wood burning primer for beginners

clancey

Feeling the Heat
Feb 26, 2021
415
Colorado
I found a interesting article on how to stack, season, and store wood for stoves and fireplaces on the internet by direct stoves but I cannot get the link on here but I will keep trying...Thought it was interesting since you people are posting about seasoned wood vrs wet wood. The article was by direct stoves but having trouble getting the link on here--sorry----but I will keep trying and it might be my lack of computer skills...lol clancey
Cannot get the link up on here but you can locate it by plugging in these words...Direct stoves resources How to stack, store, and season firewood.
Trying another link that's a different one:

 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,986
central pa
I found a interesting article on how to stack, season, and store wood for stoves and fireplaces on the internet by direct stoves but I cannot get the link on here but I will keep trying...Thought it was interesting since you people are posting about seasoned wood vrs wet wood. The article was by direct stoves but having trouble getting the link on here--sorry----but I will keep trying and it might be my lack of computer skills...lol clancey
Cannot get the link up on here but you can locate it by plugging in these words...Direct stoves resources How to stack, store, and season firewood.
Trying another link that's a different one:

There was lots of misinformation in that article. Even soft wood typically take a year to dry and in most cases oak takes much longer.

And there is absolutely nothing wrong with burning dead wood. That is 90% of what I burn.

Next the bark side up or down thing is rediculous. It makes absolutely no difference at all. Cover the tops of your stacks with decent overhangs
 

clancey

Feeling the Heat
Feb 26, 2021
415
Colorado
Glad you set that straight--see new people like me do not know the real way and have to depend on wrong information like that so glad you corrected it.. Might make the real wood burners think and correct it as well--good for you---thanks clancey
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,326
Fairbanks, Alaska
There is more than one right way to do anything. The consistent refrain here is predictable, with most users from the US and Canada with a few in Europe and Australia:

Your cord wood has to be split at least once into semicircular pieces. Bigger rounds might get split into 8 or 12 or even more pieces, but every round needs to be split at least once.

Stack your wood off the ground. Pallets seem to be free everywhere on the planet, but it sucks to get your winter boot stuck in the "floor boards." Another option is spending a few bucks for cinder blocks and constuction lumber from the home store. I used cinder blocks under my pallets for years.

Top cover your stacks. Tarp, roll roofing, plywood, metal planels with weights, anything you can lay your hands on. Old shower curtains.

If you do those three things, split at least once, stacked off the ground and top covered you will shortly have the driest wood in your neighborhood. There are places where you need to do more. The south coast of Alaska for instance, lots of wind and rain together, those folks need to cover their stacks on top and on the upwind side to keep the windblown rain out. Drive around old farm houses near your town to see how it is done near you.

I can't get green oak locally, but I am used to hearing folks that can get it cheaply say split, stacked off the ground and top covered oak takes to years to dry to 20%MC or less.

You probaly should buy a moisture meter in the $30-50 range, but you have all summer to pick one and let your wood season while you search here to learn how to use it. I think I used three sets of batteries my first year burning, can't remember the last time I changed the batteries in it now.

Good luck and best wishes.
 

clancey

Feeling the Heat
Feb 26, 2021
415
Colorado
After I get about finished with what I am into right now I would like to build a small wood shed enough maybe to handle 1/2 of a cord maybe with two sides but I do not know what the right size would be for something like this or how high. I did find out why people store wood long ways because of letting the wood breathe with the air flowing over the wood. ( I figured it was because it would not roll on them as they pulled out a piece of wood)--lol...Had not a clue here...I want a roof that is hung over but how far out should it go so as you see this is trial and error here but any suggestions like the above ones I would appreciate. Need all the help that I can get and cannot wait until I light my very first fire--Oh Lordy--scared already...New wood burner here...lol clancey
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,290
South Puget Sound, WA
In order to ensure the best performance for the stove, buy your wood now and stack it as described above. I didn't get around to building a shed for several years. There were too many other projects ahead of it for a while.
 

