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Winter wood storage

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Seanm, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. Seanm

    Seanm Feeling the Heat

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    Hello all,



    I recently had a wood stove installed in my basement and have a question about wood storage. I'm not new to wood burning and have had three stoves in the past but none of them were purchased by me and were there when I rented or purchased the home. The extent of my knowledge was to cut, dry, store and burn, also they were all pre EPA stoves. Ive been without for the last 6 years and have had lots of fun recently learning about how modern stoves work, moisture content etc... All the regions I have burned in have heavy snow loads and it is normal for the wood pile to get buried for many months. Ive been reading quite a bit of the posts from Hearth.com and everything Ive read here says don't cover your wood entirely. I used to cover my wood piles once dried with poly so the snow and the fall rains didn't soak in. At the moment ive only covered the tops and a bit down the sides but with recent rain and the first snow my ends are dripping!! This seems to go against my hard work of drying my pine and larch down to 10%. Should I leave it as is and let the snow pile up against my wood or should I cover it like I have in the past? My wife suggested I can help this a bit by running a path with the snow blower along the edge of the wood pile but this wont stop the snow from getting in between the splits and im worried about the rain. In the winter our humidity is low and the temps are cold so I expect the wood to keep drying. The entire stack is on pressure treated 2x4. I think next year I will double them up as they seem to have sunk a bit with the weight. Ive included a photo, its a couple months old but not much has changed. Ive been lurking here for a few months and have enjoyed everyone taking the time to share knowledge! Thanks,

    Sean

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  2. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum Sean. You pretty much answered your own question when you stated about how dry the air is during the winter months where you live. That dry, no worries.

    As for rain and snow soaking into the wood, we do not worry about that in the least. Wood is not a sponge...unless it is punky. The moisture will be only on the outer surface and will not get to the interior of the wood.

    Here is how we do it. Cut during winter. Split after snow melt. Stack immediately after splitting. Do not cover the wood at all that first summer and fall. The first picture was taken while I was stacking last spring. Those stacks are still not covered and I'll probably cover them in December.

    The second and third pictures are some I experimented with. We use mostly old galvanized roofing as you see in the third picture. In the second picture we used some rubber roofing. We still like galvanized the best. The 4th picture was taken on Christmas Day a few years ago. Those were all covered with galvanized roofing. We have used tarps in the past but don't like them. Something solid works much better and is easier to get the wood when it is snow covered.

    Wood-2012c.JPG
    Wood-3-4-10a.JPG Wood-3-4-10c.JPG

    Christmas-2008a.JPG
  3. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

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    Hello and welcome!

    As usual Dennis is 100% correct.

    The only thing that I would add is that you do not need to cover your wood. However I always try to have a few days to a week's worth under cover somewhere. I keep mine in the basement and some more under my deck. If you cover, I would top-cover only because as you mentioned wood will continue to dry through the winter.
    ScotO and Backwoods Savage like this.
  4. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Welcome

    I'm with you on covering it, top cover though. Especially if your area gets allot of rain.
    Like you said, higher off the ground & you'd get better air up thru the stack from the bottom & help too.
    Pallets are one good way to get it a bit higher & let air get to the bottom.

    Your situation is why I built a wood shed. I had many years of fighting tarps, snow & rain. Now dry & findable :)

    Even Dennis has the wood he will burn this winter under cover in his barn ;)
    If this is the wood that you'll burn this winter & it's dry now, cover it, but on nice weather periods, lift the cover & let it breath
    ScotO, Backwoods Savage and PapaDave like this.
  5. CageMaster

    CageMaster Feeling the Heat

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    couldn't agree with the others more, i will leave stacks uncovered all summer, stuff to be used this winter will go in the shed in sept or oct, and everything that goes into the stoves comes in the house a day or two in advance of being burned so it is not going into the stove "cold"
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  6. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

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    I think Dennis has it all summed up, +1 what he said :)
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  7. Seanm

    Seanm Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks for the help! It would be nice to build a wood shed, maybe next summers project. I have an attached garage that I store wood before it goes into the house (6'x4' wood pile) When its -25c outside the garage will only be -9c. It wouldnt hurt to bring a bit into the house so I dont have some frozen popsicles in the basement!
  8. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    Looks like a good wood supply Sean. I may have missed it. What kind of stove are you burning in now?
    ScotO likes this.
  9. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Welcome to the forum! I agree with the others on all points. But your situation (being you said you have lots of rain and you are buried in snow most of the winter) it may pay you to move a good chunk of wood inside a shelter for the winter. yeah, a shed eventually, but do you have a garage or barn you could store "this year's" wood in, just for this season? Just a thought....

