burning exclusively with Ash?

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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,486
Northern NH
It depends. IMHO, if you truly can leave it for 2 or 3 years, it will be dry no matter how big you split it. That said drying speeds up by getting at least half the surface area of the split exposed grain. GIven the luxury of a long dry time it comes down to what your stove iikes and what your goals are. For quick heat and secondaries, cut small. Ash is not particularly dense all night wood although its density can vary considerably between a large ash growing up mature woods or second growth. If you want the longer burn and its dry, keep it big but if you can keep it square, you can stack it more densely into the firebox. Ideally you start the fire with ash to gets things hot quick and then mix in some denser wood like oak for the long overnight burn.
 
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MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
867
NW Ontario
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I've started splitting my ash haul, and am doing a variety of sizes. I'm definitely taking the time to cut square pieces out of the bigger rounds, and I'm excited to get to them in several years time. I brought a few rounds into the house last week and let them come up to temp over the weekend. I took them outside and split them today and hit them with the moisture metre, and most are off the metre (i.e. over 45% MC). A few were in the high 30s. I didn't need the mm to tell me they were wet, cause it's pretty obvious it's green wood, but it's nice to know the baseline. I'm going to intentionally leave a few big squares to bake this summer and then in the fall, i'm going to halve them and see what the mc is after one summer.
 

Solarguy3500

Member
Dec 3, 2020
171
Western MA
View attachment 277020

I've started splitting my ash haul, and am doing a variety of sizes. I'm definitely taking the time to cut square pieces out of the bigger rounds, and I'm excited to get to them in several years time. I brought a few rounds into the house last week and let them come up to temp over the weekend. I took them outside and split them today and hit them with the moisture metre, and most are off the metre (i.e. over 45% MC). A few were in the high 30s. I didn't need the mm to tell me they were wet, cause it's pretty obvious it's green wood, but it's nice to know the baseline. I'm going to intentionally leave a few big squares to bake this summer and then in the fall, i'm going to halve them and see what the mc is after one summer.

How's your sun exposure there?

Is a solar kiln a possibility for you? If so, you might be able to get that ash down to a low enough MC to burn it this fall/winter.
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
867
NW Ontario
How's your sun exposure there?

Is a solar kiln a possibility for you? If so, you might be able to get that ash down to a low enough MC to burn it this fall/winter.
That area where I'm splitting is my sunniest spot, and I get sun there pretty much all day. I've never used that area of my yard for wood before, as it's the extension below my septic field and was nicely grown in with lawn. However, I've needed to start pushing snow there in the winter, and it became the natural extension of a good place to put my logs as i was bringing them home. I've decided to stack all the ash there for the summer too, and then next summer it will get moved to the shed.

I flirted with the idea of a solar kiln, but for a number of reasons I am likely not going to try. I will let nature do it's thing, and track the progress I make over the summer for future reference.
 
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