Stacking cords of wood to cure is essential to maintaining a firewood supply. You must follow several steps when stacking lines to maximize the firewood’s life. These steps include drying the wood, using a moisture meter, and stacking the wood properly.
Stacking firewood is a simple process, but it requires some care. If you stack your wood too close together, you might need more cord space, and you could end up with a damp stack. It would help if you were sure to dry your wood before stacking it.
The most important thing to remember about drying your firewood is to keep it off the ground. Wood piles on the floor invite moisture and invite pests to live there. This can lead to mold, mildew, and wood rot.
To avoid this, choose a location for your wood pile that is sunny and breezy. Wood piles in the shade will take longer to dry. You might also have to be careful about weeds or other plants that can hide moisture from the wood. If you live in an area with high humidity, you can cover your wood pile to help prevent condensation. However, you should make sure the tarp does not block air circulation.
The most crucial factor in stacking wood is air circulation. Air helps the drying process by getting the air through the cracks in the wood. When your wood is dry, the wood will sound hollow and will have a dull appearance.
If you plan to stack firewood on the ground, consider using pallets or cinder blocks to raise it. You can also use pressure-treated 2x4s. However, you should avoid placing the wood too high because it can become unstable.
A great way to dry firewood is to split it. Splitting firewood will allow more surface area for air to circulate. This will speed up the seasoning process. It also allows you to carry the wood more easily.
To prevent moisture from building up on the wood, stack your wood on a dry platform or in a lean-to. Consider using foliage to cover the stack, protecting it from insects and critters.
Consider using a homemade firewood kiln to speed up the drying process. A homemade kiln can dry wood in days. This will reduce the water content in your wood and help it burn more efficiently.
Stacking wood is easy once you know how. The first thing you should do is put a stake about a foot above the ground. Then lay out the wood with one end towards the stake. Stack the wood in two-over-one layers until it reaches the desired height.
You can also stack wood in a criss-cross pattern. This will keep the air moving around the wood and allow it to dry.
If you live in a wildfire-prone area, you should stack the wood 30 feet away from your home. This will prevent the wood from igniting a wildfire and catching your house on fire.
You can also cover your logs with plastic or a tarp. This will keep bugs from burrowing into the wood and the logs dry. This will also keep earwigs and pill bugs from coming in.
Another good idea is to ensure the wood is exposed to the sun. In the dry season, the sun will help the wood dry out. But in the wet season, moisture can build up in the wood and cause mold and fungus to grow. This can also cause the wood to burn poorly.
Some people also believe that there is a spiritual side to stacking wood. Some stack their firewood in whimsical shapes. These stacks can be fun to look at and provide a conversation starter.
When stacking wood, you should always consider the size and shape of your stack. Wood that is stacked too high or too low can be dangerous. It can fall on children and pets. It can also be a target for critters. It can also create an unattended pile that can become a fire hazard.
Finally, consider the prevailing wind. If you live in an area where the wind blows from west to east, stack your wood facing west. This will allow the prevailing wind to blow through the long axis. If the wind is more consistently north and south, stack the wood facing north.
You can also use a firewood rack to keep the wood off the ground. You can purchase a frame made of pressure-treated two-by-fours or use old pallets.
Using a moisture meter
Using a moisture meter to measure how long it takes for a stacked cord of wood to cure can be helpful in the woodworking industry. The device can measure moisture levels in various materials, including wood, paper, and cardboard.
The best moisture meters for firewood are designed to give you accurate readings. There are two types of moisture meters: pin-type and pinless. The former uses a pin to penetrate the wood surface, and the latter works by relaying electromagnetic waves into the material. The latter is regarded as non-invasive and is ideal for finished surfaces.
Pin-type meters are often calibrated to the particular type of wood being tested. To get a reading, insert the pins into the wood and measure the resistance between the pins. The higher the conductivity of the wood, the lower the opposition will be. If the resistance is lower, the wood is dry. If the resistance is taller, the wood is wet.
Pinless moisture meters are also a good option. These meters work by relaying electromagnetic waves into the material and do not require removing the end cap. They are a good option for homeowners with a flexible budget. They have an on/off button and a large LCD screen, making it easy to view the moisture level. They are also powered by a 9V battery included in the package.
The most important place to test for moisture is the center of the log. You can also bang two pieces of wood together; if they make a thud or hollow sound, the wood is not dry.
Seasoning firewood can take a long time. It can take six to nine months to dry completely. You should ensure that the wood is fully dry before burning it. If it’s seasoned properly, it will make a smooth or thud sound when you burn it. If the wood has a green or brown tint, it’s not seasoned correctly.
Wood moisture meters are available in different price ranges. They can be purchased online and at most hardware stores. High-quality moisture meters can provide accurate readings of +/-1% moisture content.
Precautions when storing and procuring firewood
Keeping firewood dry is very important. Water will soak into the wood’s fibers and make it rot. It will also make the wood flammable. It would help if you protected your firewood from rain and water by putting a tarp on top. If the tarp is a heavy-duty plastic, it will help keep moisture out. You can also use pallets to keep your wood off the ground.
Before burning wood, you should check it for insects. These pests can tunnel from trees to the firewood stacks. They can also enter your home through the pile. If you live in an area prone to wildfires, you should avoid storing firewood near your house. This will minimize the chance of infestation.
If you want to store your wood off the ground, purchase a wood shed or build one. This will keep the wood out of bed, which will help it dry out faster. You should also keep the wood off the ground when stacked. You can stack your wood in rows or circular piles, depending on your preference.
You should also store your wood in a way that will allow air to circulate through the logs. For example, you can store firewood in a wood shed or stack your wood with flat surfaces facing each other. You can also split your timber and keep it in smaller pieces. These smaller pieces will dry quicker and burn more efficiently.
It will help if you keep your firewood in a place with plenty of sunlight. The stronger the sunlight, the faster the wood will dry. However, weak sunlight will slow the process down. The sun will also burn off any moisture in the wood.
You should also keep the wood away from invasive species. The Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive species that kills all varieties of ash trees. It has yet to be identified in Oklahoma.
You should also ensure that your firewood is completely dry before using it. If it is damp, you will not burn it efficiently. It would help to be careful when taking wood out of the pile. You may encounter snakes or small mammals.