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My Stacks Are A'Leaning....

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by jadm, Jun 4, 2009.

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  1. jadm

    jadm New Member

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    Stacked 3 cords of wood in early March. Nice and straight. Wood was already good and dry - 20% moisture.

    I didn't cover the tops because our weather has been DRY for several years now. Wasn't concerned until we hit a wet spell here that has lasted about 2-3 weeks and has dumped about 7 - 10" of water.

    Checking my stacks the other day I noticed some serious leaning on a couple of rows. I pushed as much as I could in to center again but much I couldn't reach.

    So I am praying over my piles every time I look at them hoping that when things turn hot and dry here they will dry out and straighten back up? Am I deluding myself?

    Don't want to cover tops now because it is all so wet and figure a tarp will inhibit evaporation....

    I know many of you live in wet areas and your wood does season okay so I know I am going to be okay...It's just the waiting game of seeing what way things settle. Kinda like a huge 'Jenga' (Wooden stick stacking game that my children play.) tower.

    Once summer hits temps. usually are in 80's and 90's and low, low moisture....we are talking VERY DRY. Lately we have gotten good wind too.

    Want to hold off with the tarps until the fall.

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  2. summit

    summit Minister of Fire

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    i would.. if it leans let it... a tarp generates a lot of humidty in the sun... leave it off untill she starts frosting over every night, just before it starts to snow and nature takes a big crap on you for the next 6 months.
  3. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    My guess is that the lean is probably not from wood swelling but rather the ground getting soft. I doubt it will straighten itself back up.
  4. pulldownclaw

    pulldownclaw New Member

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    I can't stack a row of wood to save my life. Tried Eric's t-bar trick, didn't work, pile fell over, I'm sure it's something I did wrong. I hate re-stacking, holz hausens have been more successful for me.
  5. TKeller

    TKeller New Member

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    I think it has something to do with the drying out(shrinking) process and thus the wood pile settling. For years I processed and burned mostly locust. Very stable, low green moisture content, stacks don't move much at all. Lately, I have been processing oak, some maple, cherry, etc. and have noticed those stacks wanting to lean. I attribute this possibly to the wood drying out and shrinking. Another big plus for burning locust I guess, stability in the wood pile. Ha! Tony
  6. jadm

    jadm New Member

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    Didn't even consider the lean due to ground shifting......so I will continue to wait and see what happens. It will be interesting to see how much lean they can handle and stay upright.

    Seems like I'm always learning something new out of necessity. ;-P
  7. eba1225

    eba1225 Feeling the Heat

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    I woudl say that the leaning is due to wood shrinking from moisture loss, I have the same issues. No ground softening for my stuff.
  8. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    That to me does not spell wood shrinkage as the cause.
  9. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    We've gone through wet periods like that as I'm sure many have. However, we never worried about the wet wood. The wet from the rain won't soak in much and what it does, it will dry out quite fast. I recall one year when we got over 10" of rain and that was followed by another 6" a week later followed by a week of wet. It caused no problem.

    However, bear in mind that we do not normally burn the wood the following winter after it is cut. We like 2 years minimum seasoning time.
  10. TKeller

    TKeller New Member

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    LLigetfa from Ontario makes a good point as usual........... who knows..........gophers?
  11. fishinpa

    fishinpa Member

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    My opinion is that it very well can be from evaporation. I built 6 rows... 2 stacks, 3 rows deep. Each are on 12ft treated 4x4's with about 10in between the rows after stacking. I supported each row in 3 places, tamping about 4" of stone (perpendicular to rows) below the brick or block under each support row and drove rebar on the ends to keep them where I placed them. (kind if a slanted yard) Kind of hard to explain, but it looks like 2 stacks but each is actually 3 rows deep. The tamped stone goes the 3 rows deep and was leveled before anything was placed on it.

    When stacking this year and the darn stack (3 rows deep) went over 3 times. the darn stacks would be on the ground for the most part. It broke my heart and i damn near left it all on the ground out of frustration. BUT that's NOT how we do things around here!

