Piling in heaps rather than stacking

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.
Status
Not open for further replies.

Kevin Dolan

Burning Hunk
Apr 7, 2012
248
SW Ontario
For years I have religiously stacked my wood in neat rows and had it stored inside my driveshed which had good air flowing through it. It usually sat for three years before burning, mostly ash and hard maple. In the last few years have been lazy and just threw it into a big pile, about eight feet high and twenty feet approx across bottom, where the rows used to be. Will just start burning this coming winter for the three year old pile. In the summer it gets lots of air but no direct sunlight but gets hot during that time.
Wondering if anyone has thoughts as to pros or cons of this? Sure is easier than stacking, not as pretty but is it functional in your opinion?
Thanks for any comments,
Kevin
 

Jack Straw

Minister of Fire
Dec 22, 2008
2,161
Schoharie County, N Y
Is it just sitting on the ground? Either way, I think that each time it rains the water in the center will take a long time to dry as opposed to single row piles that get more air/sun and dry out quicker. In a big pile I don't know if the center would ever dry properly. Let us know how it works out for you this fall.
 

Wood Duck

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2009
4,790
Central PA
A pile has a lot more wood in contact with the ground than a stack does. Also, a pile seems like it would trap a lot of moist air inside - the moisture would come from the ground or from rain, but either way there won't be much air flow through the pile.
 

Kevin Dolan

Burning Hunk
Apr 7, 2012
248
SW Ontario
A pile has a lot more wood in contact with the ground than a stack does. Also, a pile seems like it would trap a lot of moist air inside - the moisture would come from the ground or from rain, but either way there won't be much air flow through the pile.

Wood Duck, the pile is in a covered shed so does not get rain and the floor is dried clay. My concern as you have mentioned is air flow. I have to resize a bunch of these larger logs for my Jotul 400 so will be ripping apart the pile shortly to do that. So will report what I find in the bottom of pile.
Thanks,
Kevin
 

bogydave

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2009
8,426
So Cent ALASKA
Being covered for 3 years before burning in a heap should be OK.
On pallet might help get air under it, & help air movement.
Where do you keep the wood you burn the 2 seasons before the covered heap is burned?
Pictures?
 
  • Like
Reactions: ScotO

weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,893
Central Mass
Would be interesting to see moisture content on some of the wood in the middle if you have a moisture meter.
 

My Oslo heats my home

Minister of Fire
Sep 20, 2010
1,584
South Shore, MA
I have heard through a few wood processing sources out my way that after processing and placing the splits into large piles that the wood that suffers drying time the most is the wood in the center towards the ground. These guys say they rotate their stock for better drying but its hard to believe they actually do.
I would think if you have your wood piled inside a shed with a dry floor you should be ok after 3 years. Your pile gets the wind but no direct sunlight however it would get heated air on warmer days. Only way to really know would be the check the splits with a MM from the center/lower portion of the pile.
 

Kevin Dolan

Burning Hunk
Apr 7, 2012
248
SW Ontario
Being covered for 3 years before burning in a heap should be OK.
On pallet might help get air under it, & help air movement.
Where do you keep the wood you burn the 2 seasons before the covered heap is burned?
Pictures?
Dave I like the pallet idea as more air could get under the pile. All my wood when first cut and split in the spring goes onto a concrete barnyard and sits over winter so one year outside. Then I size it and recut( have to since moving to a Jotul 400 from a larger stove) and move up to my covered shed where it used to get stacked into rows but now piles. I have 3 years of wood in that shed so usually I start the season with 15 bush cords in the shed and have been burning 5 per year. So as that pile gets used in the spring I then fill up the pile with my outside pile. I keep track of the age of each pile so I know the age of each - just a system I have developed over the years. I will try and get pics so you can see.
Thanks for your input, the pallet idea is great.
Kevin
 

smokinj

Minister of Fire
Aug 11, 2008
15,980
Anderson, Indiana
Yea 3 years and a dry bottom should work fine.
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,593
Unity/Bangor, Maine
Ummm...there are a couple of us black sheep around...
It works.

Go with the term "rebel" . . . it makes you sound like you have a cause and not that you're a spurned member of a family group. ;)
 

Backwoods Savage

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2007
27,811
Michigan
If the wood was outdoors just thrown into a heap, I say no. But yours is indoors and 3 years to dry, I say it will be fine.

And welcome to the forum Kevin.
 

Jack Straw

Minister of Fire
Dec 22, 2008
2,161
Schoharie County, N Y
My reading comprehension is really bad....I didn't catch that it was in a shed:(. I still prefer 2 years out in the sun/wind, but it's a lot more work. I don't see much differance between tightly stacking and a big pile. There might be more air circulation in a pile!
 

PapaDave

Minister of Fire
Feb 23, 2008
5,739
Northern MI - in the mitten
Wait a minute.....I've never heard of a "rebel sheep". Please to explain.
As to the wood, we'll only know for sure when you've gotten into it. I'm curious.
Well, Jags knows but.......
 

Jack Straw

Minister of Fire
Dec 22, 2008
2,161
Schoharie County, N Y
"rebel sheep" Do I know about them?........................ NNNAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA:(
 

woodman6666

New Member
Apr 28, 2012
4
I have tested many of my large piles of wood that are 25ft high cones that are on concrete and what I have found is that the pieces on the outside of the pile are about 2% drier than the pieces in the center on the direct bottom I have checked this several times over the years. Here is a pic of some of my piles
firewoodpiles003.jpg
 

fox9988

Minister of Fire
Jan 15, 2012
616
NW Arkansas
woodman I think you deserve all capitals-WOODMAN!
 

Backwoods Savage

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2007
27,811
Michigan
That's a heap of work. Or heaps of work.
 

Kevin Dolan

Burning Hunk
Apr 7, 2012
248
SW Ontario

johnsopi

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2006
696
MD near DE&PA;
I pile mine then stack behind the house in Oct.
 

tfdchief

Minister of Fire
Nov 24, 2009
3,336
Tuscola, IL
myplace.frontier.com
I have tested many of my large piles of wood that are 25ft high cones that are on concrete and what I have found is that the pieces on the outside of the pile are about 2% drier than the pieces in the center on the direct bottom I have checked this several times over the years. Here is a pic of some of my piles
Holy crap, that's a lot of wood. So I assume you sell wood?
 

cptoneleg

Minister of Fire
Jul 17, 2010
1,546
Virginia
You don't have time to stack, that fish in your avator will drink all of your beer.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gasifier
Status
Not open for further replies.