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Too Dry??

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by lawandorder, Jul 19, 2009.

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  1. lawandorder

    lawandorder Member

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    Just found some firewood for sale thats 3-4 years cut and split. He delivered some today and it seems very dry. Can Firewood actually be too dry. I have a gassifier and most of it is 20 or less mc, Just wondering at what point wood looses its btus I will say this firewood is paper light. Hardly any weight at all. Makes for easy moving Thanks

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  2. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    According to woodheat.org, wood can be too dry but it sounds like you're fine.
  3. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    It depends on the species. Do you know what it i? Do you have any pictures?
  4. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like Poplar.
  5. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Wood does not lose btu's from being too dry, but most gassers and even wood stoves are engineered with certain moisture content of the wood in mind, typically 20-30%, and at the engineered rate the wood burns at the design rate to produce the most heat. Drier wood will burn faster and produce quicker heat, which may just go up the chimney. Wetter wood may burn too slowly, causing condensation, creosote, etc. Most wood dried in outside stacks, open to the atmosphere, will end up with about 20-30% MC, depending on local climate and drying time. Wood stored in wood sheds can end up more dry, depending on the length of drying time.

    Wood which seems very light for the split size may be poplar, aspen, basswood, willow, some maples, some pines, etc. Nothing wrong with this wood, but it may have btu content of about 1/2 of woods like the oaks, hickory, hard maples, etc. The btu content relates directly to the type of wood, but indirectly to moisture content, as btu's are needed to boil off the water before the wood will burn.
  6. lawandorder

    lawandorder Member

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    the wood is a hard mix. Oak, beech maple and some hickory i believe. It just seems so much lighter than my wood last year but i had a lot of problems with the seasoned wood not being seasoned as advertised. Most of the moisture content seems to be near 20 after being split but the outside mc is in the high teens. The wood was just piled up in a lot he actually has a lot of it. It seems too good to be true because the one problem I had last year with the Tarm was wood that wasnt dry enough. Now i am just trying to make sure that I dont have wood thats actually too dry. I dont want to get a bunch of it and end up with a problem in January. My learning curve continues...
    thanks for the replies
  7. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    I'd say you are definitely set!
  8. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    If in fact you have wood that is extremely dry, your lucky. That the first I heard of this from a wood delivery. Get some more if you can afford it. You found the holy grail!
  9. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    Too dry? No such thing. The drier the better. How would you add moisture to it if it was too dry? Soak it in water? Set the lawn sprinkler on it? Never heard of that.
  10. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Too dry is a myth perpetuated mostly by OWB owners. Some actually have convinced themselves that greener is better. I've seen ads on CL from OWB owners looking only for green wood.

    Many OWB owners leave their wood in the round which tends not to dry as well, then they smoke out the neighborhood with their stench and ease their conscience, saying that's what OWBs need.
  11. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like junk science you find after swallowing the worm at the bottom of the bottle.
  12. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    I agree with this statement and only take exeption to notion that the the operator is unable to compensate for the dryness by burning a smaller fire.
  13. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Based on the MC numbers you quote, it is at odds with your definition of "this firewood is paper light". None the less, buy it. You can always buy some less ideal wood and blend the two to suit the requirements.
  14. lawandorder

    lawandorder Member

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    i say paper light because it is much lighter than any wood ive ever burned
  15. 'bert

    'bert Minister of Fire

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    +1 exactly what i was thinking
  16. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Which is 6.1 to 1. With dry wood.
  17. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Getting back to the problem at hand, I highly doubt you will find any wood that is too dry for burning in your stove. I know a man who came upon a nice find of white ash. Now ash has a very low moisture content to begin with, but this stuff was inside a shed and had been there over 10 years. Believe me, he was one happy camper and he said he'd never had wood burn as good as that.

    Also, you've no doubt seen some of my posts where we have a 7 - 8 year wood supply on hand; all cut, split and stacked. Being too dry is the very last of my worries. Also I have burned 10 year old wood before with no problems.

    Besides all this, Brother Bart has even used some of his wife's fine furniture for a fire one cold winter night....
  18. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    One of these seasons I'm going to burn a couple of scrap oak beams I saved from a barn tear down. They have been drying for 150+ years. Maybe my insert will blow up? Maybe I won't!
  19. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    They will burn fine. A couple of years ago for a project I bought several dozen 4X4 kiln dried oak table legs at a bankruptcy auction new in the crate. Had most of them left over and burned them last year. Great firewood. Wish I had 50 cords of them.
  20. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    My father's house originally was a homestead log home that he added to on all sides, top, and bottom. As the enlarged home grew up around it, the original log walls were cut up for firewood. We did the same thing with the barn. We did burn out some of the original firebrick from our cookstove and had to pack in some refractory cement. It could have been the too dry wood but I think it was some Tamarack we burned.
  21. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    Perhaps wood can theoretically be drier than the ideal mosture content for certain burning systems, but is it likely that air-dried firewood is too dry? I doubt it. I think it would require a kiln to make firewood drier than the ideal moisture content. Also, how much worse is wood that is a little too dry than wood that is a little too wet? I'd take my chances with too dry. There must be a lower limit for the moisture content in firewood that is exposed to the air, since the air is pretty humid, and I bet in most climates that lower limit is higher than the suggested minimum moisture content for most burners. Maybe you fellas in Phoenix have to worry about over-dry firewood, but the rest of us can rest easy, I think.
  22. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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