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Seasoning update... locust and ash

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by jharkin, May 27, 2013.

  1. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    I was organizing the wood yard to make room for more and I tested some splits. All this wood is stacked in double rows uncovered last summer open to wind but partially shaded.

    Black locust I CSS in fall 11 is still 27-30% !! So much for fast drying. I will probably need to burn some this winter so I restacked it all in single rows with top cover.

    While at it I also restacked all the ash I CSS in summer and fall 12. I don't even need to check this stuff its already so light it feels ready to go:ZZZ So maybe skip the BL another season and break into the ash next winter...


    Either way, From now on I'm going all single rows for 2 year seasoning. I just don't have space to go 3 years.
    albert1029 and Backwoods Savage like this.

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  2. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    You got to do whatever works for you......
    and that black locust still at 27%....wow. Are they bigger splits?
    sounds like you may want to single row your stacks and maybe even consider a top-cover. I top cover my wood on it's third year in the stacks, usually by the beginning to middle of August. I've had great success with the past two winters' wood, because of doing it this way.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  3. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    The fact that your BL isn't drying at a rate that is commensurate with your hopes is a problem. But you have bigger problems. Way bigger. See, your first problem is that you bought a moisture meter. Your second problem is you're using it.

    Someone please correct me if I'm wrong but BL is as dry or dryer than 30% when green, no? So unless you're storing it under water I'm not sure how it's possible to be no dryer 18 months after it was cut and split. Or maybe it's not BL?
  4. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    The US Forest Products Lab literature I've seen says it averages 55% when green. I've personally measured it at 45% after it was CSS for a while.

    Edit: I got this wrong. See correction below.
    Backwoods Savage and Bigg_Redd like this.
  5. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    MMs are just for reference.
    Not made to read moisture in wood, they are an ohm meter they read electrical resistance in the wood.
    Lots of variables in wood can make them read high & low.

    Do a burn test in an outside fire pit or in the stove.

    Nothing better for seasoning /drying wood than time :)
    Single rows will help though.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  6. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    And FWIW, 55% is still much drier than most other woods. The woods I've actually measured when green (by oven drying and weighing) were mulberry (88%), white oak (80%), red oak (79%) and elm (76%).
  7. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    I stand corrected
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Jeremy, for sure the ash will dry much quicker and I think your plan of using the ash next winter and holding off another year on the BL is good.
  9. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    I'd did split the locust bigger than usual... Up to 6 in splits,, knowing it would get 2 summers and saving it for overnight loads. Maybe I split too big....

    Either way if its not down to 20 by fall I will skip it and go to the ash first.
    ScotO likes this.
  10. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    I've learned single rows is the only way to go, if you want any wood to dry fast.
  11. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    Well, now I have to correct myself because I misremembered the document I referred to. It was published by the USDA, not the FPL, and the typical green MC figure for black locust was 41%, not 55%.
  12. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    I had a similar experience with BL. Cut and split, but piled a bunch of BL and Ash over the summer. Checked it out of curiousity when Spring came around and was surprised to see the BL still in the low 30s, and the Ash in the upper 20s. I think BL gets an old-timers reputation of being good for burning in short time. My neighbor cuts, splits and burns in the same 60 day period. Of course, they used some of my wood last season and told me they had to change all the air settings due to heat increases.

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