Red white Oak

ozarkoak

New Member
Nov 1, 2020
11
Arkansas
Hello everyone I'm new to the forum and have not burned wood for the last 15 years. My wife and I moved to Arkansas and are burning for our primary heat. We are using a Hearthstone Mansfield and so far so good. The question I have is regarding cut and split red and white oak. I know most people recommend 2+ years seasoning. What I am wondering is this. The oak I have has come from dead standing trees currently when checked with a General pin type moisture meter is is checking at about 26%. I'm assuming seasoning time is not important and the only thing that matters is moisture content. How long do you estimate it will take to hit the magic 20% number? It is split and stacked in the sun and wind. Thanks everyone.
 
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ozarkoak

New Member
Nov 1, 2020
11
Arkansas
I assume your reading was taken on a fresh split with the meter pins parallel to the wood grain?
Yes it was. Takes a pretty good push to get those pins into oak. glad they include a replacement set of pins. Every piece I checked checked between 25% and 28%. So I have between 5 and 8% of moisture that needs to go away. My wife and I finished stacking today. I was really surprised that the moisture content read so low.
 
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Grizzerbear

Minister of Fire
Feb 12, 2019
700
SW Missoura
At least another summer if not two. Oak is great firewood....some of the best but it takes a lot of patience lol. What part of the ozarks are you in.
 
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ozarkoak

New Member
Nov 1, 2020
11
Arkansas
At least another summer if not two. Oak is great firewood....some of the best but it takes a lot of patience lol. What part of the ozarks are you in.
I'm in north central Arkansas. Just a few miles from the Missouri border. I'm having a hard time finding seasoned firewood. This is our first winter here. I thought we had wood lined up for this year but the person stood us up on the deal. The previous owner of this property had cut and bucked a few logs so I dragged them out with a choker and split them that is what I have been burning so far. Not the best but good enough for heat and the stoves secondaries are fired up and the smoke is minimal so I know its ok. It checks about 20-21%. I have a small house (1300sqft) So the mansfield has me in my underwear. I just really hate having to scrounge for wood.
 
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Grizzerbear

Minister of Fire
Feb 12, 2019
700
SW Missoura
I live up by lebanon so I can't be of much help finding you a firewood guy and to be honest if you find someone selling firewood it is highly unlikely it will truly be seasoned as it would probably have been cut and split for six months at most. Do you have access to your own timber? If so try to cut your standing dead stuff for this year. I know north arkansas well...I've worked there some and know there is a lot of oak, hickory and some pine. The tops of dead standing oaks that are around 8" diameter and less can sometimes produce 20% and under firewoood which will help you out for this season. Cut split and stack like a mad man and try to get three years worth of wood ahead. If you dont have access to your own wood cutting I would seriously consider biting the bullet and finding a supplier to get you about 9 cord of wood because in my experience it takes about 3 years for split oak that is stacked off the ground and top covered to reach a desirable mc. I say 9 cord because I use around 3 a year and I assume you will be somewhere close to that. That will get you three years ahead and then just replace what you use every season so you stay 3 years ahead. I know that sounds like pretty blunt advice but buying truly seasoned wood around here is a myth. You will have better results if you season it yourself. At least then you will know what you got for sure. Sorry I can't be of more help.
 

