Drying firewood - shed or covered in open?

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Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
1,271
Palmyra, WI
Just for the fun of it, I put together some regional/individual recomendations per this thread:

NY hay barn, inside with air flow
MT hay barn, then enclosed utility shed for current use
OK open field, dang cat
PA hay barn, retrieve as needed
ME open field, but covered
ME hay barn, utility shed use as needed
NY hay barn
IN open field, covered, then hay barn
OH open field, uncovered, then hay barn or utility shed
NJ hay barn, oriented south
VA hay barn, or open field covered
OR open field, uncovered till fall
NJ open field, cover in the fall, then hay barn
WA open field, covered, then utility shed
WA open field, covered, then utility shed
PA open field, covered, then hay barn or utility shed, try to initially prevent mold
MA open field, uncovered, then hay barn or utility shed
WI open field, uncovered, then hay barn or utility shed in fall for current use, our current setup
 
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Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,920
SEPA
Just for the fun of it, I put together some regional/individual recomendations per this thread:

NY hay barn, inside with air flow
MT hay barn, then enclosed utility shed for current use
OK open field, dang cat
PA hay barn, retrieve as needed
MA open field, but covered
MA hay barn, utility shed use as needed
NY hay barn
IN open field, covered, then hay barn
OH open field, uncovered, then hay barn or utility shed
NJ hay barn, oriented south
VA hay barn, or open field covered
OR open field, uncovered till fall
NJ open field, cover in the fall, then hay barn
WA open field, covered, then utility shed
WA open field, covered, then utility shed
PA open field, covered, then hay barn or utility shed, try to initially prevent mold
MA open field, uncovered, then hay barn or utility shed
WI open field, uncovered, then hay barn or utility shed in fall for current use, our current setup
Thanks Sawset. That was good!
 

Gunfixr

New Member
Jan 14, 2019
89
Va, USA
So, from 18 posted opinions, there's about 3 that say open field, with most of those also saying covered, or to cover it at some point. There's 7 saying hay barn, or utility shed, with some variance on the specifics of things like air flow. Then there's 8 saying open field, then hay barn, or utility shed.
There's clearly some variance on what precisely constitutes a hay barn and/or a utility shed, but it looks like the general consensus would be that a hay barn is large (er, ish?) and airy, while a utility shed would be smaller and more closed in.
Here in VA, I am in se va, but have traveled around some of the rest, wood is stored outside. While it's possible it gets moved, I haven't seen any evidence yet, and through the winter, the outside stack, usually closest to the house, gets smaller. While sometimes I see it under a pole barn or car port, just a roof on posts, mostly I see it stacked along a building of one sort or another. It may be uncovered, a tarp draped over it, roofing tin laying on it, or some type of covering roof mounted over it. Sometimes a type of free standing wood storage is built, with a base to keep the wood off the ground, uprights at the ends to retain it, and a roof of some type over it. Sometimes it's free-stacked, away from buildings, with any or none of the above coverings, or stacked between trees. Usually, there's something under it, I think landscape timbers are the popular option. Rarely, there is the pile, as if dumped from a truck.
Granted, we don't tend towards long cold winters. We do tend towards rather high humidity a good portion of the year.
Most season one year, with a fair number burning it unseasoned, apparently. I know a few who keep several years worth on hand, so they are using wood seasoned more than a year.
 

aaronk25

Burning Hunk
Feb 15, 2017
176
Rochester
The fastest way besides kiln to dry is to stretch film it tight on a pallet. Oak will dry in 3 months to 20% the problem with this is in the fall with trapped moisture the wood molds.

So the key to drying is HEAT in a hurry or time. Venting it has very little to do with drying unless there is little heat. Remember wood re-absorbs very little moisture once it’s expelled. That’s why fire wood floats.

With that, unless your a couple years ahead I’m thinking stack on pallets under the trap edge of property then use tractor with forks to move where you want them when ready to consume or when dry.


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Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,920
SEPA
The fastest way besides kiln to dry is to stretch film it tight on a pallet. Oak will dry in 3 months to 20% the problem with this is in the fall with trapped moisture the wood molds.

