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The Wind Blew Over My Wood Pile! Pics Added

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by PaulGuy, Jan 18, 2006.

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  1. PaulGuy

    PaulGuy New Member

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    High gusting winds here in Danbury CT knocked over one of my stacks of wood! About 1/2 to 3/4 cord. It was stacked on cinder blocks. The whole pile was lay on it's side with many of the blocks turned over with it. Found the mess when I came home for lunch. Narrowly missed knocking over the pile behind it, could of been a bad case of the Domino effect. The pile that fell was completely soaked by the downpour which came along with the wind. Fortunately this was stuff destined for next season but geez, if that was my dry stuff, boy would that suck!

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  2. PaulGuy

    PaulGuy New Member

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    This Pic shows a close up of the blocks. The splits were a lot wider than the blocks, especially since I ran them the narrow way. The whole pile must have been rocking in the wind and finally reached the point that the pile actually tipped the blocks and over they went.

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  3. PaulGuy

    PaulGuy New Member

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    This last one shows how close it came to knocking over the load behind it. Whew!

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  4. PaulGuy

    PaulGuy New Member

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    Well Frank I'm originally from Philadelphia and moved up here circa 1979. (Orignally in Bantam, CT actually while attending WessConn) I did go to the Fair a few times before I moved up here, (Had friends up here I use to visit and decided I liked CT) I'm not sure when the last year was of the Fair but it wasn't long after my arrival. As they say...small world.
  5. paulgp602

    paulgp602 Member

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    You should try to stack your wood on some wood skids/pallets. most businesses will give them to you for free, and they have a bigger footprint than cinderblocks do, so they wont blow over.
  6. DavidV

    DavidV New Member

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    I second the motion on the pallets. Also...geez....I'm gonna sound like a jerk. Your stacks are dangerous. If you don't have any kids and don't have any who are likely to visit, or play near them, no big deal. but let the kids screw around near those stacks and have one fall over.....tragedy.

    Just t my thoughts ....Oh, and by the way....get out there and stack that wood back up. it's not as soaked as youthink. but it will be if you don't get it up off the ground.
  7. PaulGuy

    PaulGuy New Member

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    Point taken but no kiddies here, only possible casualty perhaps the stray woodland creature. :)
    The other rows are on block which are a lot wider and those seem pretty solid.
    Oh and not to worry Smileys, got that stuff re-stacked right after work. (On the wide stuff)
  8. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    I'll third the pallet thing.....but I clearly need to get better at stacking since the wind got to my stack too. Not as bad as yours, but a PITA still.
  9. paulgp602

    paulgp602 Member

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    The reason the pallet thing works for me is that a pallet is 4 feet x 4feet. So I take 2 pallets and, sat side by side are the size of 1 full cord of wood. I then take two 2x4's and cut them in half so I have four 4 foot lengths. I take those and screw 2 to each side of the pallets. I now have a 4x4x8 storage area for 1 full cord of wood. The 2x4's keep the pile from falling off the pallets. This way when the wood guy comes and delivers, I can stack it right then and there, and break his stones if he is short.

    I am setup now with storage for 3 full cords, enough for all winter.
  10. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Got agree with Dylan here: Everytime I exit the lumber yard and look at the invoice,.
    I get sticker shock.
    Man just a few pieces of PT lumber and $50 goes by fast

    I have been warned not to price jobs too far ahead. When the rebuilding efforts caused by the hurricans kicks in
    this spring. There are going to be material shortages and excalating prices, Particularly with windows and glass
    products. All constructon grade members could also be in short supply 2 bys and plywood.
  11. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I should post some pics of the way I stack. Basically, I put 7' steel fence posts at either end and then start stacking in between. I tie a piece of cheap, polypropelyne rope between the two posts so that as the stack grows upwards, the rope keeps the posts from spreading back. When the stack gets up to the rope (here's the neat part), you stack the chunks ON TOP of the rope. That not only serves to tension it, but would hold the posts in place even if the rope broke at some point. My stacks of 2-foot wood start out 6.5 feet high and 40 feet long. By the time the wood has shrunk (Dylan......please) they're 6 x 40 x 2. And they never fall down.

