Drying wood ON TOP of stove

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Seth22

New Member
Nov 21, 2009
39
Southern Maine
I know most of you have nicer stoves than I do and you probably don't want to scratch them, but....

Does anyone here dry their wood a little by placing a piece or two on top of the stove? I can't see much harm. It certainly won't decrease the interior firebox temperature as much as a kettle of water. Worse case scenario, you get a little (needed) moisture added to the room.

Thoughts?
 

CarbonNeutral

Minister of Fire
Jan 20, 2009
1,132
Nashoba Valley(ish), MA
Worst case scenario - you forget they are there, they catch fire, fire spreads, burn the house down with you and your family in it.

That's the worst case scenario.
 

Wood Duck

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2009
4,790
Central PA
That seems unlikely to make a big difference in the amount of moisture in the wood, but fairly likely to cause a fire if you walk away and forget about it. Instead of putting a piece or two right on the stove, I'd put a week's worth of firewood near the stove. You'd still get the moisture in the air and dry the wood a little, but it seems a lot less dangerous.
 

Backwoods Savage

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2007
27,811
Michigan
I've seen some folks doing this but never liked the thought of it myself. Better to stack near the stove than on top.
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,593
Unity/Bangor, Maine
Uh, I've got to agree with CN here . . . worse case is not a little extra moisture in the house . . . worse case is forgetting about the wood, leaving the house or simply getting caught up doing something else in the house and having the wood catch on fire.

My own opinion . . . this is a bad idea. A better idea would be to stack the wood near the stove (paying attention to clearances) . . . the warm heat and dry air should be enough . . . if after several hours the wood still isn't burning well . . . then all I can say is your wood is nowhere near being seasoned enough to burn well.
 

LLigetfa

Minister of Fire
Nov 9, 2008
7,360
NW Ontario
My father never ever did get that "seasoned wood" thing. The wood we cut all summer got tossed inside the barn in a huge heap and we burned it same year. We were never years ahead. My mother would complain about it constantly when trying to burn it in the cookstove. It was not unusual for her to have a bunch of spits sitting in the oven and up on the warming shelf drying them for use.
 

spirilis

Minister of Fire
Sep 8, 2009
940
Baltimore, MD
Heh, at the very least put them on top of a grate inches above the stove. If you do it at all.
 

fossil

Accidental Moderator
Sep 30, 2007
10,568
Bend, OR
I had some wood stored inches from the side of our old Lopi a couple of winters back. Loaded up the stove for the night & went to bed. A while later I swore I smelled smoke, went out to check, and the wood beside the stove was beginning to char and smoke. Scared the bejeezus outta me. I can't imagine placing wood directly on a stove top. Minimum clearance to combustibles means just what it says. As for moisture in the living space...the moisture in a 5 gallon bucket of water might change your RH noticeably, but the moisture in a piece or two of firewood ain't gonna do squat. Rick
 

Jags

Moderate Moderator
Staff member
Aug 2, 2006
18,395
Northern IL
Would you stack newspapers on top of your stove? Nuff said.

To re-emphasize Rick: Clearance to combustibles as stated in your manual is where you want to be.
 

fossil

Accidental Moderator
Sep 30, 2007
10,568
Bend, OR
Wood @ 572°F = wood fire. Stove tops routinely exceed this temperature for hours at a time, often by a wide margin. I don't ever want a wood fire in my home unless it's safely contained within the firebox of my stove. I'll do whatever I can, in fact, to ensure it never happens. I know my stove installations are safe and well maintained and operated. After that,the very simplest thing I can do is to always observe CTC's. I'm still thinking about this thread (obviously), and remembering that night of the smoldering firewood next to my stove. Gives me the heebie jeebies just thinkin' about it. A little while longer, and I'd have fallen fast asleep. A little while longer and that wood would have gone up in flames. Rick
 

PapaDave

Minister of Fire
Feb 23, 2008
5,739
Northern MI - in the mitten
Tried that once, Seth. Left them there a little too long and got a very decidedly, very warm oak smell. So, I very quickly, and very decidedly stopped doing it. I guess zero clearance isn't for wood. %-P
I keep a galvanized washtub next to the stove (about a foot away) with enough splits for the whole day in it. Every time I go outside, I bring in a few more. Usage tends to pretty much even out with the replacements.
If any of the splits are a little wet, by the time they go in the stove, they've had a chance to dry.
 
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