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The value of covering wood piles

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by richg, Jan 16, 2013.

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  1. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

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    I am by no means averse to seeing the natural beauties of W.Va., esp., if "sonny the split beast" ends up going to college in the general Virginia area.

    I applaud your ingenuity with the rockin' roof.

    I am presently was looking for a ball of twine I misplaced in the last cleanup, to tie to a couple of empty water bottles re-filled with water — before Mayor Bloomberg bans them — to loop to the tarp eyelets.

    Until I saw this —>
    which is even better. The handles on the gallon jugs and the extra weight should be a vast improvement.

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  2. Wooddust

    Wooddust Member

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    Species and climate are so different for the diverse population on this site this issue is not resolvable. I css mostly osage orange, red oak and white oak with a scattering of ash and hickory. We have suffered through two years of record drought. With drought came record heat. And we have a good bit of wind. Tonight Im burning 4 year old oak and hedge. Day before yesterday i burned a load of oak i stacked uncovered a year ago. There is no difference. Would that be the same in the eastern states....dunno. Or if it was pine, hemlock, or other species I dont have..dunno

    I do know we have 35 mph gusts tonight and my uncovered wood will have to get by

    On another subject. Chevy kicks dodge ass all day long. And real men run Stihl. Winchester never did make a good rifle. And if you dont like bourbon you are a communist.
  3. glennm

    glennm Burning Hunk

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    But a good ford truck kicks Chevy and dodge at the same time!

    I cover - best choice here.
  4. gerry100

    gerry100 Minister of Fire

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    Really depends on the stack.

    In an ideal stack, the rain all runs off and the top pieces keep the snow off thew bottom pieces.

    Real world, rain leaks thru the stack and pools in spots and( at least in my area) you get snow that melts and refreezes lower in the stack, meaning that some pieces are that are in an intermittent soak.

    The best top cover allows max air from the sides while not leaking from the top or trapping moisture on the top pieces. A top cover with leaks is probably worse than leaving it uncovered.
  5. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    How about trying something heavier than tarps? Then perhaps if need be, use some earth anchors to tie down your covering.
    ScotO likes this.
  6. mhvond

    mhvond Member

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    Think about it, we go through all the work (fun) to c/s/s, why wouldn't you cover at least what you plan to burn within a year?
    OldLumberKid, LEES WOOD-CO and ScotO like this.
  7. Brewmonster

    Brewmonster Burning Hunk

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    Do you stack on pallets? If so, try draping cords across the stack every so many feet and tying the ends to the pallets. Works for me.
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  8. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    We keep the cover on our above ground pool in place with 2l pop bottles filled with water, hanging from the cover grommets with a loop of twine. I can't explain how they're strung, I'd have to show you - but they come off & on with no tieing involved, just kind of make a loop & put it around the neck & the weight cinches the twine up kind of like a noose. The pool cover goes nowhere even in some pretty heavy winds.
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  9. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

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    I've got the ghetto stack going on for now, on an old wooden bench and some pressure treated.


    Yes, that was the heath-robinson direction I was headed in, but I did like the milk jug idea too.

    Time to buy some ginger ale I think. Better half threw out the tops from the milk jugs, couldn't even find em in the garbage, lol. But I'll catch up soon enough. For now the uglies are gittin' er done. TIll I find that ball of twine, now were did I put it?
  10. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    Wood does !! absorb and release moisture, and expands and contracts, with that MC, that's why you seal your deck boards from moisture, cuz expansion and contraction causes it to crack, anyway, if U don't have a woodshed ,I say keep it top covered the whole time, cuz if it's rained and snowed on it will acclimate and not be as dry.
  11. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    A lot to read through here. I will add another vote for "it depends on your location"

    I had a similar experience to fire-man. The first couple seasons with the EPA stove I had to buy wood, it was wet and I put it into single rows all top covered. Each year the results got better.

