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Wood seasoning

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by ddahlgren, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    I may run short of wood before winter is gone in ct. I have been shopping around here for wood and have been asking how long seasoned. The first two told me seasoned 2 years and I thought great and then asked 'that is since split'. The answer both times was no seasoned 2 years as 8 foot rounds and split as used. I thought the real seasoning starts when split.

    The second part of this is some offer a mix of oak maple and hickory, and another offered a choice between oak or ash or a mix. Any ideas as to which might work the best. easiest to burn and decent heat. i would rather make it fairly easy to burn than fight keeping it going or hard to relight on coals.

    Am i in trouble with the wood mentioned above that I don't see as really seasoned very much.

    Dave

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  2. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    You are correct... not much drying happens in the round. Reports here indicate you are best going with the ash. I've seen it posted that this can be burned within a few weeks of being cut and/or split, but do not know how true this is. Would like to know myself, actually, as I'm sitting on piles of 9 months CSS'd oak, and a few cords of ash I just split on Thanksgiving. Which is better to burn today?
  3. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Joful, stack some of that ash where you can get a fan going on it for a week or so....
  4. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Dave,
    People may cringe at the suggestion, but I'd post an ad on Craig's list offering to purchase firewood c/s/s a year or longer for a premium...say 10 to 20 percent more than the dealers are asking. That gives someone an incentive to sell you some well seasoned wood if they have extra, as it gives them a decent reurn on their work, and it gives you wood you don't have a hassle burning. Just be sure the wood is dry enough to burn before your purchase it -- let the seller know you want to verify the moisture level on a freshly cut split before you purchase. And you grab a random split to fresh split and check.
    Do it politely (not like you think the peron is trying to scam you), but do it.
  5. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    Is it easy to tell the difference between the ash and oak by looking at it.
    How would it work if I can bring in a half cord of ash in the basement where it is 60 degrees and dry for a couple of weeks?
    What is a reasonable time to burn the oak after being split?
    I have enough wood right now for the next 3 or so weeks so it could be indoors for 3 weeks before using it.
    i let the pile run low because I need to build a proper shed for the wood and where I store wood outdoors is where the shed needs to go and the house needs some work there as well in the spring and need to set up ladders etc.
  6. ridemgis

    ridemgis Burning Hunk

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    Find a dealer for kiln dried firewood and swallow the high price. You won't regret it.
  7. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    You could do like I did; Stack a half cord of split small Ash in the house with fans on it for a couple of weeks. Took it from 25 to 20%. The Oak? No chance, I don't think. At least the Ash burned somewhat. But it sounds like you're pretty much dead in the water until next year. Been there, done that, never going back. ==c In your position I would split and stack as much Ash as possible, immediately. It will be your best wood next year, unless the Oak started in the mid 20s MC.
  8. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    What is it going for and will they deliver to mystic ct? Contacts etc would be helpful as well..
  9. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq Minister of Fire

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    Most basements do not have much air movement and are a little humid. If there was a stove running down there and a small fan blowing air through the stack it would probably season pretty quickly. If there is no stove or air movement I would loosely stack it outside where the side of the stack faces the sun and a breeze can blow through it. Top cover the stack to keep the rain/snow off of it and ash will season pretty quickly. If you don't have one, get a moisture meter and check your progress.

    I have seen oak split small and stacked as above with good breeze and sun get down to 22 to 25% in a year. Unless you have perfect drying conditions I would expect 2 years until it is ready to burn.

    KaptJaq
  10. NortheastAl

    NortheastAl Minister of Fire

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    Yes, kiln dried is the way to go for now. I had three kinds of wood this year, being new to wood burning. Seasoned, (which wasn't so seasoned,) kiln dried, (which burns great but maybe too fast,) and finally, wood from a dealer that had true seasoned wood that was up to 20 months CSS. That burns the best, but is pricey.

    Buy in the spring for next year. Good luck!
  11. SteveKG

    SteveKG Minister of Fire

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    I leave wood in rounds when I have enough split and am short on time to split it more at the time. I stack the rounds just like split wood and leave them alone. If I don't get around to splitting it, it will still season, but it will take maybe twice as long to get there. I also find that if the rounds begin to crack and split during the drying process, that will accelerate the drying, for obvious reasons.

    That does not help you [OP] this season, though. I don't have a good answer other than what some others have suggested. There is no good option other than getting really lucky and finding some dry wood somewhere. Firewood providers are notorious, many of them, for claiming well-seasoned wood and delivering anything but. About all you can do is split a few pieces further as delivered and using a moisture meter to see. Unless you can tell without the meter, which experienced burners often can.

