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Want to SEE how long it takes Oak to season?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by TradEddie, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    Apologies for the dirty lens. The point is that this stack was re-filled jammed tight to the absolute very top of the rack in March of this year. It contains oak and a little hickory all which was C/S/S two full years before even going into this rack. Five months later, you can see how much that stack has shrunk.

    TE

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  2. NortheastAl

    NortheastAl Minister of Fire

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    Damn! That stuff is still seasoning. Let us know when it finally does.
  3. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    Another reason for sellers to get rid of it before it dries. ;lol

    Man, those splits are huge! Might be five years on those.... _g
  4. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

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    I saw a Holtz Hausen design from here that used a marked pole in the center to measure shrinkage of the woodstack. Theres only a few of these stacks that I saw using the marked poles. The design theory being based on the wood being cured when it reaches a certain lowered height.
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  5. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    Thinking the same on those splits. I bet some of those big splits are upper 20's easy still on the oak.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  6. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

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    You better burn it soon. You know how fast oak rots.;)
    Its probably that dang hickory shrinking.
    NortheastAl and Backwoods Savage like this.
  7. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    It is amazing how much the wood shrinks as it seasons.......I have low spots in my stack where it has shrunk significantly over the past several years.

    Good post, Eddie!
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  8. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    Those big splits are how I get good overnight burns. Those splits spent the first two years in a less than ideal drying location, but splits from the same felling stacked in good sunlight were useless in November, but were in the low 20's by February. I'm confident that they'll all be ready for this year, and that rack probably won't be needed until 2014/2015 anyway. I was just surprised to see so much shrinkage still occurring.

    TE
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  9. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Do a re-split on one of those big 'uns out of curiosity and see what kind of numbers you get.
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  10. paul bunion

    paul bunion Minister of Fire

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    I go for the big splits too. 3 pieces of 6x6 oak make for a long overnight burn. Makes for fewer pieces to re-handle when splitting and stacking and carrying inside.
  11. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    So this is the third summer those have been drying? What were the "less-than-ideal" conditions the first two years, less windy? I wouldn't think the sun would help much, except the splits on top which are fully exposed to the light. Anything down in the stack is only getting sun on the end of the split, and a glancing blow at that. Doesn't seem like that would raise their temp much? Also, the higher in the stack, the more wind they are going to get. With those monsters, I'm guessing you didn't pull and test anything close to the bottom. Maybe they are the ones that are still shrinking a lot....
  12. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    I like scotty would like to see you pull one of those biguns half way down and split and test to see.
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  13. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I do the same thing with a lot of my ash and locust.....make 'em really big. I like to put big chunks on when I can, especially for overnighters.....

    oak, though....I've been keeping it at 5x5" or smaller. Just helps it season a lot better IMO....
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  14. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    But the big ones are on the bottom!!! Maybe at the weekend.

    Those are 2x4s not 2x6s, so I doubt that there are many bigger than 5" triangles, not even square. Some of the biggest ends you can see are only half lengths, one behind the other in the stack. If you think those are big, you should have seen the crotch oak uglies I occasionally fed to my old smoke dragon insert on cold nights. I'd guess that door was 18x12 and I could barely get some of those through.

    TE
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  15. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for posting that Eddie. The picture says a lot.
  16. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Back in the days of the old Forum, three software generations ago, there were heated arguments about whether stacks shrank or not. Silly really. Yes they do.

    A cord of Oak when stacked is often less than a cord when I measure it three years later. But burns really nice.
  17. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    I had to do a double take on a row of pin oak I put up back in April - thought someone had helped themselves to a few pieces.
    After further inspection figured they wouldn't have replaced the uglies back on top, the stack has settled/shrunk close to a foot
  18. NortheastAl

    NortheastAl Minister of Fire

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    How high did it start out? Heard that the stick in the middle of a Holz Hausen is used to determine when the wood is seasoned. A mark is put at about 7 feet on the stick, and if I remember correctly, the pile was stacked to 9 feet with green wood to start.
  19. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    I stack to just over head height @6'4" tall the stack is below my shoulders now.
    Most of the shrinkage from my experience happens in the first six months.
  20. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    Who would think they don't shrink?? Wood expands contracts with moisture?? This is why wet floors buckle. This is why a wood rocker is right in summer and loose in winter or your floors contract and squeak in winter when its dry but are tight in the summer.

    Why my stacks lean and topple as they shrink at different rates.
  21. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    That definitely is stacking the wood high. I'll re-measure a couple stacks this fall when I move some into the barn. Back in April, 2010 the stacks were about 54" average height, which is our normal. Seems like the last time I measured they were around 45" in height.

    You are correct that the first six months can be some big time evaporation of that moisture. The rest of the moisture takes longer because it is deeper into the wood.
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  22. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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  23. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    You are very correct basod.
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  24. n3pro

    n3pro Minister of Fire

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    That's my observation. I don't see my wood stacks shrinking then lean, lean then go crash in the night. I see the nice piles people have on here and I try but the longer it sits the longer I scratch my head and wonder if I was drunk when I stacked it. I have one this year and one last year that I thinking about restacking but there is a part of me that likes to see how far it can lean.
  25. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    I stack when they fall. I have a few that I take posts and pipes and prop them in hoping to keep them standing.

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