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"new" method for seasoning wood FAST

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Big Al, Feb 1, 2010.

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  1. Big Al

    Big Al New Member

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    I stopped in to visit a friend today whom I haven't seen in a while. I was psyched to see that he was heating with wood and was using a soapstone stove. What a magnificent beast that was to see in person. Anyway, we got on the subject of wood and he tells me he goes on his property, cuts some oak in the spring and burns it in the fall. I told him I didn't think that was enough time to season it and he said "You're right but........." He went on to explain that after he cuts and splits the oak, he piles it loosely on a big section of his black asphalt driveway for the spring and summer into early fall. Since that section sees direct sun from sunrise to sunset, and the asphalt gets stupidly hot, it cooks all the water out of the wood. He says the smell is not all that pleasant when you get near it on a hot day but he showed me some wood and it seemed dry and the ends were cracking. He tossed a piece in the stove and it lit off like cardboard. Anyone ever hear of this? Seems like a good idea if your property is set up to allow it.

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  2. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Big difference between 'seems' and 'is'.
  3. golfandwoodnut

    golfandwoodnut Minister of Fire

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    Would be interesting to put a moisture meter on a fresh split. Conditions can make a big difference. You would need alot of asphalt for 5 cords of wood. I do find that at my lake house wood seasons much faster. The wood is in full sun and the wind blows constantly. After a couple of months the wood turns silver like it was aged 5 years. My wood at home doesn't look near that seasoned. However, it is a long way to take my wood pile to season faster.
  4. cmonSTART

    cmonSTART Minister of Fire

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    Interesting. Maybe I should pave our back yard.
  5. Russ in Chicagoland

    Russ in Chicagoland New Member

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    Wood turning gray is a function of UV rays affecting the outer fibers of the wood, not necessarily an indicator if how dry it is. Cleaning and staining decks for a living has made me an expert in gray, dead wood fibers...
  6. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, I can see how it would help. I know sometimes I can't walk barefoot on my asphalt driveway cuz it's so hot.
  7. ControlFreak

    ControlFreak Feeling the Heat

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    I would think that sitting in direct sunlight all summer would be sufficient to dry the wood!!
  8. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

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    Urban woodburners would be going through a lot of quarters to accomplish this. :smirk:

    "uh, excuse me, I gotta go feed the meter on my 2 cords".
    DowneastMaine likes this.
  9. Hiram Maxim

    Hiram Maxim Minister of Fire

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    I just got a free used black pool cover.... :cheese:
  10. WOODBUTCHER

    WOODBUTCHER Minister of Fire

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    Ok, a few facts are missing.
    How big are the splits?
    A thin layer of wood all sprawled out?

    The reason I ask is....... A pile is going to shade the pavement.

    I tested some Red Oak splits a few years ago.
    I took 8 good sized splits of Green Red Oak in April.... I left 4 In the baking sun on my stonewall and 4 went into my pile.
    Come November I re-split to compare, both still had good odor and were pretty damp (no shocker there)

    WoodButcher
  11. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I wonder how much it would cost to pave an area with asphalt so as to lay out 5 or 6 cords of wood?


    Overall, it still boils down to the same thing. Get your wood long before you are going to burn it and then there are no worries and nothing special you have to do to burn the wood and get the maximum heat from it.

    Do it right in the first place and in the long run you work less and extract more heat from the wood which means it takes less wood to do the job, which means you work less, which means more time to do other things.
  12. tiber

    tiber New Member

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    I don't think it's because of the asphalt, I would venture it's because of the airflow.

    Are all the splits facing the same direction?

    Up at the farm, gramps used to split the wood (or have it delivered) and then he would stack it so the ends pointed down the valley. The wind moves through the valley from the one low side to the other, and if the ends were pointed into the wind the wood would dry much quicker than when my young and naive self stacked it like a jenga game.
  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    The reason gramps used to face the ends into the wind is the same as today. It means the whole side of the stack faced the wind which gave airflow through the stack. It wasn't the ends that allowed the wood to dry as much as the air flowing through the wood and drying the sides.
  14. hareball

    hareball Member

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    I imagine the smell could be pretty ripe on those hazy hot and humid days on the coast.
  15. tiber

    tiber New Member

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    Yes but when it's stacked like jenga it's easy to play "wood jenga" when gramps complains he's old and can't go outside and oh could you please help grandpa grab a splint?

    Oh yes, I can't wait for my kids to grow up...
  16. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    The only way I see this working 'as advertised' is if the wood is laid out so sparsely that there's a decent amount of blacktop exposed around each piece. Otherwise, the blacktop will do little to help season the inner pile.

    Along this note, why not spray paint every split black as well??? ;)
  17. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Hmmm . . . I suppose that's one way to keep those missionaries and encyclopedia salesmen from coming into your dooryard . . . on the otherhand I can't imagine that his wife would be happy having to move all that wood every time she drives into the yard. ;) :)
  18. tiber

    tiber New Member

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    You just drive over it. The pressure helps squeeze the water out, you see.
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