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What kind of crushed stone to put wood stacks on?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by jeffee, Oct 28, 2008.

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  1. jeffee

    jeffee New Member

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    If anyone has any feedback for me about this, it would be much appreciated. Do you have a preference between stacking wood on regular 3/4 inch stone or stacking it on 3/4 inch round stone (more expensive)?

    Thanks,
    -Jeff

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  2. Valhalla

    Valhalla Minister of Fire

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    Choose the largest size for best drainage. However, I use shipping pallets. They are free and fully covered by my stacks.
  3. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

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    Unless you have a real drainage problem in the stacking area, just pallets supported off the ground by bricks, flat stones, etc. would probably be best.
    If you do have a drainage problem, you might consider stacking somewhere else. I started supporting my pallets with bricks so the bottoms didn't rot
    out and I wouldn't have to go hunting for new pallets each season.

    To answer the original question, I think the difference between which has better drainage is probably so small it wouldn't make a
    difference. If the area is prone to washing out/flooding, angular rocks will hold their ground better than round ones.
  4. jeffee

    jeffee New Member

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    Thanks for the replies and info! Yes I now have a shed which is made from 12 pressure treated 4 x 4's stuck into the ground. So, I can't really use pallets, and I've heard here from a thread that I started that crushed stone would be nearly as good as pallets. There's no drainage problem. I had the more angular 3/4 inch crushed stone delivered, but I could order other stuff (rounder stuff) if it would be better, but it sounds like it wouldn't make much of a difference. (?)

    Thanks again --
  5. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    Individually hand polished spheres of onyx.
  6. jeffee

    jeffee New Member

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    I had considered that option. What size do you think would be more desirable, 6/32" or 7/32"?
  7. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Crushed stone OK for a base, but the best by far is to get the stacks up off the ground to get air circulation under the stacks. Ground moisture can prevent bottom couple of rows drying well. Also allows a "chimney" effect of drawing air up through the bottom and into the stacks. I would go with minimum 4" air clearance, more is better. 8"-12" is probably in the ideal range.
  8. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Years ago when the wife tired of falling threw rotting pallets I excavated 12" behind the woodshed filled with sand then topped it off with 4-6" of washed #1's. The wood was stacked right on the stones and the water drained right threw. In the winter drawing wood you'd have to slap the bottom pieces to clear them of stones but it was easy to do. The smaller washed stones while still a little mealy to walk on would be the better bet than the ankle twisting larger ones imo. Keep in mind that washed stone never packs in tight. After that every spring I'd rake up any wood trash so the gravel pad wouldn't go native...it's been over 15 years now and looks like I put it in yesterday.

    Since then we put a lean-to over that area and improved the appearance and utility of the area that now less than a cord of wood is stored there. But the washed stones have been an excellent investment.
  9. backpack09

    backpack09 Minister of Fire

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    If you can get it, it is probably cheaper to go with 1.5" crushed stone. Will drain just as well. Do not waste your money on washed stone, unless you are worried about a little stone dust washing down hill.
  10. jeffee

    jeffee New Member

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    Thanks for all the help. Another question:
    There is some grass and weeds with nasty vines etc. that I've pulled up, but I'm not sure if that stuff will come back through the rocks, especially around the perimeter of the shed. I've got some 6 mil black plastic, do you think I should lay a couple of layers down before I put the crushed stone down? The ground is fairly flat, maybe there is a slight slope, mostly away (rather than bowl shaped), but almost flat.

    What is best? Lay 4 to 6 inches of stone, or precede that with plastic?

    Thanks
  11. BaldSpot

    BaldSpot New Member

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    I'm using free pallets sitting on concrete blocks out in the yard away from the house, but under the back deck with the concrete floor I'm using a pair of 2 x 4's to lift the wood off the floor.

    The thing you have to remember is there's lots of stuff that falls off the wood and collects on the bottom. Whatever you set the wood on, it needs to be something easily cleanable.
  12. jeffee

    jeffee New Member

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    How about just stacking the wood on concrete blocks? I could acquire say 60 blocks and stack my wood on the blocks. Would this work well?

    Thanks
  13. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    jeffee as a general rule if you don't lay a fabric barrier over the topsoil the stones could penetrate the into the soil over time. I suppose if the area is well drained and you're not going to drive on it a heavy plastic barrier will do.

    Save the blocks for another project.
  14. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    The plastic will act as a weed block.
    The plastic will act as a vapor barrier stopping moisture from rising up from wet soil through the stones.
    The plastic should slope downhill somehow- think of it as a roof shedding water.
    The stones just act as a [fast percolation]medium that will not retain water every time it rains.



    Dirt and lawn clippings, etc. will tend to collect in the stones and on top of the plastic and will become good enough soil for weeds. Will take several years.

    A moisture barrier is more important under a building, but some like to stack on the ground or not have to build little raised platforms.



    No matter what you do, including nothing, rodents and snakes will attempt to utilize your efforts for thier own use, including sun bathing.
  15. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    I've got my wood on those decorative cinderblocks, about 16"x16"x4". You often see them used as a "fence" wall around a yard. I got mine free, and they're sturdy, elevated from the ground, and have holes to allow air movement. I placed them a few inches apart to maximize square footage.
  16. jeffee

    jeffee New Member

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    Thank you all very much for your helpful information, ideas, opinions etc. I think I might spring for some pressure treated 4 x 4's to use as bottom rails for my stacks -- it just seems like a better solution. I could put them on top of a couple of inches of stones.
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