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Small splits and "stack it lose" contradicts, no?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Bster13, Apr 21, 2013.

  1. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    I'm up to 7.5 cords since Nov. 2012 and am having a BK Princess insert installed this week. Needless to say, I've been interested in getting my wood as dry as possible before the start of burning season next Fall. About (first) 1/2 my wood is stacked criss-cross throughout the entire pile. Entirely inefficient when stacking, but a lot of air moves through those piles to hopefully accelerate drying.

    I always hear "split your stuff small" and "stack it loose." But don't they contradict? If you split your rounds very small, then they there will be less space in between each split in a traditionally stacked face cord, right? So how exactly do you stack those small splits "lose?"

    BTW, I have a small side yard I've been given by the Mrs. to stack wood (back yard is off limits and for our kid, the dog, hehe). After my first year of burning I will no longer stack any of my rows criss-cross and I estimate I'll be able to fit 10.5 cords of wood in that small space. Not sure that is going to be quite enough for 3 yrs of wood for my 1974 sq. ft., one-story ranch, but it sounds "good enough" for me, especially if my BK is efficient with the wood!

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  2. WiscoWoodman

    WiscoWoodman Member

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    Not exactly a contradiction, but I get your point. Yes cutting small will generally make the gaps small. Cutting smaller definitely makes drying time faster, no matter how tightly you stack.
    albert1029 likes this.
  3. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    Is there a definition for "stacking loosely" by chance? I just pile the stuff on there and try not to let it fall over. Doesn't see loose or tightly packed...

    Only time stuff seemed "loose" was when stacked criss-crossed of course.
  4. paul bunion

    paul bunion Minister of Fire

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    'Stacked loose' means the length of the splits are not in contact with each other. Don't reassemble the splits into rounds. Don't stack pie quarters interlocked, one up one down. With rectangular splits don't stack them like bricks. And if they are noodled make sure that the cut sides are not against each other. Crisscrossed is carrying it to the extreme. There is going to be a lot of extra air in it. A 'cord' crisscrossed is probably only 3/4 of a cord.
    Applesister and Jon1270 like this.
  5. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Anything you have stacked should be goo to go for next burn season.
    (Oak being the exception)
    3 Small splits, out of 1 big split exposes a lot more surface area, it'll dry faster.

    The stuff you have stacked will be good wood after a full summer of seasoning.
    You will be "waaaaaay" ahead of most new stove users ;)

    Good planning !
  6. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    Agreed on the 75% for Criss Cross. I restacked a face cord just to see recently.
  7. albert1029

    albert1029 Feeling the Heat

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    good thing about being ahead is that it'll be dry when you need it with any decent stacking method...
  8. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    I'd work more on getting space between rows. The wood on the inside of the piles of stacks in the avatar will take a long time to dry.
  9. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    Air is really small.
    Backwoods Savage, Applesister and zap like this.
  10. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    Unfortunately, I only have so much space on my side yard. So I stacked my first few rows criss-cross and then hope I have collected enough such that wood for next year will have a good deal more time to dry (started collected Nov. 2012).

  11. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    My favorite definition came from some post here - "Stacked so that a mouse can run through it but the cat can't follow." Mice can fit in some pretty small spaces (as I'm realizing looking in my storage shed this spring), but the image fits.
    Backwoods Savage and Bster13 like this.
  12. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    If you look at several wood stacks, in particular those of zap's, Dexter Day's, BogyDave's and many many more you will see some really nice tight stacking of the wood. Then you'll see some others where it just takes a glance to see how loosely the wood is stacked and occasionally a stack or two might look sloppy. Each type of wood stack has good points. I've been accused wrongly of stacking neat and tight but that is false.

    If you look at these 2 pictures (click on them to see regular size rather than thumbnail pictures) you will see some loose wood stacks. For example, in the first picture if you look closely you will see right through the stack. Then look at the gaps or holes in the second wood stack. This is an example of stacking loose rather than tight. It could also be stacked with larger air holes. In addition, most of this wood is not split into large splits but most are what we call small or medium.

    Porch wood-b.JPG Woodpile-1.JPG

    Slow1 mentioned one of the old sayings. The one I've always used is that we have three prices for our wood. Asked why, because it is all the same type of wood we could answer. Imagine a dog chasing a rabbit. In that first stack, the rabbit goes through the wood pile and the dog stays hot on his tail. In the second stack, the rabbit goes through the pile but the dog has to go around. In that most expensive stack, both the rabbit and the dog have to go around. So how loose is your stack? How easy can a small critter go through it?

    Small splits? No problem. It is pretty easy to occasionally lay one at a bit of an angle which will keep the stack really loose. Or in a pinch, I could send my wife to stack wood for you and I'll guarantee it will be stacked really loose! I do not allow her to stack wood on our place. I stack bad enough but this is not one of her strong points for sure. I still love her though, just try to keep her away from the wood stacking.
    BobUrban likes this.

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