Drying Wood in a Garage/Shop

XmasTreefarmer

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2017
283
Wisconsin
Back around January, 2020 there was a post about, Will Wood Dry in a Garage? Discussion was mixed - some folks thought that you could and some thought not. The usual discussion about the effects of sun and wind vs being in an enclosed space were brought up. Well, I am always up for a little experiment and so was @johneh, so we joined forces and ran an experiment over the Summer. Here are the results:

Wood/Location/Methodology
  • We both used wood from a live tree. John did Red Oak and Sugar Maple - I did just Red Oak.
  • John is in Eastern Ontario, I'm in Southern Wisconsin.
  • We each split a log in half, and then stacked one of the splits inside and the other split outside.
  • John stored his in his shop, I stored mine in my garage.
  • We both stacked outside in a good drying area with sun and wind and the stack was covered.
  • We started the test around mid-April and we concluded the test around mid-October.
  • The splits were then split again and a moisture reading taken on the fresh split.
Findings
  • John had better drying by 2.8% on the Maple and 2.7% on the Oak - In his shop
  • I had better drying by 2.2% on my Oak - In the garage
Thoughts/Conclusions
  • John was not surprised by the results, he always has thought that his wood dried better inside than out.
  • I was surprised by the results. I have always thought that the effects of wind and sun were key to getting wood to dry.
 

John Galt

Member
Oct 22, 2019
64
W Montana
Nice. Thank you. Rain and humidity outside reintroducing moisture or slowing down the evaporative process? Maybe a more stable temperature inside vs cool nights.
 

XmasTreefarmer

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2017
283
Wisconsin
Nice. Thank you. Rain and humidity outside reintroducing moisture or slowing down the evaporative process? Maybe a more stable temperature inside vs cool nights.
Yes, sooooo many variables with drying your wood. This Summer we had a "normal" amount of rainfall and humidity. The outside stack would pick up some windblown rain on the ends, even though it was covered. And my garage is interesting. The door is always down otherwise critters from squirrels to woodchucks are trying to set up shop in there. :mad: But it does have a ventilated soffit and has an open channel to the attic which is well ventilated. That said, when the sun is on the roof - it can be 90+ degrees in the garage. As soon as the sun is not on it, it approaches the outside temp, but I do get a daily "blast" of heat in there that has to help.
 

NickW

Feeling the Heat
Oct 16, 2019
273
SE WI
Like the experiment! Makes me feel like I made a good decision moving most of my stacks indoors early this year. Have beech, hard maple & ash that was some ok, some low 20's. Moved indoors to the wood bin in a large garage with vented soffits and put a fan on it to encourage air flow.
 

XmasTreefarmer

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2017
283
Wisconsin
Like the experiment! Makes me feel like I made a good decision moving most of my stacks indoors early this year. Have beech, hard maple & ash that was some ok, some low 20's. Moved indoors to the wood bin in a large garage with vented soffits and put a fan on it to encourage air flow.
Cool! Based on what we saw, there appears to be no downside and some upside to getting it in early. And then it's done!
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
3,125
Eastern Ontario
In the 40 years, I have been burning wood I have always found that drying my splits in my drive shed or shop was better than outside The shed or the shop does not cool off as much at night saving the time it takes to heat the splits the next day. Also, no rain if it rains for four days my splits tend to increase in moisture content and it takes an equal number of days to catch up covered or not
people that say 3 years just have not learned the best way to dry wood. All I burn now is sugar maple and red oak and woodcut this December will be sub 20% next November
 
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Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
1,801
Marshall NC


I dry it indoors, in my non-ventilated wood shed. I am getting oak, and hickory down to 17 percent in 8 months.
I load it up with green wood and I keep the door shut.
It works on the principle that water vapor passes through bare wood.
It is important that the floor is wood, and is well off the ground, 16 inches minimum.
Also, huge roof overhangs keep most of the rain off the walls.
And, it sets out in the sun all day, the metal roof heats up and drives heat into that firewood.
 
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hickoryhoarder

Minister of Fire
Apr 5, 2013
509
Indiana
Excellent experiment. I'm surprised by the result.
 

andym

Member
Feb 6, 2020
233
Hicksville, Ohio
Interesting results. Obviously there must be limits to the kinds of indoor places that will bring the results you've posted. I'm sure it wouldn't work in my damp basement for example.
This could us a good excuse to build bigger shops/garages! :cool: