First ever scrounge = 3 year plan?

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pma1123

Burning Hunk
Dec 11, 2013
197
Watertown, WI
Just finally completed my first scrounge. Seeing this was my first year burning and learning the ropes of this process, I feel as if I've been given a major reprieve.

So here goes...
I recieved a call from a friend around the turn of the new year, asking if I needed any more wood. Somebody he knew that heated solely with wood was going to be losing their house to foreclosure once the weather got nicer. I was told that if I wanted any wood, I was to go over there and take ALL of it in the driveway, they'd be happy to not get charged by the finance company for cleanup.

Of course I was ready to help clean up this "mess". The place was ~4mi away, and the driveway had a very large stack of mixed hardwoods cut from their tree line, all log length. I'm unsure of how many cords exactly, but all was cut in ~20-24" logs, and most had been sitting there in log form for over a year. There were several other piles scattered about with 36-48" rounds, 6 foot log lengths, and some large crotches also. I also ended up giving away approx 1 cord of kinda-punky stuff that was at the beginning of this stack, to a friend who has a wood furnace and really needed it.

At the end of this project, all I can say is, my poor 2wd ford ranger!!!
I've been working at this in snow, cold, weeknights, weekends; of course waaaaaay overloaded onto the bump stops with the rear tires squashing at the sidewalls, going slowly on less-traveled roads. (here come the forum safety police!!) Of course, when its -25F with driving winds, most folks here wouldn't be taking baby loads either.

I know how much hard work, time, and fuel this has been for me, working with a small pickup truck and only a 4mi drive. I have plenty of space to go with the wood, and still, it has been a methodic, crazy process dealing with this much at once, and trying to do an OK job of keeping things separated accordingly.

As soon as our weather was warm enough to allow hydraulic oil to flow without snuffing out the logsplitter engine, I busted up 2 cords worth to create more room for stacking even more logs which still needed to be picked up.

So now I'm finished with the job of hauling this stuff, and have logs stacked all over the place at home. I have a large amount of splitting and stacking to do, and probably more importantly, figuring out what some of these unknown species are to get them properly archived in my new wood pile fence.

I'm just glad I didn't have to drop all these trees, buck and haul out of the woods!!
Even with the brutal cold, it was extremely nice to just park next to a big stack and load em' up.

And to sweeten the deal, at the end of cleaning this up, the homeowner directed me to a 2 face cord pile of properly-seasoned/split wood that they had leftover. This was perfect, as I had just burned the last of my supply at home for this season!

I'll follow-up with some additional pictures to help identify what I'm working with.
But heres a great start on my 3 year plan....





wood1.jpg wood2.jpg wood3.jpg wood4.jpg
 

JA600L

Minister of Fire
Nov 30, 2013
1,270
Lancaster Pennsylvania
Looks good :) How about a picture of the ranger doing a wheelie? ;lol
 
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Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
10,476
Southern IN
Awesome score! :cool:
If you don't have wood split and stacked for next season that you know is going to be dry, you might do well to get a cheap moisture meter (Harbor Fright, Lowes, etc.) and check as you go. Not every piece, but several representatives of each different type of wood. Then you can stack the driest in your best windy spot, single row, and you stand a good chance of having a stash of dry wood for next season. Forget about the Oak for next season unless it's already under 20%.
 

Paulywalnut

Minister of Fire
Nov 29, 2012
2,651
Kennett Square, PA
Great start pma. From experience I've learned to take a few extra trips and save the trucks life a little longer.
Your on your way now to a 3 year accumulation. Way to go. Welcome too.
 

osagebow

Minister of Fire
Jan 29, 2012
1,663
Shenandoah Valley, VA
Great start pma - especially in a year like this!
 

Sinngetreu

Feeling the Heat
Nov 10, 2013
405
North Iowa
Holy smokes batman! That's a great score.
Too bad for the other guy, but good for you!
 
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aussiedog3

Feeling the Heat
Sep 15, 2009
299
West Michigan
Boooo Yaaaaa! Great Score!
 

Beer Belly

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2011
2,146
Connecticut
Being in the right place at the right time....awesome
 

Grisu

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2010
4,121
Chittenden, VT
Wow, what a score. I wish I would be that lucky.

Still, maybe it is just me but I have mixed feelings about picking up that much of firewood for free from someone who had already put quite some sweat in it and who is probably not that well-off given that his house is in foreclosure. Especially as he seems to be a genuinely nice guy (even giving away his seasoned wood supply). I would have offered at least some money for all that wood or my help with moving or further clean up of the property.
 

