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Starting season no. 5 and my wood still sizzles alittle

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by stanleyjohn, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. stanleyjohn

    stanleyjohn Feeling the Heat

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    Well maybe its just me or its a real art to get real dry wood to burn.Much of the wood i burn now i cut and split between 1 and 2 years ago and stacked outside under tarps then brought into a ventalated woodshed for several months before being brought into my garage for burning.I would also say that around 50% of the wood is oak and the rest is a mixture of elm maple and birch.

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  2. Nixon

    Nixon Minister of Fire

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    When you say "under tarps".... Do you mean pretty much covered , or just the top of the stacks ?
  3. stanleyjohn

    stanleyjohn Feeling the Heat

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    Heres a pic of my outside wood pile. 006.JPG
  4. cptoneleg

    cptoneleg Minister of Fire

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    Yep theres your problem right there under them tarps since 2008 you never read any post here about covering or not covering your wood.
    ditchrider, ScotO and PapaDave like this.
  5. cptoneleg

    cptoneleg Minister of Fire

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    Lot of difference between 1 or 2 yrs like a yr Oak takes abot 2 or 3 yrs with just the tops covered or not covered at all.
  6. stanleyjohn

    stanleyjohn Feeling the Heat

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    I have read
    I have read many opinons here on covered verses uncovered and since then i have built a woodshed that i have stored with a few cords of wood and this wood stays totally out of the weather element for at least half a year before using.What i have been doing is burning what i have stored in the woodshed than restocking it from my outside woodpile in the spring.Outside wood is anywhere from 6 months to a year old split.I guess i do need to refresh myself here in the threads since i havent been active here in awhile. Thanks
  7. Nixon

    Nixon Minister of Fire

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    Stanley John , think of it this way , you take a damp towel ,put it in a zip loc bag . It will not get wetter , but it will also never really start to dry out either. Basically , you need air circulation to carry away the moisture .
    ditchrider and ScotO like this.
  8. iskiatomic

    iskiatomic Minister of Fire

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    It needs air, and lots of it. Top cover only!!!


    KC
    ScotO and zap like this.
  9. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

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    Yes top cover or not at all. Also, if possible give the oak longer to dry. 2 years would be good and 3 would be even better. Not all of us are 3 years ahead, so you may want to mix in the oak with some of your other types when you burn.
  10. stanleyjohn

    stanleyjohn Feeling the Heat

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    In the spring im thinking of moving the wood pile! reason for this is that the location now has a bank of tall trees on the southern side causing wood pile to get more shade than sun during the day.Thinking also that ill build top support for a tarp to cover the top with a overhang leaving the sides open.The wood in the woodshed is completely sheltered from the elements but get good air flow from the outside so no changes needed there.
  11. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    +1
    Then take the dry wood you'll burn this year to the shed
  12. cptoneleg

    cptoneleg Minister of Fire

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    Stack in single rows would help more than anything till you get far enough ahead. That shade isn't going to hurt much anything, most agree that wind circulation is most important.
    ScotO likes this.
  13. Shari

    Shari Minister of Fire

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    If I were energetic enough to take a current picture (I'm not :) ) you would see that none of my stacks are covered. Some have been out there 2-3 yrs. The wood I know that is seasoned enough for this winter will be covered in the next few days. In other words I only cover my seasoned wood to keep it dry & keep the snow off for the season I'm burning it.

    Woodsheds seem nice and I've seen some very well built ones here on hearth.com - but - for me - I don't have a woodshed, wouldn't want a woodshed and therefore don't have to move the wood before winter into a woodshed - I'm not that energetic. I'm also a little older than most women on this list. :)

    Your mileage may vary............ :)
    ailanthus, ScotO and cptoneleg like this.
  14. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Stanley, don't worry too much about stacking the wood in the sun. Wind will dry the wood much faster than the sun will. Also having oak, I would stack in single rows.

    Here is basically how we do it. Our cutting time is getting near as we usually start around December 1 and continue off and on until March. We stack up the wood in the winter wherever we want the new pile to be. After snow melt we split all the wood. Immediately after that we stack it. Under the wood we lay down some poles, saplings that we cut in the woods. This keeps the wood off the ground and gives a little air circulation there.

