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Yet another seasoning question (Sorry!)

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by wendell, Jul 13, 2009.

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  1. karl

    karl Minister of Fire

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    I think the way it's split has a lot to do with how fast it dries. I got a load of slab wood a few weeks ago. I stacked part of it and then got busy and left the rest in the pile. Tonight I went out to stack some more. The stuff on the top of the pile is pretty dry. It surprised me so much that I compared some pieces laying on the ground covered up to what was on top. Not only did it feel drier, there was a noticable difference in weight. I wouldn't say its ready to burn after only a few weeks, but it's well on it's way. This stuff is 18" long 6-8" wide and 2-4" thick. It dries fast in the sun. The bark that fell off of some of the pieces when he dumped it has already curled up.

    Now if I could just get the other 4 cords delivered.

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  2. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Send your wood on out to Central Oregon for Summer vacation. Right now (5:46 PM), it's 91°F and 17% RH outside. Rick
  3. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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    wood that i split over the winter looks like it could be ready by dec/jan BUT that was wood on the top row ... i am sure the stuff on the bottom and the second row prolly have a higher moisture content
  4. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    My splitting has been going in spurts since March as I find a few hours here and there. The top of the pile is always dry before more goes on even with all the rain.
  5. beagler

    beagler Member

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    People say seasoning takes 6-9 months or longer. Does this mean the wood is cut and split alreaedy? I just split cherry and maple the other day and stacked it, but it has been cut to length since March. I'm banking on burning it this year.
  6. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    Yes, cut and split, wood doesn't season well in log form.
  7. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    It will probably burn, but it might be wetter than ideal. Cherry seems to need more time to really dry than you'd think. Be prepared for the possibility of slightly wet wood. You might get lucky, but I'd keep an eye on the creosote.
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    On the maple, it depends on what maple you have. Soft maple seasons much faster than hard maple.

    On the cherry, we have not noticed that it takes longer to season. In fact, we feel it seasons much quicker than most wood. I'd say if it is split and stacked now it could very well be ready to burn by December or January.

    Madrone, I wonder on the cherry if we perhaps have a different type of cherry than you do?
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Ready to burn must be quite a subjective term. I cannot imagine anything cut and split now being ready to burn, save perhaps the tops of some standing dead wood with no bark.
  10. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I don't use a moisture meter but I gauge wood by how much it shrinks. Wood that I cut Jan/Feb in '08, split and left out all Spring/Summer/Fall to dry, and then stacked tight to the rafters in the shed late fall, shrank several inches over last Winter. Looking at the large gap under the rafters of what is left of that same wood now a year and a half later, I see it shrank that much more again.

    Here is a thread where I showed 4 inches of shrinkage. There is over 9 inches of shrinkage now and I had to bang back and brace the exposed face row as it started to lean badly.
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/35465/#376796
  11. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    Maybe. I've had cherry the last 2 years and it seems to take a while, but the cherry from last year got rained on a lot. Maybe it wasn't the cherry's fault.
  12. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    You have a Dolmer and a powered splitter and you're cutting for THIS year?
  13. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Oh, and a moisture meter... some guys have all the cool paraphernalia yet can't get a year ahead. :coolsmirk:

    Then there's guys like BWS (Dennis) and I that have old equipment and old bodies too. Now, I'll never be 7 years ahead like BWS but I hope never again to be in the situation of having to burn wood seasoned less than a year. Ideally I'd like to get at least 3 years ahead.
  14. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    And me. Got a 6# maul, a Sachs that doesn't run, an 026 that still has ALL the carb adjustment screws, a rusted-out pickup truck, a little cobbled together kit trailer from Harbor Freight, walk with a limp, heart that beats funny sometimes, farmer's lung, and I'm 5 years ahead! ;-)
  15. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I'm still cutting for LAST year. :red:
  16. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Well, as I've stated in the past, one winter we burned fresh cut white ash all winter and did not freeze. Yes, we did have to clean the chimney maybe one more time than we did back then with the old stove.

    We have done close to the same thing with cherry. The only thing is you have to keep a good fire going else it is a bit of a problem getting it burning really good but it can be done. When we used to pitch a tent while hunting in the north woods we burned green cherry in our little stove tent and got along just fine.

    But, I will agree with anyone that it is still much, much better to give the wood time to season properly. I've never used a moisture meter nor do I plan on it. To find out if the wood has too much moisture or is ready to burn, the very best way is to try to burn it! Build yourself a little fire out in the back yard if you have to and judge by the way it burns. Simple and easy.

    Better yet, let the wood be split and stacked two years and then no test is needed. Just put it in the stove and enjoy the heat.
  17. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Well, if it's a choice of freezing or burning whatever, I'd bust up the furniture and burn it too. For most people it's not down to that but rather it's about burning oil or wood. Burning wet wood is an exercise in frustration. No point smoking out the house with wet wood and burning twice as much as you should. With the price of oil now, I'd top up the tank and save the wood for when it's really ready to burn.
  18. apples439

    apples439 New Member

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    Forgive me if this is a stupid question but this will be my first year burning wood for heat. I've got three cords of red oak stacked in my back yard. I had to purchase them as I don't have the resources to cut/split my own. I've taken readings from my cheapo-depot moisture meter and I consistently get 34% from the center of a newly split piece and 19% on the ends. I don't have the slightest clue how long it will take this particular species to get down to acceptable levels but I fear that it is longer than than from now to burn season. I have a Fireview with a cat so moisture content is going to be of more particular concern. I'm hoping for a unanimous response of "don't worry, that wood has plenty of time!" but I'm doubtful. Any estimates or advice is appreciated.

    Thanks!

    Todd
  19. pulldownclaw

    pulldownclaw Feeling the Heat

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    I don't think the responses will be very favorable, but one thing you could do is get a maul/splitting axe and split some of them down smaller.....or find a friend with a splitter! ;-)
  20. WOODBUTCHER

    WOODBUTCHER Minister of Fire

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    Most people here have been in your shoes before including me. In a few months this forum will be loaded with threads just like this.
    Oak takes a long time to season to burn it efficiently (6-12 months split and stacked for oak ain't gonna make the grade)
    "Efficiently" is key to a good hot fire. Poorly seasoned wood leads to wasted heat up your stack by using it's energy to burn off excessive moisture.
    But you came here, so we can help. There will be some suggestions like above......here are a few of mine:


    Are you sure all 3 cords are oak ? (post some pictures)
    Post another thread asking other seasoned Fireview owners how they operate the stove from a cold start to a well established fire. Let them know about your setup....chimney height, liner or no liner......stuff like that...pictures help
    Try to find a dependable wood dealer or friend that has "dry" wood to mix with your oak (Ash is the "best get me by wood" as it has a very low moisture content)
    Start busting up old pallets.
    Start collecting untreated lumber scraps
    Split your chunks smaller
    Get to know your wood spieces
    Buy more wood now for next year

    WoodButcher
  21. apples439

    apples439 New Member

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    I'll try to take pictures this weekend but it all seems to be the same species and I'm 95% sure it is red oak. I pretty much figured I'd have to make alternative arrangements (i.e. purchase different wood), but I was clinging to the slightest possibility that you guys would say that it might be dry enough for this season. Well, at least I've got wood ready to go for the 2010/2011 season, right?

    Thanks for the advice,

    -Todd
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