    I'm with you on building a shed, eventually. Just waaaaaaay too many projects on the skillet for me right now to even THINK of building one.
  10. Seanm

    Seanm Feeling the Heat

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    Hello,
    Its a Pacific Energy Super 27 Heritage. Its been keeping us nice and warm so far. Im told my furnace will kick in when it gets very cold but it hasnt been on much at all since the stove went in!
  11. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    Nice stove you have there. If I would have looked at your signature...... ;lol I heated my house with a Super 27 for almost seven years. Still have it as back up to my wood gassification boiler. Very nice stove. You need to post us a picture of that baby with a nice fire in it when you get a chance. Once thing I miss is that glass door. I can't see he fire in my boiler. No glass door. [​IMG]
  12. Seanm

    Seanm Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks Scotty,

    Hi Scotty,
    I do have a single attached garage which makes it easy for moving wood to the stove so we keep a weeks worth in there. I dont think I would have room to store large amounts in it since we use it for other things. I picked up close to a 1/2 cord of Larch the other day from the forest in the picture I took today from my back yard. Nice and close! We were in the yard preping for winter and unloaded it and split a bunch. Half of the Larch is quite wet (next years burn) but I was surprised that the other half when split was only 21.5% moisture so I will be able to burn that earlier than expected. Im still thinking of covering it completely up since the pine is so dry and airing it out during those cold clear days.
    Sean

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    Gasifier and albert1029 like this.
  13. Seanm

    Seanm Feeling the Heat

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    I spent quite a lot of time researching stoves and found myself reading what was posted here. There sure is lots to choose from. I wanted a simple non cat stove that would burn clean. Heres a photo of my fire at the moment, not a ripping fire but its nice and warm in here. When I get it firing with a good reburn I will post a picture. I find I spend lots of time staring at the reburn. Its amazing how the fire moves around in the fire box, very pretty! Oct 21 fire.JPG
  14. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    I enclosed a portion of my back porch today. I'm gonna store about a cord in here. I have my stacks top covered and I have a small shed. But this will keep a fair amount of wood under complete cover (soffit are open and ends are open so it breathes).
    Top cover is fine. But I like to have it inside (or under full cover) for a week or so. How much wood can you store inside at a time?

    2012-10-21_10-16-55_666.jpg 2012-10-21_13-45-32_785.jpg 2012-10-21_18-52-29_175.jpg 2012-10-09_17-51-51_800.jpg
    Gasifier, albert1029 and ScotO like this.
  15. dylskee

    dylskee Feeling the Heat

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    Is that some type of shrink wrap you're using on your stacks? Looks like a great idea......
  16. Seanm

    Seanm Feeling the Heat

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    Looks like you have it well thought out. I like the idea of the porch for storage! I guess I could put a cord in the garage but then I would have to store the snow blower outside! I have close to half a cord up against the house which is somewhat protected by the roof overhang. Our yard is not the biggest so even a wood shed might be hard to build. To answer your question I can store comfortably a row that is 6' long by 5' high. I guess I could double or triple that up without to much fuss.
  17. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    No. Just 4 mil black plasctic. Pulled tight and slap stapled.

    6' x 5' is a good amount to keep indoors. IMO.

    Plenty enough time to dry any surface moisture.
  18. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    Welcome and nice pics.
  19. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    Nice work Dexter. Thanks for the pics. I have to do that to a section of my porch this year. I have two dogs that I feed and water every morning out there about 5-5:30 and I do not want to be shoveling and sweeping snow off of that area of the porch everytime the weather turns. I have a bunch of 1x3 strapping I am going to use. Any hints on the best way to do it and keep the plastic nice and tight?
  20. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    A couple of extra hands to pull it, some small wooden strips (1.5" wide x 4' long x 1/8" thick - picture a 4 ft long paint stirring stick)), and a 1" brad stapler.

    I have seen people ise slap staplers and strips of cardboard instead. Anything so its not just the staples holding the plastic.

    I wrapped the plastic around the frame and secured it to the back side with the strips going all the way around. Then a couple strips on the front, for good measure. They were built to be removable and reusable. Each section (except the front door section) is removable with 6 - 3" screws. The top is installed in a box/channel, so it couldn't move.

    Hope this helps.

    Sorry for the small hijack :(
    Seanm likes this.
  21. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

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    Don't want to be negative DD, but are you sure the porch floor structure will hold it? You may have already thought of that, but just in case;)
  22. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    Hey. I completely forgot about this thread. ;lol Just got an alert when tfdchief responded to it. I went to Lowe's and looked around and then asked around. I decided to go with something more permanent than plastic sheeting. They sell a plastic thick film, that is just like metal roofing. You can see through it. It is almost clear. It cost about $20 a panel. The panels are about 22" wide if I remember right. Either 20 or 22 " and I think they are 8 feet long. It has stood up to fairly high winds already this year. Check them out somtime when you are in Lowe's. Granted, I spent almost $300 dollars. But I am not shoveling my porch anymore, and it is a big porch. I will number the pieces when I take them down in the spring and put them up the same way again in the fall. They go up fast with a simple screw right through the thick plastic. Let me know if you need anymore info.
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  23. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Never did more than a half cord on it.. And since Halloween, its only been about a Face Cord.

    I keep a face Cord downstairs and one on the porch. So it sits covered for over a week, then sits downstairs for about the same time. :) Worked pretty good. Much better than Tarps (last yr :() and cost about the same. Less than $200 for everything and 8 10x12 tarps, were around $140 IIRC (for a decent one)

    2012-11-04_17-37-52_127.jpg
    tfdchief likes this.

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