Firewood drying and storage in cheap silos

Tron

Member
Jan 1, 2020
98
Jackson MS
All,

As this storage method seems largely unknown here, I'd like to introduce it. It's really cheap and dries wood perfectly.

You just need a sheet of construction remesh (heavy duty, size can vary but I used 8*20'), some nylon rope and a tarp. The remesh is rolled into a tube and tied close with the rope, overlapping one segment You can add wood to it whenever you want, as you can see in the picture the upper half is newer wood. No need to stack it, just toss it in.
When you want to retrieve some, you cut a door into the lower part of it, bend the remesh open, and take the wood out. That is best done where the mesh is joined.

If there are any questions, feel free to ask.

A silo of this size holds about 2 full cords, maybe a little bit less because it is not stacked.

IMG_20200225_173947.jpg
 
Last edited:

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
20,931
central pa
All,

As this storage method seems largely unknown here, I'd like to introduce it. It's really cheap and dries wood perfectly.

You just need a sheet of construction remesh (heavy duty, size can vary but I used 8*20'), some nylon rope and a tarp. The remesh is rolled into a tube and tied close with the rope, overlapping one segment You can add wood to it whenever you want, as you can see in the picture the upper half is newer wood. No need to stack it, just toss it in.
When you want to retrieve some, you cut a door into the lower part of it, bend the remesh open, and take the wood out. That is best done where the mesh is joined.

If there are any questions, feel free to ask.

A silo of this size holds about 2 full cords, maybe a little bit less because it is not stacked.

View attachment 257588
How do you get airflow to the interior of that column?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
20,931
central pa
I will stick to my single row stacks to dry fast
 

Tron

Member
Jan 1, 2020
98
Jackson MS
As the splits are just thrown in, there is plenty airflow throughout the column.

I put fresh hardwood in last spring, and retrieved it last weekend with 14% moisture, if I can trust my meter. But it burned without hissing, so I guess it is dry. In colder climate it may take two years, which is what we did back in Europe.
 

Tron

Member
Jan 1, 2020
98
Jackson MS
Oh, I forgot: there are big sticks pushed through the second-from-bottom row forming a floor of sorts which prevents the wood from sitting on the ground. I think if you zoom in you can see that. The wood sits about 4 inches from the ground.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
3,822
Downeast Maine
I'm going to try this with pallets for the bottoms so I can move them with the tractor.
 

Tron

Member
Jan 1, 2020
98
Jackson MS
Pallets as flooring are perfect, but those silos are not designed to be moved. I don't think that's going to end well.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
3,822
Downeast Maine
Glad for the advice ahead of time. I assumed I could fasten the tubes to the pallets, but I'm OK with not moving them.
 

Tron

Member
Jan 1, 2020
98
Jackson MS
What do you mean by lighter stuff? Thinner remesh? Wouldn't recommend it, it needs a bit of rigidity to stay upright. After all, the whole thing probably weighs 8-10.000 lbs when filled with oak.
For the size with 8*20' remesh, the volume is about 6.8 m3 or 240 cu ft. Do the math.
 
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Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,663
SEPA
What do you mean by lighter stuff? Thinner remesh? Wouldn't recommend it, it needs a bit of rigidity to stay upright. After all, the whole thing probably weighs 8-10.000 lbs when filled with oak.
For the size with 8*20' remesh, the volume is about 6.8 m3 or 240 cu ft. Do the math.
I use lighter welded wire fencing to do the same thing, because it is what I had laying around. It's mainly for shorts and uglies. I currently have three in service, and it works fine. The heavier remesh would be better, but not necessary, just don't throw heavy splits into the side, I just drop them in.

One is on a skid, the other two are on the ground, with a few layers of rough bark to keep the wood off the ground.

I don't like the idea of cutting access doors into them, I just tie the ends together, and untie from the top down. I'd say it's the weak link in the system.
 

Tron

Member
Jan 1, 2020
98
Jackson MS
With wire fencing you can probably just untie it from the top down and bend the wire out of the way, but the remesh is much more sturdy and does not bend easily, thus the doors. They are not huge, anyway, about 3x3'. You just pull the wood out from the bottom and the top comes down by itself.

