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Wrong to ask about moisture content in wood?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by emt1581, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    I emailed someone on CL that said they had some hardwoods seasoned a year. I asked for the length of the pieces and if they tested for moisture content. Her reply was this...

    "i dont have people asking me such questions. i would say if your real particular like you sound go pay top dollar for high quality wood cause thats what it sounds like you want.dont go getting cheaper priced stuff and ask such quest. thanks val"

    Now her stuff is priced right around the same as everyone elses ($150/cord) so I'm not sure what she's talking about with the top dollar crap.

    So do yall not ask about moisture content? Should I just bring along a meter and test it myself when I get there...or they bring it?

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581

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  2. ClydesdaleBurner

    ClydesdaleBurner Member

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    If you're able to go see it prior to delivery or pick up, I'd bring a moisture meter and a maul and split a few open and test them. I've been burned by too many people selling "seasoned" wood only to have it deliverted and realize its not quite seasoned, but at that point you really can't return it too easily. So now I buy all green wood (cheaper too!) and season it myself 2+years.

    Good luck
  3. raiderfan

    raiderfan Feeling the Heat

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    Then I'm willing to bet that her "people" aren't members of hearth.com or the simple fact that she doesn't know the answers to "such questions!!"

    If its not far out of your way, just bring an MM with you and test it yourself.
  4. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    That sounds like a great idea but, even though I have property that borders a thick treeline, I don't have space for ~6 cords.

    I think I'll go get one of those two pronged meters at Harbor Freight and just test a few logs on site. But the problem with going and picking it up is that I'll get somewhat short changed because I'm not sure my truck bed (S10) will hold a cord.

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
  5. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Your not even gonna get a half cord in that S10. Give them a visit. Usually you can tell by the "operation" what their method is. If you see a dude on one end of the pile splitting, and another on the other side loading a truck....

    The simple question to ask them is "how long has it been SPLIT".

    Edit: and you are NOT out of line asking that question. I personally would have told them to stuff it, with their response.
  6. geoffm24

    geoffm24 Member

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    Here is what she was saying in her reply "By seasoned we mean cut and split 4 months ago. By asking the questions you did it is easy to tell that you will quickly learn our wood is not in fact seasoned in any way shape or form. Since you have the knowledge and tool to figure this out we will not sell to you because it will only be a headache to us. If you want to buy wood that is actually seasoned it will cost you north of $200-$250 is you can even find any."

    Bottom line is that you have to buy your wood and store it if you want seasoned wood. It is the only way to get wood that is actually seasoned.

    The bed of your S10 cetainly will not hold anywhere near a cord, probably only holds 1/4 or maybe 1/3 of a cord. Even if you could fit it in there, which you can't, your trucks engine and suspension couldn't handle the weight.
  7. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    I think what I'll do is email the guy advertising under 30% moisture content that delivers for free, go to his location and test some and buy from him.

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
  8. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    Well I just got off the phone with a guy who's delivering my very first cord on Wednesday!!

    He said he'll BRING the moisture meter to prove it's under 30%!! Plus he said it's been stacked, not piled, and has been seasoned over 15 months.

    Now I'd prefer 2+ years of seasoning, but as long as it reads under 30, I don't really care...or should I?

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
  9. geoffm24

    geoffm24 Member

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    20% and under is what you are looking for, 30% is very wet wood. 25% is considered almost seasoned. If it was cut split and stacked 15 months ago you should see readings of 17-24% unless it is Oak and that should be 25-28%. With the hot and dry summer we had almost all hardwoods outside or oak should be ready to go ie 20% or less if they were really c/s/s 15 months ago.
  10. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Not all woods need the 2 years and many do not, below 30% is better than some but not ideal by any means, you could have problems with starting and getting the stove up to temp, my guess is it will be good unless it is oak or big splits.
  11. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Just to add to that I think "sizzlers" happen at about 30%.
  12. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    I'm somewhat of a newbie...."sizzlers"?

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
  13. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Moisture coming out of the wood as you are trying to burn it.
  14. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    Ha! That makes sense...and it's what I thought you meant...just wanted to make sure.

