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Summer chores

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by begreen, Jun 4, 2007.

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  1. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    We tackled the woodpile today with a rented, 9hp, 34T splitter. It never whimpered and after about 7 hrs work, we had 2 cords split. My two boys were a great help. Of course today had to be the hottest day this year for us, but we persevered and by evening the weather started shifting and cooling down.

    Bad news though. A lot of the free maple I got last summer appears to have sat in a swamp. It was still soaking wet in spite of our dry spring. I split the wood smaller to help it dry out, but I suspect it is going to take a while to really be burnable. Bummer. It looks like I may be buying a cord of wood pretty soon for next winter. Oh well, we have two nice cords ready for the following season.

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  2. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    It looks like a good bit of madrona too.
  3. restorer

    restorer New Member

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    You may not have as big a problem as you think. The moisture "wicked" up in the wood is quickly shed like water in a dish. The real drying is in getting the moisture out of the cells of the wood. The internal water is the moisture that takes the most time to remove. Kiln drying helps by forcing moisture out like steam. When we do it in the back yard it takes some heat and a lot of fresh air. Cover the wood so no rain gets on it, but air can circulate all around. That mean tenting above the stack. Stack very loosely so the air can get to it, even to the point that you may want to re-stack after a couple of months. Big thing is to get air around it. You seriously need to reduce the external moisture to eliminate the activation of molds and mildew. If the wood when split has black streaks you have spaulting, a bacteria caused decay. Next stage is punky wood, if it gets that far, send it to the chipper, it will not be worth burning.

    If you want to learn more, do a search on cellulosic moisture, guaranteed to put you to sleep in twenty minutes.

    An after thought, if you use the spell check, do you notice how many words we use are not on the check lists?????? Interesting.
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Good tips. I will be restacking it in about 3 months time and will judge it's moisture then. It will be covered on top and open to the air on the sides. There was some black spalting maybe 3" in from the end in a few of the rounds. I didn't bother with anything that was punky. Boy were they wet. It often squished and puddled where the wedge hit the log. I'll be amazed if they dry out in time. Each round weighed about 80-100 lbs. No fun moving them around. Towards the end we hit some nice dry rounds and what a difference. Half the weight.

    It gets pretty competitive for wood around here in late summer, so I'll be watching out for a nice cord to add to the stash.

    All the madrona was green when it came down last Nov. and will take a year or more to dry out, but that's ok. I'm happy to get it whenever I can.
  5. restorer

    restorer New Member

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    Separate the spaulted wood and keep an eye on it, if it gets punky, chuck it. You don't want the bacteria and fungus to cross infect.

    Madrona is a plus wood, but you won't find much near the sound or developed areas, go West, find some wood cutters selling truck loads, if you can identify the cut wood you will score.

    When I lived there, I used a lot of Douglas Fir. It was common, cheap and everyone had one to get rid of. Cut split and stacked it will dry in a year, but it can also be used as your back up wood. At the end of the season, we'd start a fire with alder, add some maple to bring the temp up, and stuff with "green" fir. Took an hour or two to act as a kiln dryer, but there was still some good heat, then the newly dried fir would kick in an the heat would pour from the stove. It was almost too easy.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Yup, I burned fir about 5 years ago. Lots of energy in it. Good wood. If I have to buy any wood, it will likely be an alder/fir mix.

    We're lucky, there's a lot of madrona in our area. Maybe it likes the south sound climate. We tend to be much drier than up in the Silverdale area. It grows pretty quickly and there are a lot of stands here growing right down to the water. I have a few volunteers on the property that I've let grow up. If they can make it past the stage where the deer eat it, they usually will survive. I've got a ten year old tree that is getting pretty respectable. It's a beautiful tree year round.
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