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Outdoor stacks versus seasoning in the shed

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by LLigetfa, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Messages:
    7,343
    Loc:
    NW Ontario
    I get my wood in large lots of 10 or 12 cord at a time and usually process it all in the same season. That generally means I have more than will fit in my woodshed so invariably some of it has to be stacked outside. Also, if I jam packed the shed with fresh cut, it would not have the needed airflow.

    I get my wood in Winter and the way I usually process the wood is to buck it up right away and stack the rounds until Spring which is when I split it.

    Years ago, before I knew better, I would jam pack green wood in the shed and observed how slow the drying took place. The exposed face of the stack would shrink more and the stack would curl and lean precariously. I quickly learned to let the wood dry some before laying it up in the shed.

    Later, I developed a layout of stacks in the shed that were arranged for better exposure to the air. I now lay it up two rows deep, leave an isle open, then three rows in the middle, another isle, and two rows at the other end. That way there is but one row that does not have an exposed face. In the Fall I then take my outdoor stacks and fill in the space where the two isles are. This also essentially divides my woodshed in two, where I don't touch the other side for at least a year, alternating sides, one side per year. The one row in the centre though could carry over longer depending on how mild or cold one Winter might average.

    This results in some rows that spent more time in the shed and the rest that spent more time outdoors exposed to the elements. It's easy to tell which is which, both by where the stack is and by the colour. Now it is not exactly a blind test since the wood that spends more time under cover is blonde while the wood exposed to the elements is grey, but comparing the two, I have to say the blonde wood burns better.

    All that said, This Winter I need to completely empty the shed as it is in need of remediation. One side is now empty and the other side is now less than half full. There is no better feeling than to have a full shed, but will have to take solace in knowing I have enough wood stacked outdoors but my observation is that it won't be as good as if spent more time in the shed. I will have remediate the shed sooner than later so that I can move those outdoor stacks in. It pains me some to see those outdoor stacks get rained on.

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  2. cptoneleg

    cptoneleg Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    Messages:
    1,453
    Loc:
    Virginia
    My wood sets outside in single rows and I move in my shed when it hasn't rained in 4 or 5 days and is dry, you will be O K till you make your repairs.

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