1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Stacking Questions...

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by PSYS, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. PSYS

    PSYS Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2013
    Messages:
    137
    Loc:
    WISCONSIN
    A new wood hoarder is born, my friends! Your truly. I did a search but didn't come up with anything quite this specific. I don't suspect any wood I obtain this year is going to be fully dry and ready to burn as a lot of you guys mentioned in my intro thread, but I am still on the hunt! But first, some questions...

    This is a photo I shared in my introduction thread that I will gladly share again.

    [​IMG]

    This photo is of wood that is cut & split from a Birch Tree in our tiny front yard that we took down in May of this year. It currently sits on this 8' firewood rack. I know this won't be ready this year. In addition to this, I discovered today at work that a co-worker has an acre and a half of land not too far away from me that had many mature trees downed from a tornado that hit the area in August. They are desperately trying to clean up their yard before the snow starts flying and they offered me several downed trees to cut up.

    I've no idea what I'm doing here when it comes to stacking this wood.

    First, I plan on stacking it to the right of this rack in the photo against the chain link fence separating my backyard and my neighbors. My thought process being it is a large open area in both of our backyards and the sun/wind will be able to maximize the drying process. I don't currently have a wood shed, so I'd simply be stacking the firewood right on my grass. Should I lay down a tarp first before setting the wood right on the grass? I'm guessing that may or may not matter, but thought I'd ask. I realize this area of grass is going to die. Once the wood is stack and similarly to the birch wood on this rack, should it be covered with a tarp? And if so, am I just covering the top but leaving the front/back exposed to allow the wind/sun to hit it? Sorry for the ignorant questions! I just want to make sure I'm maximizing the drying ability.

    I'm hoping next Spring/Summer, I can make it a project to build a halfway decent wood shed.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Messages:
    4,945
    Loc:
    Ridge, LI, NY
    Welcome to the forums !!

    Nice start on a stash, too :)

    I suggest stacking on pallets. More air flow, less grass killed ;)
  3. JOHN BOY

    JOHN BOY Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Messages:
    532
    Loc:
    Western Mountains ,NC
    Well , welcome to the forum PSYS. 1ST there is no dumb or ignorant questions here . The only dumb thing is when we dont ask...;em . So for one i wouldnt stack the wood on a tarp on the ground ,it will cause the wood on the bottom to rot and moisture to rise to the others pieces stacked on it. See if you can get a few pallets. Stack your wood neatly on these ,you can add some 2x4 to the ends . Mounting them upwards to help hold the splits on til you become a pro like Backwoods savages Wife. A cord of wood is 4x4x8 so usually so if you get 4 pallets you can get close to 2 cords .on it . Most pallets are 48x48 or a little smaller.

    You can also make your own. best of luck ;)
  4. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,131
    Loc:
    Kennett Square, PA
    That rack you have there is pretty nice and looks quite functional. Unless the racks are free, I would get some free pallets or cut some 8' branches
    to start your cord wood on. Welcome to the forum. Have fun.;)
    Coog likes this.
  5. Craig S.

    Craig S. Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2013
    Messages:
    203
    Loc:
    Smithtown, New York
    Nice stack.

    I built some racks (5x10) out of pressure treated 2x4s for about $25 each using plans found on the internet. Nice and neat.
    Grab as much free as you can handle ... I had to turn down 2+ cords of rough split oak today because I'm out of room. Im sick about it.
  6. PSYS

    PSYS Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2013
    Messages:
    137
    Loc:
    WISCONSIN
    You guys are awesome. I did not even THINK of stacking on pallets before, but that definitely seems like the easiest and most economical way to go!
    Hmmm.... I'll see what I can find at some local companies to see if they've got a few handy that I could have. If not, the pressure treated 2x4's is another good idea or maybe some old cedar planks would suffice. I'm guessing the key is to keep the actual firewood OFF the ground, regardless.

    I may need to rig something up temporarily this season.

    This is our first home and the wood preparation caught me off-guard. We're currently feverishly saving for a wood burning insert we plan on having installed next month while in the meantime, I'm trying to accumulate as much wood as I can.
    JOHN BOY likes this.
  7. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Messages:
    4,945
    Loc:
    Ridge, LI, NY
    Collect pallets for burning with less than optimum firewood.

    While collecting next years stash, keep an eye out for pine & cherry. Both season quickly, and will help get you through the first year.
  8. JOHN BOY

    JOHN BOY Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Messages:
    532
    Loc:
    Western Mountains ,NC
    Keeping it off the ground is important . Most of your softwoods can be burned in a year , some hardwoods to. Oak needs to season for 2 years . You'll be amazed at how great wood burns the longer it seasons . once its seasoned you might want to top cover your wood with a tarp or some metal tin when winter approaches.
  9. PSYS

    PSYS Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2013
    Messages:
    137
    Loc:
    WISCONSIN
    PINE and CHERRY.... check! I did not know that, but appreciate the tip! Thanks!