Nate R

Member
Nov 5, 2015
48
Wisconsin
I'm in the same boat....new to having my own wood stove, and not sure how much wood storage I'll need. I'd like a 3 bay shed, as I will use a fair amount of oak along with some red pine. So it's important to get the size in the ballpark, but since this is for a part time place, I also don't want it TOO big. I've decided that I'll do a sort of temporary covered wood pile setup for the next year or 2, as I find in my woods, open piles, especially of red pine, don't dry out well. ...
My thought is to measure the wood I use the first year or so and figure it out from there. I plan to weigh wood I bring in to burn in batches, and occasionally check moisture content. From there, I can figure out approximately how many BTUs I'm burning/using over a season, and can size the shed better. At least better than guessing with no experience!
 

clancey

Feeling the Heat
Feb 26, 2021
415
Colorado
Yea I realize sooner than later and good suggestion but for a half of a cord and maybe two sections how large of a wood shed would you suggest for me ? I am figuring maybe 4x8 with a open front and overhang but what do you all think? How high should the wood shed be and I am thinking maybe about six feet in height. Also can you suggest a little saw for me to cut wood with for I have an ax already. Could you also suggest one of those moisture meters that stick into the wood to test for wetness..I plan for the first few fires to use kiln dried pieces to get my feet wet so to speak and store the wood that I get (1/2 cord) maybe some pine and some oak to see the difference with the burning.. I also have a blower on the wood stove that I do not have to use if the electric goes off..My timing is off because the porch area was to be closed in on Monday with insulation and the installer is suppose to be here to install the stove in the roof and the electrician was coming on Wed while the walls are open but everything now seems maybe to be delayed because of the weather--can't very well get up on a roof in a snow storm....lol So we are delayed at the moment and just waiting out this stormy weather and I am going to have to set up new appointments for these work people--this snow could have waited a few weeks. Kind of like when Blades had to go to the hospital for his son to be delivered in the middle of the night in the worse time...But this will pass and then more work....Any recommendations on those stove pipe gadgets that tell you the temperature on the piping and where would I put that on--maybe 18 inches high on the pipe or something like that--see so many questions here...clancey

Picture of my stove:

snow day 002.JPG
 
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xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
2,280
Lackawaxen PA
Yea the bark up / down was lame. Although I do all bark up. Splitting with an ax, well not so good. Us guys who do this know a maul is the right tool.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,986
central pa
Yea the bark up / down was lame. Although I do all bark up. Splitting with an ax, well not so good. Us guys who do this know a maul is the right tool.
Splitting axes can work just as well if not better. They are shaper and you get allot more speed with them. It really is a matter of preference there. I can't split by hand anyone because of my shoulders though
 
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john26

Feeling the Heat
Oct 27, 2008
492
Wildwood MO
Only issues I have with dead wood is its harder on chains and harder to split especially red oak.
 

clancey

Feeling the Heat
Feb 26, 2021
415
Colorado
Just had to cancel out three different aspects of this job--installment, closing the porch up and electrician---terrible weather coming and it is off and on all week with snow and arctic air that's coming. I have my left over lumber stored like Nate in a temporary set up but it seems to be working "fine"...Concrete blocks with two by fours on a upside down table that houses larger pieces cover with a tarp that covers it half way to keep the air flowing--gosh I am getting to be a expert with all this new knowledge...lol lol...This cold air is coming your way so bundle up and get your stoves kicking out some good heat....I am going to be laid back this week so I will just post on here and aggravate you all just for fun...lol clancey..
 

TradEddie

Minister of Fire
Jan 24, 2012
928
SE PA
Just one piece of advice: postpone your plans for a proper woodshed until the current insane lumber prices have dropped. Your temporary setup will be far more cost efficient right now.