    I thought about doing something with PT wood on the bottoms, but have found that it's easier to stack right on the ground. What do I do with the bottom course when recovering wood from the pile in the middle of the winter: toss the chunks aside and save them for next year. They have all summer to dry out higher up on a new pile.

    EDIT: Well, here's a link to a pic. I you look carefully you can see the tops of the posts in the lower right of the photo and the rope on the farthest pile to the left.

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/43/
  12. bruce56bb

    bruce56bb New Member

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    OMg that's a lot of wood!!! as i recall, you split it all by hand. move over john wayne, EJ is my new hero!
  13. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    hey eric just took a look at the photo of your wood pile. what a thing of beuitey. all that wood split and stacked up straight. nice.

    i've had a pile go over twice. no wind. i think it was from frost heave.

    i used to stack my wood on press treated 2 x 4 on the flat on the ground but found after a while the 2 bys would sink into the ground and my wood would be touching the ground. now i went to ace hardware and bought these bracket corners made out of steel you install two 2 x 4 across and four up one on each corner and instant wood pile (after you stack your wood on it) they're called STACK IT brackets.
    $13.95 a set. i put a 16 foot 2 by's between the brackets and it's just shy of a full cord. unless you go up a little higher.

    i feel for ya paul. once was the middle pile for me out of three piles side by side.
  14. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Lot's of great suggestions here for stacking. Another suggestion...Take additional pallets and place them vertically at the ends of the bottom pallets. Use peices from broken pallets to place diagonal braces from the vertical to the bottom pallets. My neighbor uses this method, and she creates 2 or 3 cords end to end with this method. Her stack has never fallen over. Seems like the addition of Erics cords would help too. The stacks to which I added poles (as per Eric's suggestion) and cords holding the poles in tension to have not fallen over. The ones I stacked against trees fell over.

    Another thing that seems to help is to stack the logs at the end in a crisscross fassion. Each layer of is 90 degrees to the former.
  15. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    They say the definition of "experience" in computers is measured by how much data you've lost. I would say the same logic applies to firewood piles falling over. I've re-stacked more wood over the years than I care to remember.

    A couple more tips offhand:

    Always build your stack evenly i.e., don't try to stack up to your target height in one spot. Build your row gradually by adding about 2 feet per "layer" at a time, working back and forth along the length of the stack as you gain height. This might seem a little finicky, but you will have a better pile and it will never fall over on you while you're building it. This applies equally whether you're building a stack outside or inside. Anywhere.

    My dad has some formula about stacking east-to-west vs north-to-south. If a stack gets full southern exposure on one side, it will heat up unevenly and tend to tip over as the ground under it melts in the spring. Maybe Dave will check in and give us some more detail.

    Never stack against trees if you don't want your pile to fall over. Trees move more than you might expect, resulting in fallen piles.

    Pay attention to the shape of the wood you're stacking and always place the chunk on the stack so as to level the pile off. Fill the gaps, in other words, with chunks that are bigger on one end than the other. It's surprising how well a load will fit together with just a little extra effort. I never hesitate to pick a piece up off the stack and turn it around so that the top of the pile remains level.

