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Worth It??

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by dorkweed, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. dorkweed

    dorkweed Guest

    One of my accounts has an "area" where they haul off downed trees, leaves, etc..

    I was walking their property earlier this week and saw they had "oodles" of oak cut and just laying around. By my best guesstimate, the rounds are 2-3 years sitting.........................malybe more. Many are not touching the ground. Most look really good. Probably about 7-10 cords of "primo" oak also.

    How long does "oak" keep unsplit????

    This could be a huge score for me!!!
    ScotO likes this.

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  2. cptoneleg

    cptoneleg Minister of Fire

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    Get to cutting, usually Oak starts to get punky from outside in but 2 - 3 yrs you need to get to work.

    And I could tell better if the picture was a little clearer.
    PapaDave likes this.
  3. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

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    Nice score dorkweed, it sounds like it should still be good.
    zap
  4. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

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    Split those rounds and see how it looks. I'd bet its all good stuff.
  5. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Grab it ASAP.

    Quicker its split the faster i'll dry out..Its good for several years unsplit in the midwest,Red/Black 4-5 easily,White/Bur longer than that....
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  6. BIGDADDY

    BIGDADDY Feeling the Heat

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    Dorkweed that's got a certain ring to it,dorkweed. I have cut oak that was laying on the ground for who knows how long. Even if its a little punky on the outside you will still have plenty of good firewood out of it. Pick the best looking stuff and leave anything not so good.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  7. Gark

    Gark Minister of Fire

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    We have found old oak that looked funky but only on the outside. The core heartwood lasts a lot longer, it seems. For oak which is such good stuff it's worthwhile to me to put up with some fluffy wood just for the high BTU inside reward. Check it out.
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    2-3 years already! Grab fast!!! As others have stated, it is typical for the outer layer of oak to turn punky fast but only a small amount and it does not hurt a thing.

    But, you asked how long does it keep unsplit? The same as split....depending. Once you get it, split it and stack it so it is off the ground, I would hesitate to keep it any longer than, say, 25 years or so.
    Gark and amateur cutter like this.
  9. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    You keep split wood of 25 years? Most wood does not last nearly that long here. It is very wet most of the year here, and the moist air allows for rot, even if the wood is covered and off the ground. Bugs also attack it, especially if it is on the ground. Carpenter ants use wood for homes, several other species of ants plant, harvest and eat wood fungus, and termites are always a problem. My oldest brother has 10+ cords of wood all the time, but most of it is 5+ years old. It is on pallets and covered, but the older stuff is usually turning to sawdust by the time he burns it. The black locust I got last year was 3 years old and it was already getting pretty punky from fungus. So I burned it all last year. That guy stores his wood nice and dry in sheds under cover. I also got a load of super dry garage stored fir here this summer, and it is 3-4 years old. It was already getting punky from fungus, and covered outside in the damp air here the fungus is accelerating.
  10. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    I've been to Dennis' place, & I think some of his stacks may be getting near the 25 yr. mark.;lol Few more years & they'll be fully cured & ready to burn.

    BTW, Dennis & Judy are two of the nicest folks you could ever meet. A C
    ScotO likes this.
  11. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Nope. I did not say I kept wood that long. The OP was wondering how long it would last. The 25 year figure is not out of line but the point is that wood will keep a long, long time if need be. You indeed live in a unique area. Although we tend to think we live in a relatively wet area, compared to some folks our area might be called dry. Indeed we do have dry spells but we also have wet spells. One good example is a couple years in the month of June. In our area that means haying time. Once when I was a young lad I remember burning a lot of hay because we simply could not get it dry enough to bale. Finally it got so bad that it would not make good feed so we burned it. Even the day we burned, it rained. In the 30 days of June it rained 29 days. I also remember some extremely wet times in the fall of the year. Farmers pulling combines or corn pickers; putting tracks on them and still could not get through because the ground was so soft.

    I would question why someone could not keep wood for 5 years without it going bad. Perhaps his covering was not as good as it should have been. I remember one year one of our stacks we though was covered really good but we found 2 spots where water was able to go through the covering. This concentrated spot of wet really caused some problems and it had to be dried separately for another year before it could be burned.

    One point I will make on folks having wood going bad in the sheds. Some try to dry it inside a shed and that most times is worse than having it outside. The reason is it is difficult to have the moisture evaporate in the shed. It is difficult to get air circulation, which is the key to dry wood.
  12. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Thanks A C. We certainly enjoyed your visit.
    ScotO likes this.
  13. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I'll make sure to get in touch with you Dennis when we go to Michelimackinac, possibly next summer. I'd love to come see you guys.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  14. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    That oak will probably be fine. Oak usually goes bad only at the bark and sapwood, that heartwood should last for quite a while. Like the others said, split it and check it out. Either way, it's gonna be a while before you can use it.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  15. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    That would be great Scott.
    ScotO likes this.
  16. timusp40

    timusp40 Feeling the Heat

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    What picture?
  17. BIGDADDY

    BIGDADDY Feeling the Heat

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    Exactly his point.
    PapaDave likes this.
  18. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Its the constant damp and humidity here. Seeminly there is no way that wood will last 25 years here unless you wrap it with Tyvek, like the wood framing in my house. We can get rain here for months on end. 2 years ago I think we set the record for 100 some odd days with rain every day from February though May. Some years we simply cannot dry firewood enough outside. Two and three summers ago here we did not have any summer. It snowed late and rained on and off right through the fall. It has been cooler and wetter than normal here in the PNW for the last 5 years with late snows in to April and May. I had a lot of snow here last year. My wood last year did not dry out completely, and it finally dried this summer when we had no rain for 3 months. That was the first dry spell in many years here. I have my wood on pallets under tarps now, and a half cord on my front porch racks. We are on the storm track today and tomorrow with 100 MPH wind gusts on the coast and 2-3 inches of rain in the metro metro areas, and I will likely get a half foot of rain in the next 2 days. When hurricane Sandy hit the east coast we got a Pinapple express from Hawaill with warm wet and humid storms here. I got a half a foot of rain in that one over 3 days. I was up in Seattle at that time and it rained 3 inches the day I was there.

