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"Seasoning" wood quick

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by wg_bent, Dec 20, 2005.

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  1. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Just wondering if anyone out there has tried to "season" a split by sitting it near to the stove, and how long does it take?

    Just for the heck of it I want to do this with that peice of Poplar I posted the pic of over in the picture forum. I had it sitting on the corner of the hearth last night vertically (the hearth is just cement board at this point) and the end of the log left a wet spot on the hearth overnight. So, I know it's drying pretty quickly.

    Hmm, I might be feeling another of those government study grants kicking in. Who wants to sit and watch wood dry over the holidays? I think we need a scale and a few cases of Barley sodie pop.

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  2. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    I've done that and don't recommend it. My wood got so hot I could hardly hold it, made me wonder how close it was to combusting right there on my hearth.
  3. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    Red Oak just took me 4 days about 24 inches away. House humidity was about 40%.

    I just had to know!
  4. DavidV

    DavidV New Member

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    I'd be afraid of driving bugs out of the wood into my home. Also I have heard of people trying to "dry the wood out" and starting a fire in their house. be careful. I have known people who have carports that have an exterior chimney (fireplace in the house, chimney on the end of the house) and stack the wood there so that the light amount of heat transfered thru the bricks keeps the wood sligthtly warmer than it would be elsewhere. don't know if that would helpo drying or make it worse.
  5. Rick

    Rick Member

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    I was drying out a real punky split last year and it combusted on my hearth. It was probably 6 inches from the stove for maybe 2 hours. Fortunately, it was by itself there and unable to ignite anything else. Filled my house with smoke though. Of course, i was out running errands when this happened. Came home, opened the door and, hello smoke condition. Lesson learned.

    Rick
  6. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    I'm just playing with one split peice of wood, not trying to dry any amount that's significant. There's no bugs in this wood. Just look at the picture I posted of it. I've been sitting the wood on the hearth for a couple hours a day only when I'm home. In reality, given the design of my insert, I can't imagine a peice of wood actually catching fire unless I stood it on end on the blower housing with the surface almost touching the glass.

    Plus, Green wood is pretty hard to light sometimes, even inside the stove. Last night I was trying to cook down the coals in the stove, and my daughter put a peice of apple on top that is not well seasoned. It will sizzle for about 5 minutes when added to a HOT fire, then burn well. But with a relatively cool bunch of coals, it took 15 minutes of shouldering before there were any flames.

    Those coals were still pretty hot, compared to the maybe 300 degree air coming out of the stoves top vent, or the 120 degree surface temp of the hearth in front of the stove.

    I'm not saying people haven't managed to catch some wood on fire, but my bet here is that they had a set of very unfortunate coincidences...Something like a sofa with exposed pine arms or fabric even, almost touching a cast iron stove that got a full load of wood shoved into it, draft left wide open, stove got cherry red, and the sofa burned.
  7. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    They kiln dry wood pretty quick and the only real difference is air movement, the kilns dont get much hotter than it would be around a woodstove
  8. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    I brought some stuff in that wasnt burning very well and left it in the same room the stove is in
    It was inside a fish tote and after a week or so I noticed an appreciable difference in the burning characteristics of the wood

    http://www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/for/for55/for55.htm
  9. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    I will get back to you after the weekend as I am going to do the same thing but weight the wood before and after
    I know the wood burned better after sitting inside for a week but it seems you have already conducted calculations and experiments regarding seasoning of fire wood so why not shed some light on the rest of us minions as to your vast knowledge of the subject?
  10. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Dylan - "I think this is a worthless thread"

    Well, I must appolgise for wasting your time. It was intended to be sort of academic anyway, not practical.
  11. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    I guess the problem with threads like this is they diverge into something they weren't intended in the first place.

    I simply was curious if anyone had tried this. I'd like to see how this wood burns before I waste my time cutting and splitting 1/2 a cord I have in the yard. With one peice, I'd like to dry it out, and I'm not really interested in staring at this hunk of wood in front of my stove for 2 months. If it's 10 days of woodstove heat, then fine. 2 months, forget it...I'll just process the 1/2 cord and move on with life. If the wood doesn't burn well, then at least I burned off a bowl of ice cream or two splitting it.
  12. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    so you want to dry out your wood quicker: Why not split to thinner or smaller splits? What about keeping all combustiables 36" away from your stove? Don't believe me read your manuals it is clearly stated. We did have a fire last year where the lady stacked the wood on top of the stove to dry it out. I have read that, it is a good idea to bring wood inside a few days, so that it does dry a bit before use. There is no substitute for proper preperation and time for drying. If the wood is so wet, it has to be dryed out by the stove, it is not ready. This thread is about as bad as the one suggesting using a blow torch to de-ice his roof. Next we will hear is it ok to bake it in the oven or mircowave it.
  13. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Humm ...........microwave logs.
  14. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Hey Warren,

    Threads tend to disintegrate because some people apparently see the need to prove that they're smarter than everyone else. Feathers get ruffled and things get confused.

    But back on topic, the Forest Products Lab in Madison, WI (my old hometown), recommends weighing a sample of wood (not the whole chunk or split, just a small piece) and then putting it into your wife's range and cooking it for a specified amount of time to determine the moisture content. I don't have the time to dig up the details now, but it's a fairly common technique that sawmills use to figure out their kiln schedules. It's only a matter of a few hours at a specified temp (like 250, maybe) before the sample is dried to furniture-grade lumber mc.

    That's a really good idea if you're wondering whether it's worth putting up some mystery wood, or a species you've never burned before, because some really crummy wood (like cherry or soft maple) is just as heavy as the good stuff when it's green. I've tried drying wood samples in the microwave, but they tend to catch on fire after a few minutes. You need a somewhat longer, steadier heat to drive the moisture out.
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