacking.
  23. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    ^That sounds very efficient Jack...I take it she loads the wheelbarrow too? My Dad always said many hand make light work.
  24. waynek

    waynek Member

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    Savageactor7

    No wheelbarrow involved. Take the ATV and trailer to the woodshed, load up high and tight, park the load near the window, insert the chute and the wife and I commence unloading
  25. drdoct

    drdoct Feeling the Heat

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    Not to beat up on you ikessky, but make the time. Get out and help your grandpa get the wood in. You SHOULD hate the idea of him breaking his back to get wood into the basement. This year I started cutting and stacking for me and my dad. It's fulfilling to help him get the wood in and it keeps me involved in his life. Work will always be there, but older family members die off. When they go you don't want to be sitting there knowing that you could have helped them but were just too caught up in your life to take care of them like they did for you when you were growing up. I'm not saying really making this post about you, but what you posted brought up one of my pet peeves of our society. Abandonment of our elders so we can dique around with stuff to keep us busy instead of spending time helping them. Seriously... take off a Saturday and go load up grandpa's basement for him. He'll greatly appreciate it.
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