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Yield in split firewood from a stack of rounds?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Adkjake, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. Adkjake

    Adkjake Member

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    The earlier post on why stack rounds got me thinking, does anyone know of a back of the napkin formula to figure out
    what a given amount of rounds will yield when split and stacked? Thinned out some trees on the property and ended up with a
    face cord of rounds (4ftx8ftx16in) after bucking the downed trees. Rounds are a mix of 8 to 12 inch diameter.

    When I split them (mostly in halves) and stack, will I have more, less or about the same as the face cord of rounds?

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  2. Constrictor

    Constrictor Member

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    what is a face cord?
  3. sblat

    sblat Member

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    A face cord is roughly 1/3 of a cord. That is how most wood is sold here where I live in MI. Dimensions 4'x8'x16". I have a similar situation at my house. Been cutting at a friends farm and have a row of 12-18 inch rounds 30' long and 5' high.
  4. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    The yield would probably vary depending on split size, but it'll stack out to more volume than the rounds, that much I know.
  5. fahmahbob

    fahmahbob Member

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    I'd swear someone on this forum (probably BK but I'm not sure) did an experiment in miniature that addressed this very question. I can't seem to find it with the search feature, though. And for the life of me I can't remember the outcome.
  6. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    It's obligatory. Every year we MUST have this debate about how a cord is measured and whether a cord split is the same as a cord unsplit.

    A cord is a cord. Some people {sellers} just stack them more loosely than others{buyers}.

    Debate away!!! ;-P
  7. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    Yes, someone did with little tiny dowel rods or something.

    I also did one with a couple of giant rounds and I think I came up with "add 10% more volume" getting you close...
  8. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    Oh yeah, then don't forget to subtract 3-5% after it shrinks from seasoning!
  9. onetracker

    onetracker Minister of Fire

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    you'll have more volume.

    i'll see if i can't find the post...maybe it was over on the arborist site.
    simply:

    take a round that fits nicely in, say, a 5 gallon bucket
    split it down a few times.
    try to put it back in the bucket
    see what happens

    that's why one of my local wood sellers, who sells by the truckload, ALWAYS splits his rounds at least in 1/4's.
  10. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

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    Yeah - I would think after splitting it would be just the same amount.
  11. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    I suspect Constrictor was being a bit facetious when he asked "what is a face cord." Many of us prefer not to acknowledge the existence of this bogus measurement, preferring to speak only in terms of cords and fractions thereof. Honestly, any member of this forum should know better than to use any unit of measurement other than a 'cord.'
  12. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    It would be the same volume and weight of wood (not allowing for chips and other waste) but a cord is not really a measurement of wood. It's a measurement of space: 128 cubic feet.
    How you fill that space depends on the size of the split and how tightly you can pack it.
  13. Constrictor

    Constrictor Member

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    I dont understand the facecord bit. Its kind of like buying wood by the board foot. a board foot is 12"x12"x1" thick if you want a board thats 12"x12"x1.5" thick thats gonna be 1.5 board feet. so no one asks for a "face board foot" of lumber, it doesnt make sense because the thickness of the wood determines how many board feet a 12"x12" board is. I cut all my wood 24" long so a "face cord" would be 1/2 cord.
  14. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Like Ken said;
    You'll have the same amount of wood, just a little more total air space between the pieces. IMO
    Some say rounds take more space than splits. I've not found that true for my wood.
    A cord is roughly considered to be 85 to 90 cubic feet of wood with no air space, 128 cubic feet of space needed when stacked.
    How much more air space? It depends on how well/tight you stack it.
    I rarely have good straight grained wood so the amount of space I need to stack the splits VS the rounds is more than if I had good straight splits.
    How many times you split it adds to the space needed.
    If you are just splitting in 1/2, I don't think the space needed will grow much, but I think it will grow.
    But I'v never really tested my theory & think the straightness of the wood grain would be a big variable.

    Maybe you could do a test, make a 4' X4' square from some 2X2s, fill it tight with rounds, then split it & see if it fits back into the square. :)
  15. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Consider a perfectly circular and straight 4' round, 4' in diameter. Volume of the round is 2 x 3.14 X 2 X 4 or 50.24 cu ft. Commonly accepted volume of actual wood in half a cord is 40-45 cu ft.
  16. cptoneleg

    cptoneleg Minister of Fire

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    Why don't you split them and tell us, and try using the firewwod calculator
  17. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    When I bought wood this year most of it was in rounds and stacked. The one deal I bought it measured out to 5 cords in the round. I bought it as being 4 cords. After I had split everything I was just under 4 cords.
  18. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    Surprising that the wood measured out 20% LESS
    split than in the round. How would one explain that?
  19. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I'm not sure why that would suprise you? In the round takes much more room to stack then it does if it's split.
  20. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Typical wood sellers.
    They know magic: :)
    Paid for 4 cords, got 5 cords, ended up with less than 4 cords.
    The guy is good.
    lots of hollow logs/rounds?
  21. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Huh?

    The guy had 5 cords in the round when I (ME) measured it.

    We both agreed that corded in the round would not be the same as corded when it's split. I estimated it would be 4 cords when all split and he agreed that sounded about right. Some of the rounds where quite large...2.5ft across plus. (never seen birch that big before!).

    After I got it all split I ended up with a bit under 4 cords. Something like 3.8 or 3.9 cords.


  22. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    That makes absolutely no sense. As per most of the posts in this and similar threads, space required to stack wood increases when it is split, not decreases.
    You can't split a round in half, put it back together, and tell us it will now occupy less space in the stack.

    I think this is an example of a rare event when a buyer actually pulled one over on a wood vendor.
  23. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Less airspace with well stacked splits?

    All that garbage/kindling you get from splitting? 4 cords can leave quite a mess but I doubt you'd get a cords worth! :gulp:
  24. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    How can a stack of rounds take less room than those same rounds split and stacked?

    There is all sorts of air space in the stack of rounds, more so with larger rounds.

    When those rounds are split and stacked there is much less air space between teh pieces.

    I didn't pull anything over on anyone. I paid for 4 cords of wood and ended up with just under 4 cords.... If anything he got the better deal.


    edit: Now that I think of it there was some of that that I threw into the punky/ungly bin for campfires so it was in the end probably right at 4 cords.

    edit:
    Also maybe wood is sold different elsewhere but all the wood I have bought the cords where measured after it was all bucked, split and stacked. I was just trying to point out that a "cord" stacked in rounds would probably end up being more like .75-.8 cords once split
  25. dave360up

    dave360up Member

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    I recently split a face cord of red maple rounds that was stacked between two trees. These were approximately 11"-15" diameter rounds, and I generally quartered the smaller ones and split the larger ones into 6 or 8 pieces. There is no question that the split wood took up less volume than the unsplit rounds.
    The volume of the gaps between the rounds themselves, the trees on either side, and the logs on the ground they were stacked on was greater than the volume of the gaps between the stacked split wood pieces and these same straight-sided "container walls".

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