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Two years supply?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by basswidow, Mar 31, 2009.

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  1. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

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    I see from posts that many of you keep up to 2 or more years supply of split wood. And this means, most of what you are burning has seasoned 2 years. I like that concept. Most of you have wood sheds too.

    I am just getting started and I think I'll be able to gather enough for 09/10 season, but it will be wood cut and split now. I will get a moisture meter and hope it's good to go once cold weather kicks in. I may have to buy seasoned wood for 09/10 and the stuff I gather and split now - keep for 10/11. Most of what I am cutting is already down and some deadwood. But the stuff that was cut (bucked - not split) last september 08 and longer, is still green inside when split. Seasoning doesn't begin until split right?- and some woods season quicker - like ash and others longer like oak. I sure hope it's going to be ready - I will stack it in full sun and wind.

    My question: Do you stack your wood co-mingled or stack the oak with oak, ash with ash? Right now - my split pile is all co-mingled, but I could stack it segregated by wood type and seasoning time? or does it not matter for you since you keep wood split in piles for 2 years before burning?

    If I am going to keep 2 years on hand, plus have a seasons worth to burn I will need to do 15 cords this spring. I am not sure that is doable for me or if I have that kind of space. I don't have a wood shed either. Should I be setting this as my goal? Maybe 15 cords by next fall to give me more time? Build a shed?

    My question is: do you all cut and gather all through the year?
    What is your season for cutting, splitting, stacking?
    Do you ever take time off from processing wood?

    I can easily see how this could consume most of my free time. Family time and fishing time. I am not sure I want to give up that time. Having a tree company drop wood for me - would sure save me time as well as having the right tools. How long did it take you to get a system down?

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  2. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    No wood shed for me but I only use around 3 cords/year so need to have 6 on hand. If you are burning 7.5 cords a year it will obviously take more time but you should still be able to hit hard for a couple months and be done for the year (depending on wood availability, of course).

    I try to get everything cut and split in late winter and spring but if I get free stuff along the way, I'm not going to turn it down. This does create a problem with storage as I don't want to block my seasoned with unseasoned. I have 2 areas where I stack, 1 for each year and rotate between them.

    I do try to stack by wood type so that if I get into some stuff that hasn't reached 20%, I can move to another part of the stack. This happened to me this year where I had some maple that I thought should be ready but wasn't.

    My system is working but I am sure it will be improved over time.

    I hope this helps.
  3. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

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    It does help.

    Because I am concerned about rotating area's and not blocking the seasoned with unseasoned.

    My consumption this year was just shy of 4 cords. Maybe I don't need 15. I could do 8 this year to get on track and pick up 4 next year and get a system down.
  4. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

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    Getting started is the hardest part. I burn 4 cord a year. Last year I cut 8 cord to get 2 years ahead. Now all I have to do is cut 4 cord each year, 2 cord in the fall and 2 cord in the spring, no big deal. A wood shed is nice because I have it 3/4 full with 1+ year old dry wood ready for next fall. I do get a little panicked from time to time, but it all seems to work out. Getting a good rythum seems to be the key. (not moving the wood around alot/ restacking etc...)
  5. myzamboni

    myzamboni Minister of Fire

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    I comingle by density. Locust/Oak comingle. Pine/cedar/spruce comingle.

    I scrounge so it is hard to keep it all separated by tree name. (plus I would have alot of smaller stacks)
  6. Risser09

    Risser09 New Member

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    I am basically a scrounger, although my family has 100 wooded acres 3.5 hours away. So to satisfy my local wood needs, I have friends/family clue me in to wood scrounging opportunities. This winter was my first winter, so I hustled a lot to get ahead 2 years.

    As for stacking, I mix everything. You should know what wood is what, and burn them as such. You could just put aside the lesser BTU wood for the warmer days. If you make your stack linear (not holz) you will know what wood is the oldest vs. what is the greenest. So just pull from the oldest pile (it would help to be 2 years ahead, as this is probably the most time needed for say, oak).
  7. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

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    I scrounge too - so I don't always know what type of wood I have. Cherry and Oak are easy for me to identify. I could try and stack the wood that is similar density together. Cherry, Oak, and Ash is mostly what I have now. Maybe some locust in there too. The lighter color woods are tough for me to ID, but I can tell a hard density vs a soft one. So that helps. Thanks
  8. boostnut

    boostnut Member

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    Theres almost no mixing of species in my stacks. I cut when I can, prefer the winter but never turn down an opportunity (unless its 90+ degrees outside). Since I dont keep more than about 5 cords on hand I can remember when each load was cut & split. Since I do a little scrounging I have a rack for "unidentified scrounged junk", usually used at the begining and end of the burn season. Thats the only stack that sometimes has a mix.

