Oak drying

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Ctwoodtick

Minister of Fire
Jun 5, 2015
1,578
Southeast CT
I have some Red oak firewood that I’ve had top covered for two years. Location fair, Definitely not the best treated firewood on the planet by any stretch. No fungus or anything. I tested a representative piece of it and it came up at 29%. Whereas I typically been able to get oak dried out within this amount of time. I know the problem is that the wood was stored somewhat poorly. I had started to put too much wood in my wood area and was stacking rows too close to one another. I’ve now mostly transitioned to single rows so all good going forward. I’m going to be moving this particular wood to a better spot which will be single row and half covered. With it getting moved to a better spot, would you figure it would be 20% or below by next year? I only ask because I’ve read about the concept of wood sometimes being reluctant to give up moisture if it’s been stored poorly. I’ve got plenty of dry wood ready to go so waiting is not an issue.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,546
South Puget Sound, WA
If the new stacks are oriented so that the prevailing winds can blow thru the stacks that will help accelerate drying. The other factor is rainfall and humidity. The east coast has be very damp this summer. Wood is going to dry slower in high humidity.
 
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Sailrmike

Feeling the Heat
Sep 20, 2017
288
06371
My stacks may have absorbed some of that humidity this summer- pieces that were checking up nicely last winter and spring, have lost most of the checks and appear less seasoned to me. It's been 70%+ during the days and 80%+++ humidity every night this summer
 
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cygnus

Feeling the Heat
Oct 23, 2010
355
Central, NJ
If you get those stacks a bit more air flow I think you;ll be good-to-go for next year.
 

ohlongarm

Minister of Fire
Mar 18, 2011
1,530
Northeastern Ohio
I have some Red oak firewood that I’ve had top covered for two years. Location fair, Definitely not the best treated firewood on the planet by any stretch. No fungus or anything. I tested a representative piece of it and it came up at 29%. Whereas I typically been able to get oak dried out within this amount of time. I know the problem is that the wood was stored somewhat poorly. I had started to put too much wood in my wood area and was stacking rows too close to one another. I’ve now mostly transitioned to single rows so all good going forward. I’m going to be moving this particular wood to a better spot which will be single row and half covered. With it getting moved to a better spot, would you figure it would be 20% or below by next year? I only ask because I’ve read about the concept of wood sometimes being reluctant to give up moisture if it’s been stored poorly. I’ve got plenty of dry wood ready to go so waiting is not an issue.
I dried six cords of red oak in one year. Top covered with clear plastic in an area that gets lots of sun, 20% in one year. I'm going to use the same method on this tri axle load of red oak that I virtually couldn't give away. The plastic was the stuff greenhouses use, worked unbelievable. From there it goes in a covered lean two or building where it lasts for years.
 
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Ctwoodtick

Minister of Fire
Jun 5, 2015
1,578
Southeast CT
I dried six cords of red oak in one year. Top covered with clear plastic in an area that gets lots of sun, 20% in one year. I'm going to use the same method on this tri axle load of red oak that I virtually couldn't give away. The plastic was the stuff greenhouses use, worked unbelievable. From there it goes in a covered lean two or building where it lasts for years.
That sounds like ideal drying conditions for sure. I’d describe mine as fair, given my location and the relatively lower amount of sun my stacks get. I can usually get medium size oak splits dry in 2 yrs, but those years can’t be soakers like the summer we’re having now.
 

Ctwoodtick

Minister of Fire
Jun 5, 2015
1,578
Southeast CT
If you get those stacks a bit more air flow I think you;ll be good-to-go for next year.
I think you’re right. I’ll get that stack moved to better drying conditions soon. The current stack is the very back row, which is double stacked on pallets. I made some wood racks designed for single row only that this wood will go on, then top covered. My wood storage area overall needed to be better laid out so I spent a lot of time cleaning it up. Looks a lot better than this now.

5D1DCC94-82C0-466B-9EB9-960C6B88FF86.jpeg 39EA6AF7-A341-4462-9D9C-F4514B72C2D4.jpeg
 

TradEddie

Minister of Fire
Jan 24, 2012
942
SE PA
Last summer, I moved some oak into a new woodshed. That oak had been C/S/S, well covered but without much direct sun for two full years before I moved it, but in the year since then a 5ft high stack has shrunk 3-4 inches, showing that two years was far from enough.