    Another option would arise if you can find a source of shipping pallets. Sometimes they are so wet they almost drip [green wood] but more often, I've found, they are not wet. If they are damp from snow/rain, the wood is so thin that you can stack them for a few days or weeks and they'll be dry. They can be cut up and used to get a fire going, a hot fire, which allows one to use some less-seasoned wood to add to the pallet-started fire. You have to be careful, the pallets burn can burn fast and furiously, so conservative filling of the stove is needed. But something like that will help minimize creosote accretion in the chimney. You will still get some creosote only less with a hot fire to get things going.
  12. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    The way I can tell is to look at the end grain and if it has some splits in it and the exposed wood running long ways is a bit rough it has burned well for me.
  13. ridemgis

    ridemgis Burning Hunk

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    You'll have to ask around. Maybe try your local stove dealer? The closest I could find was Verrier Tree Service in West Greenwich, RI. (http://www.verriertree.com/) The website says they deliver within a 100 mile radius. Not sure what they're charging. I got mine from another dealer for $350 a cord. And don't believe that it "burns too fast." I can get a good overnight burn with a stove carefully packed with the stuff.
  14. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Yep... the first years are never fun, unless you're one of the lucky few. I have about 13 cords split and stacked, another 6 - 9 cords in the round, and will be cutting another 3 - 4 cords in ten days. I'll be in fantastic shape a year or two from now.

    What was split last year was 50% walnut and maple, and 50% oak, but I've ripped thru much of the walnut and maple already. What I have stacked right now is piles of oak from last spring, and ash either in the round or split just two months ago. It's been too damn wet here since I split that ash, for it to have done any drying, I think.

    I may have enough 9 - 12 month Walnut left in the piles to stretch me to spring... trouble is it's all co-stacked with oak, which means lots of unstacking and restacking of my piles. I'm also not sure how well Walnut will dry when interleaved in the same stack with oak. Live and learn...
  15. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    They had some hickory as well so they are throwing some in. Hope it helps. I have about 3 weeks left before I am out of anything useful I have a friend that is a landscaper and does some tree trimming and I get the small branches from him that range between 1/2 inch and 3 inches that no one wants mostly maple. 8 months to a year later it makes really good kindling.Have 3 large garbage cans of it packed tightly in the basement. i have used pallets and could get all i want if i had a truck. In the end getting the shed built is the answer and the minute it is warm enough to do it will get done. and filled. My problem is I do not have enough room here to store enough wood and have been considering selling this stove and buying a pellet stove only to solve the wood storage issues and no room. The only other upside I can think is the long time between having to load the stove. I looked at some that run up to 100 hours without a reload. I do have access to 2 to 3 year old oak but it is 90% 20 to 22 inch and my little stove takes 16 inch wood so have to cut 90% of it. in a pinch I will get a 1/2 cord of it and cut it but will take quite a while to do. I did look at the eco bricks but they seem really expensive for what they are. Plus another learning experience to get used to burning them. So far this year have burned 40 gallons of fuel oil to make hot water and a couple of days I did not run the stove after taking a hard fall on ice and was in bed for 2 days healing up.
    Dave
  16. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Someone recently posted a great time-saving method for cutting splits shorter when they are all too long. He basically stacked the wood in an even stack, and then just took his chainsaw to the pile at the length he wanted his splits. Used the short ends a fillers. If you do that, shouldn't take long to cut the cords down to size. Free dry oak...I'd go for it. If you look back, you'll find his post.
  17. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    You guys are more hard core than me no chainsaw no pickup truck 61 with a very bad back beyond surgery that does not involve fusing multiple vertibre to see which one is causing pain. the orthopedic doc said my back looked worse than bamboo.
  18. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    You can if you want but it is not recommended. I've reported about the year we burned fresh cut ash. We did not freeze, but we were not warm. Got plenty of exercise just cleaning the chimney many times. Closed off all we could of the house and stayed close to the stove. We even moved our kitchen table right next to the stove...and were cold. Never want to do that again. No matter that ash is the lowest moisture when cut; it is still around 35%. Burn it if you want....



    Cracks on the ends of logs mean that the ends are drying. It tells you nothing about the center of the wood. Most likely that will still have plenty of moisture.


    All in all, there really is not much one can do for shortcuts on wood drying. Time is what is needed along with wind. Warm sun helps but wind is the key and this is why it is bad to attempt drying wood inside a shed.

    ddahlgren, we feel for you and hope this is a good learning experience for you. If at all possible for this year and next, get white ash or soft maple. Believe it or not the soft maple will be ready to burn before the ash. In addition, you should already have next winter's wood put up so please give that some thought right away as you are battling this winter. Then strive to get a few years ahead on your wood supply. You will never be sorry for doing it and you'll even find you need less wood by doing this. Good luck.
    firefighterjake likes this.
  19. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Does it make sense for you to be carrying wood? Pellet bags are heavy too. Wish I had a good answer. Maybe see if your landscaping friend would come and cut that oak for you....buy him a nice gift, or pay him for his time. You're getting the oak free, right? Maybe he has someone who works for him who'd like a bit of extra cash, if he hasn't the time to do the job....
  20. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    There must be a tree guy around your area, that has tons of wood still from Irene last year?? Surely somebody split some of it and has it seasoned at least 1 year! On LI, there is wood everywhere, both from Irene and from Sandy. A cord is down to $150. Most of it is un-seasoned (split as you order it...), but I've seen some that is seasoned. I saw a few Craigs List adds that even said, "Irene wood".

    There is a Kiln dried wood place on Long Island, maybe they will deliver to you at a premium cost? Try them:

    PS- I took my boat up to Mystic last year, had a blast. There was a tiny little houseboat on the west side of the river, across from Seaport Marine where we docked. It was green and kinda looked like a train caboose, I could see in the window he had a Wood stove in there, with a SS chimney out the site of the boat/house. Looked really cool. Anyway, wondered how they survived Sandy?
  21. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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