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Working on the woodshed

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by LLigetfa, Jul 4, 2009.

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  1. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I've decided to modify my 10' x 20' shed so that I won't have to cross-pile the ends to be free standing. My shed abuts another toolshed, is open on one long (North) side, and has lattice on the other two. I reinforced the lattice on the other (South) long side so that I can stack right up against it in a pattern of N/S and E/W. I also built short wall sections along the North side with openings for access.

    At each gable end, I will have two 10 foot long rows (1 cord per row) running N/S and in the middle I'll have three N/S rows. I will then in-fill the two spaces between the centre and outside rows going E/W.

    By not having to cross-pile the row ends, I will avoid a lot of the time consuming tedious work that needs to be done meticulously to avoid the 9 foot high stacks from developing a lean and blowing out. I will be able to put the wood in the shed sooner and not have to stack it twice as I do now. When you stack green wood, you get a lot of shrinkage that threatens to topple your piles. The way I reinforced the lattice, the 2x6 studs will also act to keep the stacks plumb as they shrink.

    I got most of the studs in place except for the side of the shed that still has wood from last year in the way. I still have to make more lattice for the North side before I can start moving the wood I have out since last year along with some of the wood I bucked up early this year.

    The wife says she wants to cut back on how much wood we burn, relying on the natural gas furnace more. If that really does happen, I can get back to having a three year supply in my woodshed rather than just a year and a half. I'd be happy to get two years of burning. That way, I can just alternate sides and not worry about putting newer wood in front of old. As I have it planned now, if I burn more than half a cord past the centre of the shed in one year, I have to stage the other side so that I have decently dry wood to steal from.

    As I move my heap-hausen to the shed, the (wetter) wood that is near the ground will get separated. The plan is to put the best seasoned wood in the three centre rows, the wetter wood in the two rows at the gable end, and dry wood in-filled in between. I always segregate some of the wetter (relatively speaking) wood and draw on it for overnight burns.

    The long range plan is to stack all the N/S rows (7 cords) into the shed soon after splitting rather than have them sit out all summer. The E/W wood (5 cords) that I will in-fill will be the last in, therefore it will also be the first out, so I will still have to stack it twice, once out in the open and then re-stack it late in the Fall.

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  2. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Why does she want to use more gas? Do you make her haul the wood into the house?
  3. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    LL, you need an intervention ;-P

    And I second, why use the gas, unless it is less expensive than burning wood?
  4. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    No, she doesn't haul wood, I do. She doesn't split it, I do. Doesn't stack it either, I do. She tosses in a few splits while I'm at work and cleans up some of the mess.

    The wife thinks the cost difference is close enough that it's not worth all the dirt and ashes in the house which she claims affect her allergies. For years we burned only in the evenings/weekends. That was before the cost of gas quadrupled. Gas has come down in price since. Anyway, I will have a full shed of seasoned wood plus a bit more on the side should she change her mind. I suspect her allergies won't abate and in fact her eyes might tear up when she gets the gas bill.
  5. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I bet your house is a lot warmer burning wood than gas? Just think what your gas bills would be if you set the thermostat to where it usually is while burning wood.
  6. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Ja, that's a given but it also doesn't need to be 80 something degrees in the house either.

    Anyway, this thread really is about my woodshed redesign to allow for better drying and easier stacking. One design consideration on a shed that does not allow unlimited access from all sides is that one must stage the right wood in the right place since last in could be first out. In my case having two openings (one on each half) does allow me to alternate sides, stacking fresh on one side while having seasoned on the other. This all works out as planned if one uses roughly half of the shed's capacity. Having my overflow stacked out in the open helps to stage some dry stuff for first out use.

    I designed my shed to hold 12 cord but Jack Frost increased it to 13 cord by pushing up on the poles. I've since stabilized the poles so the frost no longer jacks them but now the lattice that I put on the sides are a lot higher than they were originally. In keeping with the look, the new lattice I put up on the North side is the same height. It just means that I have to cross-pile the first few courses of my stacks until I reach the lattice and can then lean the wood against it.

    I'll post some pics later.
  7. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Here is a pic of mine. I can probably hold 8 or 9 cord in there if I packed it in, but like you I wanted to get two years worth in there with enough space to get to either side, and I only burn 3 cord so that left me some space in the middle.

    Attached Files:

  8. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    You guys are like neat freaks or something. I am so jealous. Good work.
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Ja, I thought of just driving in T-bar posts to stack up against but NOOO, that's not pretty enough for SWMBO. I had to make lattice sides so she could plant vines to climb it.

    With your design, if you don't completely empty one side, you are putting new wood in front of old. If you dip into some of the wood on the other side, again, you will be putting newer wood in front of old. I had my wood like that originally, all rows going in the same direction. If you had three groups of rows with gaps at the 1/3rd and 2/3rd points as I will, then you have more flexibility and fewer times where old ends up locked behind new.
  10. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Ha ha, My SWMBO wanted lattice all the way around too, but I talked her out of it somehow. I'm probably going to replace those t-bars with 4x4's once I figure out the best stacking method. Good idea with the 3 group stacking, I'll have to check into that and see if I have the room.
  11. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    OK, here are the pics I promised.

