Wood might be an ancient method of lighting and heating, but not at any moment can we dispute it as a non-essential. Wood is classy and fashionable- nothing hits better than staying indoors at your fireplace during the cold weathers, telling stories as you enjoy the warmth from the wood. On top of this, wood is also environmentally friendly when compared to gas and electric appliances.
For these reasons, we must know how to go about firewood and to stack them to be specific. How do you go about it? Here is a detailed guide on how to stack firewood.
Things to Know Before Stacking Firewood
A big plus is if you have permaculture, then you can create a closed system specifically for energy production. Timber will be available for you, and so there will be no need to search for outside sources for the completion of the cycle. Also, even if you acquire wood from an external source, a local one which is sustainable and doesn’t have any inorganic chemicals, wood-burning would still be a better alternative. It is cheaper than conventional appliances, not to mention more environmental-friendly.
Firewood is relatively seasonal when harvested sustainably; this is something that you should know. Trees should be harvested and pruned during winter to allow for their re-growth on the next spring. With this said, it is also essential that you store this wood appropriately to ensure that it will last you through this entire period.
Jumping to the main topic now, here are the essential things to put into consideration when stacking your firewood for a maximum drying process.
Position your stack in Zone 1, near your house. During winter it is ideal that firewood is used a lot and you’ll visit the stack more than once a day. Storing it near your house saves you all the hassle. The stack will be inhabited by rodents and insects, and so you don’t want the stack adjacent to your house. Otherwise, they’ll make your home their home too.
Place the stack on dry ground with access to the sun and well ventilated. Excess shade prolongs the drying process, so avoid this. If you live in a place with too much rainfall, it is imperative that you cover the stack for protection. If you plan on covering using metal or tarp, ensure that the sides are left exposed for proper ventilation.
Elevating your pile is probably one of the most important things that you can do when stacking firewood. Elevating the wood comes with the advantages of providing good air circulation as well as preventing the wood from absorbing moisture from the ground. For elevation, you can decide to place the stack on top of a few pallets, though you’ll require renewal with this, as they will rot after a few years.
The other option that you have on the table is placing planks on the ground when you want to begin the stacking process. Remember to treat these planks to prevent absorption of moisture.
The Vertical Ends
A wood stack is normally rectangular with one side being longer. This shape requires you to stack them vertically to contain them. The simplest way to go about this is to crisscross alternating woods at a right angle. The objective of this is to create a stable anchor for the stack and at the same time having large holes for proper aeration.
Make the first vertical stack at the point where you wish your pile to begin, then proceed on to stack your wood and later build an end to secure the pile.
Cutting the Logs
What most people don’t know is that you have to cut your logs in wedge shapes to stack them well as well as acquire maximum ventilation. The ideal shape should have a right angle, although you can go sharper depending on the appliance used for cutting. The main idea here is to have all the logs in the same angle for easier stacking. Also, ensure that the woods are of the same length.
Method of Stacking
Barks is naturally repellant to moisture, and if possible, you should place the lowest layer upside down. Make them reasonably irregular. This is to create spaces and gaps through the pile for proper airflow. You can avoid recreating round logs by placing together four wedges. Ensure that the top layer is side up. Also, check the stack regularly to make sure that it is vertically straight. Tap the ends into position when you go. This will be a lot easier than realigning the stack once it has reached a height above your waist.
When stacking your wood against the wall, ensure that there is a gap between the wall and wood for good air circulation. It’s also great if you can have it at an angle towards the wall. If the wall lacks an eave, extend the top layer further than those beneath it. This way, even if you do not have other coverage, then rain will not ruin the stack, but run off it. You can also search for place boards and place them at an angle to the wall to protect them from rain.
No exact science is present to ascertain whether your firewood has hit moisture content below 20% and is now ready for home use, apart from the moisture meter. You will, therefore, have to look for signs that indicate that this is true. Dry wood turns grey when compared to unseasoned wood. Knocking two pieces of dry wood will have a higher pitch than wet pieces. For the wet pieces, a thud sound is produced. A more accurate sign, however, is to look for hairline cracks along the edges of dry wood.
Stacking wood can be as easy as ABC, as long as these tips are put into consideration. Winter periods can last for very long, and it’ll be hectic to survive without wood. You need to stack them in early and advance. Also, make sure that the amount you accumulate is substantial enough to last you throughout the entire period.
I’ve been cutting wood since I was 8 years old with my father. I have been using log splitters for 7 years now and have a great deal of experience with them. Now I’ve got my own wood cutting & logging business and want to share my experience with my readers.