    Last year, now that I'm 2+ ahead I decided to do an experiment and leave everything open for the summer and only top cover for winter. I have just under 2 cord of locust and ash that I cut and split stacked double rows in fall-11 destined for 13/14 burning. Well, after one summer of no cover seasoning, that stuff is still around 30% :( So I'm going back to year round top cover.
    Brewmonster likes this.
  12. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

  13. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Double rows tight is not helping either, rain gets on the inside of the rows and it will stay wet in there longer than a single row, is that on a fresh split?
  14. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

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    I've done this and just a with plastic tarps the sun will break down the milk jugs and mine fell apart the next season. I have found using laundry detergent containers last longer.
  15. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    My two cents: I haven't covered my stacks ever. I bring up several days worth of wood and stack it on our big front porch, just a few feet away from the stove in the living room. We could have had a big soaking rain but several days on the porch and you'd never know it had rained.

    My stacks are on the southwestern edge of our woods. Under trees but exposed to sun and wind from late morning on. The wood dries well out there.
    As I said, I've never covered it BUT I'm reconsidering. Not because of rain (not much chance of snow here) but because of all the debris and leaves that falls onto the stacks that are under trees. My bride prefers that my stacks be out of site, so they are. I'm thinking of investing in some tin roofing strips for top cover for the rest of my stacks.... and future ones just to keep the crap out of the stacks.
  16. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    All I can say for MY location (NorthEast MA):

    If I didn't top cover I'd be burning $$Oil$$ instead.
    OldLumberKid and JustWood like this.
  17. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I tried that last year. OSB over the top of the piles along with a few hundred lbs of junk wood, tires, wheels, rocks, etc. Then rope tied from the pallets over the top every 5-7 feet. It lasted a few weeks till it got windy.
    The OSB either broke where the rope was, sawed through it, or simply broke the rope or the heavy duty eyelets. Part of one stack even fell over from the OSB acting like a sail. I found pieces of OSB in the woods 500-600ft from the stacks this summer.

    The time and money I spent messing with covering the stacks just wasn't worth it at all.

    With no covering I do loose a few pieces of wood off the top now the then when it's windy, but usually they just go 20-30 ft from the stacks.


  18. Coog

    Coog Member

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    Not to extend this discussion any further but my vote is to leave uncovered until fall and cover what you plan to burn. At least where I live, seams to work for us. Don't do any more work than you have to. I always thought moderate amounts of rain aides in the drying process. Just make sure to cover in September/October after a week of dry weather and warm temps. Just my two cents.
  19. Brewmonster

    Brewmonster Burning Hunk

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    I feel your pain. I'm lucky to have free pallets to put on top of my stacks. Wind flows through them, unlike a solid sheet like OSB. Top cover made from recycled billboard completes the job.
  20. westkywood

    westkywood Feeling the Heat

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    No wonder it wasnt worth it. That wouldnt be worth it to me either. OSB can't get wet. Tarps wear out and tear. It's what you cover it with that makes the difference. Rubber roofing placed on top, then placing some heavy wood splits on top of that to hold it down works like a charm, rarely blows off at all. Hassle free and costs nothing if you get it from a roofing company that is tearing off. When I need wood, it's easy to just flip aside. Stuff will last forever....
  21. Richprint29

    Richprint29 New Member

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    Well said. You season yours for 3 years?? wow . I give all of mine 1 year and sometimes as little as 7 months.
    I'm sure the longer it sits , the better. But I can't imagine getting 3 years ahead of my burning.
  22. Brewmonster

    Brewmonster Burning Hunk

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    Well said. You season yours for 3 years?? wow . I give all of mine 1 year and sometimes as little as 7 months.
    I'm sure the longer it sits , the better. But I can't imagine getting 3 years ahead of my burning.
    --Richprint29

    If you're burning in an EPA stove, you better start imagining it, and get cutting! You'll be glad you did.
  23. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

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    Yah, I forgot the other day and they got drenched, now, with humidity insanely high here for the summer's duration, and T-storms on and off for the next month or so, it'll take some rare dry windy days to un-soak things.
  24. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    It rained over 3 inches here yesterday, and now the humidity is so high you need a knife to cut a path outside. But my stacks are smiling from underneath their covers and are bone dry.

    You just never know around here, Summers can be bone dry droughts - great for drying uncovered stacks, or like this Summer when mushrooms grow on uncovered soggy wood.
    Brewmonster likes this.
  25. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Here we go again, wood gets so dry and then its done, it happens for me way before 3 years but a lot of my wood I burn is 2, 3, or 4 years old. Yes I have an EPA stove been burning for over 30 years ect. ect. ect.
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