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Machine Harvested Wood

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by willyswagon, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. willyswagon

    willyswagon Burning Hunk

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    I got a load of wood about a month ago. I blocked up about 4 cords of it within the first week. I mentioned to one of the local old timers yesterday that it was already showing cracks at both ends of each piece. He said that is why he doesn't buy machine cut wood, because all of the little pick marks in the wood allow all of the sap to evaporate out to quickly, resulting in the loss of heat.
    There is next to no bark left on most of this wood.

    Have any of you noticed any difference in drying or burning between machine processed wood, and wood that was harvested with a chain saw?

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  2. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    My own opinion . . . bogus belief. I don't believe it really matters how the tree is converted into firewood whether through a machine, chainsaw, felled by an ax or bow saw or if a Jedi light saber is used . . . the key thing being that all fuel needs to be dry before burning and the drier (aka more seasoned) the fuel is . . . the less time and heat is used to cook off the moisture and more usable heat is gained from the wood.
    Blue2ndaries, Gark, n3pro and 3 others like this.
  3. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    This sounds like an extension of the idea that dry wood burns up too fast. It's silly and wrong. Dryness is good. Don't take this particular old timer's advice.

    Your wood is cracking on the ends because the ends are drying (and shrinking) faster than the middle, which is normal. It has nothing to do with the machine harvesting.
    Blue2ndaries, n3pro, nrford and 2 others like this.
  4. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    You can handle chain saw or hand cut wood with a pickaroon and be full of pick marks.
    It needs to season for the same amount of time regardless of how it is processed or what it looks like.

    Cracks on the end are pretty much meaningless IMO.
    Gark, Backwoods Savage and jharkin like this.
  5. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    well in a year or two those cracks will close up as the center of the split dries to an equal relative moisture level as the ends(see above post for cause) Then what will he have to say??

    Sounds like this is one of those believing in green/wet wood burns better than dry which is an oft beaten dead horse around here.

    Offer to trade your green for all his nasty, rotting, old dry, cracking stuff because you like him so much and want him to get all the good heat he deserves.
  6. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    "Sap" does not evaporate. Water does.


    Just another urban legend with no validity. Nothing to see here, move along...
  7. willyswagon

    willyswagon Burning Hunk

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    Oh this guy doesn't believe in green wood. He is 80 yrs old, still burning wood cut from his 300 acres.
    He is 5 yrs ahead on his wood supply, as he has been all of his life. He was harvesting 4 acres blueberries with his son yesterday when I dropped in to see them. He said when things cool down he's heading back into the woods for a couple more loads for Maple.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  8. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    I don't get the "machine cut " part ? or why there's a difference.
    Isn't it all cut with a saw of some kind?

    I agree, no difference in seasoning time.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  9. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    I don't know how to interpret that. Surely he believes "green" wood exists?
  10. BrianN

    BrianN Member

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    I like my machine processed wood. Removes all the limbs, most of the bark, and makes cool indentation, perforations on the sides of the wood. I think it helps the drying out. Probably not, but, I like to think that :)
    n3pro likes this.
  11. paul bunion

    paul bunion Minister of Fire

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    It might season a tiny bit quicker as you say the bark has been stripped by the harvester. Sapwood would probably be less prone to rot also. That would be a function of the bark trapping and holding moisture. As far as the heating value, none of it leaked out through the tiny pricks.
  12. schlot

    schlot Minister of Fire

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    Doesn't matter?!?! Maybe not to you but the coolness factor of slicing through an Oak with a light saber would matter a ton to me!
  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Now there is one of the strangest things I've heard for a long time... I wonder if he also has some odd beliefs when it comes to sliced bread...
    schlot and NortheastAl like this.
  14. Augie

    Augie Feeling the Heat

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    Butter side down or Ill fight ya:mad:
    keninmich and Backwoods Savage like this.
  15. nrford

    nrford Minister of Fire

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    Some folks have some strange ideas. You just have to sort through them and take them for what they are worth. Processor(machine, or mechanically harvested) produced wood is wood.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  16. Gark

    Gark Minister of Fire

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    A long time ago, a guy told me that when a light bulb burned out to leave it in the socket until it was replaced. Or else some electricity would leak out. I think he was serious
    Backwoods Savage and Locust Post like this.
  17. Locust Post

    Locust Post Minister of Fire

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    Honestly I think that would be better if it helped get the moisture out faster.
  18. Locust Post

    Locust Post Minister of Fire

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    That's very true Gark and don't ever leave that bulb out of the socket in a room with carpet it may drip and make a stain.
    Gark likes this.
  19. schlot

    schlot Minister of Fire

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    ...so many good ideas to try out on my blonde wife!
  20. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Point taken . . . and agreed.
  21. MrWhoopee

    MrWhoopee Minister of Fire

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    Same as when you're talking to DSL tech support. They tell you to turn off the modem and wait 10-20 seconds (to let all the electricity drain out) before restarting. ;)
    Gark likes this.
  22. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    We used to make candles and flaming balls by making a hatchet cut in a white pine and collecting the oozing sap to raise hell with when we were stupid kids getting in trouble and having fun doing it.
    If it sits around and dries up it burns with less of the black soot.
  23. bmblank

    bmblank Minister of Fire

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    Well, technically, there are capacitors and whatnot in electronics that store energy. The draining electricity is usually in the form of LEDs and internal clocks and all that jazz. I can't say whether waiting 10-20 seconds is necessary at all.
    woodsmaster and Backwoods Savage like this.
  24. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Yup, thats true- the AC/DC power supply uses large electrolytic capacitors on the DC side of the circuit to smooth the ac ripple - they are called 'filter caps' in electronic lingo. I have some server power supplies where if you yank the plug, the cooling fan will keep running for 5-10 seconds before the caps drain.

    On a little DSL modem I dont think it would take that long, but it does happen.


    Going back to the light bulb analogy - "leaking electricity" is comical of course, but if you have small children around there might be a safety reason to not leave the socket empty.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  25. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    +1! Empty sockets are dangerous! I never leave one.

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