    As far covering it, I'll make sure I get a tarp for the top while keeping the front and back open for air disbursement. Sounds like that's the way I need to go.
    JOHN BOY likes this.
  10. jhoff310

    jhoff310 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    Messages:
    107
    Loc:
    Toledo Ohio area
    Stack life Jeffy does..Free pallets braced with some gussets. Those pallets are 36" wide and my wood is cut to 16" plenty of air flow...even in the center

    Attached Files:

    JOHN BOY likes this.
  11. PSYS

    PSYS Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2013
    Messages:
    137
    Loc:
    WISCONSIN
    Brilliant. Yes, simple and free is what I need to do this season and I'll better prepped next Spring and get something more permanent.
    In the meantime, something like that is precisely what I need. I'll see what I can find here locally....
  12. Redbarn

    Redbarn Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Messages:
    200
    Loc:
    SE PA
  13. PSYS

    PSYS Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2013
    Messages:
    137
    Loc:
    WISCONSIN
    Oh my gosh.... that is insane! I fricken love it! :)
  14. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,169
    Loc:
    northwest Virginia

    Welcome! Your stack looks good to me - off the ground, single row, in sun and wind, what more could you want? As for future stacks, pallets are ok, but you can also use some longer pieces of firewood to stack on. Anything free is good.

    As for your wood being ready, to put it simply, you burn what you got. I would not hesitate to burn what you have. As you get further ahead, you'll burn drier wood and become more efficient. But it does take time.

    If I were to cover, I would only top cover, never the sides as that would reduce air flow which is what you really want. I am not a big fan of tarps, and I would really rather not cover at all than use them. Metal roofing works pretty well if you have some. If BWS comes along he could show you some pictures of how he does it which is just about perfect. The only change I would make would be to stack in single rows as you need the wood to dry faster.
  15. northwinds

    northwinds Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,318
    Loc:
    south central WI
  16. AnalogKid

    AnalogKid Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2012
    Messages:
    154
    Loc:
    CT
  17. AnalogKid

    AnalogKid Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2012
    Messages:
    154
    Loc:
    CT
    One other thing you may want to consider; some of those splits in your stack are pretty big. Smaller splits season much faster that big thick pieces. You may want to split some of those in half.

    Big pieces are nice, but if you want to speed up the drying time a little, smaller splits is the way to go. Birch drys out in no time as it is.....make those a little smaller and you'll be in good shape before you know it.
  18. Scols

    Scols Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2012
    Messages:
    242
    Loc:
    Springs New York
    I like to stack in single rows like the way your's is stacked on that rack. I just make my racks out of whatever suitable scrap lumber I can scrounge.Like the others above have mentioned,keeping it off the ground is the main thing.
  19. PSYS

    PSYS Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2013
    Messages:
    137
    Loc:
    WISCONSIN
    I did not even think about that to be honest with you.

    So, I should have a fairly small percentage of fairly large, thick pieces? I will definitely head outside sometime this weekend and split a few more of those to make them smaller.

    I appreciate the info!
  20. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Don't stack right on the ground. Cut off some limbs or cut some saplings in the woods to lay down. Lay down 2 of them and stack on top. If you look at the picture below, look at the bottom and you will see that is what we do. If you can't cut something like that, then sacrifice some small rounds or splits to make 2 rows to stack the wood on. If you do that, after the wood is gone, save those pieces you sacrificed and put them on top of next year's wood pile. They will be fine.

    Denny-April 2009h.JPG
  21. PSYS

    PSYS Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2013
    Messages:
    137
    Loc:
    WISCONSIN
    I think I'm gonna head to Menards tomorrow morning and get a few cinder blocks and 2x4's. :)

    Oh, and also - I got my moisture meter in the mail today! *w00t!*
  22. AnalogKid

    AnalogKid Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2012
    Messages:
    154
    Loc:
    CT
    Large pieces are ok, they are good for overnight burns, it's just they require more time to dry out.

    Personally I prefer smaller splits anyway, but my stove only has a 2sqft firebox. I keep a few big honkers on hand, but the majority of my stuff is smaller.
  23. Redbarn

    Redbarn Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Messages:
    200
    Loc:
    SE PA
    I use 4x4 for the lower cross pieces and 2x4 for the ends. 8 foot lengths work well.
    Be sure to use pressure treated lumber.
  24. DaveGunter

    DaveGunter Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Messages:
    93
    Loc:
    coastal maine
    Stack looks great. Birch can start to rot quickly, esp if unsplit, the bark is waterproof, I would top cover that stack. Some say stacking bark down speeds up the drying.
  25. PSYS

    PSYS Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2013
    Messages:
    137
    Loc:
    WISCONSIN
    I saw a couple of other photos online and I think this seems like this is the way to go. Thanks for the info!

    I'm gonna get the supplies tomorrow and get that thing set-up.
    I'll be ready when I get more wood this season.

    In other news, the local fireplace dealer is coming out next Wednesday to take measurements of our fireplace and get us a solid estimate to have the wood burning insert installed. Then we have the chimney specialist coming out the following Friday to do a clean sweep. And provided we get a clean bill 'o health, we should be able to get the insert installed early November.

    I really appreciate all of you taking the time to respond and help out a newbie like myself. :)

Share This Page