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moving, moving, moving wood or dump pile can cover

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Guastini, Dec 29, 2008.

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  1. Guastini

    Guastini Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
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    Loc:
    Eastern CT, corner with RI/MA
    Anything wrong with a big pile on a tarp covered with a tarp?

    Just installed a EKO 60. No storage yet. Radiant Floors + HydroAir
    When i was i kid we heated with wood, but i have not burned wood in 25 years.
    I am looking for experience on the issue of storing wood. I once read that each piece of wood is handled 15 times before it burns. I want to avoid wasting time and energy. I get cordwood delivered in 3 cord loads.
    The first was dumped, picked up over several days, stacked under the car port then raked and swept up the mess. I have been wondering why not just leave it in a pile. build a simple over the rope tarp shelter above the pile and fetch it from there as necessary to burn?
    I appreciate any experienced input.

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  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    NW Ontario
    A tarp under the wood would most likely hold water so you can expect wet wood on the bottom. A large loose pile covered with a tarp won't dry very well.
    How many cord do you plan on storing and how long do you plan to season the wood? How do you plan to rotate your inventory?

    Here is my handling routine. Feel free to count how often I handle the wood.
    I roll the 8 foot logs out on 3 skids. Smaller logs I put on my bucking horse.
    After bucking, I toss them in a pile. Big rounds I stack.
    I take the bucked rounds and split them, tossing the splits on another pile.
    The pile stays out in the wind and sun and rain all summer.
    At the end of summer I load the splits on a trailer and haul them to my woodshed.
    I stack the wood in the shed. The shed can hold 2 years worth, over 12 cord.
    I take wood from the shed and put in in a fireside box.
    I take from the box and put it in the stove.
  3. gyrfalcon

    gyrfalcon Minister of Fire

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    If I were you, I'd at least get a couple old pallets and throw your pile on those, then cover with a tarp *only* when it's threatening major rain or a lot of snow. Otherwise, you're much better off leaving the wood exposed to the air. A little snow won't hurt it and any wet dries off very fast once you bring it in (ie, a few hours to a day at room temp). The wood doesn't get wet even from rain more than a little bit below the surface, and as I say, it dries off rapidly. Snow is just a non-issue except for getting at the wood underneath it. Snow is easy to knock off by whacking two pieces together.

    I think you're better off leaving it on bare ground than on top of a tarp, which will only hold moisture against the wood. At least some moisture will drain through the semi-frozen soil. Not at all with a tarp.

    Last winter, I had a cord of c/s/d wood dumped on me at dusk as snow was beginning to fall that turned into a couple of feet by the next day, so I used snow-caked wood lying on the ground for most of the winter. Trust me, it's not a problem. I eventually threw a tarp over it just to make it easier to get at when it snowed some more, but even the thoroughly ice and snow-caked wood dried out rapidly once inside, and I had no problems with the bottom layer going punky on me before spring.

    I'll say it again since this seems to be something folks don't get. Even rain doesn't penetrate very far beyond the surface, and it dries out quickly. Our friends in the NW and in other humid climates have a bigger problem, but in NE, it's just not an issue worth hassling.

    You do need someplace indoors at room temperature to loosely stack a couple days' supply to give it time to dry out, though. In a pinch, you can put pieces of wood around the outside of your hearth and it'll dry out even faster.
  4. bsruther

    bsruther Minister of Fire

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    There's a word for that.

    You need to use the bottom stuff first, I would think.
    You should at least stack what will be underneath, then you will only have to waste half the time and energy.
  5. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    If it's not under roof, you don't want a tarp underneath. A gravel bed is fine, so long as it drains well, otherwise, something to let the water go away. Tarp over the top, but let the wind blow through. Just don't build a pond for it to sit in. Rick
  6. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like you get your wood cut, split, and delivered for you, which means AFTER all the hard work and handling has been done by someone else. I don't think you can count those numbers in your quest for uber-efficiency.

    The number 15 must be counted from the stump and every pick up and put down must count as two because I cannot count 15 any other way. How do you count what I described?
  7. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    If you're getting split wood delivered you've just cut out 12 of those 15 handlings, ya' know.
  8. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I think the OP wants to claim a credit for those 12 so that if it were magically reduced to say... 11, the wood would jump into the stove by itself.
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