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Speed up seasoning of small oak splits

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by ddahlgren, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    ddahlgren-I have some slot cars with fancy names, porsche 917, cobras, Ferrari 330P4, Jaguar XJR12 and others (I know they are toys LOL) thats as close as I get.
    Sounds like very interesting work to say the least.

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    You might think so. Part of the issue is the wood is stacked along the west property line. Our prevailing winds are S/N so the drying effect is less than ideal and the stack gets soaked across its face with each rain across its face. Had I been able to move it into the woodshed last spring it would have been fine. Not a problem, we have plenty of fir together with some hardwood in the shed now. I stopped trying to burn the maple about a month ago.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    ddahlgren, you bring back fond memories. I lived about 10 miles away from Lime Rock and had a lot of friends that worked there. I suspect you may know them too. Paul Newman liked to play with the track crew's head space. Gave a friend a $50 tip for gassing up his Datsun just to see the expression on his face. A close friend's dad sold Lotus cars there and that afforded his son to have access to some pretty cool cars. Fun days they were.
  4. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    Nothing small time about it at all (Lime Rock) and a challenging place. I squeezed a few seconds out of a couple Porsches there but the gains are hard to get so suppose a technically tough place. I like Daytona because i like to see them go very fast..LOL..Lime Rock to me is all about chassis and driver and places like Daytona all about speed, the Glen a combination of both to me though the fastest peak speed I could get out of the IMSA car there was about 167 going up the hill after the esses must have been quite a thrill cresting the hill Daytona 206 on the front coming out of NASCAR 4 at 196. You have to go to one of the vintage races at the Glen there are two one in the spring and one in the fall. Well worth the trip and if married or have a woman in your life not all that keen on racing tell her to look at all the great places to see and eat besides the track. You are on the finger lakes in upstate nY so loads of wineries great places to eat the corning Glass museum etc. Do a web search on Watkins Glen and Corning NY just get a room early! At the vintage races you get a pass rather than a ticket so you can come and go as you please. Watch a bit go for lunch watch a bit more then leave for dinner sort of thing you are not locked at staying there all day or all weekend....

    I processed a bunch of small diameter maple rounds about 3 inches and 2 years old and looked through the wood pile and found a bunch of wood that is not oak looks like maybe beech or something not oak but I am not that up on tree bark identification. I will see if I can post a pic of it to see if anyone might know what it is but there might be a weeks worth of it. I am going to have a young kid well 17 pull all the oak out of the pile and basement and stack it out back throw a canvas over it and forget about if for a year or two. i also got access to a pile of 50 cord or 4 year + oak that i will pay a bit dearly for as the price is quite fair but all needs to be cut so a good job for the kid as well and should be warm for the rest of the winter I think..

    Reading through this thread it sounds like I may have offended some with observations and what i thought they meant. Not the intent and always willing to listen but do live my life on facts and not trying to offend in any way. If for some reason i am not welcome please say so and can leave as quick as i joined...

    Dave
  5. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    Nonsense, you've done nothing that should offend anyone here. Some of us can come across a little abrasive in the beginning, it has more to do with wanting to help out new wood burners more than anything else. As we always say having good wood to burn eliminates the majority of the problems we experience as wood burners.

    I had all these ideas on the way things should be but was quickly educated on the way they are when I started hanging out here. Some people get what they need and move on, others start to call this place home and help pass the knowledge on to future posters of this site. It's the first site I log onto when I get on the computer now and usually is on the screen even when I'm away. One issue with having the laptop in the family room. :)
  6. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    P1020682 (1024x575).jpg
    Just cover the top, not the ends or sides. Cover it completely and it'll rot before it dries. This is red oak.
    gyrfalcon likes this.
  7. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    Ok good to hear.. a bit about who I am beyond burning wood and race car stuff. My last serious project is I spent 5 years taking a 21 year old under my wing to help him feel good about himself. Smart kids agve him some part time work and at times working on million dollar cars though when not around gave it all a good look as i do have to hang my name on it. but all well done. He was and no doubt still the red headed step child the the step dad does not like. he is smart and eager to learn so after 5 years of part time work for me It was time for him to move on suggested he spread his wings and fly and now being evaluated by General Dynamics at the EB division and during training he had to splice a 25 pair of a data cable all shielded and aced it told his work faster and better than anyone in the yard so my job done he should end up with a good long term career and be ready to get a house and start a family when ready.. I am very happy for him. I have a new kid 17 and unsure about himself but eager to do well. So another to mentor and help launch into the world.all a pay it forward deal for me.. I have some of the maple in and stove working on 650 to700 and house 75 and upstais 70 with the fan blowing and air cut way back life is good!
    gyrfalcon, ddddddden and Dune like this.
  8. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    "Reading through this thread it sounds like I may have offended some with observations and what i thought they meant. Not the intent and always willing to listen but do live my life on facts and not trying to offend in any way. If for some reason i am not welcome please say so and can leave as quick as i joined"
    I dont think so, we are just trying to help and you accepted our advice which is more than some do, stick around we dont bite too hard.;)
    gyrfalcon likes this.
  9. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    OK will do!
  10. gyrfalcon

    gyrfalcon Minister of Fire

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    quote="ddahlgren, post: 1354514, member: 17810"]