Backwoods Savage

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2007
27,812
Michigan
pma, that is fantastic! :) In addition, that corn crib in the background would make an excellent wood shed as it is. By the pics it is difficult to id the wood but no doubt you'll be posting more pictures a bit more close up.

Hooray for the 3 year plan! ;)
 
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pma1123

Burning Hunk
Dec 11, 2013
197
Watertown, WI
Sorry, no wheelie pics, but I have so many memorable night trips home with the headlights pointed at the sky. I just put new leaf spring shackles and bushings in my truck this past fall; sure glad I did! :cool:

I appreciate the tips on getting this stacked and figuring out how I can determine if I'll have some ready for next year. I have a decent sized pile of stuff that appears to be cut from standing-dead, so my focus is to get that single-stacked. I think thats the stuff I stand the best chance of having burn-ready MC for next year.

Grisu, I'm the random stranger that stops when people are broke down on the side of the road to offer help. I too, have a conscience about this kind of thing and offered money on a few occasions but turned down. I did help out the homeowner with other tasks related to moving out larger items. The gentlemen that actually cut/hauled all of this wood wasn't in the picture; in summary, his wife was left to handle the exit strategy and firewood was pretty low on her list. She honestly was just happy to find somebody willing to deal with all of it.

I'll be sure to get the corn crib reloaded and get some better pics of some of these pieces for our next wood species ID thread.

Question...much of what I already split was what I believe to be weeping willow. It had very thick bark that came off during splitting, but was absolutely saturated with water. I split most down to 2x4 sized splits, but what should I expect for cure time in open air? I haven't really seen much discussion here about folks that burn weeping willow.
I bet when properly dried, it is very lightweight and burns quick.
 

JA600L

Minister of Fire
Nov 30, 2013
1,270
Lancaster Pennsylvania
Weeping willow is at the very bottom of the btu charts. It burns very quick when it's dry. It is not worth very much effort. I have one in my neighbors pasture that fell over, but I just don't see it as worth my effort. It also smells terrible.
 
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blades

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2008
3,272
WI, Leroy
Hey willow is a pain, but for very early or late shoulder season its fine, it is still some btu's, got to keep it covered on top and off the ground or it will go punky very quickly, it is so open celled that it acts like a sponge when it gets wet. Great score by the way. Renewable rustic fences are hard to beat.
 

pma1123

Burning Hunk
Dec 11, 2013
197
Watertown, WI
It has been a while since I've updated this, but I've been splitting as time allows on the weekends over the past 5 weeks.
Most of my processing is done in the driveway, but this past week it has been raining every day.
Fortunately, I had the logs stacked in the back of my garage, and decided it was time to address those. (reference picture above)

So I've been splitting and watching passing thunderstorms from inside the garage for a couple hours each night this week.
IMO, It doesn't get much better than that!!
As of today, I'm down to a single row of logs about 15' long; mostly boxelder with some random oak logs mixed in.

Here are some pictures of what this scrounge yielded...I have a lot of stacking/moving to do still.
1. driveway mess (dead elm, mullberry, white ash, oak, cherry, walnut)
2. corn crib mostly full of split dead/standing elm. (burning this fall)
3. behind the chicken coop on the cement pad (maple, willow, and a face cord of white ash)
4. the 'rustic fence' on the lotline (a mix of everything that looked a little bit drier; slated for 2015-16)
5-7 are the indoor splitting setup. (various hardwoods...cherry, oak, ash, walnut, hackberry, boxelder logs)


Also, I'm considering keeping some of this wood in the back garage so I don't have to move it again. This area has a gravel floor and it does actually get some air movement with the spaces in the wall planks and sliding doors that are 2" off the ground. Granted, it isn't nearly as much airflow as sitting out in the wind or a nice open woodshed, but it will be out of the elements. I also have a nice dry barn basement that also gets a light amount of air movement, and I hardly have anything stored there. I was thinking of stacking down there after some of the wood has been outside for a season. I hesitate because I have finished rooms above this area in the haymow, and I'm concerned about bug issues.
Any thoughts on doing this? I'm sure I'm not the first person to stack wood indoors, but will I cause a huge bug/rodent problem? Currently, I only have barn swallows to contend with, and no barn cat. :)
 

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Flatbedford

Minister of Fire
Mar 17, 2009
5,252
Las Vegas, NV
Poor little truck.
 
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Applesister

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2012
2,483
Upstate NY
Holy chitballs Batman!!! Poor little truck is right.
I like all your nice barns and buildings. The shed/garage where your red car is sitting...that just looks ideal!!
 
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