    What I did on the final stack was to pull put all the 'bent' stuff and pieces that in general were not 'straight and aprox my max length for the stove.

    All the piles (4 weeks later) are leaning one way or the other but they're still up for now.

    PS: the4x4's were level left to right and across he rows before stacking and still are with the weight of the wood on them.

    Hey, it's just my opinion, take it for what's it's worth, which isn't too much.
  12. fyrwoodguy

    fyrwoodguy Feeling the Heat

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    after 30+ years of stackin'.....here's the only way i found not to fall over.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
  13. wallis54806

    wallis54806 New Member

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    I have a couple of stacks that are leaning. I stacked them in late March, when the ground was still frozen. They shifted after the ground thawed.
  14. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    I have an 80 ft. row in the back field that gets sun on it's south face all day long. The wood has been there since last Aug., and started to develop a lean this spring. In the direction of the sun. I was hoping it was trying to grow toward the sunlight, but have since come to the conclusion that it's merely shrinking more on that side.
    There's a post every 16 ft. and the stacks are around 5.5 - 6 ft. high. I plan to stack new splits only about 5 ft. high when this stuff gets moved up to the house (working on that as of today). Trying to incorporate an opposite lean as I stack too, so maybe the stacks will stand up straight by the time I get around to burning the wood. :coolsmile:

    Dave
  15. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Pre-engineered curve eh, like they do on structural members.
  16. Apprentice_GM

    Apprentice_GM Member

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    I also pre-engineer my stacks to lean away from the sun (in my case, to the south).

    If they start to lean towards the sun I tap them upright with my sledgehammer. I used to prop them with sticks, which is also better than letting the stack fall, before I discovered the hammer and kick combination method of correcting stack lean.
  17. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    Hey - didn't you get the memo? You are supposed to rotate your stacks every 4 weeks or 300 hrs of sunlight to ensure even seasoning across the piece. :)
  18. jdinspector

    jdinspector Feeling the Heat

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    Well, I came home yesterday and 2 areas of my stacks fell over. I can't tell if they simply let go, or someone pushed them. When I stacked them, I was pretty careful about the bottom and had 2"x4" frames supporting them. I actually took the time to tie a loop of heavy cord around some of the middle logs and then to the fence parallel to my stack. It was working beautifully. About a month ago, my neighbor asked me (nicely) if I would remove the cord as he thought is was pulling on his fence. (It is his fence). So, I cut the cord and had free standing stacks. I hope the stacks fell over on their own (one area did have a little lean). But I also hope my neighbor didn't lean over the fence and push the stacks over!

    I'll have to move on to plan "b" with this stack.

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  19. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Being up against the fence, they are drying against the fence slower than out in the open. Hence the lean towards the open side.
  20. jdinspector

    jdinspector Feeling the Heat

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    Could be. Most areas are pretty straight. The two sections that fell down are easy for my neighbor to get to from his backyard. I suppose it could also have been my kids who knocked them over. (12 year old twin boys!)
  21. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Probably the neighbor reached over the fence and gave your leaning stack a shove. I had a real jerk of a neighbor once who's fence leaned badly toward my property from his kids climbing it. I would prop it up from my side with sticks and he'd reach over and knock my sticks over. He accused my kids of breaking his fence.
  22. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    I use pallets under my wood stacks and set the pallets each on 6 bricks. Pretty stable, gets the wood higher off the ground and the pallets last an extra year or two.
  23. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    I always had a problem with the pallet idea, because of rotting. I use old 2x6 pressure treaded lumber placed on bricks. Will last for the foreseeable future.
    You can always pick up free pressure treated lumber from old decks or play sets people want to get rid of.
  24. jdinspector

    jdinspector Feeling the Heat

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    Agree, the stacks have to be off of the ground. These stacks are on bricks with 2"x4" "runners". The logs are laid across the runners. I think I went too high on this stack. Some areas are 5-6 feet high. Maybe that's why cords are measure 4 feet high? Oh well, I restacked and put some braces in there. We'll wait and see.
  25. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Thats why I put six brixks under each pallet. Makes em last a while, plus you get the wood further off the ground. Pallets are free.
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