ozarkoak

New Member
Nov 1, 2020
11
Arkansas
I live up by lebanon so I can't be of much help finding you a firewood guy and to be honest if you find someone selling firewood it is highly unlikely it will truly be seasoned as it would probably have been cut and split for six months at most. Do you have access to your own timber? If so try to cut your standing dead stuff for this year. I know north arkansas well...I've worked there some and know there is a lot of oak, hickory and some pine. The tops of dead standing oaks that are around 8" diameter and less can sometimes produce 20% and under firewoood which will help you out for this season. Cut split and stack like a mad man and try to get three years worth of wood ahead. If you dont have access to your own wood cutting I would seriously consider biting the bullet and finding a supplier to get you about 9 cord of wood because in my experience it takes about 3 years for split oak that is stacked off the ground and top covered to reach a desirable mc. I say 9 cord because I use around 3 a year and I assume you will be somewhere close to that. That will get you three years ahead and then just replace what you use every season so you stay 3 years ahead. I know that sounds like pretty blunt advice but buying truly seasoned wood around here is a myth. You will have better results if you season it yourself. At least then you will know what you got for sure. Sorry I can't be of more help.
I have 25 acres of wooded land. I have scouted around and have found some wood with some promise. I ordered some chainsaw pants that should be here tomorrow or the next day. When those arrive I will be cutting, bucking, splitting and stacking, non stop. I have a 5 foot tall 4 foot wide by 15 foot long pile of split, stacked oak seasoning. its in a really good spot too, sun from sunrise until close to sunset in the windiest area we have. I will do what it takes to get us through the winter and start stacking for the next few years. I knew the first year would be brutal. I do need to make time to get a few deer in the freezer too.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,453
Woolwich nj
I have 25 acres of wooded land. I have scouted around and have found some wood with some promise. I ordered some chainsaw pants that should be here tomorrow or the next day. When those arrive I will be cutting, bucking, splitting and stacking, non stop. I have a 5 foot tall 4 foot wide by 15 foot long pile of split, stacked oak seasoning. its in a really good spot too, sun from sunrise until close to sunset in the windiest area we have. I will do what it takes to get us through the winter and start stacking for the next few years. I knew the first year would be brutal. I do need to make time to get a few deer in the freezer too.
your oak will be ready to burn next fall for sure. Just a heads up. Splitting in fall, winter and early spring is the best times. Late spring and summer is for seasoning. I get my oak ready in 18 months... split by say April 21 ready to burn October 22.. summer is the key. it will take longer if you doing it in the fall you will be at the 2yr mark. How thick your splits are will also matter and will reduce or increase your seasoning time. split small dries quick, split thick adds time to dry..
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
5,261
07462
Compressed wood bricks might be your friend this year, burn them solely or mix them with the stuff thats 24%
 
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Grizzerbear

Minister of Fire
Feb 12, 2019
700
SW Missoura
I have 25 acres of wooded land. I have scouted around and have found some wood with some promise. I ordered some chainsaw pants that should be here tomorrow or the next day. When those arrive I will be cutting, bucking, splitting and stacking, non stop. I have a 5 foot tall 4 foot wide by 15 foot long pile of split, stacked oak seasoning. its in a really good spot too, sun from sunrise until close to sunset in the windiest area we have. I will do what it takes to get us through the winter and start stacking for the next few years. I knew the first year would be brutal. I do need to make time to get a few deer in the freezer too.
I agree wit Kenny that compressed wood bricks may be your best bet this winter. Tractor supply sells red stone which I have heard aren't too bad though I have never used before. Also you can mix some of that lower mc wood you have with them. I've been there man. It sucks but sounds like you got a good game plan. And I hear ya on the deer meat. My daughter put one in the freezer saturday. Deer hunting before all else lol.
 

ozarkoak

New Member
Nov 1, 2020
11
Arkansas
Thanks for everyone's replies. I have been cutting bucking splitting and stacking like a mad man. I have found several dead standing oaks and a few dead falls that have ready to burn upper branches. I found another today that is down but mostly snagged I wont know for sure until I get my chain into it tomorrow if its rotted, but it looks like it has good potential for a good deal of wood. I think Im close to having 2 years worth of wood right now. I just have to get through this season. Im loving this wood stove. down in the 30's at night and waking up at 70 and not burning a hole in my pocket for electricity , to me is an awesome thing. I found a white oak that was down and rotted but the heart wood was beautiful. It took a lot of swings to split and extract it, but man is it pretty. We left cushy lives in Arizona to try and make our way in the Ozarks we have not stopped working for months and we couldn't be more happy with our choice. I look forward to posting on this site and talking wood and saws.
 
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RockyMtnGriz

Member
Apr 19, 2019
87
SW Montana
I have a small house (1300sqft) So the mansfield has me in my underwear. I just really hate having to scrounge for wood.
Put some good thermal underwear over your tighty-whities or whatever, and you can stop slaving for wood. I can't recommend the ColdPruf Platinum dual layer stuff too highly. It's warm as hell, and thin and comfortable enough that I forget I have it on. And, yes, I've tried a bunch, and I have a box full of other stuff that I try not to wear. In Arkansas, you could probably get through the winter comfortably this way with a half dozen wheelbarrow loads of your driest wood.

It does take more of an effort to get the wife naked this way, however.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,378
Schenectady, NY
You can often get pallets for free. They are often super dry. And are great for stacking wood on.

Split the damp wood small. Larger surface areas promote faster drying. A few days sitting by the stove can help some wood dry out too along with adding some humidity to the house.