What if you had to burn High MC wood?

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Garbanzo62

Minister of Fire
Aug 25, 2022
596
Connecticut
OK so we decided to get a Wood Burning Insert mid summer this year. I had some wood and I knew I was going to get some Oak, so we thought we would be all set. Then I found Hearth and realized that I needed Seasoned wood and I was going to be way behind what I needed. Property has some dead standing ash and we cut that and stacked shortly after we decided to buy the insert. Some is below 20% and some 30+. Problem is it is all stacked together. I've purchase some slab wood that some is below 20 and some above. That I have separated with approx 0.3 cords burnable now.
All together I am guessing I have 3/4 to 1 full cord that is below 20% and a cord of Oak that won't be ready until next year and another cord that some is below and some above 20% (mostly ash and maple).
So my question here is.. If I pull some of the splits from the Mixed pile and they are above 20% (lets say 25 - 30% for argument sake), Can I split those into smaller pieces and use that with the below 20% stock. Assuming a 3 lb split at 20% means 0.6 lbs of water or .075 gallons. If I have a 3 lb split at 30% and I split that into 3 1 lb splits, then 1 would have 0.33 lbs of water or 0.038 gallons of water. Would this be an acceptable way to utilize the higher MC wood that is available to me?
 
When in that situation several years ago I set aside the wetter wood and brought it indoors for a couple of weeks or saved it for next year. You can tell it's wetter by the weight and if you bang two splits together and they go thud, instead of a ringing with a more musical tone (like a baseball bat when it hits the ball).
 
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We’ve all been there. One year I had my dry wood wash away in a spring flood. That fall I had the replacement wood wash away.

Free pallets are dry and easy to mix in with some of the wetter wood. Compressed sawdust blocks are easily available. Ask some friends if they have any spare wood.

Lastly, you can burn the wetter wood, but it will be frustrating and it will foul the chimney. Keep the air open more than usual. It isn’t ideal, but either is being cold.

I’d try to mix a marginal split or 2 in with the dry each load. It’ll stretch the dry out as far as possible.
 
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People burn high moisture content wood all of the time, it will heat less and make more creosote. Be aware you will need to clean your chimney often. Around here people buy or cut their wood now for this winters burning. Most like green wood as it lasts longer. Don't ask me I'm just the messenger.
 
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Split the devil out of it, the smaller the better. Buy a load of bio bricks and mix.
 
+1 on the biobricks. Where are you in CT? I got a pallet from Blakelee's depot over summer (https://woodpellets.net/) and it's helping me burn ~20% oak. If you are in New Haven area, I have a contact who will sell you legit 1~2yrs seasoned locust at premium (I got a cord from him for 400+), but this stuff is <15% center.
 
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honestly after 8 years of it. i wouldnt bother. I would burn whats dry. set aside whats not, and like peak said buy some bio bricks. I got a pallet of them for like 200 bucks and still have 1/3 pallet. I use a couple fo them with a log or 2 for 7-8 hours of heat..
 
+1 on the biobricks. Where are you in CT? I got a pallet from Blakelee's depot over summer (https://woodpellets.net/) and it's helping me burn ~20% oak. If you are in New Haven area, I have a contact who will sell you legit 1~2yrs seasoned locust at premium (I got a cord from him for 400+), but this stuff is <15% center.
Buy a pallet and just think of it as part of the install cost. Wet wood takes a lot of fun out of a new stove.
 
Split smaller and stack near stove. It will dry out a lot in just a few days.
Ive done what Isaac says and also get a pallet of compressed bricks, there's several brands out there but they all do the same thing.
 
