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What is the Ideal Moisture Percentage to burn wood

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by katwillny, Jan 1, 2012.

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  1. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    PapaDave with all due respect, I can get Cherry, Silver Maple, and Ash (maybe more types but have not checked) to less then 20% in about 7 full months through the summer here in Iowa, saying wood has to be seasoned for a set periond of time does not always take into account it that includes the full summer months. This is why I always say your results may very. I dont consider the Ash to be a soft hardwood and not sure which ones you do.
    chvymn99 likes this.

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  2. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    This is of course cut to length and split in single rows for that 7 months.
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  3. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    I did cut some Cherry in March and it still feels heavy but by October it will be below 20%, wont burn it this year but I could, for fun I could see what the moisture level is now.
  4. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Your "around here" is different than mine.
    I just split some pine slab yesterday that's been sitting for almost 5 years. It was still a bit damp after being split.
    You are correct...no absolutes.
  5. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    My only guess is we have a lot more wind then you do.
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  6. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Sun too. It can be downright gloomy for days and days.
    Not recently though.
  7. USMC80

    USMC80 Minister of Fire

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    Ash where I am usually good in about 8 months
  8. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    That will help a lot along with the relative humidity.
    Has anyone done an experiment to see how much single row stacking is better than multiple rows? It seems like it would be better, but how much?
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  9. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Good question sprinter but do not know if any one has tried it, its not going to get the wind on the wood like a single row but hard to judge how much better for the single row, I do not top cover my wood either but if I had multiple rows I would cover it for sure as the inside of the rows will stay wetter for longer which could lead to longer drying times or even rot.
  10. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    There is a world of difference between the climate where PapaDave lives vs where oldspark lives! And yes, that can and will make a difference.
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  11. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    And most stove manufacturers also will tell you not to burn pine.....
  12. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Well for me and my stove, the 20% figure rings true and its not just the stove manufactors who use the figure, I had no idea what the %'s were until I joined this site and started reading up on it and believe me you will read things that dont make any sense once in a while, wood does quit drying after it reaches a point and it wont get any dryer after that to speak of.
    Most of the moisture is lost in a short period of time (tests by posters and some wood sites have found this to be true) and the last part of the seasoning comes slower, so most of what I have read is either true or close to true when I compare it to my real world findings.
    Best thing is keep track of your own seasoning and then you know.
    For the new wood burners and ones who have little storage space a MM is your friend.
  13. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    I agree and I'm finding it out now that depending on the wood, some mc drops quickly the first few weeks, then I'm sure it takes more time the lower it gets....all wood was not created equal...
  14. Trilifter7

    Trilifter7 Feeling the Heat

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    I would guess that split size also plays a big part in drying time as well.
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  15. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Very much so, if you are in a bind for wood split it a little smaller and even shorter and it will help in the drying.
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  16. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    Very much so. Think of drying time in terms of mm per week or something like that. The thinner the split, the sooner it will dry all the way through. I also try to split for the widest surface area.
  17. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    I am splitting All of my beech 12-15 in long, I'm hoping this will help, it is at 28% when splitting the round...
  18. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Wont hurt that's for sure. Beech has fairly low moisture content on the stump so a good wood for drying quickly.
  19. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    I'm not familiar with beech, but that should come out fine next season.
  20. Trilifter7

    Trilifter7 Feeling the Heat

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    Sounds like there's lots of variables making it hard to estimate the average drying time but i think we can all agree that anything below 20% and you're good to go!
  21. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    That's the bottom line. But even if you can't make that ideal, there are ways to handle it. Some supplement with pallet wood, mill ends, Biobricks (or similar). etc.
  22. MrWhoopee

    MrWhoopee Minister of Fire

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    You are correct, but he questioned the idea that moisture content reduced the heat output of the stove. I was attempting to clarify that concept. Anything under 20% is perfectly acceptable, but less moisture is always better, with the possible exception of OWBs and other new-fangled devices.
  23. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    His point was (and I agree with him) its not enough to amount to any thing below 20%, reduced heat out put is mostly associated with higher %'s of moisture, might be an interesting test though.
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  24. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    Dead standing trees ,on the ground , fresh cut, time of year cut, and other variables determine when wood is dry
    Edit How long it takes to dry
  25. chvymn99

    chvymn99 Minister of Fire

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    I've got some ash that I just split this spring, which was cut last year. But it'll be ready this fall. But then again, I'm in Kansas, kinda of like you. We get the heat, sun, and wind which helps tremendously in the drying process. I had some Oak that will be three years old, it was drying but at a slower pace. It was against my fence with partial sun and partial wind (blocked by my rows of my hedge perpendicular to it). I burnt some of the top layer this late spring. It was Ok, so I went and laid some skids out in the wind and sun of my yard. What a world of difference it has made to that Oak.
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