    I processed a bunch of small diameter maple rounds about 3 inches and 2 years old and looked through the wood pile and found a bunch of wood that is not oak looks like maybe beech or something not oak but I am not that up on tree bark identification. I will see if I can post a pic of it to see if anyone might know what it is but there might be a weeks worth of it. I am going to have a young kid well 17 pull all the oak out of the pile and basement and stack it out back throw a canvas over it and forget about if for a year or two. i also got access to a pile of 50 cord or 4 year + oak that i will pay a bit dearly for as the price is quite fair but all needs to be cut so a good job for the kid as well and should be warm for the rest of the winter I think..

    Reading through this thread it sounds like I may have offended some with observations and what i thought they meant. Not the intent and always willing to listen but do live my life on facts and not trying to offend in any way. If for some reason i am not welcome please say so and can leave as quick as i joined...

    Dave[/quote]

    Beech has a handsome basically smooth gray bark, but usually knobby from some sort of bark beetle that makes very small holes in it that then sort of swell up a bit right around the hole like it's an inflammation. (Go to Google Images and search for beech + bark.) It should be noticeably heavy compared to, say, maple of the same degree of dryness. There are other smooth gray bark species, silver birch and some wretched stuff known around here as basswood, which are light and low BTU, esp. the basswood. Beech is great stuff, my main fuel in winter, and dries fairly fast.

    Has the 4-year oak been split? I'd suggest taking out a random piece or two first and get "the kid" or the seller to split it and test it yourself with your MM before sealing the deal. You don't want to get burned twice, so to speak.

    Don't throw a canvas over the newer oak. Just leave it uncovered and it'll dry faster. The water wet from the rain doesn't penetrate unless you have non-stop rain for months like Begreen apparently has had. Air circulation is what will season that wood, so you want as much as possible from all sides, and don't worry about the rain or snow, which will dry off in the first clear day or two. Most folks here don't cover the tops of their stacks until the fall of the year it's going to be burned, and that's really more for the convenience of not having to handle stuff with snow or wet on it.

    If you'd offended people, we wouldn't still all be here giving you further tips and advice, so don't worry about it. Just good to remember that questions posted generally get the collective wisdom of many hundreds of years of wood-burning in all different climates and conditions.

    Keep us posted on how it's going, OK?
  11. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    I was a bit bored and did some web searches on evaporation rate for wood and seasoning firewood.
    ran across these links as a beginning and hope others find them an interesting read as I did.
    Some do state that water does and can be reabsorbed into wood and require seasoning again.
    You don't have to believe all of it but a lot of things kept coming up from several places so either good info or old wives tales repeated over and over.

    http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/usda/ah188/chapter01.pdf
    http://www.chimneysweeponline.com/howetwd2.htm
    http://www.wikihow.com/Season-Firewood
    http://mb-soft.com/juca/print/firewood.html
  12. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    That is a very handsome wood pile..LOL Sure wish it was behind my house..smile.. Am I correct in thinking if it gets real big it will slow down drying? Would an 8 X8 pile be a reasonable limit or better to keep long and narrow?
  13. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Yea I have read on some sites that wood is like a sponge and then some others where they say it does not, so you have to figure out what works for you.
  14. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    From all the help here and a bit of what I read the answer for me I think is stack it on pallets and a loose cover to prevent water directly on the top but let the sides and ends get plenty of air and sun. I have a source for good wood that is cut split over 3 years ago but too long so maybe a cord or half cord to finish this year and keep my eyes open for some ash or maple that has been split at least 6 months ago for next year. I have always wanted to put a deck off the kitchen and the way the house is laid out the deck would be around 9 or 10 feet off the ground and about 12 X12 feet so with some lattice work around it would hide the wood from the zoning folks yet provide plenty of air circulation. Probably not the best solution but I have to work around zoning here too.
  15. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Absolutely. Single row is best, but most compromise with a double row. A huge block will not just delay but prevent seasoning.
    gyrfalcon likes this.
  16. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Seasoned wood can of course become wet again, and need drying, but not seasoning. Seasoning is a chemical process more so than a mechanical one.

