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Wood ID please, driving me nuts

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by fabsroman, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Alright, this stuff has been seasoned for 16 months and I am getting 37% from my moisture meter on it. Red oak that I got at the same time in 2011 is giving me a lower reading than this stuff, and that wasn't a really big split. Was wondering why it felt so heavy and why it was burning so terrible.

    Thought I was 100% sure what it is, but now I have my doubts.

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  2. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    Looks like Honey Locust. Shoulda been dry by now for sure unless stacked in a plastic bag.
    Cross Cut Saw and red oak like this.
  3. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    That's Locust, I'm not sure Black or Honey, but definitely a Locust. You can easily tell by the X's in the bark. It probably also smells like Olives when cut!
  4. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    Looks like BL to me. Was that one split, and you halved it to measure? How big was it? BL is supposed to dry pretty fast, I thought. What were the stacking conditions?
    I'm a bit concerned about my split sizes on some of the Oak I have stacked in double rows...
    ScotO likes this.
  5. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, locust is what I thought it was too, and I have no idea how the heck it is still this heavy and wet, but it is burning like crap and it was c/s/s in August 2011. Thankfully we did not have a terrible winter because this was going to be my go to stuff for the really cold nights. I think my error in stacking it was that it was protected from the wind by the house. I am going to move it to an elevated position where it is not shielded from the prevailing northerly wind and hope that it will be ready for next winter. Just hard to believe, and frustrating, that the red oak I c/s/s a month after this locust is a lot drier than the locust.
  6. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    And thanks for the replies guys. Going to go bang my head on the wall for a little while now.
  7. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    If you want to hurt your head why not just go drink a bunch of beers and chase them with Tequila - used to work for me
    red oak likes this.
  8. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    Was the Oak dead when cut? Did it have a windier stacking location? I cut some dead standing Oak, and it was upper 20s MC when I cut it. It's been stacked single-row for 1.5 years, medium-sized. Some is pretty good but I'm still getting some hissers, too. Frustrating, indeed. o_O
  9. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Wouldn't take a bunch of anything to accomplish that. Have never been drunk and have only had one or two glasses of wine in a sitting or a shot or two over an evening, and that might be all of two times a year or less. Cannot even remember the last alcoholic beverage I had. Ah, shot of Sambuca before getting to bed a couple of months ago when my throat was killing me.
  10. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    The oak came down with the leaves still on it. As alive as could be. Water was running off the wedge as the splitter was going through it. The oak and the poplar came from the same lot that was being cleared. Actually got a 24" white oak, 24" red oak, 24" poplar, and two 18" or so sweet gum trees from that lot. There was more available, but my wife put the breaks on the wood gathering because 1) she had no idea how much we would use and 2) she had no idea how much she likes the thermostat at 75 degrees without having to worry about the cost.

    The main difference is that the locust is stacked in a different location and I believe the house is shielding it from the prevailing wind. I do have some locust in the same stack as the red oak I tested, but it is at the bottom of the stack. Not going to move a half a cord of oak to get to the locust and satisfy my curiosity. If it wasn't 20 degrees out and blowing hard I might think about it. Going to have to go out there and separate the oak from the poplar though pretty soon.
  11. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    And curiosity got the better of me. I just went out and split one from the racks up top where I got the oak and poplar out of. All wood cut around the same time. Locust was 36% and it was a split from about a 12" piece. Large pieces of red oak were 30%, medium pieces of red oak were 25%, large poplar was 19%, and medium poplar was 16%. Threw a couple pieces of polar in the furnace and it lit up like a Roman candle.

    Now, I am scratching my head about this locust. How the heck can it take this long to season? Seriously, if it is at 37% after 16 months, can I ever expect to burn it? Also, did I just happen to cut down the locust from hell, because everybody else says it seasons up real good in a year or less. Told my wife I am about to get out the gas can and a match and start a fire in the backyard with this locust stuff.
  12. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

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    If it was from hell it'd be seasoned by now.
    osagebow, Elusive and Shane N like this.
  13. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    Just for kicks, how did you place the probes to get your reading?
  14. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, just for kicks the answer is along the grain, and I tried to get them as close as possible to being in the same ring. Put another way, if you look at the pics, one prong would be north and the other south. Did I get the placement correct? Actually, let me run back outside, split another one, and try it the opposite way.
  15. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    Yup, that's how you do it. Split it first that way you don't read extra surface moisture or extra dry surface.
  16. Gark

    Gark Minister of Fire

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    The cords of BL that were CSS here in open wind for an honest 2 years, are still heavy and reluctant to light. I don't have a moist.meter but contrary to so many posts, I'm thinking it could take 3 years.
  17. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Just went and measured the one I split earlier today that measured 36%. Now, with the grain it is coming back at 25%, but that is in nearly the same spot where I measured it earlier (i.e., too dark outside to go swinging the Fiskars). Against the grain it is coming back at 22%.

    Now, I am sitting here and wondering if the moisture could have dropped that much in just an hour on the exposed side of the wood. There is one thing I know for sure, these pieces of locust feel a lot heavier compared to anything else in the stack, including the dead standing oak that I just got that is coming back at 31%.

    Think I am going to start going with the "Rule of Arm" - if it takes more than one arm to pick it up and put it in the furnace, it should not be going in the furnace in the first place.
  18. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, at this point I am thinking about steering clear of this stuff. It seems as though green oak of any variety seasons faster than locust for me. It now makes sense as to why I have been finding the partial remains of locust logs in the furnace in the morning. Going to have a stacking and splitting party with me, myself, and I as soon as the weather warms up a tad. Going to reduce the size of the locust and oak splits and then move the locust all up top where it gets the most sun and wind. Think I am going to make some more racks too and truly get 3 to 4 years ahead so I don't have to use a moisture meter ever again.
  19. Ralphie Boy

    Ralphie Boy Minister of Fire

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    I have some black locust that's just under 2 years of being split and stacked and it's at about 17% on the mm and heavy. Nature of the beast.
  20. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    And always hard to light, even when dry.
  21. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Very strange if it is locust. Its usually starts out (fresh split) at between 32-37%.
  22. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

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    I cut and split a half cord of BL that had been lying down at least 5 years. Moisture reading 23%.
    Just went out and checked a piece. Its been stacked 3 months, 22%. Its 5:30am. What a life!!!
  23. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    There's a rule of thumb that wood dries twice as fast for every 20 degree (F) increase in temperature. Based on the monthly average temperatures for my area, that means the drop in MC over the course of a year looks something like this:

    [​IMG]

    So drying is dramatically faster in the summertime; one July is equivalent to almost five Januarys. Your sixteen months only include one summer, which isn't all that much time if drying conditions aren't ideal, e.g. sheltered / shaded / not covered. Sixteen months that began in the spring would be a lot better, because the wood would be drier to start with and you'd have 2 summers instead of one.
    Paulywalnut likes this.
  24. TimJ

    TimJ Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like you got to get busy fabsroman
  25. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    Building on my little spreadsheet, another way to look at it is that 16 months starting with December would be equivalent to 13.8 average months of drying time, whereas 16 months starting with June would be equivalent to 18.6 average months.

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