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Seasoning Oak Question

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by isipwater, Jul 20, 2013.

  1. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks. I am not sure how much wood I will need or go through, since this is my first time ever trying this. I currently use and will continue to use an oil boiler with cast radiators. I am in eastern Mass, 1 mile from the ocean so our temperatures are more mild than more inland areas. Also, my house is very well insulated and is only 1470 sqft. Most other people I know go through 2-4 tanks of oil but I only use one 275 gal tank per year. I calculated the btu's and 275 gal of heating oil has less btu's than 2 cords of hardwood. I will be taking this slowly, I have three small kids and may focus on evening and overnight burns until I am feeling more comfortable with the process.

    As for getting wood for this winter. I have read several places that burning seasoned pine is ok for woodstoves. Is this your understanding? I often hear people say you can't burn pine in a wood stove because it has too much resin and produces excess creosote. What is your take on seasoned pine?

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  2. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks. Yes, I do plan to cut my own wood. I have lots of space. I am not sure when though, I am short on time right now.
  3. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    Why is it unusual to get 2 full cords? Actually, after measuring it turns out that I received 2.5 full cords!!
  4. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

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    I just kind of roughly measured your stacks, they looked on the generous side of 2 cords. And all the more reason to give the dealer another chance at having a repeat customer. A straight run of all Oak is unusual too. Ive seen it advertised as a straight run but its not that common. Im in upstate NY and straight oak cords sell at much higher prices.
    You have a great avatar picture, did you illustate it yourself? Leos and solar flares and flames.
  5. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    Yes, I plan to continue using this dealer!! He has a small operation in his backyard and get whole log deliveries, splits the wood and sells is by the cord.

    As for the photo, I found it using google images.
  6. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

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    Many times you'll hear of people ordering an amount, like 2 cords, but once it's stacked it winds up being 1.5 or 1.75 cords. The fact that you got more than you paid for makes me think that your seller is a pretty honest guy. I'd definitely buy from him again.
    osagebow and Backwoods Savage like this.
  7. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

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    Yes as long as the pine is seasoned it will be fine. Personally I would mix the pine and oak, pine burns hot and fast while your oak will burn slower and longer. And it sounds like 2 cords may get you through the winter, especially supplementing with oil. Good luck! What kind of woodstove do you have?
    isipwater likes this.
  8. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    Wow, only 1 tank of oil; your home must really be well insulated. Congrats! If you decide not to burn full time please make sure that you heat up the flu well before putting in any of your less seasoned wood. A cold flu will lead to a lot of creosote precipitation. Hence, use dry kindling and some of your Enviro-blocks to get the stove started and then put in your partially seasoned wood.

    Seasoned pine works fine; it just does not burn that long. Last winter I burned a lot of pine due to some pine trees in my yard that had to be taken down. I grew quite fond of it because it gets the stove up to temp pretty quickly. People say it makes creosote because it burns already when wet. So it is not the pine itself but the same reason as always: Wet wood creates creosote. If you can find some nice straight pine without knotty parts, split it small and stack it like the oak you can get that reasonable dry until this winter. Use it for start ups and put some in with your other wood and you should do just fine.
    isipwater likes this.
  9. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Worry not isipwater. Pine is fine so long as it is like the rest of your wood. That is, dry. The old sayings about pine are pure baloney all the way. Many folks have only pine to burn and they get along just fine. We've burned pine and will do so in the future. So cut it, split it, stack it and wait a year then burn it.

    You very well may not burn more than 3 cord of wood per winter in your area and with your house. We used to burn six or more but when we got the Fireview, now we burn only 3 or less. Surely saves a lot of work.
    ScotO and osagebow like this.
  10. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    I don't have a wood stove yet. I am trying to decide between a couple different stoves, mainly the PE Super 27 and the Lopi Endeavor. I have another thread going about it: http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/pacific-energy-super-27-vs-lopi-endeavor.111324/
  11. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I agree with most of what has already been stated on here. You have your wood in the optimal situation for seasoning, but as you are seeing firsthand, oak is a turtle when it comes to seasoning. Most guys who've been burning for many years use a "three year plan"....that is to say if you have the space to do it, try to get (and stay) three years ahead on your wood supply. I'm around 4 years ahead right now, and it's a wonderful feeling to know that my wood is all ready to go come fall. I agree also that it would pay for you to get in touch with someone that is selling maple, ash, even a little pine or poplar, that has been split and seasoning. The oak will definitely not be ready to burn this year, most likely won't be truly ready even next winter. For optimum output it likes three good years of seasoning to really get impressive heat from it.
    basod likes this.
  12. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    If you can swing it this year call this supplier back and have them deliver two more loads like this. That'll set you up for '16,17,18.
    There are some places in MA that sell actual kiln dried wood - its pricey(oil's probably cheaper)
    If you really plan on burning this year, keep your eyes peeled for pallets untreated construction cutoffs etc.

