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Oak Seasoning Question

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by vdog, Jun 30, 2009.

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  1. vdog

    vdog Member

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    Late Winter to early spring I cutup some dead oak that my Dad had down in his pasture. I have some of stacked in a corn crib and some of it stacked outside in the sun on some old cedar posts to get it off the ground. My questions are, will the oak have a chance to be dry enough by this winter. Or Should I be looking for some cherry or something else that would dry fast. Since about all I have is the oak. My other question is should I move the oak out of the crib or would it dry alright there.
    Thanks
    Scott

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  2. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    You may be fine depending on how long that Oak has been dead. If the bark is all loose and falling off you have a good chance it will be ready. I recently picked up some Oak that was cut standing dead and most bark is gone or just hanging on except the bigger trunk rounds. The stuff with no bark is ready to burn, the trunk is going to be awhile.
  3. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    My guess is the oak will not be ready. I bet moisture meter would put it in the >30% range in the center of the splits. Oak takes forever to dry! However dry is relative. It will burn, just not to it full potential. In my opinion, wood needs to be <25% MC. I want the most btu's from all the work I put into it!
  4. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    A lot depends on how dry the 'dead oak' was to begin with. If it was pretty wet (>35% MC), I would guess that it will not be ready for this coming winter. If the bark is falling off it and it's fairly dry, it should be fine. You might want to buy a cheap moisture meter if you don't already have one (mine cost me <$20). Resplit a piece or two and test it with the meter to see where you're at. Generally speaking, green oak ussualy takes 18 months minimum to season. I like to let it season for a few years, it's great stuff at that point.

    I would get the oak out in the wind and sun for the summer, I would think it would dry faster this way rather than sitting in a corn crib. Splitting it small (thin) and stacking it loose will obviously accelerate the dring process. Do these things and you might be okay. If you have access to other wood, you may want to hedge your bet by having some of that seasoning as well.

    BTW, get next year's wood cut and split now so you don't have to worry about it going forward. ;)
  5. vdog

    vdog Member

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    All of it had the bark falling off. The standing dead was really dry. The otherwas dry but not as dry as the standing. I will get the stuff in the crib outside.
  6. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Don't take it out of the corn crib. It was probably dry enough when you got it. It will get much drier being covered. Drying dead wood is not at all the same as seasoning green wood. Seasoning is a chemical process, reqiring time more than anything else. Drying is a mechanical process, requiring dry storage more than anything else. For green wood, the sun and wind thing is great. For dead, dry wood, keeping it under cover, especialy in a well ventilated corn crib (designed for drying after all) is the absolute best thing you could do. Please believe me on this. I have been burning dead oak for many, many years. Of course I burn other free woods also, but dead oak is my forte.
  7. vdog

    vdog Member

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    Thanks Dunebilly That is the reason i put it in the crib in the first place.
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