    As with most tasks being organized will save time in the long run. No need for my moisture meter any more, getting 2 years ahead solves any moisture concerns. You're doing the right thing, get ahead while you have the opportunity.

    Also, I'm not too sure I'd be paying for any wood for next year. Unless you know and trust the seller you're probably better off burning your wood that is to be cut and split in april vs. buying someone elses "seasoned" wood.
  9. Henz

    Henz New Member

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    I burn 4 cord a year minimum. next heating year I expect to burn 5 since 90% of the wood I ahve for that year is soft maple
  10. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

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    Yeah BoostNut,

    you're right. Getting away from buying wood is why I started this. I hope my wood will work come winter! Free wood and wood that I found and processed should bring an even higher level of enjoyment to heating with wood.
  11. Henz

    Henz New Member

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    it does as does processing it all by yourself..
  12. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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    dont waste your time or money buying "seasoned" wood 90% of the time its the same wood you would be buying from him right now... except it has sat in his yard in the sun all spring n summer "season" and in oct nov it will get sold as "seasoned".....
    so if you need to buy it cut split and delivered (c/s/d) green and season it yourself! you don't need a shed many of us dont have one .... just stack it and forget about it till oct then cover the top with a tarp or something ... take your time get as much done as you can
  13. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    basswidow,
    It's really hard to come up with dry seasoned wood this time of year unless you know the supplier real well. Most of what is available right now will burn in a regular wood stove or in an OWB but gasifiers will tell on wood that is too wet. That said wood that is already cut and split though not below 25% MC still would not be a bad investment for the 09/10 season as long as the splits are not huge. Even with your own stuff splits down to 4" will dry fairly quick if done before summer hits and protected from moisture while given heat and wind exposure.
  14. Backroads

    Backroads Feeling the Heat

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    If it's free wood you shouldn't let the season dictate whether you scrounge or not. If you don't jump on it, someone else will. Me personally though refuse to do firewood during hunting season...I have my priorities. :coolgrin:
  15. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    If you can get more than a year ahead you won't have to worry about what time of year wood is processed and stacked, since it'll sit around for two years before you burn it. Also, you won't have to worry about stacking slow seasoning wood like oak with faster seasoning wood like pine or ash - they will all sit long enough to thoroughly season and you'll have the entire stack ready to burn when its time comes. To me, this is another big advantage of being two years ahead - it eliminates the worry of having to get your wood split by a certain date, or trying to get all your wood collecting done in a short season of the year.

    I collect wood whenever I find the time. I do more of it in winter, when there is no gardening, little league, summer vacations, fishing, etc., but I'll do a little here and there in the summer. I really enjoy cutting, splitting, and stacking wood, but if I had to do it all the time I'd get tired of it. I prefer a few hours here and there when I feel like it.
  16. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    We generally do all of our cutting during the winter months. Sap is down and no nesting birds and no yellow jackets to contend with leave alone the mosquitoes. We split in the spring (now) and try to get everything stacked by May 1.

    Usually we stack everything together but the last couple of years and for the next several we'll separate. For example, this year's wood was almost all white ash. However we also cut some soft maple and because there is so much more ash than maple, I'll sort it when stacking. I also cut one elm and one very small oak but I'll just stack that with the ash.

    My reasoning is that I like to always put in at least one piece of soft maple before filling the stove with ash or whatever else. The soft maple gets the fire going quickly so it works like a charm. I also make kindling from soft maple.

    So, our season runs from around Thanksgiving through April. However, we are not totally consumed with the job all the time. There may be breaks of a couple weeks where we don't cut in the winter. Usually weather keeps us from cutting at times but sometimes the body stops us too. And, of course, there are other things that you must attend to.
  17. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Something to remember too, the softer woods burn more quickly. Obvious, right? But, we had about a cord of pine, maple, and popple that got used pretty quickly. If that cord had been oak, it's probable that cord would have gone further. We would have used less wood this year. I figure we use about 5 cords/yr., but usually put up 6 or more, just in case! So far, most of ours has been oak, but that may change from year to year.
    I have all of '09-'10 wood done as of late last summer. The PLAN is to get 2 more years worth c/s/s this year. Some of our oak that was c/s/s by the end of April '08 is still sizzling a little.
    Someone mentioned that this can be an expensive education, but that depends on how quickly you learn by doing what all the folks on here tell you needs to be done, and how well you can adapt to this way of life. I'm still learning, and it's already getting less expensive. Also, still less expensive to burn wood for me, and when I get a new stove, that will be a temporary setback. BUT, the ROI is fantastic.

    Dave :coolsmile:
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