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  1. hydestone

    hydestone New Member

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    Jan 11, 2006
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    This weekend I split up some red oak rounds and made big blocks of wood out of them for overnight burns. I chopped big long rectangles (+/- 6"x8"x16") that would just fit in the door to my stove. The rounds show some minor checking on the ends and are still pretty heavy. I chopped enough for 3 weeks (21 blocks) and put them in my basement by the boiler. How long do you think it will take to dry them out so I can burn them efficiently.

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  2. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    VERY difficult to say. Oak seems to dry slower than most wood I've used. Outside, I think it takes an additional month or three of seasoning.

    Inside, who knows? How dry to start with? Dead tree or live when cut? Ambient temp next to boiler? Radiant heat coming from boiler? How much air movement? Etc. Etc.

    The only way to be sure is to get a moisture meter and when you THINK they are ready, split one open (I know, you don't want to) and get a reading from the middle. The bigger they are, the slower they dry.

    Or... I suppose you could just burn them and hope they don't clog your chimney with creosote. If steam and moisture start coming out of the ends, you're in for a long wait.
  3. Rob From Wisconsin

    Rob From Wisconsin Minister of Fire

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    For oak, it'll take a good year to fully season them,
    maybe a bit shorter if you keep them in the same
    warm, dry area as your furnace. Either way, they
    probably won't be ready for usage for this burning
    season....

    Rob
  4. hydestone

    hydestone New Member

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    Unfortunately, I grabbed the rounds from my grandfather who had them lying on the ground for a while. The wood was dead when it was cut and they were covered with snow for a while until it recently melted. The basement is about 60 and dry as a bone. I moved a few close to the stove to speed up the process. At least i will have a few restfull nights without reloading the stove!
  5. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    My rule of thumb for when wood is dry enough to burn is when the bark falls off. If this wood has been dead for awhile, it may have dried out at some point and is just retaining water. If that's the case, it will be dry enough to burn in a couple of weeks, I'm guessing. If the bark is still on it, then it may need to be dried for a lot longer, as noted by Rob and Mo. End checking doesn't mean very much, since that's the first part of the wood to dry out. Weight is a good indicator, but you have to be careful because some woods are a lot heavier than others when dry. White oak comes to mind.

    Bottom line: if you burn a couple of chunks and they sizzle, then they're not ready for prime time.
  6. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Here's another little test I found to work, although, I'm not sure if it works for all species of wood. Place a peice of wood in front of the stove on the hearth standing on end. After a couple hours, wet wood will leave a moist spot on the hearth, dry wood will not. This may depend on how wet the wood is also, but the amount of water that comes out of a peice of wood you may have thought was dry is amazing.

    My stove instructions have another little test. If the wood catches fire on three sides in under a minute, it's good to burn. If it just turns black, it's too wet. Honestly, I think a minute is too long. If you have a good bed of coals, good dry wood catches fire in under 20 seconds, sometimes in under 10 seconds. Also, the larger the chunk, the more the outside may catch, but the inside will still be wet.
  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    The test I use involves opening the front door. Is it cold out there? Do I have any other wood? If the answer to number one is yes and number two is no, it goes in the stove.
  8. hydestone

    hydestone New Member

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    If I burn moist wood and still achieve exhaust temperatures of of 500 F am I likely to have a lot of creosote buildup?
  9. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Maybe, maybe not. It depends on a lot of things. The best thing might be to inspect your chimney, or better yet, brush it after a month of burning and see what comes out.
  10. Henz

    Henz New Member

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    good dry wood will have a high pitched "clink" when banged together..Wetter will be more of a "thud"
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