    Pine is your friend provided it's c/s/s for a year
    .
  13. Shane N

    Shane N Feeling the Heat

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    Just make sure you get a fast-drying wood for this delivery. Like others have said, wood like ash, maple, pine, etc. That way even if it is delivered completely green, you can stack it the way you did with the oak and it'll be in much better shape come burning season than the oak.
  14. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    ... and what is a kiln but a method of moving warmed air over the stacks, to dry them more quickly? I've often toyed with the idea of building a solar kiln, for drying lumber, but have never made it a priority. It might be fun to do some research, and determine how effective this could be in your drying effort. A solar kiln for drying wood could be built right around your rack, using nothing but cheap polyethylene on some furring attached to your racks. There's still some good sunny weeks left between now and October.
  15. bmblank

    bmblank Minister of Fire

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    We built a solar kiln to dry my red oak flooring from my dad's land. Got it down to around 6-8%mc. Worked great. I was considering building a solar shed for my wood, but the shed that came with the land i bought was cheaper and more convenient.
  16. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    but flooring is 3/4'' thick, way more surface area than splits.

    I dont think it will hurt the MC though.
  17. bmblank

    bmblank Minister of Fire

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    True. I'll take everything i can get though.
  18. Augie

    Augie Feeling the Heat

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  19. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Yeah... but flooring is dried to 6 - 8 % MC. He only needs low 20%'s. It's an exponential (and asymptotic) curve, in which much drying happens very fast in the beginning, but each percent more takes much longer. 20% can happen quickly, under the right conditions.

    I actually know someone who dried fresh cut green oak to about 20% in 2 weeks. It was stored in the hot attic of a barn. He weighed and marked several green splits when loading it into the attic, and weighed them every few days, to see how they were progressing. Splits weighing 18 - 20 lb. when loaded into the attic weighed 10 - 12 lb. after two weeks. He continued checking them for several months, but their weight never dropped below 10 lb.

    Now, for anyone who has trouble believing that, please read this (repeated from one of my earlier posts on this subject):

    http://www.firewoodkiln.com/pdf/fplrn254.pdf

    This report shows oak firewood dried from 52 to 20 percent moisture content in 260 hours (11 days) at 140*F. The observations I reported were taken in the upper floor of a newer (1980's) barn with a metal roof, and a quick Googling of summer attic temperatures puts daytime temperatures in the 150*F to 160*F range. A drop from 52% to 20% moisture content would correspond exactly to a 20 lb. split reducing to 12 lb., as observed, as the water weight would be reduced from 10.4 to 2.4 lb.
    basod likes this.
  20. Augie

    Augie Feeling the Heat

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    This


    Preach the good word of 6month Oak Seasoning :eek:
  21. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    This solar kiln thing has my gears turning.
    Than I found this http://seasoningfirewood.com/buy-kilncover-firewood-kiln/

    Who's going to drop $100 to see if this thing can season a "green" HALF FACE CORD in "3-6weeks":)
    Apparently it makes your already/marginally seasoned wood kiln dried in 10-14days

    Zero reviews on Amazon - anyone tried it yet?
  22. Augie

    Augie Feeling the Heat

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    Why buy that???

    Clear Plastic sheeting from Hope Depot and in 90 days I have a cord of 21% seasoned Oak,Elm, and Walnut

    Really it works.

    PS I spent 19.98 on mine for a full cord, I can do 2 cord per year with it, looks like it will last 2 years. So my cost is right at $5/cord to season Oak, and Ill have 2 cords of Seasoned Oak every year.
    Joful likes this.
  23. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    I was throwing it out there for "the guy that has to have everything"

    I think I remember your setup any chance of link to old post or a picture to refresh my memory?
  24. Augie

    Augie Feeling the Heat

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    No real old opst to link to other than the Cornell article I posted earlier. In all reality it is super easy, put clear plastic over your wood, allow a way for moisture laden air to escape, Sit back and profit.

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