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"seasoned wood"

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by mattjm1017, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017 Feeling the Heat

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    Hello all I am in the process of looking for a stove and some wood to burn in it. I have contacted a few local people that are selling seasoned firewood. They say that its at least a year old my concern is that with these new fangled epa stoves with the cat systems and all should the wood be seasoned more than that? I am going to buy a MM to check the wood before I burn it If its at 20% or less is that good enough for these new stoves? Also if its a little green would I throw in some of those eco bricks to even things out?

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  2. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Many, even most, firewood sellers have a different opinion of what seasoned means than what we do. The MM is a good purchase to check them. Cleave a split and test the middle. The tree not only has to be down for a year. It also has to be cut, split and stacked... air has to be moving through it. 20% is good, but 15% is better. A few eco bricks or something similar will help out a lot by bringing the total moisture content of the load down.

    Try to buy 2 or even 3 years worth of wood in order to make sure you have good wood for next year.

    Matt
  3. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    You want to know when it was split, it doesn't start to season worth a darn until that happens. It's not uncommon for a seller to cut log length and split as a customer orders.

    I split some ash rounds a while back that were cut in 2010 and they were still as wet as the day they came off the stump.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  4. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

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    Never assume any wood you buy is seasoned unless you can verify it yourself.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  5. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    Very true, a MM is a good way to tell, bring your splitting maul, and split one open and test the newly split surface. Think about a fallen tree in the woods, after it falls (we'll say due to wind for our scientific purposes) does that tree dry out to a crisp, or eventually rot due to being wet and in contact with the ground? Same is true for that tree length on the wood-seller's lot, it just stays wet while in tree length form, and the gigantic pile of splits from his wood processor ain't much better. It has to be stacked with space in between the rows to air dry. Only wood that has been c/s/s will properly season, and a MM will debunk all other theories.

    TS
  6. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017 Feeling the Heat

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    One of the guys I was talking to said he was going to cut some more wood today cause he thinks "its going to be a cold winter and people will be needing more wood" needless to say after all the advice I got from here and other research prompted from yalls advice I wont be buying wood from him to burn this year. Im getting the feeling that I might not be burning this year at all but ill be ready for next year. If the wood is at say 25% or so could I still burn it?
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  7. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    You can burn wood that has 25% moisture content, it just won't burn as easily or as cleanly as wood that is drier. 25% is pretty good compared to most freshly cut wood and I imagine way better than the average firewood pile that will be burned this winter. There are two types of EPA-approved stoves. Catalytic stoves (cat stoves) I think are more finicky and more likely to be damaged by wet wood because the cat can be messed up (hopefuly somebody who knows something about cats will chime in - I know very little). The other type has secondary burn tubes that are steel and can't be damaged by burning wet wood, but you will get more smoke, lower efficiency (you'll use more wood for the same heat output), and it will be harder to use if the wood isn't dry enough. With any stove wet wood will create more buildup in the chimney than dry wood would.

    You won't be the first person to burn wet wood in an EPA stove, just keep an eye on the chimney and clean it often.
  8. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017 Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks for the feedback I hope I can get to burning soon but I do understand that I need to take care that the wood isnt to wet. If I cant get good wood this year Ill just get ready for next year. Thanks again for all the help this site is a wealth of knowlage and help.
  9. hilbiliarkiboi

    hilbiliarkiboi Member

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    Do you have enough space to buy wood for dec-2014?
    Oak needs a minimum 2yr c/s/s , and all other spec will b better off.
  10. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017 Feeling the Heat

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    Thats another thing I learned here I had no idea how long it took for oak to season. In answer to your question though yes I have 1 1/2 acre to store wood. That ought to do for a few years I hope
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  11. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    Gather wood for next year use the compressed woodblocks Eco bricks, Liberty bricks, duraflame logs ect.) maybe mixed some of the dryer splits for this year.
    mattjm1017 likes this.
  12. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    To heck with burning wood this year . . . let's just all go to wherever that place is in your avatar.
  13. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017 Feeling the Heat