TE
 
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xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
2,350
Lackawaxen PA
Yea, the best is the side of the stack should get afternoon sun. My top cover is a peaked roof and goes over the sides by 6 inches.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,037
Woolwich nj
I think you’re right. I’ll get that stack moved to better drying conditions soon. The current stack is the very back row, which is double stacked on pallets. I made some wood racks designed for single row only that this wood will go on, then top covered. My wood storage area overall needed to be better laid out so I spent a lot of time cleaning it up. Looks a lot better than this now.

View attachment 281524 View attachment 281525

If your using racks like that your better off stacking high and 3 or 4 rows deep and do a solar kiln. Its pretty easy and with a mostly sunny location youll have sub 20% MC in no time. If the area is partly sunny I will take a little longer than a sunny area. Iv gotten my oak from green to fully seasoned in 90 days.. 30 days under top cover 60 days in the kiln. Im not sure how your splitting so if your splitting big it will take longer to drive the moisture out.. When seasoning your wood it will lose its moisture more easily in the beginning.. the last 5 to 10% is the hardest to get rid of, which is where your at. The material I use is clear plastic from the big box store and scrap lumber and contractors stretch wrap.. Takes about an hour or so to put it together.. Directions are in the links in my signature..
 

Ctwoodtick

Minister of Fire
Jun 5, 2015
1,578
Southeast CT
If your using racks like that your better off stacking high and 3 or 4 rows deep and do a solar kiln. Its pretty easy and with a mostly sunny location youll have sub 20% MC in no time. If the area is partly sunny I will take a little longer than a sunny area. Iv gotten my oak from green to fully seasoned in 90 days.. 30 days under top cover 60 days in the kiln. Im not sure how your splitting so if your splitting big it will take longer to drive the moisture out.. When seasoning your wood it will lose its moisture more easily in the beginning.. the last 5 to 10% is the hardest to get rid of, which is where your at. The material I use is clear plastic from the big box store and scrap lumber and contractors stretch wrap.. Takes about an hour or so to put it together.. Directions are in the links in my signature..
Thank you for the tip. My wood area gets little sun, so I imagine kiln drying would be slower like you said. Usually I can get wood like oak under 20% within 2 years if cut about 4 inch diameter. Hardwoods like soft maple, cherry, any type of birch, within 1 year. I’ll check out the link you mentioned, for some fun though, thank you.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,924
Long Island NY
I just measured oak that I've had c/s/s covered (tarp) since February '19 (i.e. 3 summers) that had been standing dead (often 1/2" soft punky sapwood on the outside of 2' dia rounds). Larger pieces (4x5"), 18" long were 22%.
 

Ctwoodtick

Minister of Fire
Jun 5, 2015
1,578
Southeast CT
I just measured oak that I've had c/s/s covered (tarp) since February '19 (i.e. 3 summers) that had been standing dead (often 1/2" soft punky sapwood on the outside of 2' dia rounds). Larger pieces (4x5"), 18" long were 22%.
The rain in this area can’t help at all. Eastern Long Island and southeast CT might only be a couple dozen miles from each other, so you know the dampness of this summer.
 

Ctwoodtick

Minister of Fire
Jun 5, 2015
1,578
Southeast CT
Its been wet and humid for sure. The summers have been getting mor humid and wet, which is why Im increasing my wood storage under a roof.
Yup, as well, the last three winters here have been mild. I’m hoping for some below average weather this winter.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,037
Woolwich nj
Yup, as well, the last three winters here have been mild. I’m hoping for some below average weather this winter.
I like it cold in winter, but I think the way things are going for the mid Atlantic and north east its going to become warmer in winter. I think that the climate is changing faster than scientists have predicted. This is not to say were not going to get some cold weather.. just less frequent.. I think the winter of 14/15 was the last Iv seen of the cold. I remember waking up going to work and its -4 out the highs may have been 15 and did it snow.. we got over 65 inches of snow. My sister in Boston took pictures of the kids sledding off of there roof the snow was so deep. People had to shovel there roofs the snow was so deep. Some roofs even collapsed.. Im not saying I wanna go through all that again but colder weather will be much appreciated. Especially after the brutal summer we've had.
 
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hawkeye4771

Member
Dec 3, 2009
41
western NY
I've had good luck leaving my wood uncovered from spring to fall to get full sun and full wind all summer long. The shed faces the south so the sun rotates from right to left and the wind blows from left to right. I'll cover with thin tarps come October to ward off October rains and snow all winter and then spring rains and snow melt until late April/early May when I take the tarps off again. I'll pull wood from under the tarps as needed during the winter to burn. There's 12 facecords showing but I have enough to rotate for about 3 years.

16 cords 1.jpg
 
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