    This is the view of the two sides enclosed by lattice. SWMBO's plans were for the lattice to be covered in vines but the weeds seem to have taken over.
    [​IMG]

    Here is the new lattice on the North side with the entrance. The row ends are ging to lean against the lattice.
    [​IMG]

    This is the other (South) side showing how I added studs to stiffen the lattice and to act as dividers between rows. You can see the start of two rows on the right, and two of the three rows in the centre. In between, the rows will run perpendicular and lean into the other rows.
    [​IMG]

    Here is a close-up showing how the studs act as dividers and guides, holding the rows plumb.
    [​IMG]

    You can also see where the bottom of the lattice has been jacked up by the frost so I need to cross-pile the first few courses until the row is high enough to lean against the lattice.
    [​IMG]
  12. Spikem

    Spikem Member

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    Todd, how do you not get significant snow/rain in the front of the shed? It's not a criticism, it what I've been wrestling with in the design-phase of the sheds I am trying to figure out.
  13. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    The bottom foot or so on the outside gets a little wet on the surface from the splash of the water hitting the ground when it comes off the roof. It doesn't make a whole lot of difference other than not grabbing an arm load of it while its raining or shortly thereafter. As long as significant snow can't land on top of your stacks and go through freeze/thaw cycles, it doesn't make that much of a difference either.
  14. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I do get snow in front but nothing the snow blower can't handle. I plow a trail along the shed and down to my walk out basement and use a wheel barrow to haul in firewood. Rain is no problem, I was going to move my gutter off the garage to the wood shed roof to take care of the water, but the wood shed has a 12" overhang so the bottom pieces don't even get splashed on.
  15. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Excellent work guys.


    LLigetfa, maybe my wife should have a talk with your wife! Burning gas when you have all that wonderful wood?!
  16. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Forget the burning gas stuff. Get her to instill her work ethic on my wife so she'll help me with the firewood!
  17. 84Buckeye

    84Buckeye New Member

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    Wow.. you guys have some awesome looking woodsheds! I want to start
    planning on how I'm going to build mine.. Lots of good pictures on here
    for getting started. Still debating whether to build one large one or several
    smaller ones.
  18. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I've said it before that if I had a do-over, I'd do it very different.

    I would build it twice as long and half as deep with a lower simple shed roof. Basically 40 feet long divided into 8 foot compartments with open stud wall partitions to stack the wood against while leaving the two long sides open. With my 20" bucked length, a 5 foot deep shed would give me 3 rows for good drying.
  19. wldm09

    wldm09 New Member

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    LL - I'm looking at how much seasoning occurs in your shed. How long do you leave your wood to season in heap-hausens (still love this term!) before it ends up in the shed? Thanks, Woodsman...
  20. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Your welcome. :)
  21. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    Actually, I think my stackenpilzenhausen is better. %-P
  22. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Too many syliba..scilab...sylybl....letters. %-P
  23. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I pack it in tight in the shed so you wouldn't think that it would do much but a year later my 9.5 foot tall stacks will have shrunk about 8 inches so obviously there is shrinkage going on. Also the last full row standing puts on a precarious lean so the exposed face is shrinking faster than the backside.

    Now my whole shed redesign with the three groups of stacks is to allow more air until such time that I infill. Also, the infill running perpendicular to the rows should help to push back against the outward lean. Slotting the rows between the 2x6 studs will also mitigate the lean.

    I buy Winter cut wood so it's low on sap to begin with and clean so easy on the chain. In taking delivery in Winter on frozen ground, the truck doesn't rut up my yard. I buck it up right away so that it can start to dry through the end grain. Most of the splitting happens in April/May/June and the heap sit out all Summer to dry. Late Fall, I move what I need to the shed, filling it at least 7/8ths if not fully. I've been finding that the wood near the centre and near the ground in the heap is far from ideal so as I move it to the shed, I segregate the wetter stuff for further drying.

    This year I am going to move some of it to the shed earlier so that the stuff closer to the ground get more drying time. I have part of a heap which sat out all Winter that will be the first to get laid up in the shed. It, combined with what I had in the shed left over from last year probably won't be enough for next Winter so I will be dipping into some of the wood I cut and split this year. I have a few neatly stacked rows on pallets that should be dryer than what's in my newest heap to augment what I have from last year.

    The problem with my shed design is that the last wood put in is the first wood taken out so I have to be careful not to box in the nice dry stuff.
  24. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    LLigetfa You are the king of the wood shed!
  25. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I've been putting off splitting my last two rows of rounds, one of which the frost toppled because it had been sitting on wet ground and I didn't want to add it to my heap of drier wood. This stuff still in the round is for 2011-2012. Last year's heap is for 2009-2010 and this year's heap is for 2010-2011.

    [​IMG]

    I figured this would be a good test of my modified shed to see how plumb a 9 foot tall stack of wet wood will stay after it shrinks, so I got down to splitting and stacking it directly into the far end of the shed. Stacking went a lot faster and easier with not having to cross-pile the row ends. Rain today slowed me down so I only got one cord laid up with one more cord yet to do. After that I'll move last year's heap up off the ground and into the shed.
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