    That spring, summer and fall we do not cover the wood. We do top cover usually just before the snow starts flying decently and use old galvanized roofing for the covering. In October we move enough for the winter's supply into the barn so we don't have to dig wood out from under snow. However, the wood we move into the barn has usually been sitting outside in the wind for 3 years or more so we know it is dry. In addition, many times we've stacked wood in total shade and have never had a problem with drying but would not do that if we needed the wood right away.

    3-23-09a.JPG Wood-3-4-10a.JPG Winter's heat-2.JPG
  15. stanleyjohn

    stanleyjohn Feeling the Heat

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    :) Thanks backwoods! and others! Guess it gets alittle frustrating when i start fires and hear some of the wood sizzle.I think ill take off the tarps tomorrow and let the air do a better job.Looks like you burn alot of wood B Savage:)! how many cords do you burn a year? For us we burn around 3 cords! I usually start burning on a daily basis from late Nov till sometime in April.Last year was a extremely warm year so i didn't burn a great deal.
  16. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Stan, once you start burning really dry wood, you'll wonder WTH you were doing before.
    You just need to go that one step further and uncover the sides of that wood. Well, 2 steps. The next one is to give the oak more time before you expect to burn it.
    Don't know how much you've got on hand, but go get some more.
    We'll wait for the pics.:cool:
    ETA: since you use approx. 3 cord/yr., you should have 9-12 cord on hand at all times.......top covered only.;)
    Scols, Backwoods Savage and ScotO like this.
  17. stanleyjohn

    stanleyjohn Feeling the Heat

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    8 to 9 cords!! _g ill work on it! I do need a better chainsaw! my craftsmen 18" can only do so much.Hope my wife dosnt mind seeing so much wood around!Took her awhile to calm down when i put up my 6 ft satellite dish;lol
  18. rottiman

    rottiman Minister of Fire

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    Tell her to take a deep breath, relax and enjoy the warm house and the extra $$$$$$$ in the bank account.
  19. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    The others have all nailed it, trust me these guys are all professionals....;)

    I usually only topcover the wood I plan on burning in a winter the summer before. All of my wood is seasoned at least three years minimum, two years without any covering at all. Do not cover the sides, you really need that air to travel through the stacks......and like Papadave and others have said, get as far ahead as you can. You never know when something comes up and you can't get wood for a season. I have around 25 cord on hand, plan on getting more when I get a woodshed built. My limit here at the house will probably be around 30 to 35, which will easily get me through 5 years.

    2012-09-02_12-48-41_629.jpg 2012-09-02_12-50-30_806.jpg
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  20. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

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    Scotty what will you do when you hit that limit?
  21. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Probably go into solitary confinement and suck my thumb.....:eek::oops:!!!

    Actually, I will take my over-run wood up to the hollow beside my FIL's house, where I can sell some of it (yes it will be actually split and seasoned the right way, not the way most firewood sellers do it;)), plus I cook maple syrup in the winter so I can use some of that over-run wood for the sugaring seasons.
  22. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

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    Sounds good - I knew you wouldn't stop cutting!
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  23. osagebow

    osagebow Minister of Fire

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    ...finish that living room.
    gobble gobble ;)
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  24. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Wait, WTH does that even mean?
    I don't understand the concept.......over-run wood. Hmmmm.
    Nope, still don't get it.
    I know what'll happen when he hits the wall. He'll bust through it in typical SO fashion and go get more.
    Silly question.;lol
    Stan, we live in the woods and space isn't a problem. If you're limited in that way, then put up as much as possible, and/or find a really good supplier of dry firewood (did I really just type that?). Merely leaving the sides open may do what you need, but you should try to get as far ahead as possible.
    Scotty should have some to sell soon.;)
    Backwoods Savage and ScotO like this.
  25. StacksCT

    StacksCT New Member

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    Stan, you will be pleased if you follow these folks' advice. Two years ago, I had plastic sheeting over the top and down the sides on one stack of oak (which I thought was perfect), while the others were only top-covered (I ran out of plastic, and decided not to go buy more). A year later, I found this forum, and started reading the posts by these folks who have provided you great advice. Sure enough, I compared the stacks, and the one covered top-and-sides had barely dried compared to the other top-covered only stacks.

    How did you make out with Sandy? We came through without a problem, unlike last year's first storm when we lost power for 10 days.

    Adam
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