    Seasoning wood in a natural state can take years, drying wet seasoned can take days or less.
    gyrfalcon likes this.
  17. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    No block wall is impossible here the house and yard is built on the side of a hill so tiered off in various level areas. The best I can do is keep it 4 feel off the wall. I understand that no doubt the best situation is stacked single layer in the middle of a field that gets sun all day long and the worst in a hole covered up. In my current situation the ideal thing would be those that sell wood as seasoned actually sold seasoned wood, not wood that was split a few months ago. In the northeast I have not found real seasoned wood for sale. I am thinking what the sell for seasoned i can buy the cut split green wood for half the price and only seasoned a few months less. They do not seem to grasp the concept that left in 8 ft long rounds for 2 years is not seasoned. It is kind of strange that when you buy seasoned wood that is not seasoned and will not burn you are stuck with it. If it was anything else you purchased for 200 bucks more or less and not as advertised and useless for what you need and were offered as ready to use you just return it. The next time I buy wood I will have the stove running and take a random sample or two and put them in the stove. If they burn reasonably well let them dump the load and pay them. If not tell them to go back and send them on their way. So far to a person I have not found a wood vendor that is up front about whether the wood is usable today. If there was a reliable place to buy coal around here I might honestly consider it and get another stove.
  18. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    I meant if you stack it in a large block it will not season well.
    Most around here who are in a situation such as yours will season the wood outside one year then stack it in a shed the next.
  19. gyrfalcon

    gyrfalcon Minister of Fire

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    EPA stove users like us are still in the minority in most places. People with big old "smoke dragons" or fireplaces, which is probably what most people use wood for in your area, have always gotten by with wood like this and do consider it "seasoned," though it isn't by our definition.

    The myths around wood burning are many and strongly held. I've been told repeatedly by people here that if I use "dry" wood, it won't give as much heat. I know only one old-timer who figured out for himself many years ago that wood stacked out to dry for a couple of years really does burn better and give more heat. He tells me he's gently ridiculed and teased for doing it by his friends.

    I know a couple people who don't even cut their firewood until they run out and go out in their woodlots and cut something down to throw in the stove as soon as they get it split up. Folks burn mostly green or nearly green wood, burn 24/7 and use a lot of kindling, and clearn their chimneys every couple of weeks. I even know a few with older cat stoves who do this, and they think having to replace the cat every year is normal.

    If you think about the logistics and space requirements for seasoning wood for a couple of years, you'll realize very few suppliers even have the capacity to cut and stack dozens of cords of wood for even an extra year. I've heard of one or two over the years from people on this site, but it's rare. "Seasoned" where I live in rural VT, where about half the people heat their homes with wood and have done so for generations, means it was cut down in the spring, cut to length and split only when you order it in the fall. Most sellers here are folks with a woodlot and willing to cut a couple extra cords for sale to their neighbors. So nobody's trying to cheat anybody, that's just how they all, buyers and sellers alike, think of it.

    If you do what you suggest above, the wood guy will think *you* are the cheater, not them. Far better to go to their place and test a couple pieces with your MM before agreeing to buy.
  20. gyrfalcon

    gyrfalcon Minister of Fire

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    Not a problem if you're stacking already seasoned wood back there. It won't "unseason" for lack of air circulation.
    For stuff that needs further seasoning, it's not so good and will take longer. If you can stack it "log cabin" style, that will help.
  21. gyrfalcon

    gyrfalcon Minister of Fire

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    FYI, the guy who says "water can be reabsorbed" (that's a misnomer, but never mind) into wood and require seasoning again is normally very reliable, but bear in mind he lives in a very wet and humid climate in the Northwest, way beyond anything we experience here in the East. But having the wood being drenched by rain for day after day in climate where the humidity is high even on many dry days is an entirely different thing than having green wood in a stack make the already seasoned wood lose its seasoning.

    The wikihow site is mostly right, except for the idea that the wood will season faster if it was cut in winter because it contains less moisture at that time of year, which has been debunked here a number of times by people with facts and figures and measurements.
  22. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    My stacks are 8 feet long and double wide because that's the size of the scrap metal roofing that I use to cover them! Not a lot of science there...
  23. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    Fair enough! I am wondering when to get chimney cleaned after 3 months and 2 to 2 1/2 cords 95% good stuff a a few disasters. 95 % of thim my glass perfectly clear fire bricks and whole fire box white with a tiny bit of ash. right now cruising at 675 or so with a bunch of found maple and secondaries lit off just fine. I did order a cleaning more as an evaluation as to how I am doing but wonder with these types of burns and maybe 1 more cord to go of good wood am I over thinking this. It has been a long time since I burned wood this is the first year since 20 years ago with a smoke dragon. There is no cat just secondary air tubes. If a cleaning so soon is over kill or might be please do let me know as a two edged sword. I can really no afford the sweep and can not afford to burn the place down insured or not. The only thing i can add is I am more prone to build a hot fire than a slow and cold one. The only thing i can add is the chimney is 13 to 14 feet long and can not make it taller but meets all the regs. there is only 5 feet exposed to outdoor temps. i have not installed the stack probe though with a wetted finger it is like a pancake griddle and shoot for stove top temps in the 550 to 675 range..
  24. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    You put your wetted finger on a pancake griddle? :eek:
    billb3 likes this.
  25. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    Sure you a scaredy cat?? LOL.. It's not all that hot maybe 400...the steam insulates your finger.. a calculated risk..

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