    I drive around the countryside and see the piles that oldtimers (I assume) have built and I feel like a bum. I don't have that much patience and sometimes it shows.
  16. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Exposure to the sun and othe elements does degrade it, but it lasts a couple of years, Dylan. When the rope starts to leave powder on your hands, you know it's about time to make another trip down to the Depot. The first couple of years I did this, I was afraid to stack on the rope because I thought the chunks might cut it. Then I realized that not only would they not cut it, but they would provide all sorts of extra tension the more you pile on. I've never actually broken a rope, but there's no way the rope would slip past that much wood if it did. Year-to-year, I try not to tie at the post with the same section of rope, for the reasons you mentioned. It's easy enough to trim it off it the end of the rope gets frayed. I tie sections together mid-pile to make the rope long enough. No big deal. It's kind of ghetto, but it works.
  17. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Great, thanks Eric...NOW ya tell me. :)


    And probably worse, I combined laying the rope in the pile..tied one end to the tree and the other to a pole. Smaller tree..about 5" diameter...So you can imagine what happened. (Oh shucks!!! or somethign like that)
  18. got wood?

    got wood? New Member

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    Laughing so hard as the same thing happend to me! I had stacked a bunch of rounds between three trees this fall (hadn't built my racks yet) with the intention of splitting them in the spring and with the wacky weather we had yesterday, over it went...into my well stacked econo-racks! Arrrg! Oh well, now I know too...wish I had read this forum months ago! LOL

    speaking of econo-racks I thought I'd mention my cheap racks that have worked out great for me (I get compliments on them quite often, I'm not kidding!).

    materials for one rack:
    seven 2x4x8's (regular lumber, non-pressure treated) = $10
    4 framing corner braces (metal braces that join 2x4s at 3 angles to be fastened with screws) = $10
    ~30 deck screws = $-cheap
    1 can of linseed oil = $4
    3 cinder blocks = ~$3.50
    = less than $30 each

    now for some ASCII art (not to scale ;-) :

    ||..................................................................||
    ||..................................................................||
    ||..................................................................||
    ||..................................................................||
    88============ ==============88
    ____BB_______BB________BB____

    4' tall ends (2x4s), four 2x4x8 on the bottom for rails
    the "88" are the corner framing braces and the BB are the cinder blocks. All the `.' are to make the ASCII art line up, same with the `_'...and it kinda looks like splits and the ground, eh? ;-) a view from the top would look like long rectangle. I don't fasten the long rails together because the weight of the wood keeps them lined up very well. I just make sure both halves of the rack are on the center cinder block. Between the rails at each end is a one foot 2x4 (part of the corner framing bracing) to keep the rails spaced properly. I put linseed oil on to get more than 3-4 years outta the wood, though I'm not sure how much it helps compared to just untreated lumber. So I can stack 16 foot by 4 foot rows for less than $30 each. I'll see if I can snap some pics this weekend.
  19. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Drive around Switzerland sometime. I swear they all have to take graduate courses in firewood. Every stick exactly the same length and stacking is an art form there.

    Disgusting.
  20. Sundeep Arole

    Sundeep Arole New Member

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    We had serious wind here in MA as well, had some of my wood pile fall but nothing like that one. One thing that saved my pile (I think) is that I hadn't tied my tarp down, but just used a few logs to hold it down on the pile. All of those logs and the tarp blew away across the lawn, but the pile stayed where it was. My guess is I might have lost the piles if I had tied the tarp down to them - something I wanted to do but never got to doing. Guess this is one place being lazy (or rather extremely busy) paid off.

    But there were trees down all over the neighborhood. Somebody is getting a lot of free wood - one time I really wish I had the time to move some wood I could have gotten a free cord at least from neighbors on our street from just taking away their fallen trees which they would have happily let me.
  21. PaulGuy

    PaulGuy New Member

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    Hotflame, it was pretty brutal around here for a few hours. The Newspaper the next day had a picture on the front page of a van crushed under a fallen tree. The driver survived but the car was unrecognizable. I believe it in New Milford.
  22. got wood?

    got wood? New Member

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    a pic of the econo-rack I mentioned for those intersted...and yes those are planks of wood leaned against the side to prevent any swaying in the future! :)

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  23. got wood?

    got wood? New Member

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    of course...but it was a small victory for me when I cobbled together this rack that is 2x as big as the DIY racks offered at home depot and 1/4th the price while waiting in the checkout line...not quite MacGuyver resourcefulness, but close ;-)
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