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Posted By kingfisher,
Jul 6, 2009 at 12:20 AM
Whats the best way to stack wood for drying?
It depends on your goal. Mine is to expend as little effort as possible and still have dry wood. I split into a pile 20x20x9 or so directly adjacent to my shed. Then, in October, push it into the shed with the loader on the tractor and stack it. I live on a ridge high and dry, full sun and high winds. Everyone's situation is different.
Single rows up off the ground spaced to allow air flow. If you want to use pallets, you can stack two rows on them and still get decent drying. Before I had the woodshed, I used to stack three rows together but then I burn Ash which dries really fast.
I often just heap the wood into a large loose pile and leave it uncovered all Summer, moving it into the shed where I pack it in with no spaces for air flow. I'd separate the wood putting the driest on one side for this year's burning, and the wetter stuff from the centre of the heap on the other for future years.
This year I'm trying a different approach. I probably had enough from last year to last most of this Winter. Half of it was put in the shed last year and the other half sat out in a loose pile which I will move to the shed later this Summer. Some of the wood I bucked and split earlier this year (4 cord) is stacked in two rows on pallets for faster drying to top up what I have left over from last year. I have another two rows on pallets and a heap hausen adjacent to it some of which I will also move into the shed. What doesn't fit will stay outside.
I am redesigning my shed so that I can put my heap hausen into three groups (2 rows, air space, 3 rows, air space, 2 rows) totaling 7 cord. I will then in-fill between them late in the Fall from my outdoor stacks.
The key is to let the air/wind get to it and sun, but keep rain and snow of of it. I do like they have said, cut and split, keep it in [piles most of summer. Then stack it off ground in rows. I used to use old boards to keep it off ground and fence posts for row ends. Then put blue tarps on top of the rows.
NOw I build wood racks. Mini wood sheds that hold a cord a piece, are up on blocks and have a metal pole barn type roof. THe wood gets air, the roof keeps rain and snow off. Having several of these also helps me rotate wood. They do not hold as much as a big woodshed. But are affordable, fit in small areas and can be moved when empty, with a tractor, if needed. Just keep the rain and snow off in the fall and winter.
Here are a couple pictures of how I stack mine. Rows are 24' long with 36" between the rows. These are stacked in full sun, and stacked n/s for a west wind. I also have some stacked on pallets with 2 rows on each pallet leaving a 10" or so gap between rows for air flow.
That depends upon what type of wood you have and if it is split or not. It also depends upon when you plan on using that wood.
All wood does not season at the same rate. If you cut red oak, split it, stack it and forget it for 2 years before trying to burn it. If you cut ash, split, stack and burn just a few months later.
No matter what type of wood you have, it needs splitting. If you have a good sized firebox then you can leave some splits rather large for holding fires longer. A smaller firebox says split everything small.
Also, if you need the wood to season the fastest, split it small. The smaller the split the quicker the seasoning.
I am also a believer in not covering the wood pile that first summer. We do not cover until late fall or early winter; before snowfall. Here is what we cut last winter:
Bear in mind that this wood will not be burned for another six or seven years. It is 99% ash though so if it were needed, we could burn it easily by December.
Notice the stack is uncovered. It is still sitting there the same way as when the picture was taken.
Don't you worry about the wood rotting or being significantly consumed by pests in such a long amount of time? Seven years seems like an awfully long time. I think the ants would take 50% of my wood by the time the sixth year rolled around.....
No, we do not worry about the wood rotting nor do we worry about pests in the wood. Once the wood is dry, insects, especially ants, are not interested in it.
The best part of letting wood sit that long is how it burns. You get maximum heat from it because there is very little moisture to evaporate (that's what causes the smoke right after putting wood in the stove). So not only do you get maximum heat, but you use less wood and the real benefit is lack of creosote. We put up a new chimney two years ago and haven't cleaned it yet! I credit both the wood and the Woodstock stove for that.
btw, most of our older wood pile is covered with old metal roofing. There is a small part that is covered with tarp but I prefer to stay away from the tarp if possible.
Last Winter I burned some oak from 1999! (end of the Y2K stash)
Best stuff by a long shot...... ;-)
Dennis knows what he is talking about!
i gotta tell ya i got a lot of respect for you guys more than 2 yrs ahead. it takes alot of work to get that far ahead i feel like i have worked my a$$ off this year and maybe 1 year ahead?? we'll have to see - never stop scrounging
f3cbboy, that wood you see stacked in the picture is 9 cords. I cut, split and stacked that all alone with one little exception. My wife did help me for a couple hours one day while I was cutting one tree up. And that 9 cord is a 3 year supply. I fully expect to cut that much more this coming winter. Naturally it does help that the wood is all on our place but I still have to haul it a good distance so it does take a lot of time. But I love doing that in the winter months....until it gets down around zero or so. That is break time.