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"wood" you believe this oak?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Slow1, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    So, here I am cruising along thinking that I have it made - my wood supply is all good an all. The pile I have set for this winter has been split/stacked for at least 2 years, some for over 3. I'd have thought it would all be near ideal.

    I've been doing great as well - everything burning nicely, too fast if anything - ha! Anyway, then this morning I started a small fire with 4 splits with the usual SC in the middle to get it going. Now, normally after 20 minutes or so the stove is very hot and the wood is burning on most all surfaces. Not today! I looked in there and thought I'd forgotten to open the air up or something - the wood was burning but only in the middle where the SC had been and on faces that had splits facing each other. After double checking stove settings and all I took a peek inside the stove - surprise! 3 of the splits had water bubbling out of the end. Go figure.

    All I can figure is that these pieces must have come from the bottom of the pile (near the ground, but on the pallet) where leaves had piled against them this fall and somehow they sucked up moisture in a hurry. I don't know - I'm going to be a bit more observant going forward though and see how many of these lemons I have in the pile! Maybe I got my piles mixed up? Arg.

    Anyway, certainly makes me appreciate the dry wood a lot more! I put a couple more pieces in (definitely more dry) on top and those took right off so it got the stove up to temp and hopefully dried out the wet ones after I left for work. Amazing the difference - all oak as far as I know, but there are some random other species mixed in there too.
    pen and Backwoods Savage like this.

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  2. jatoxico

    jatoxico Minister of Fire

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    You're making me nervous. I just stacked another 1.5 cords of oak today. Have about another cord to be CSS'ed plus a cord I CSS'ed last couple weekends. This is supposed to be my wood for the 2014/2015 season and I'm hoping 2 solid years is going to be good enough! Call me "Splitting small and hoping for the best" in NY.
  3. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    I know - it surprised the heck out of me. I'm hoping it was a fluke. My last splitting was oak for 15/16 but that is all cut at 21" length for the PH - I expect that will take a bit longer to season.

    I'm starting to experiment with top-covering my stacks now so perhaps that will help... At least I won't get as much mulch in the top layer where leaves work their way in (that can't help the drying process eh?).
  4. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    I am burning some Red Oak that was split and stacked in the spring of 2010 making for 3 summers in full sun. I have come across a few sizzlers too. I may burn my 1 year Black Locust instead and give the Oak another year.
  5. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    I'm burning 2 year css black walnut.
    Not bad but I think a third summer would have been better yet.
    Smaller splits -medium.
    Checking out around 16-20 on the inside of a fresh split.
  6. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I burn a lot of Oak and I've been 3 years ahead for about the last 4 years. I keep 2 years worth in my shed and 1 year outside that replaces what I used in the shed. I still get an occassional sizzler.
  7. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    That sounds like red oak for sure.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  8. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Slow1 - I will get a slow starter a couple of times per year. Just inevitable. And its always when you are on a time table like getting off to work, or a doc appt.:mad:
    pen and Backwoods Savage like this.
  9. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    It happens. Those may or may not be the only splits that aren't ready or it could be none of it is ready. It is just the nature of the beast.

    On the other hand, most of us have found sizzlers when not expected. For example, I've never quite understood it but occasionally I'll even get a split or three of white ash that has been in the stack maybe 5-6 years...and it will sizzle like a good steak. It just happens...

    As for the oak, I still stand behind my statement that you need 3 years in the stack for oak. If you can't get to it until 4 years, so much the better. I received an email just today thanking us hearth.com members for goading this fellow to get 3 years of more ahead on his wood. He put in some oak and was amazed at how it burned. It was 5 years in the stack!
  10. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Hey, does anyone know how long oak takes to dry?
    I did a search and can't find anything about it.
    ==c
  11. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    you can burn it after 9 years but its better if you can wait 10 :p
    evilgriff, Hickorynut and PapaDave like this.
  12. etiger2007

    etiger2007 Minister of Fire

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    I think wood will suck up air moisture (like after rain and what not) when the wood is dry, I have black walnut that is over two years split and stacked and split small and almost all of it sizzles, reads below 20% with the meter.
  13. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    Last year and again this year just before the leaves really came down I tarped the top of all my stacks. I throw some old plywood or chipboard or other boards on top first -keeps the tarp from settling into the top layer when the wet leaves and snow cover it and weigh it down. Guess there's an upside to the never ending reno's ( lots of scrap boards around). Pallets underneath - poor man's woodshed. The layer of wet maple leaves that otherwise choke the top is pretty thick.
  14. jatoxico

    jatoxico Minister of Fire

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    Those old threads are expired! I like my threads fresh :).
  15. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Yeah..those are pretty dry threads..lol.
  16. stanleyjohn

    stanleyjohn Feeling the Heat

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    I also burn alot of oak and even at year 3 i still get alittle sizzle.
  17. jackatc1

    jackatc1 Burning Hunk

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    Port Crane ny
    My wood's are at least 20% red oak. But I rarely cut it unless it's standing dead no bark.
    And even then 2-3 years css.
    Truth be told I really do not like red oak. Unless for sale as saw timber.
  18. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    I've got some Black Oak in the stack that was dead standing, split medium-size and stacked for almost two years, single-row. All my wood is top-covered. As far as I can tell, the Black is burning great (have mostly burned it at MIL's.) I re-split a random, fairly large split and metered it yesterday. 14%. That's just one piece, and that's not to say there couldn't be a sizzler in there somewhere...
    On the other hand, I've got some Black Cherry that's split small and has been stacked for almost as long, single-row as well. Several sizzlers encountered already! :confused: Maybe it just absorbs rain on the ends more readily...

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