Drying firewood

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Rob30, Nov 19, 2006.

  1. Rob30

    Rob30 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    As usual I was behind in my work this year and was late finishing my fire wood. I am wondering if anyone has any ideas on how to dry the wood faster? Most of the wood is not bad, but you can really tell when yo uget a nice dry piece. I store my wood in an old wood shed. It leeks alot of water but it is better then nothing.
     
  2. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Number one fix your leaks... then if it's a sealed shed and not open on the sides, you can use a dehumidifier in there and it will help a lot. Vents on the top of the shed would be pretty important.
     

  3. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

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    Wood inside a shed dries FAR slower than if it were outside. The reason, no air movement.

    Wood that is outside, kept off the ground, stacked and has a cover such as scrap steel roof panel sections.....will dry 3 times faster than something inside a shed. Air movement is what dries wood.
     
  4. Shepherd

    Shepherd Well-Known Member

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    We have pallets on the ground, and sides made of pallets with Tposts holding them in place. The wood is left uncovered until rain or snow is expected, then we cover with tarps. Works for us!
     
  5. mwhit

    mwhit Well-Known Member

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    I agree-- fix the leaks. The main thing when drying wood is airflow. Do as others have suggested and stack the wood on pallets (or old boards if no pallets) and keep the pile covered. Try not to stack the wood too tight-- the air needs to flow through the pile. Even in the shed the wood should be stacked so it can get air-- a big pile of wood will not stay dry-- it will hold moisture and be a nightmare to burn.... I would stack it where the sun can hit the pile, cover the whole pile with plastic and it will work similar to a greenhouse (I read that in an old Country Journal-- October 1977) as long as some air can get underneath. The suggestion of a roof over it could be as simple as stacking it in the woodshed with the door open if the sun will shine into it or you could stack outside and build a lean to type structure over it with 2x4's and old roofing tin...?

    Here is what the article says:

    A Solar Wood Dryer

    No matter how well you plan, sometimes you get your wood in too late for it to dry adequately, with the result that you have to burn green wood or spend extra money to buy dry wood from a wood dealer. There is a way around the problem, however-- build yourself a solar wood dryer.

    E.L. Stone, of the Department of Agronomy at Cornell University, proved the effectiveness of the solar-drying method by using it to cure wood from a large elm tree. In early July the tree was felled and cut up into 20 inch bolts, which were split into pieces less than 8 inches in diameter. The wood was stacked in full sun and covered with clear plastic sheeting. By mid-October-- just a bit more than 3 months later-- the wood was bone dry, ready to be used for firewood. The high temperatures produced beneath the plastic held insects to a minimum and kept the bark tight, resulting in much cleaner wood. The idea is to keep the plastic away from the wood so that air will circulate around it and remove the water that condenses on the underside of the plastic. Remember that heavy snow loads will rip the thin plastic, especially after it has deteriorated from exposure to the sun, so you should provide a roof to keep the pile dry during the winter.
     
  6. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Leave plenty of space between split wood when stacking....big enough for the rat but not the cat...

    Also wood brought inside and left near hot woodstove will dry....or if you have a dehumidifier and a tarp you can do it this way... a little $$$ though.

    Fix the leaks and place so that prevailing winds blow thru...
     
  7. haypoint

    haypoint Unpaid, Volunteer Devil's Advocate Supporter

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    Split wood dries a lot faster than "in the round". So split the wood, even the stuff that isn't very big.
     
  8. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    We just finished our new 20'-0" x 30'-0" covered wood shed. The roof was the neighbors garage roof. We skidded it back with truck and tractor, 3/4 mile away. The logs were a part of his house (we spiked them together with 8" & 12" spikes,) which the new owner was going to burn down. The log walls are spiked to treated ties to keep them off the ground. Tamarack poles are on the ground -- they are somewhat resistant to rot.

    We will move our split and non-split wood into this shed. The Tamarack poles we use to keep the Pine and Spruce we burn off the ground. We use wooden pallets for most of the other wood-on-the-ground stacking (on the other side of the shed.)

    Stack (so air can blow thru and help dry) split wood, under cover, for quickest drying.

    Good luck,

    Alex
     
  9. Daddymem

    Daddymem Well-Known Member

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    Pardon my ignorance but just what are tposts? Does anyone have pictures of wood pallet stacks. We would like to stack our wood this way but I have never seen it done. TIA
     
  10. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    [​IMG]
    T post.

    Basically use them for the ends of your firewood stacks.
     
  11. joaniebalonie

    joaniebalonie Well-Known Member

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    i lived in oregon (wet!) with totally wood heat. here it's supplemental, but i'm storing it the same way. although in oregon my farm had really big trees purposely planted in a row (as a wind break) mega years before i was ever there. i sure sent up thank you's to those souls :) . anyway, if you have a couple substantial trees just throw some pallets on the ground and stack your split wood between them. and as someone else said keep those tarps handy and throw them on top when you need to. i roll up long 2x4's (depending on the space between your trees) on the edge of the tarp a few times and staple it;the weight holds it over the stack. then as the pile 'goes away' (geez) and the plastic is on the ground just keep rolling and stick a weight (rocks/wood reminants) between the 2x4 and pallet. normally you just gather wood from one side but if you need lotsa air movement uncover the whole shebang when weather permits. i just got a new stihl and i'm jazzed about this, can you tell???
     
  12. Like you, I too am behind on my wood cutting. I'm just bringing home a few logs at a time to split up. But what I've been doing to get some really good dry firewood is to place a few sticks on top of the wood stove to dry out while I have a fire inside the woodstove. It dries quickly this way and burns better.
     
  13. omnicat

    omnicat Well-Known Member

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    I have a stack of wood from a July windstorm - I think I'll give the solar dryer (clear plastic sheeting) a try - I'm thinking I'll be looking hungrily at that pile by the end of January, as I may have gone through the rest of my scrounged wood by then.

    Thanks for the tip!
     
  14. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Here are a couple of photos of firewood stacked on wood pallet with T-posts holding up the ends. I cover our firewood stacks with 6’ x 24’ firewood tarps. I attach a piece of firewood to each grommet in the tarp as a weight.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Shepherd

    Shepherd Well-Known Member

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    Sorry I didn't see your question till now Daddymem. I'll try and insert a couple pics here.

    Firewood stacked on pallets:
    [​IMG]

    Tposts and scrap wood for side supports:
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Daddymem

    Daddymem Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! The stacking is what I had pictured in my mind and I've seen tposts but we call em garden stakes or fence stakes.