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Moisture content of wood question.

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by oldspark, May 5, 2010.

  1. op_man1

    op_man1 Member

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    Sometimes we tend to want to do things "perfectly" and get obsessed with that when in reality "good enough" is what we should shoot for. thanks for putting perpective into this Battenkiller.

    I have Silver Maple and Pine that has been seasonning for about 10 months that is at less than 20%, according to a cheap moisture meter. It also looks good to burn and I can assure you that it will be used this year. This is a case where waiting for two years would be useless.

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  2. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    The only time it would make sense is when the tree is dead.
  3. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

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    I have mainly been cutting cherry, maple and ash. Based on what I have read here cherry and ash season fairly quickly so if after a fresh cut the mc is <35% I will put it into the "this season" pile if it's cut by Sept. otherwise it goes into the next year pile. So far this seems to have worked well as I cut a lot of cherry late last summer and was able to burn some of it in late winter/early spring this year. Have not burned any of the ash I have cut but was given a cord of it last summer and burned that in the winter just fine.
  4. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

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    A lot of what I cut last year was already dead. Some of the cherry I cut was live and it read around 35% on my cheapo MM. I'm just using the meter a a guide, I'm sure for the cost it's not real accurate.
  5. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    I've got a cheapy also just to play around with but so far it has read what I expected the wood to be at so I am happy with it.
  6. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    Ash and cherry are two woods where you just might get a reading on green wood. Black locust is another. Whatever works for you. It's so easy to see this as overly obsessive coming from the viewpoint of a long time burner. Plus, I never paid $4K for a new stove and liner, so I never worried that much about the equipment. If fact, I burned for almost 20 years in a freebie box stove that probably had more replacement steel plate in it than the original stove cost new. All I ever cared about was getting enough heat and not burn my family to death. It's successor, a fine condition Vermont Castings Vigilant, cost me all of $300 last fall (came with best part of a cord of well-seasoned hardwood as well), and there are plenty more lying around like that one. So to me, the stove itself is a consumable. Now if I had a brand new Jotul Oslo... :roll: ;-)

    But, of course, make sure you take care of your expensive gear while you're learning. It's tough, but not indestructible. I mean no disrespect to those who seem overly concerned about their stoves, just trying to ease the anxiety a bit.
  7. djlarson77

    djlarson77 Member

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  8. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    MN guy, I understand where you are coming from, some of the poeple on this forum hammer it into your head about the dry wood and then they say you are over thinking it. :lol:
  9. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    Who you callin' obsessive? >:-(

    Yeah, I do carry on. But I prefer "inquisitive" to obsessive. How's this: I think you are being overly inquisitive. Does that work? ;-)

    Anyway, glad to obsess with fellow burners. I've learned a lot here in the last year. The "top down" fire starting method was worth the price of admission alone. I use it all the time now, even for an open campfire. It gets down to a big, even bed of cooking coals twice as fast as any other method. I might even let the stove go out at times this winter, just to use it.

    Then there is tons of safety stuff I learned about chainsaws, info about trucks and their capacities, ideas for shed building, how different EPA stoves work, etc. Great group here. :)
  10. djlarson77

    djlarson77 Member

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  11. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    Solid layer of splits on bottom. The whole idea is to capture the radiant heat that the flame is throwing off below it. Air spaces kill that. Fire starters just make it harder, use three full-size pieces of dry newspaper instead. Roll them up and tie them in a single overhand knot. Put a layer of intermediate-size splits on the bottom layer, a layer of kindling then the newspaper. You might not think it will go, but all at once the whole top is dancing with clean burning wood. Seems that pyrolysis of the wood occurs below the flame, then the smoke rises through the flames and gets ignited. No smoke visible, or very little anyway. You'll love it. Best part is starting a fire while my experienced woodsmen friends watch. Two out of three times they'll bet me a beer it won't work. Now if I can only get them to drink real beer. :roll:
  12. djlarson77

    djlarson77 Member

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    Are the intermediate splits and/or kindling placed in a solid layer too?

    Now what am I going to do with my two boxes of fire starters (144 in each one)?

    I'm not going to touch the beer comment, I've seen where that leads :zip:
  13. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    That's how I've been doing it. I alternate the direction of each layer to give the stack of wood more stability, but Lady BK lays them down in the same direction. She's so contrary that way. Works well either way best I can tell.

    Try 'em. Don't take my word for anything, find out what works best for you. If the paper works better, sell them to somebody here. If they're Super Cedars, they should go quickly. They're a good starter and they are well thought of on this board.

    Wha-a-a-at? I made another beer comment? :shut:
  14. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    I'm just reviewing some old threads on moisture content. This is probably the single most important piece of data I've ever read on this forum in this regard. I kept having a nagging thought, "Aren't carbon dioxide and water the primary products of combustion?" If so, how much water in the smoke comes from combustion, and how much from MC in the wood? It seems the steam from the MC of the wood is negligible compared to the steam as a product of combustion.

    So how much does MC actually contribute to creosote build up in newer EPA stoves?

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