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Split the devil out of it, the smaller the better. Buy a load of bio bricks and mix.
I was going to say the opposite. A good hot bed of coals and some smoldering could wind up in a large kindling over fire, then light off the creosote. Not that it can’t be burned, but if I could beg or borrow…
 
Chimney fires are a real possibility, BUT...
Stacking at least 4 days worth by the stove, and keeping that supply by the stove at all times, always burning the oldest and driest, would do a lot. We keep a face cord by the stove, and it is much drier after 2-3 days than when we brought it in. After 4 days it's real dry. This is not fresh split, and has usually been stacked for a year or more, but you can tell the difference. A piece of fresh wood by the stove will usually be dry enough to burn well in 4-5 days, depending on species. A friend on mine is short on wood this year and I told him the same thing, stack it by the stove.
 
What everyone said. First year in this house all we had was wet wood. I split it tiny and stacked it by the stove. You could actually hear it drying it would creak and crack. Just dont judge wood heating by this years results. After you have seasoned wood your life will be much easier. No time spent making tiny splits and drying, no fighting with keeping your stove lit, not fighting with a stove full of clunkers, your heat output will be more than doubled with seasoned wood AND no stressing about how warm you will be. Then, after you get a wood shed or a way to keep the rain/snow off your wood during season your life will get even better. Good luck and remember almost all of us have been there.
 
Well I have some Seasoned, but I don't think it will be enough. Just cut up another downed Ash and two pines today, but the sample splits are all reading 25 to 40 %. Tractor supply is having sale on press wood logs, maybe I'll order some of those. Also thinking about getting more slabwood if it is available.
 
Second on the slabs. Same story, stack it by the stove crib style. It will be dry in a day or two. It needs air space between the pieces. It burns quicker than cord wood.
 
on my first yr of burnin i kinda got caught with my pants down so to speak that yr went out and got a bunch of wood for both me and neighbor had no clue how much i actually needed and and ended up runnin out by jan so thankfully had another help me out cut up a bunch of rock maple and and boy was it wet and what i ended up doin was keep the lower door of mystove open so the fire didnt go so the following spring me and my neighbor rented a yuge piece of equipment to get a metric fudge ton of wood that yr ended up gettin 2 yrs worth of wood for me 1 yr for said neighbor and then a yr for neighbors inlaw
 
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What everyone said. First year in this house all we had was wet wood. I split it tiny and stacked it by the stove. You could actually hear it drying it would creak and crack. Just dont judge wood heating by this years results. After you have seasoned wood your life will be much easier. No time spent making tiny splits and drying, no fighting with keeping your stove lit, not fighting with a stove full of clunkers, your heat output will be more than doubled with seasoned wood AND no stressing about how warm you will be. Then, after you get a wood shed or a way to keep the rain/snow off your wood during season your life will get even better. Good luck and remember almost all of us have been there.
Not only that but I take the next load of wood and put it right in front of the stove (note I only do this when I'm home) and it really dries it out.
 
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+1 on the biobricks. Where are you in CT? I got a pallet from Blakelee's depot over summer (https://woodpellets.net/) and it's helping me burn ~20% oak. If you are in New Haven area, I have a contact who will sell you legit 1~2yrs seasoned locust at premium (I got a cord from him for 400+), but this stuff is <15% center.
I'm just north of New Haven. Can't really drop $400 on wood at the moment, but I'll keep it in mind.
 
The first year the wood we had was wet. Outside, in the rain, snow covered kind of wet. We ran the stove a lot with the damper open, and with the door propped open. One lesson learned was, that you can burn sloppy wet wood, and it won't hurt anything, if you keep the stack temp high, in this case 400-600deg. We couldn't get those temps any higher, because it just would not. We checked every month that the stainless chimney was staying clean. It was. We had no issues, other than that it produced marginal heat, was a bugger to get lit, difficult to stay lit, difficult to keep a consistent burn etc etc etc. We did it, didn't know better at the time, worked with what we had, and were determined to get some wood socked away for the future.
 
My first year half the wood I burned was 2x4 scraps from new house construction near me. Amazing the amount they just throw away.
All of my kindling is scrap construction wood. I split and fill up a barrel in my basement. Gets me through the winter.