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Question about wood

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by ymurf, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. ymurf

    ymurf Member

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    I have a Quadrafire 7100 I am installing. I have been reading on here and also the owners manual that you have to have seasoned dry wood. And by dry wood they mean only about 20% moisture content. So even if I cut a dead tree or even one thats been laying in the woods it still needs a year or so to dry with a tarp over it or in a wood shed. Am I thinking right on this?
    I am building an addition and have lots of 2x10 and 2x6 and 2x4 cut offs. Are these suitable or will they work in a pinch in my fireplace? Also have lots of osb plywood cut offs. I cant find any dry wood in my area.

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  2. sootinmyhair

    sootinmyhair New Member

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    At least a year, and probably longer. You can pick up a moisture meter pretty inexpensively in order to check your wood. You should be able to burn the cut offs you have, as long as none of it happens to be pressure treated. Maybe look into some of the pressed brick options you have available(they are a lot like a big pellet).
  3. Prof

    Prof Burning Hunk

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    Generally, wood seasons best when it has good air circulation and is exposed to the sun. I have my stacks out in the sun and only cover them in the fall to keep the rain/snow off them. The time to dry various types of wood differs greatly--oak can take 2-3 yrs, pine can season in around 6 months--a year is a good bet for most species though. Scrap lumber can be OK to burn as long as it is not treated, painted, etc. I'd stay away from plywood--the glue is not good to burn.

    I've cut wood that has been down for years and the moisture content is still way above 20%. Interestingly, I couldn't convince my uncle of this even with a fresh split and a moisture meter.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  4. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the learning curve about the "dry wood" that we all went thru.

    The 2X stuff will burn, but it'll burn hot & fast.
    I don't burn anything with glue , paint , oil, like ply wood, OSB etc...

    For wood to burn now:
    The dead stuff in the woods might be burn-able depending on the type of wood.
    What part of Oregon? Rainy wet side or dry side of the Cascades?
    Dead standing is another source, the top 2/3rds will be fairly dry & burnable.
    Some guys on here in Oregon, may help with a source for dry wood.

    You will just so like many of us did & make do, check & clean the chimney monthly & burn marginal wood.

    Now you also need to think about next years wood. It's needs to be (CSS) Cut, Split & Stacked off the ground "NOW"
    so it's good & dry & ready to burn next season.
    So maybe buy/cut/get some now for next burn season & you may get lucky & some of it may be usable now.

    BIO bricks are another source some here have used to get thru the learning curve to get 2 years ahead on your wood supply ;)
    Good luck.
    ScotO likes this.
  5. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    Dead standing wood will probably be less well seasoned than you would want it to be. Maybe the upper parts of a tree would be OK, but a lot of it will be quite wet. Same goes for wood layong on the ground. You might find some of the wood that is laying up away from the ground, for example the upper branches on a dead fallen tree or a log that is propped on another log, you might get some decent wood. If you get the wood cut, split, and stacked now it should be OK but next year.

    Lumber cut offs are fine, as long as it is not treated lumber. The stuff the use to pressure treat lumber should not be burnt because it will create nasty compounds when burnt. Lumber burns really fast so be careful not to overheat the stove.
  6. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    ymurf. Do you have a place around where you could scrounge pallets? UPS store, big box like Lowe's, Home Depot? Any other manufacturers or companies that recieve a lot of deliveries on pallets. You could mix in some pallet wood, which is usually very dry, with some of your less dry wood. Say you had some standing dead you could burn. Or find someone who is selling firewood and has Ash? Do you folks have Ash out where you are at? It is a lower moisture content wood that drys faster than most others. Just watch your air flow with your stove if you are burning pallet wood and anything else that is very dry. You don't want to overfire your stove.
  7. ymurf

    ymurf Member

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    No ash around here.Someone at work told me to find some dead elm. Also I can get pallets at work.
  8. ymurf

    ymurf Member

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    we pushed over this row of pines when I started my addition and sold what I could for logs. They wouldnt take anything less than 10" so I have a stack of about 6 small logs that were pushed over in October.How long would it take for this to dry? And do you guys have any suggestions on what brand or model of moisture meter to get?
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  9. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Fire wood don't start to season much until it's split & stacked off the ground in the sun &/or breezy area.
    When did you split & stack the pine?
    Figure a year for green pine. 2 years & it's real good wood ;)
    Dead standing locust is a primo wood & usually pretty dry enough to burn.
    ScotO likes this.
  10. Larry in OK

    Larry in OK Member

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    LAst season was my first go with a EPA stove. I'm glad I found this site or I would have been trying to burn that wasn't seasoned enough. I cut as much standing dead as I could find and I also had access to a boat load of timber that had been dozed clearing land, some of it had been down for a couple of years or more. What I found was that on standing dead that had been dead for a couple of years was that the top 1/3 or so would test as less than 20% with a moisture meter. Pretty much the same for the stuff that had been dozed down. even stuff that had been down for 2-3 years would be 25-30% in the stuff that was 8"+.
    I was able to scramble and scrounge enough to make it through a very mild winter. The moisture meter I bougt came from Lowes it is a "General" brand.
    ScotO and Backwoods Savage like this.
  11. Jacktheknife