    I dunno how to keep wood dry enough here. Short of building a monster shed or barn for it, which is what my ex resorted to doing a few years ago. Just having a roof is not enough. I can build up to a 10x20 shed here w/o a permit. I may just cover an area between my house and the garage, and use that for storing 2 cords of wood. Its on a concrete slab and if I put in pallets I can rack the wood there and keep it open to the outside air, but out of the rain.

    Here is a photo of my rain gauges from October. The bucket on the right is for October, 13-14 inches and near full. The one on the left if from the Pinapple express at the end of October.

    October rain.jpg
  19. BIGDADDY

    BIGDADDY Feeling the Heat

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    StihlHead those are not rain gauges. Those are buckets. Which makes me question , Is that really rain in those buckets? If I was closer to you I might be getting a bath huh? Good day.
  20. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Well, yah know those so called rain gauges they sell in stores, they hold maybe 6 or 8 inches of rain at the most and they tend to tip over, or the squirrels run off with them. They also fill up too fast. These here high tech rain gauges work more better see, and they are more stable and do not tend to tip over. They are also cheaper. As in free. At the ex's place in the coast range even these were not big enough though, and I resorted to using a blue plastic barrel. Literally, she gets 100+ inches of rain a year there, and I left these types of buckets (er, I mean high tech rain guages) out thinking they would be good, but they just overflowed in a week. So I used a straight sided 55 gallon blue barrel for a rain gauge there, measuring 3 feet at a time, and even that overflowed in two floods. I measured over 12 feet of rain there that year. That place turns into a giant spring this time of year with water gushing from everywhere, and after the trees go dormant in November, watch out, 'cause the creeks are gonna rise. Not "Lord is willing and the Creek don't rise," that's a different tale... I spent the winters there boldering and re-grading the washed out roads into that place, putting in culverts, clearing ditches and culverts, and wondering why I was there.

    As for bathing, my hot tub is back online again after I rebuilt my hot tub 'man shed'. I got tired of getting rained on when having a soak, and it waters down the beer too much.
    WhitePine likes this.
  21. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

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    ;lol;lol;lol

    I like that.

    I used to live and work in the PNW, mostly on the wet side of the Cascade. When I lived there, the steady rain was scheduled to start on October 15th and end June 15th of the following year. Well, it seemed that way. It sounds like global warming may have extended things. It seems to have had the opposite effect here. We are not only getting less rain than before, but it now seems to come more intermittently, with infrequent deluges separated by long dry spells, instead of gentle rains occurring more regularly. Nothing is good about the change.

    BTW, I think your mud bucket rain gauge idea is simple brilliance. It wouldn't work too well in a hot, dry area because the large surface area would speed up evaporation too much, but in a place like the wet side of the Cascades, it would expect it to do fine for home use.
  22. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    For sure that area can be a trial for drying anything. I've also found that areas out east can also be a trial. I'm constantly amazed at how much rain falls in some areas. And speaking of rain, I see lots of it falling out there right now.
  23. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Yah, in a drier climate they would have to have a funnel on top to prevent evaporation. I guess I am actually getting more rain than I am measuring, but they work fine for rough order rainfall estimates. And yes, the anual PNW rain period is now more like October 10 to July 10.

    As for the lastest rain here this week, we in the west Cascade slopes did not get nearly as much as they did in the coast range. Some places there got over 6 inches in the last 2 days. They also had wind gusts to 114 MPH on the coast. Which has been typical in the last few years. Seattle took a beating yesterday and today, setting a rainfall record up there today. Over 2 inches.... in a day. I got all of an inch here, nothing like the Pinapple Express a few weeks ago. Rivers are all flooding or near capacity here again. Its an anual event now, year after year.

    They say that as a consequense of global warming, the jet stream flutters more, which may be what is driving events like Hurricane Sandy hitting the east coast rather than heading out to the Atlantic. When the jet stream is over the PNW, it opens the door to the storms, as it has always done. Lately though, regardless of El Ninos or La Ninas, or between, the PNW is getting huge amounts of precip. The jet is picking up a lot of moisture from the tropics, and we are getting a deluge. That seems to be a different pattern emerging. Pinapples (as they are called) usually only happened in El Nino years on the west coast.
  24. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    7 - 10 cords of "FREE, primo" oak , worth it?
    Cut , Split & Stack 3 - 5 cords & then I'll decide. Pictures of course :) ;)

    Worth what, it's FREE ;)
  25. mesuno

    mesuno Member

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    Some other have said it already, but I've found that our oak lasts really well - all apart from the outer 2 inches of sap wood. Apparently the sapwood has higher sugar content/lower tannin content so in the damp rots away in about 12 months.

    I bucked a log last year that had been down since the great storm in 1987, in contact with the soil. Not a trace of the outer sap wood left but the heart wood was totally perfect. Could have made sawmill timber.

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