TE
 
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clancey

Feeling the Heat
Feb 26, 2021
415
Colorado
Your absolutely right on this and this temporary set up is working just great and I check the wood everyday to make sure its not getting wet. Can anyone suggest a moisture reader and a small electric hand saw that a old woman like me could use because I want to cut up some of the left over wood that I have from my project here.. Right now I am hoarding every piece of wood that I can get..lol...I even asked the concrete people about their wood boards that they use figuring they might be okay to use..lol They kept their boards...clancey
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,173
NE Ohio
Only issues I have with dead wood is its harder on chains and harder to split especially red oak.
Meh...the only way I find Red Oak hard to cut is if its dirty...and while it may be hard-er to split dead/dry, that's relative as RO normally just about splits itself if you wave a sharp ax at it! ;lol
The only wood I find hard on chains (other that dirty wood) is dead/dry black locust! That stuff will make a saw throw sparks! Not everybody has access to it though...too bad, the stuff burns hot like coal!
 

john26

Feeling the Heat
Oct 27, 2008
492
Wildwood MO
Meh...the only way I find Red Oak hard to cut is if its dirty...and while it may be hard-er to split dead/dry, that's relative as RO normally just about splits itself if you wave a sharp ax at it! ;lol
The only wood I find hard on chains (other that dirty wood) is dead/dry black locust! That stuff will make a saw throw sparks! Not everybody has access to it though...too bad, the stuff burns hot like coal!
Osage Orange eats chains like crazy
 

Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
837
Massachusetts
Meh...the only way I find Red Oak hard to cut is if its dirty...and while it may be hard-er to split dead/dry, that's relative as RO normally just about splits itself if you wave a sharp ax at it! ;lol
The only wood I find hard on chains (other that dirty wood) is dead/dry black locust! That stuff will make a saw throw sparks! Not everybody has access to it though...too bad, the stuff burns hot like coal!
I burn a lot of red oak too. I just look at it menacingly while holding my Fiskars and it splits itself into perfect slabs. Easiest wood ever to split for my money. I do the majority of my splitting with the axe. Maul/sledge comes out for knotty or starting huge pieces. Will be purchasing a splitter soon but I still enjoy the by hand workout.

89507.jpeg
 
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kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
5,737
07462
I own a splitter but I will quarter big rounds by hand so I can lift the pieces up to the splitter without hurting my back, I dont really care to muscle things anymore, I'm trying to do long term preservation of my body lol.
When I finally get old and cannot split wood anymore I'll either buy firewood or buy compressed wood bricks, but I think I have at least 45years to think about that lol... well hopefully anyway.
 

john26

Feeling the Heat
Oct 27, 2008
492
Wildwood MO
I post a few pics when when we quarter up the big chunks. We run in an eye bolt or a U joint strap with lags in the side of the chunk then pick it up and dangle it over the splitter with a fork left and split.
 

tymbee

Member
Dec 2, 2011
90
Upstate NY
Your cord wood has to be split at least once into semicircular pieces. Bigger rounds might get split into 8 or 12 or even more pieces, but every round needs to be split at least once.
Spot on advice for the most part, save for "has to be split at least once". If you're cutting up limb wood e.g. where the pieces are 3-5 inches, no need to split those. Way too much labor for little return. Plus you'd be making a lot of extra work by doubling your pieces. :)

Just stack 'em up given the other methods you describe and they'll dry out just fine.
 

clancey

Feeling the Heat
Feb 26, 2021
415
Colorado
Yea that Poindexter seems like a smart and experience wood burner and some of this stuff now seems like common sense--lol Thanks everyone and I am learning a little...lol lol clancey..
 

Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
1,914
Marshall NC
"Never use wood from a dead or diseased tree..."
That is some bizarre advice. I have spent the past month cutting up two ash trees. The reason my brother and I cut them up is that they were diseased, and dead.
It is great firewood in fact I am burning some ash from last year right now. Freak cold spell last night, 29 degrees.

Another good thing about the standing dead ash is low moisture content. It measures 26 percent and will dry easily in time for this Thanksgiving.
 
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clancey

Feeling the Heat
Feb 26, 2021
415
Colorado
Yea that primer has some weird statements in it that seem not to hold much water with people being experienced in all of this and this in reality is a whole different world then in just book learning so to speak--lol ...clancey