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Stacking question

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by longboarder2, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. longboarder2

    longboarder2 Member

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    your whole life, you are told to stack wood off of the ground, at least a few inches. i understand the benefit of air flow when seasoning wood, but what is the big reason to stack wood on pallets or off the ground in general?

    i have a carport for a storing my wood--it has a concrete paver floor. i stack wood in there in late march/early april for the upcoming year. prior to that, my wood is stacked outside (only so much room in the carport) some on pallets, some on the ground and covered on the top only with plastic tarps.

    is the rationale that moisture from the gound migrates up and prevents proper drying? obviously the splits that are touching the ground are going to be a little wet--if that's the case, i'm okay burning that first couple rows in my outdoor fire pit, as i have plenty of wood. is my whole three-cord stack not going to season properly becasue it is stacked on the ground?

    i am currently working on an effective way to stack my wood on pallets in 1/2 cord units to prevent worrying about this and making it easy to move around with my loader and a set of forks. that wood is being split now for two seasons out. but for next year's wood--i am a little concerned.

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  2. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    I keep mine off the ground so it doesn't rot and get bugs galore in it. Just moved one of my stacks last night to the porch, the bottom was just as good as the top with it being off the ground.
  3. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    This.
  4. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    Not to mention that the sheer weight of the stacks will push the bottom splits into the ground, inviting termites and such.
  5. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Water penetration . . .

    Well that and the use of pallets keeps the stacks from burrowing too far into the center of the earth by redistributing the weight of the stack.
  6. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

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    My ready to burn supply is stacked on elevated concrete. Not a problem. If it was in direct contact with the ground, I would have a problem. I learned that the hard way (or soft, actually, since the wood turned punky). :p
  7. longboarder2

    longboarder2 Member

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    the few cords i have stacked on the ground will be moving into the carport by early april. it was split in early march and laying in a pile all summer and stacked since early oct. when i stacked it, the vast majority of it was dry---i think it should be fine by next january---i'll burn the stuff on the pallets first.
  8. longboarder2

    longboarder2 Member

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    sounds like pallets in the carport are a good idea too. even though i haven't found any damp or soft wood coming off the concrete.
  9. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    getting them off the concrete will improve air circulation, at least so long as the pallets are slatted. I like to stack on pairs of two by fours for that reason.
  10. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    For using pallets for 1/2 cord stacks, to be movable with forks
    I'd try some cheap wire fence to wrap around it after stacked.
    Re-usable & good air circulation.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  11. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    I didn't have such good luck trying this. To be fair.. I was a bit aggressive with them after they were wrapped.. but it ended badly.

    You have to put in quite a bit of work to keep the stack going up square. If you wanted to do it with one pallet.. there are many bag systems out there now. Bags hold a quarter cord, loose jumbled.. and they are less than 20 bucks a bag.

    JP
  12. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    Stacked on concrete or asphalt not a real problem as niether hold or supports much in the way of residual moisture and are basically free of various decay promoting entities. Earth on the other hand is a vitual festival of entities that cause decay and unlimited moiture to promote their growth. ( in most areas, figured I'd better add that before someone mentions deserts or dead sea or similar off beat eco systems)
    I had a 10 cord tossed pile on asphalt for 2 years, bottom as good as top.
  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Just a word of caution here. Not all wood will be ready to burn in that length of time! For sure oak won't. Also, if you put a small air space even in the carport, the wood will continue to dry. Not as fast as it would dry out in the wind but it can still lose some moisture. Best to give your wood 3 years. If you get 3 years ahead on your wood you will be amazed at the benefits and one of them is that it will take less wood to heat your home which means less work for you.
  14. longboarder2

    longboarder2 Member

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    of the roughly 5 cords i have stacked for next year, 75% is black locust. the remaining 25% is a mixture of beech and oak. the wood i am currently splitting for 3 years out is about 90% oak. i know that 3yrs. is a good seasoning time for oak. right now i am burning a mix of oak/locust/sassafras that has been split & stacked for 2 yrs. and 7 mos. after my fire last year, i realized that i was not seasoning my wood long enough, so i bought some 2 yr. old wood (from a trustable source) and started splitting for next season---eventually i will be 3 yrs. out on spilt wood, but right now i am doing the best i could do.

    next years' wood will be moving into the carport (which by the way was the cheapest and easiest way for me to get a woodshed that will hold five cords and my spillter) in late march-early april. after that, i should have the pallet-method mastered (though of the chicken wire, btw) and should have no worries.

    at this point, the wood i will be burning next year will have been split for 1 yr. and 9 mos. and stacked/covered for 12 mos. of that. the following year, i will have 3 yr. old oak stacked on pallets, wrapped in some king of mesh, and top-covered.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  15. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I like that idea of the carport for wood and the splitter. Sounds like you have a good situation there.
  16. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    I would have no problem stacking wood directly on concret or payvment. It's in dirt or grass where the problems occur. Mainly bugs and moister rotting the first row and sometimes even the 2nd row. And yoru asking for termites. But directly on concrete would be fine.

    I just built a few racks this past weekend. I simply bought treated 2x4's. 10'ers for the posts which I dug 2' into the ground, then 8'ers for two bottom rails. I bolted the bottom rails to the posts on each side with 2 1/2" 5/16" lag bolts. I jammed a 4x4 block under the middle of the supports to suppor the long 8' span and handle the weight. Sturdy as can be, 8' high stack, 8' long, by 16" wide(log lenght). $80 for wood and bolts, about 1 hour to dig 2' holes with a post digger and bolt them together. Will likely last for 20+ years.

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