I had a dead tree (about a foot trunk diameter) come crashing down on a half-filled one last spring during a storm. Just a little cosmetic damage to the remesh, it didn't topple or anything. They are pretty sturdy.
 
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Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,663
SEPA
With wire fencing you can probably just untie it from the top down and bend the wire out of the way, but the remesh is much more sturdy and does not bend easily, thus the doors. They are not huge, anyway, about 3x3'. You just pull the wood out from the bottom and the top comes down by itself.

I had a dead tree (about a foot trunk diameter) come crashing down on a half-filled one last spring during a storm. Just a little cosmetic damage to the remesh, it didn't topple or anything. They are pretty sturdy.
I was thinking that might be the case with the ridgidity of the remesh. I guess you can just tie the door shut after you cut it. Seems like there must be a better way, or probably I'm just trying to overcomplicate things as usual. The simplest solution is often the best one.
 

Tron

Member
Jan 1, 2020
98
Jackson MS
My simple solution is a couple zipties around the door keep it closed. Works for me, but so would some straps or pieces of wire. The advantage of the door is that you keep the structure intact and can easily re-use it. When one is empty, two people can easily move it if necessary, but I just fill it up again with fresh wood.

The only disadvantage compared to stacking is that you need to throw the wood over the ledge when filling. But I've seen people load them with a frontloader as well, I just don't have one.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
3,822
Downeast Maine
Do you think snap links (carabiners) would work well for a "door" closure? I like the idea of a large tall silo that I can fill with my tractor. I could make the "lid" with skids to put in place with the loader as well.
 

Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,663
SEPA
Do you think snap links (carabiners) would work well for a "door" closure? I like the idea of a large tall silo that I can fill with my tractor. I could make the "lid" with skids to put in place with the loader as well.
I don't think carabiners would be your best bet. I'd just do a few wire wraps in three spots for the hinge, and tie the other side with an overhand knot in a few places. I use overhand knots with some strong cord to keep all my wire cages shut, and the work perfectly, and super easy. Just like tying your shoes.
 
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Tron

Member
Jan 1, 2020
98
Jackson MS
Carabiners would work in theory, but they'd have to be long. As you are cutting the wiremesh for the door, you need to link two segments together to "close" the door, at least at the top and bottom. Which are usually about 4" apart. So a foot of wire, some string or zipties are probably the better option.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
3,822
Downeast Maine
I've been googling where to find tall remesh, but most of what I'm finding is metal fencing rolls. The tallest I've seen is locally is 6' tall.
 

Tron

Member
Jan 1, 2020
98
Jackson MS
I've been sourcing that from a local construction company. Any company that does concrete work should have those. They did have two different wire gauges, I went with the heavy duty variety as it is much more stable. I guess the wires are about 5-6mm in diameter, so like gauge 3 or 4. Don't go with the lighter gauge 6 panels that are also available.
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,113
Northern Maine
It's just wire mesh for concrete floors. Any decent lumber yard with have it.
 
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Grizzerbear

Minister of Fire
Feb 12, 2019
539
SW Missoura
I've been googling where to find tall remesh, but most of what I'm finding is metal fencing rolls. The tallest I've seen is locally is 6' tall.
If you have a concrete workers supply store in your nearby area that is where I would look. They should have it.
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,024
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Do you think snap links (carabiners) would work well for a "door" closure? I like the idea of a large tall silo that I can fill with my tractor. I could make the "lid" with skids to put in place with the loader as well.
Everybody should own a huge sack of black 7” zip ties. They are exceptionally strong, cheap, sunlight tolerant, and durable. That big sack from Home Depot has lasted me like 10years. It’s amazing how many problems you can solve with zip ties.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
3,822
Downeast Maine
Everybody should own a huge sack of black 7” zip ties. They are exceptionally strong, cheap, sunlight tolerant, and durable. That big sack from Home Depot has lasted me like 10years. It’s amazing how many problems you can solve with zip ties.
I used to have a lot more when I was doing racecar stuff. The black zip ties do indeed last longer in the sun.
 
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