Rough cut mill ends?

Zzyk

Member
Oct 24, 2008
68
schoharie county ny
Bought a load of these last year and another this year. Mostly oak and maple. Green so I only burned a few pieces from last year. Wondering if anyone has experience with stuff like this? Doesn't seem like the same stuff discussed in the mill ends thread and doesn't go nuclear. Considering buying more before it's gone.
 

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Grizzerbear

Minister of Fire
Feb 12, 2019
591
SW Missoura
Those are called mill ends around here. Rail road tie and 4x4 ends. You can get them for 30 bucks a dump truck load from the amish here. They arent seasoned but for 30 dollars no biggy. I would get all you can if price is reasonable and stack them up for future.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,442
Northern NH
If its not kiln dried, just stack it let it dry and treat it like square firewood. The only caveat is when stacking it you need to keep it covered as the flat surfaces tend to retain water in the stack. There is less potential for voids during stacking which means less air flow so dont stack it deep. The temptation is to stack it tight but you need to stack it with gaps between the wood to keep air flow up. I have also seen folks set up chainlink fencing "pens" and just dump it in.

Its great stuff when dry as the amount of ash created is far less since there is no bark. From my experience with similar wood you tend to get the heart wood so the wood if tighter grain and denser which means higherBTU content. It does seem to dry quicker.

Years ago my uncle had a automatically stoked wood boiler that was designed around round cores from a nearby dowel mill, they were perfectly round but varying length. It had a long slanted feeder that he would load up with cores and then when the boiler needed wood the feeder would open the boiler door and feed a core into the fire box and then close the door. I expect with some ingenuity a similar system could be designed around that blocking but that would imply that you have a long term steady source.
 

weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,756
Central Mass
Grab all you can, I know guys that burn lots of that stuff and for the price you cant beat it.
 
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Lakeside

Minister of Fire
Feb 6, 2009
535
Mike's World
I have burned them for about 6 years now. I will sit on them for 3 years first. Great way to fill a stove for the real cold nights and long burn. Also cross stack them for the ends of my piles, very stable. See picture in my avatar.
 

shoot-straight

Minister of Fire
Jan 5, 2012
736
Kennedyville, MD
I buy them all the time. Love them for several reasons:

With 6 cut not split sides- they dry fast

I can literally block up my stove like Jenga to get maximum but burntime

Lastly- they are clean to haul in the house, no mess.

Only issue is you need cord splits to stack them to dry properly.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,160
Southern IN
It does seem to dry quicker.
With 6 cut not split sides- they dry fast
Just spit-balling here...heard guys say that splits dry through the ends, and I would guess that's true since it's the first place you see cracking on the splits as they dry. I would assume that wood consists of "tubes" that run vertically to transport water up the tree. If the grain isn't perfectly vertical, sawing the edges would expose a lot more tube ends like you have at the sawn end of a split. That would help it dry faster I'd think. I'm no wood structure expert, though..
 

shoot-straight

Minister of Fire
Jan 5, 2012
736
Kennedyville, MD
Exactly. The cut sides cut more of the parallel tubes. Splitting splits along them lengthwise.

Also- usually no bark, which hinders the drying process too.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,160
Southern IN
The cut sides cut more of the parallel tubes.
Seems like most of the tubes inside the block would remain intact, and just a few along the edges would be cut. But maybe that's enough to speed drying noticeably..? Yep, no bark helps. That would indicate that some drying also goes through the sides of the tubes, not just out the ends of the splits.