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
  15. bobforsaken

    bobforsaken Member

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    This may be the wrong place for this question.. but I am monitoring my wood pile for my first year of burning.. Most of the stuff has only been split since June, but much of it was log length form 2 years ago. Bottom line, I'm getting below 24% on most of it (needles buried deep from all sides).. but if I prick the bark, I'm getting 50% (which is the highest my meter goes). If I'm getting below 20 percent on a fresh split, should I be concerned if the bark (or just below the bark) is much higher? In short is the Below 20% an average of all the wood... or is it no spot anywhere over 20%?
  16. raiderfan

    raiderfan Feeling the Heat

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    That's pretty good.

    I don't think the vast majority of dealers around my parts even know what a moisture meter is!!!
  17. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I will answer your question with a question: Have you ever walked up to a perfectly seasoned split that the bark is just starting to peel from and then removed the bark? Its always wet under there. That is probably what you are reading. At less than 24% you will be good to go. Burn on brother.
  18. wood-fan-atic

    wood-fan-atic New Member

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    I have dealt with MANY a shady dealer in my day when I used to buy( I scrounge my own for free now). Anyone who advertises 'seasoned' and would get pissed off at you when questioned is a CROOK! Ive told guys I would only take seasoned wood and they would say 'its 2 years old" ,blah,blah,blah. When they got to my house I would hop in the bed, dig down to the bottom( many crooks will give you green wood with a few seasoned pieces on top to fool you), and split it right there. "What are you doing?" ,they would ask , right after telling me that the wood has been split for 2 years. "I'm testing the wood to make sure its dry." I said. Here is where the back-peddleing begins. "Well there MIGHT be some fresher stuff on the bottom, I didnt load the truck. My partner did." Yeah.right. Sure enough, the heavy-as-a-bag-of-cement split would ring out @ 50%(the highest handheld MM's go). Depending on how desperate you are, you can do one of 2 things at this point. Tell them to @&*$!* themselves for trying to rob you.....or... tell them to drop it, refuse to pay the previously agreed upon price for the NOT-PREVIOUSLY-AGREED-UPON-PRODUCT, and suggest they either get that wood off your property or call their boss and tell them you'll give them $50 for a load of green ,un-burnable fuel. I have NO PROBLEM with people selling green wood. I have a HUGE PROBLEM with criminals lying and selling green wood as seasoned. Nothing bothers me more than predators preying upon good folk who are just looking to warm their families!
  19. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    If you're buying wood just do yourself a favor and assume it's green.
  20. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    Oh, I'm glad you said about the top being burnable and the bottom being green. I'll pick three random pieces to test it out.

    Now is split wood goo to test as is or do I have to split the split wood and test the core?

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
  21. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    I have never had anybody ask me that question, and I don't even own a moisture tester, but if someone asked me, I'd tell them to come on over, split one, and test it themselves. $1 per split. :)

    Anyway, before I sell my Oak firewood it has been split and stacked for roughly 3 years. But I only sell small quantities; the load size that would fit perfectly in your S10 pickup (1/6th of a full cord). I have loaded many S10s (I own one myself now too) and if the splits are just tossed in, 1/6th of a full cord is about all you can expect to get in there.
  22. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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  23. humpin iron

    humpin iron Feeling the Heat

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    Buy your wood in March, then you know/ are responsible for what its been doing the last 6 months...........
  24. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    All depends on what you are paying.

    I bought cut split delivers for $220 a cord. Now I am going to cut a few more cords in the next couple weeks and I was able to get that for $125 a cord. Sure I have to let it dry till next year, but it's worth it to have the wood for cheap.
  25. OhioBurner©

    OhioBurner© Minister of Fire

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    Same thing if your cutting your own wood or buying, just be a year ahead and then there is no worries (unless its oak). Only problem is the first year... if your lucky you may find some honest wood dealer who has good wood. Might be more pricey though, or you could get lucky. Just start buying your wood for next year soon...
    I'm working on getting a year ahead myself now since I've been set straight by y'all after joining this forum. Got most of what I'll need maybe 1 cord short which I'll probably get after hunting season is over. For this year I got lucky and an old retired farmer who sells firewood just to have money to beautify there dogs has wood thats been c/s/s for a year (some of it more) and sells cheaper than other places sell green wood. Measures out on my moisture meter mostly around 17%. Wood was all faded grey, even a few inches in from the ends on pieces in the middle. Only problem is he is down to just a couple level 8' bed fulls left for the >1yr stuff so I might have to burn some of my cherry that I split this summer (cherry is pretty quick drying though, I'll keep my eye on the moisture content).

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