    Jacktheknife Minister of Fire

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    One point of clarification-- make sure you are only covering the tops, the sides need to be open to the wind if you want your stack to dry.
    ScotO and PapaDave like this.
  12. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    Yup. Need to split those logs up and stack that wood for a year. You may be able to burn it after 6-8 months if it has been outside from early spring through late fall. But better to get it split now and don't burn until this time next year. I use a general MM from Lowe's as well. I think it was around 30 bucks. Here is a link.

    http://www.lowes.com/pd_78059-56005-MMD4E_0__?productId=3136919&Ntt=moisture meter&pl=1&currentURL=?Ntt=moisture+meter&facetInfo=

    Good luck on finding a wood supply for this year. Some of the smaller lumber yards have lots of pallets and scrap wood that they can not sell. Ask around and talk to people. Tell them you burn wood and are looking for some dry stuff. Post an add on craigslist for wanted: dry wood. Then moisture meter anything and everything if a wood supplier tries to sell you some. That is by splitting it open and mm checking. Before they drop it in yard. Most wood sold is not seasoned this time of year.
    ScotO likes this.
  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    We've burned a lot of dead elm. We wait until the bark has fallen off or at least most of it. In this way, about the top half of the tree is really dry and can be burned right away but the bottom half can be really wet.

    We also did some remodeling and burned a lot of cut-offs. Just don't load too many in the stove at once or it will get super hot. We tend to burn that stuff in early fall or late spring when just a short fire is needed to take the chill off.

    Plywood? No, do not burn that.

    On the covering of the wood, be sure to cover only the top of the stack. Also when stacking be sure to lay down some logs, landscape timbers or whatever to get the wood off the ground.

    As for the moisture meter, I've never felt we needed one.
    ScotO likes this.
  14. Jacktheknife

    Jacktheknife Minister of Fire

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    Not sure if you have a Menards nearby but they have digital moisture meters for 15 bucks.
  15. ymurf

    ymurf Member

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    Ok guys, I had my son run by lowes today and get me a moisture meter. Its a digital general brand for $29. Also Had a guy come up to me at work today and asked if I wanted to buy some wood.He said its seasoned. He had his place logged 1 year and 4 months ago. Its not big wood. About half is maybe 5-6" across and some is bigger,Maybe 10-12" across. Its not split yet.I Bought it from him. Couldn't pass it up,He delivered it to my house and figure a little over two rank for $56..I put the battery in my moisture meter and started checking on the ends. I am getting readings of 18-22%..He said this was all tops so some was up off the ground.. Would this be ok to burn now? Did I get lucky? He said there was allot more when I get ready. What do you guys think? Am I checking it right.I poked the pins in the end of the wood.
  16. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    Split the wood open. Then check the moisture content on the freshly split side. Then tell us what you have.
    ScotO likes this.
  17. ymurf

    ymurf Member

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    Ok I split about half so far. How wet is to wet? The smaller pieces after being split in half in the middle check about 22-23%..Will this be ok to burn in my quadrafire 7100? The big pieces I split into 4 check about 28-34%..What is to wet that it shouldn't be used yet?
  18. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I would not burn it yet but if it is all you have, somehow hopefully you'll get through it. The fires might be a bit nasty to get started and keep going so you'll have to give it extra draft. Some have had good luck burning some pallet lumber along with the wet stuff but I have no experience with this. I like my wood dry. If it is at a point where I think it should be checked with a MM, I'd just leave it but that is just me.

    That stuff was logged but the tops weren't cut so I would expect it all to be high moisture.
  19. ymurf

    ymurf Member

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    I actually found a couple spots in the bigger pieces that were 35%.. I cant find anything else and when I get it hooked up I really want to build a fire.
  20. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    You're gonna find that almost ANY wood, even the smaller rounds, to be really wet (30%-up) if they aren't split, stacked, and seasoned for a while. And oak, that is a completely different animal. Green oak needs around 3 years (yep, three years!) after it is C/S/S to be really good and dry......even the dead standing stuff needs quite a while to be ready to go. That's why you'll notice a lot of the members that have been here on this site for a while have three years or more C/S/S so the wood is super-seasoned. So my advice to you is to get as much as you can, as often as you can, and get it split and stacked as soon as you can.......that's when the drying starts. As was mentioned above, DO NOT completely cover your stacks. Only top cover, if at all, so the air can move through the stacks....

    Welcome to your new addiction here at Hearth.com!!
    Backwoods Savage likes this.

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