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Posted By ScottF,
Oct 22, 2008 at 5:43 PM
jdemaris- very cool. Those are some hefty rounds you have in there- are they soft wood?
No soft wood. No sense wasting my time with any softwoods when I can't even get all the hard-woods cut up. All hard maple, pignut hickory, beech, ash, and red oak.
I've been stuck burning wet softwood slabwood twice now. When I have had too, I bring as much as will fit next to the stove into the house and let it sit as long as possible before burning. Can usually hold a weeks worth. In mid winter when the RH is under 20% in my house, I can take a piece from 35-40 % down to 20% in that week. It makes a real difference for creosote production.
I can't make any case work for burning wood to dry wood in a pinch. I'd lose less just by burning the wet wood. You can actually burn dangerously wet softwood in an old smoke dragon if you have slab wood and the wet wood split fairly small. Get the stove warpingly hot with slab wood, push the coals to one side, load the wet wood in and give it a cracked door blast of air as you can until the firebox temps recover on that side. Shut your door and resist the urge to close the air down. If you missjudged the wetness, the stack temp will climb rapidly and the entire load will catch and you'd better close it down a bit.
If it is just right, don't close your air down at all, it will proceed from the side with the coals to the other side over time. Don't talk to your neighbours for a bit. Take a peek down your chimney at the black soot you have just deposited and curse yourself for not having prepared any firewood. Count yourself lucky if you don't have a chimney fire after a week of doing this!
If it is too wet it will practically go out once the load ceases to fill over half the firebox as too much air is just bypassing the combustion area. If you let it smoulder with the half load for a day, you can get a chimney fire on the next firing. I'll let you guess how I know.
Good thinking Scott.
I think the flaw is that the structure of the wood means that it will only give up it's moisture at a certain maximum rate. The moisture transfers out from the center of the wood.
No matter how hot or dry you made the air flowing past you could not get the drying rate past a certain level. The outer layer of the wood would get very dry whilw th einner layer would still be wet.
You'd either burn all of the wood trying to dry the wood or you'd have one big fire.
A couple splits at a time in the dryer should work, too.
Just offer up to do a lot of house-sitting.
The trailer with a couple of fans idea has potential but that's a lot of work stacking/re-stacking.
Here's my contribution for speed drying.
You get a log holder like you use to see in fireplaces. You put it on top of your wood stove and the wood dries over it. I dunno...would it dry enough, moisture meter wise, to work?
I thought of this a couple of weeks ago when a young man here complained his wood wouldn't be ready this season and asked what he could do. So I just happened to think of this cause I was moving our outdoor camp fire log holders around...but thought better about suggesting it. Now that we're burning regularly and I'm loading the turtle water container that doesn't boil the water a quarter inch for the stove top...I'm thinking wet wood elevated 4in about a hot stove wouldn't burn either...
...blah just a crazy idea I guess.
How about a simple hoophouse/greenhouse with a layer or so of opaque plastic? Put it in the sun and get a fan running on one end to expel the moisture. If you want to get fancy, hook up the fan to a sinlge PV solar cell and you can put this out away from the house so your wife doesn't complain about the looks.
This gets you an inexpensive, watertight structure that uses the sun to create alot of heat inside and draws the fresh air through to pull the moisture out...and it will never let the wood get rained or snowed on.
buiild the woodshed twice the size with a divider in the middle and always have next years wood waiting. for years I just stacked it and then in a year or two rolled the cart up to get wood to burn. I'd cover it with black plastic and it was always ready to go.
I am just this year buiding a proper woodshed. I think the kiln is making more work than is needed, and the chance of fire would concern me. ....of course you can stack the wood far enough not to have to worry about it but you still have to go in there and fire up the stove etc.....and you would have to have an extra stove to burn in, etc. more work than needed I think.