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    Haha firefighter Jake my avatar pic is from a little island in Thailand. I would love to go back right now and forget about all this burning stuff.
    firefighterjake likes this.
  14. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    Muddling through the first winter burning questionable "Seasoned Firewood" from a dealer in a new EPA stove is almost a right of passage on Hearth.com. In fact wet wood probably leads to more posts than any other factor on here.
    Many, many of us have done it & kept our homes warm while kicking ourselves for not getting wood ready the year before.
    A search will yield many tips & tricks to help. Here are a few:
    Choose wood that dries fast &/or starts with low moisture content like: ash, cherry, soft maple, most softwoods...
    Split small. That may mean re-splitting if you're buying.
    Mix in dry wood in some form (pallet wood, Eco bricks, lumber cutt-offs, dry wood that you traded for in exchange for your "seasoned" stuff...).
    Check & clean your chimney often.
    Expect slower starts, higher air settings (burning more wood for the heat), dirty stove glass & no overnight burns.
    Above all, get next years wood cut, split & drying in stacks asap so you don't go through the same again next year.
    mattjm1017 likes this.
  15. EJL923

    EJL923 Feeling the Heat

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    Ive lost all hope in ever finding a wood dealer who will give you wood worth immediately burning. Got burned (or lack therof) three times this year looking for a dealer to give me good wood. The only good thing about it is i have wood for next year. Take the time and go see the wood before buying. If they say split for 10 months, he means 3.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  16. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    You "Can" find wood that will burn "ok" this year.
    But you are getting a late start.

    Get the best & driest wood you can. it'll burn.
    Check the chimney, clean as needed.
    Burn the stove hot for the 1st 30 minutes or so & you'll get most of the moisture out of the wood, then turn it down for a slower burn.

    Cut your own dead standing wood if you can find some. Decent to burn now.
    All but oak will be burnable, not great wood, but burnable.

    Get next years wood "Now" & get to work on 14/15 wood soon after that.

    Bet you've already started to notice wood stacks & piles around.
    If so, that's just the first sign you are becoming hooked on wood burning.
    Don't worry, it gets worse ;) LOL :)
    mattjm1017 and milleo like this.
  17. ClydesdaleBurner

    ClydesdaleBurner Member

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    I now only buy green wood and give it 1+ yrs to season in my back yard. Plus green wood is cheaper than"seasoned"...
    mfglickman and Backwoods Savage like this.
  18. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Good point.
    Buying "off season" , spring & summer, is a good way to shop for better prices.
    Supply & demand, not much demand for wood in June thru August. (Maybe should be)

    Most wait until Oct, Nov to buy wood. They get green, wet, marginal or un-seasoned fire wood but pay premium price.
    If you have space, buy next years fire wood in the spring,/ summer.
    It'll be 1-1/2 years seasoned then. & likely, cheaper & definitely drier ;)
  19. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Good luck Matt. You will learn quickly that what a seller calls seasoned wood and what good dry wood is will be two different things entirely.
  20. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017 Feeling the Heat

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    Thats some good advice that Ill be taking to heart this year. Im kicking myself for having put this off so long. I was planning on just running with the gas heat this year but one thing led to another and well lets just say Im hooked on burning wood again even though I dont have a wood stove yet!!
  21. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    I have bought wood before that I just couldn't burn (didn't have a meter then) but, today, I had just a face cord delivered to try it ,ash, maple.
    Re Split some,got 15 to 19 percent on inside 19 to 25 on the outside/bark, burning good for a few hours now.
    I think the key here is ,I did not call any sellers, selling oak
  22. mfglickman

    mfglickman Minister of Fire

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    I agree. Our stacks for this year are cords ordered last winter spcifying no oak. We have oak from a downed tree but it's separate and won't be burned for at least another year maybe 2.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  23. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017 Feeling the Heat

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    I take it oak would be a good thing to steer clear of unless I plan to set it aside for a a year or two? How do other hardwoods season are they generally good after a year?
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  24. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    I find most wood types(minus the oak) are pretty decent after 1 full year in the sun/wind.
  25. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    [. It's not uncommon for a seller to cut log length and split as a customer orders.

    .[/quote]

    That it what I do, but I don't advertise it as seasoned wood. One person is burning the wood I cut/split a few weeks ago and they said its too dry/burns too fast.
    The bigger pieces were dripping juice all over my splitter!

    The wood I'm burning now I cut/split ~5 months ago and its been burning great.

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