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Speeding up the seasoning of firewood

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by botemout, Aug 19, 2009.

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  1. botemout

    botemout Member

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    This might be an odd question but it's mid-August and I still haven't received my wood delivery from my regular supplier (anyone else having shortages?). I do have about 7 face cords to get me started but after that's gone I'm either going to be burning green(ish) wood or buying seasoned split cords.

    So, that got me to thinking; has anyone come up with a reasonably priced method for the rapid drying of a large quantity of split wood? I would think that what is required is heat and ventilation so would putting my wood in my green house in these warm days of summer (with the ends opened slightly for ventilation) appreciably speed up the drying process? (I'm sure it would to some degree but ... would it be worth the hassle?)

    Would making smaller splits help? I think I've read that the drying actually happens from the ends of the wood so it's not clear that thinner splits would help much. Of course, cutting the wood to be 9" rather than 18" would double the surfaces that moisture could then evaporate from. How about drying them next to the wood stove (of course, taking all necessary safety precautions)? I could probably fit 1/6 face cord around the wood stuff; some of it would be "baking" for a couple of days.

    I wonder if it would be economical to use that spare small wood stove in the garage with insulation panels to build an "insulated" tent around stacks of wood; I bet the wood would dry pretty quick in a 130F space? (This might be a little nuts ;-) I suspect that if I want to burn dry wood I'll be buying it this year.

    Any other ideas?

    JR

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  2. botemout

    botemout Member

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    This guy here makes a mini-greenhouse by using 4mil plastic sheeting to cover a row of wood which has been stacked against a fence; he claims that he can speed the drying process to 4-6 weeks. http://www.endtimesreport.com/storing_firewood.html

    Anyone ever do this?
  3. botemout

    botemout Member

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    Ahh, sorry, seems this topic is better suited to "The Wood Shed." I don't think I have permissions to do that. Could someone move it? Thanks.
  4. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    If you want your wood not dry AND moldy then that method is perfect.
  5. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    The only sure way I know that is certain ...is to make smaller splits. But even doing that is not guaranteed this late in the year. Best bet is to look for another supplier with seasoned wood and try to validate it with a moisture meter or the ping test before you buy.
  6. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Since wood is a bundle of straws cutting the splits in half will allow them to dry faster.

    The greenhouse thing should also help.

    One thing you can also do is mix a few greener splits in with your dry splits when you burn them. If you find a source of pallets, the super dry pallet wood mixed with green wood may give you a normal percentage of moisture.

    The greener splits will burn, you just will get less heat out of them and need to run a brush down the chimney more often.

    Matt
  7. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Your idea might have some merit to it.

    Cutting shorter, splitting smaller and then stacking in the greenhouse. But don't stop there. Set up a big fan or two that will blow air from one end of the greenhouse to the other to speed things up. Naturally the wood would need to be stacked so the air would hit the sides of the piles.

    Let us know how you end up with this project.
  8. Stephen in SoKY

    Stephen in SoKY Feeling the Heat

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    I generally stay a year ahead, but I have to admit that recently I've been looking at a huge stack of aluminum storm windows and a spare attic fan I've got down at the shop...................
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