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Seasoning Question?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Mr A, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. Mr A

    Mr A Minister of Fire

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    I have some mulberry that was cut down in spring this year, some walnut that was cut last fall, or so I was told. This was free scrounged wood cut into rounds 16"-24" long. Four cords altogether. I was planning this to be next years wood, I have cords of other scrounged woods I am burning this year. I noticed the mulberry turned silvery in color, very seasoned looking. The walnut is a deep brown color. I picked up a cheap Harbor Freight moisture meter and cut a split of mulberry across the middle with my 12" miter saw. The meter read 13%. I cut another one, 22%. I tested a split of walnut , 19%. These splits were at the top of the pile. The 13% was smaller than the 22%.. I threw 'em all on the coals, burning nicely. The 19% walnut was a 5 inch split. So, how far down in the stack should I expect to get these readings for usable wood? The mulberry burned well, without a lot of the popping I read it is prone to. It popped a bit but not much, my seasoned cedar pops much more. When I hear it takes two years or more to season firewood, it that referring to stacks of splits, or stacks of rounds?

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  2. CodyWayne718

    CodyWayne718 Feeling the Heat

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    I would say the saw had something to do with the readings. Split it with an axe and check it. The saw produced heat which I would say gave lower readings. Could be wrong this is just my opinion. The mulberry will take longer to season than the walnut. There is a huge difference in one and two year c/s/s wood. Take off time, heat output and burn length. Not to mention far less creosote.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  3. Mr A

    Mr A Minister of Fire

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    I did the same with some oak that had been sitting in rounds two years. The meter read OL, overloaded. I guess it could be possible the friction of the saw blade could dry 1/8" or so that the points of the meter stick into.
  4. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    Walnut should be ok to burn in 1 full year if split and stacked in a single row. I've burned lots of walnut, in fact, burning a bunch right now, and just cut around 3 cord of it here on the property. I will say that rounds I don't split, say 2 to 4 inches, they take longer to season.
  5. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Why on earth are you cutting it rather than splitting it? Also, after cutting it, this sounds like you are checking the ends. Interesting.
  6. Mr A

    Mr A Minister of Fire

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    Yea, the idea was to cut it through the center of the length of the split, and check the moisture at the cut end. I'm talking about a split, 4-6 inches, not a cut section of log(round) unsplit. I cut it because I like to use my 12" saw, and I was also zipping down to size some over length spits. I can cut a split down to size much faster with the miter saw than a chainsaw
  7. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Would be surprised if the mulberry is well seasoned. Marginal for the walnut.
    The norm is 2 years split & stacked. (Don't season very well until split)

    I don't have a MM, but know the readings can be way off & manytimes your reading may be in a dry spot for many reasons.
    2+ years seasoned (off the ground split & stacked) for me & if I had read oak, I'd season it 3 years.
    No MM needed after 2 years :)

    If you think it's burning well, that is a good test too.

    "You burn what you got, seasoned or not" :)
  8. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I don't know much about moisture meters, but I think there is a difference between measuring the moisture content across the grain (as you did) versus with the grain (like you would do if you split the wood longitudinally and measured on the newly split face). Maybe try it agaoin, this time with splitting and cutting and see if you register different moisture content. Maybe the moisture meter owners manual will say something about this.

    If the wood has been split and stacked in a good spot for a year I'd expect it to be in decent shape, at least the wood at the top of the pile. If it is in rounds, then probably not very good. I can't say how far down the stack to expect dry wood. There are too many variable in wood stacking like wind exposure, soil moisture, tightness of the stack, sun, local humidity, etc. If it burns well then I guess it is OK.

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