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Wet wood but nice wood?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by tbl01, Nov 4, 2008.

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  1. tbl01

    tbl01 New Member

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    Another question on wet wood. I just got back from looking at some unsplit logs. They are about 2-3 years old, mostly ash, with some black birch, and maple.

    About 12"-18" diameter and cut to nice 14-16" length. Nice cracks and checks on the end. Problem is they were stacked and have been sitting under some trees for a couple of years.

    I took one home and split it to check moisiture content.. the piece practially split itself on the Dr splitter, but has a moisture content of about 30% via the meter.

    The guy is asking $200 for the whole lot( about 2.5-3 chord). I have to pick up and split the wood.

    My question is will this wood dry out in a months time if split,stacked and kept dry??

    I need some wood to burn this season, and really dont have the room to stack for next season.

    Will this wood work??

    thanks for any advice.

    GM

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  2. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    It will dry faster than fresh cut (recently live) wood. Split it small. You could stack it indoors and it would be about in the zone later winter.
  3. jqgs214

    jqgs214 Minister of Fire

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    Probably wont be dry, what kind of wood is it? Wood really doesnt start drying out till its split, then takes at least 6mos for most types oak over a year
  4. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    Can you keep sperate the end pieces and burn those first ?
  5. Valhalla

    Valhalla Minister of Fire

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    I would get it and begin.

    It is a fair price for your area. Follow all of the above advice.

    Most importantly, you are on your way to having some put away for your burning needs in the near future.
  6. tbl01

    tbl01 New Member

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    The wood is mostly ash and birch, some maple an oak, but very little. Splits real easy. It been sitting for at least two years. Bark falls right off ....Moisture level is anywere in the piece I split from 26% -32%.
  7. bayshorecs

    bayshorecs New Member

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    Get it, split it, and use what you can. Never pass up a good deal. Heck, you could always resell it!
  8. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1 Minister of Fire

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    If you split it now, i bet it will lose some moisture very quickly. I split some oak and birch last week that sounds just like that and it burned pretty well.
  9. MacKay

    MacKay Member

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    Split it now. Hard to tell if you would be able to use it this year or not. With the black birch I would think no way. Remember they used to make canoes from birch bark. In my experience birch will not dry at all until split.
  10. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    If there is a lot of ash get it. You can burn the ash immediately.
  11. Bill

    Bill Minister of Fire

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    Split it and check moisture before burning, my guess would be probably not this season. If you don't stack unsplit wood properly it goes from wet to punky. I have some of that I left stacked in the woods, will drag it out in two weeks, but wont burn it for 1 to 2 years after I split.
  12. tbl01

    tbl01 New Member

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    Thanks for eveyones imput and advice. Im going to move forward on the purchase and get it split. Im hoping maybe towards mid feb, 3.5 months some of it might be ready to burn. Maybe the ash.

    GM
  13. Dill

    Dill Feeling the Heat

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    The ash will burn now. Put away the meter and put the ash in the stove.
  14. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Yes.
  15. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Good move getting that wood tb...at that price you can't go wrong. Plus with the bark all falling off like you say the wood will dry much faster too if kept outside with only the tops covered.
  16. Vic99

    Vic99 Minister of Fire

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    Split small, stack loosely inside (but in a cold place, like a porch or basement), and put a fan on it. Check in a month or two.
  17. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    I don't agree that the ash will necessarily burn now. It could have even more moisture than when it was a live tree just from ground contact and rain.
  18. tbl01

    tbl01 New Member

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    Well just an update on the piece of wood I split with the MC at 30-32%. We have had rain for two days ans some dry weather mixed in, and I had just left the splits out on the retaining wall.

    I measured it today( Sunny,cool and light wind) and it is at 19-22%. Same splits, and they have a nice "Tink Tink" sound when you tap the split against the wall.
    I went over this morning to give the guy a deposit . He had alot of calls and I was worried he would sell it to someone else. He had a fischer stove he sold in a day.

    I actually measured up the pile, and I'm looking at about 3-4 chord as measured. I'd say the majority is all Black Ash. He also has about 1/3 of a chord of dry oak sitting in a shed ready to burn that he is including.

    Ive been rained out the last couple of days, the owner is worried about my truck tearing up the lawn.

    thanks again for pushing me in the right direction! ;)
  19. bsruther

    bsruther Minister of Fire

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    If you have a garage or shed where you can store a decent amount of it, you can stack it in there and put a fan on it. I've done this for my garage stove wood and it dries out in about a week.
    You can try to burn the ash, but I doubt that it's dry enough.
    And yes, wood can become seasoned before it is split. I've cut down plenty of dead standing trees that were ready to burn right away.
  20. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like you found a great deal. I bet after you split it and wait 2 weeks most will be dry enough to burn. Just do a few more checks with your moisture meter and you should be ok.
  21. branchburner

    branchburner Minister of Fire

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    Normally you would pay a premium for seasoned wood - because this is unsplit and damp you are getting a giveaway price of about sixty bucks a cord - nice find!
    I think you will find much of it will dry up nicely if you get lucky with the weather and it can get some sun and wind on it - just make sure it's off the ground with good air flow, and covered if it rains/snows. I've had great luck with getting certain types of older wood to dry up quickly even in cooler fall weather - ash, cherry and even oak, if it's already 3-4 years down. Some, like maple, seem to hold the moisture longer, and birch bark seals it right in til it rots. Occasionally there's a punky core or punky outer layer holding lots of water, but if I can split that off I'm left with some pretty dry wood.
    And yes, if you end up with leftovers in late winter, you will be the guy with the coveted seasoned wood everyone else ran out of - you could probably get back double your total investment on the last cord if you wanted to.
    Unless oil is at $1.49....
  22. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Most wood seasoning action happens through the cut ends, not the sides... If the wood isn't a "mushroom farm" and has been cut to stove length, it's probably well on it's way, especially the more protected peices - I'd probably try to split it so that I had slabbed off the sides and gotten square chunks out of the middle - those are probably pretty good, while the damp outsides might take a bit longer. The other advice you've gotten on splitting it and stacking it w/ a top cover and off the ground is excellent.

    Gooserider
  23. expert-woodburner

    expert-woodburner New Member

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  24. tbl01

    tbl01 New Member

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    Actually I was able to start hauling the wood to my house and split. I picked up one load. It appears there is some white oak mixed in with the ash.

    some of the larger rounds that were directly in contact with the ground are a bit punky, not compltely but defiently not solid. Others ars juststarting to rot from the inside out, The inside is jsut starting to change. Any longer and it would be a problem. The outside is actually fine, its the other way around.

    Alos by the end of the day the MC had droped a few points. I have no doubt that a good portion of the wood will burn if exposed to the sun and wind, and covered when it rains in a months time. EVen the oak is at about 26-30% MC.

    Thanks for all the great advice and links.!!

    I actually told the guy I wanted to take a better look at all the wood espically towards the back to make sure its worth my while.
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