So the key to drying is HEAT in a hurry or time. Venting it has very little to do with drying unless there is little heat. Remember wood re-absorbs very little moisture once it’s expelled. That’s why fire wood floats.

With that, unless your a couple years ahead I’m thinking stack on pallets under the trap edge of property then use tractor with forks to move where you want them when ready to consume or when dry.


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Please stop. Where's the water going to go if it's not vented. And dry wood absorbs moisture all the time. Anyone with wood floors knows this if their house has experienced any periods of high humidity. The boards will even buckle from swelling so much.
 

aaronk25

Burning Hunk
Feb 15, 2017
176
Rochester
Please stop. Where's the water going to go if it's not vented. And dry wood absorbs moisture all the time. Anyone with wood floors knows this if their house has experienced any periods of high humidity. The boards will even buckle from swelling so much.

You stop. Nice choice of words, kinda a prick thing to say. Anyhow I didn’t say wood absolutely doesn’t re-absorb I said it does very little. You took that out of context.

I just dried 10 cords of green burr oak wood last summer. You are very bold for being so incorrect that stretched filmed wrapped pallets don’t dry quickly.


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aaronk25

Burning Hunk
Feb 15, 2017
176
Rochester
The water condenses on the inside of the plastic and literally rains put if the pallet, it’s called condensation and itts what happens when the temperature meets the dew point, 7th grade science Ed.


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Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,920
SEPA
You stop. Nice choice of words, kinda a prick thing to say. Anyhow I didn’t say wood absolutely doesn’t re-absorb I said it does very little. You took that out of context.

I just dried 10 cords of green burr oak wood last summer. You are very bold for being so incorrect that stretched filmed wrapped pallets don’t dry quickly.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

I didn't say wrapping film wont work. I think it would work great. Just that unvented is not going to work. Your moisture escaped somewhere. Must have run down the film onto the skids and out. Which is what your second response says. Important details.

No need to get personal. I did say please.
 

Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
1,271
Palmyra, WI
I get down to Sumpter SC a couple times a year. Where we stay they have some wood stacked in back in the shade, for a couple years now or more. It seems to always be wet and getting wetter, and slowly becoming unusable for much of anything. Open air sheds down there are fairly common, and have things inside - machinery, hay, wood - that are in good shape. Even things left in the sun - fields, crops like cotton, equipment, laneways - always seem damp. Maybe it's the time of year that I'm there, fall or early spring that is different, or the fact that they always seem to have a hurricane or two come through right before we get there. For the OP's benefit, I'm thinking under cover with open air would be step in a positive direction.
 
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vwmike

Feeling the Heat
Oct 7, 2013
323
Chilliwack, BC, Can.
After 5 years of top covering my wood I built a proper wood shed. Wood has never been dryer, seems no matter what I do tarp blows off once during winter and wood gets a bit wet. A proper wood shed has a roof and no walls, just enough slats or cross bracing so the wood doesn't fall out. Just my experience in the very wet PNW
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,593
Unity/Bangor, Maine
Just for the fun of it, I put together some regional/individual recomendations per this thread:

NY hay barn, inside with air flow
MT hay barn, then enclosed utility shed for current use
OK open field, dang cat
PA hay barn, retrieve as needed
MA open field, but covered
MA hay barn, utility shed use as needed
NY hay barn
IN open field, covered, then hay barn
OH open field, uncovered, then hay barn or utility shed
NJ hay barn, oriented south
VA hay barn, or open field covered
OR open field, uncovered till fall
NJ open field, cover in the fall, then hay barn
WA open field, covered, then utility shed
WA open field, covered, then utility shed
PA open field, covered, then hay barn or utility shed, try to initially prevent mold
MA open field, uncovered, then hay barn or utility shed
WI open field, uncovered, then hay barn or utility shed in fall for current use, our current setup

Where's ME Open for a year or two or three uncovered and then in woodshed for another year or two or three?
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,236
Woolwich nj
Some of you guys make this into much work. Take the time to stack it outside let it sit.. move the stacked wood to a shed and let it dry.. why not skip the part when you leave it out side. Cut out that step and just put it in the shed from the beginning, and save youself all of that additional work.... just saying..
wood actually drys well in a shed from the verry beginning.
 

Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,920
SEPA
This is great.

As i understand it, there has been, for many years in the Nordic countries, a similar heated debate about whether to stack bark side up, or bark side down. There, with a homogeneous climate and similar wood, they have found something even more meaningless to debate passionately.

I'm top covering my wood from now on, at least when rain or snow is called for, and hopefully have a large open sided woodshed in the not to distant future, with a roll down on the west, prevailing wind, side. Here in humid, wet, SE PA. 30+ years experience heating with wood.

God speed on your choice.
 

Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
2,153
Marshall NC
eh71fpol.jpg


My woodshed dries hickory to 17 percent in 10 months.
 
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Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,920
SEPA
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Gunfixr

New Member
Jan 14, 2019
89
Va, USA
I have a good friend who is quite knowledgeable about many things like this, about 15yrs more life experience than I, and wood heat is his only heat.
He has his wood stacked in the open sheds described above. Built with a way to keep it off the ground, enough framing to hold the stack and support a proper roof, which extends past the stack maybe a foot in all directions. He always has several cords kept this way.
If it did not work, he would change it.
This is my most likely plan. I think i've figured out where i'll put them.
 
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weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,893
Central Mass
My plan is to put up 4 4x4s, a sloped roof and open on all 4 sides except for some bracing. I have 10 foot pallets for the floor. I have the supplies just need some time to put it together.
 
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firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,593
Unity/Bangor, Maine
Sorry Jake. MA sounds like Maine. I'll need to get that corrected. Your comments noted.

It's OK. In fairness we were once part of Massachusetts and are still happy to acknowledge that fact on April 15th . . . at least I am since I get the day off to do Spring chores, enjoy the Spring air or run the Boston Marathon (which I have yet to do.)
 
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Gunfixr

New Member
Jan 14, 2019
89
Va, USA
Pallets on the ground here bring termites, quickly. Might be why so many here use landscape timbers, they are treated, termites don't like them.
 

mcdougy

Minister of Fire
Apr 15, 2014
794
ontario
Cut the tree....and split it up....touch 1
Load the trailer and haul it up to barn to dump......touch 2
Throw it the window of the barn touch 3
Stack it. Touch 4
Throw it out the barn window 2 years later in trailer and dump.at house touch 5
Grab it and put it in the stove touch 6
That's how efficient I am ....works well if you don't mind the work. Some gets handled 1 more time if I have to rearrange the stacks to keep the drying cycle going.
So far a barn with walls works just fine here, one storage area is a concrete bunker room with a couple opposing windows.
 

Snapdragon III

New Member
Dec 30, 2018
6
Seattle
I just finished this shed yesterday. I am super excited to get it packed with wood. I will stack it in there when I split it, and not move it again till I load it into a wheelbarrow to bring to the front door for burning. I am excited to be done with tarps and moving wood piles! One bit of advice if you are building a shed in a visible location and want it to look good. It was shocking how much better this shed looked after I gave it a coat of solid bodied deck stain. Night and day difference.
 

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weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,893
Central Mass
I just finished this shed yesterday. I am super excited to get it packed with wood. I will stack it in there when I split it, and not move it again till I load it into a wheelbarrow to bring to the front door for burning. I am excited to be done with tarps and moving wood piles! One bit of advice if you are building a shed in a visible location and want it to look good. It was shocking how much better this shed looked after I gave it a coat of solid bodied deck stain. Night and day difference.
Perfect, exactly what I have planned that will serve for many years to come.
 

baseroom

Feeling the Heat
Nov 18, 2014
478
Rochester
I just finished this shed yesterday. I am super excited to get it packed with wood. I will stack it in there when I split it, and not move it again till I load it into a wheelbarrow to bring to the front door for burning. I am excited to be done with tarps and moving wood piles! One bit of advice if you are building a shed in a visible location and want it to look good. It was shocking how much better this shed looked after I gave it a coat of solid bodied deck stain. Night and day difference.
Beautiful! Did you design those yourself?