# A cord is a cord, of course, of course ......

I saw once where they took lengths of rounds, full cuts of tree trunk, and stacked them 8' x 8' x 4' to equal 128 cubic feet. They then split the wood, and had a lot more than a cord.
I saw an ad that a man was selling cords of wood for \$140, and rounds for \$100, but not specifying the quantity on the rounds. If it is a cord of rounds, I can split it with my splitter, and I would estimate that I could get nearly two cords out of that. For \$100 vs. \$140, that would be a good deal.
Does anyone know what the conversion factor would be? Cord for cord, at \$40 cheaper, the rounds are a better deal.
Steve
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Steve B wrote:

ACTUALLY, if the split wood is stacked properly, it will take up less space than the rounds. Thus, a cord of PROPERLY stacked and split wood is more wood than the rounds it came from.
steve
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That is a common misconception. Any given pile of rounds will gain about 10 percent volume after splitting. YOu cannot pack a round of wood into less space than nature already has no matter how you split it.
Prove it for yourself:
Take long, tapered carrot and slice it into rounds. Paack those rounds as tightly as you can into a jar or box lid.
Dump them out, split them into halfs, quarters or finer ifyou want and try to put them back into the same space. They will not go.
This was a big, repeated topic over the years on the 'firewood..." forum at arboristsite.com. Someone finally did a couple of experiments usign actual wood and proved it.
An oddity in the discussions is someone would always point out that you could put split pieces into all the waste space between the rounds - overlooking that that would only increase the amount of wood in the load of rounds. It is also false as ther ewill be only a few "holes" big enough to take anything but a stick of kindling. Harry K
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Harry K wrote:

This whole thread is a crock pot of hog shit soup. I suppose, using YOUR theory, if you run it all through a chipper, it would take a full sized dump truck to haul a cord. LMAO! I really don't give a shit what a bunch of pencil pushing college boys think they proved. If you make smaller pieces, you have less air space. If you split a given amount of firewood, it will fit in a smaller space. Period.
steve
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So you are scared to try a simple experiment? It was not "a bunch of pencil...."- it was working stiffs, loggeers to be specific. You know, people who actually know what they are talking about.
Harry K
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On Wed, 16 Dec 2009 22:29:10 -0600, Steve Barker

How much firewood you split in your life? And stacked? If the "rounds" are straight they pack in very compactly - and splitting them, unless split VERY fine, will not take any less space, and unless extremely carefully stacked, will take roughly 10% more space. If split down to 3" on the side, it can be stacked in a smaller space than if split to 5 or 6 inches on the side (pie shaped) and even, perhaps, smaller space than the straight rounds.
If the rounds are knotty or not straight, or not round, splitting can reduce the overall volume marginally.
Either way, the difference is relatively minor. And a stack of split wood can settle as much as it sits and dries.
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

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And still you believe the pile shrinks. Odd. try that experiment yet?
Harry K
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That could have something to do with the fact that 8'x8'x4' is actually 256 cf (2 cords). Either that or you misremember the size...
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Steve B wrote:

What is a cord? A cord has a specific legal definition in Minnesota: • One cord is 128 cubic feet in four foot lengths. • If the wood is sawed, a cord is 110 cubic feet when ranked, or 160 cubic feet when thrown loosely into a truck. • If the wood is sawed and split, a cord is 120 cubic feet when ranked, and 175 cubic feet when thrown loosely into a truck. (Minnesota Statutes, Section 239.33)
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NOw that is an oddity I hadn't heard of. Makes sense though as ti allows for the 'volume will grow after splitting' fact.
Harry K
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Ooops...misread it. No, it does not make sense, the buyer would be getting hosed on the split wood. If the uncut cord is 128 ft cubed (and that is correct), the split wood will take up more, not less, space.
Harry K
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Harry K wrote:

How much more?
128 cuft 4' lengths: 1 cord sawed: 1.16 cords sawed and split: 1.07 cords
One way that could make sense is if you take into account the shrinkage which occurs during drying. (If they assume sawed and split is also dry.) I don't know if it overcomes the volume increase incurred by splitting, but it very well might.
I didn't find any rationale for the law, but the statue also contains this:
https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id#9.33 "If a measurement is made by weight, the term "cord" or any other term used to describe freshly cut wood shall be based on 79 cubic feet of solid wood content per cord."
I don't think they consider the bark to be solid wood, since they also say: 'the term "cord" shall mean 128 cubic feet of wood, bark, and air, if cut in four-foot lengths'
I assume they (or some other agency (like the DNR or Forest Service) has the empirical data to support the legal definitions.
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Where did you get those figures? I have been arguing the point about the pile growing for years but have never seen the figures for the change.
Even those figures don't compute as the 'sawed and split' would be larger than just 'sawed'.
Harry K
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Harry K wrote:

They're just a restatement to give another view of the relationship between the various cord specifications in the statute.
128 cu.ft. in 4' lengths / 128 cu.ft per cord = 1 cord. 128 cu.ft. cut / 110 cu.ft. per cord = 1.16 cords. 128 cu.ft. cut and split / 120 cu.ft per cord = 1.07 cords.
A little digging shows that the cord definitions have been in MN law for a hundred years, so I'm guessing the rationale would not be easy to dig up. The "79 cubic feet of solid wood content per cord" definition is somewhat newer, though.

We should start a PAC.
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Yeah, I realized where the figures came from after posting.
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wrote:

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Where did you get those figures? I have been arguing the point about the pile growing for years but have never seen the figures for the change.
Even those figures don't compute as the 'sawed and split' would be larger than just 'sawed'.
Harry K
I would think that sawing would remove more material, thus the "sawed 1.16" figure conflicts with the "sawed and split" where there is far less sawdust residue. And the program I saw produced a much greater volume than +.16 and +.07 IIRC. It was a visual demonstration, and if they did quote it mathematically, it went over my head. And even that would vary with the size you split the wood.
I went and got some wood from my BIL yesterday. I split mine in pieces that triangularly are 6-6-6 or thereabouts. They burn longer. I have a sealed wood stove. He has an open fronted fireplace with just the glass but not sealed. His wood is half that size, because the larger pieces make too much smoke. So, there's variables.
Steve
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I read it as "sawed" - cutting the 4' lengths into rounds "sawed and split" - splitting the rounds down into stove size.
Don't think I have ever seen firewood sawed down to stove size except for the knots and crotches. Sawing those up has been one of my 'end of season' jobs for over 30 years.
Harry K
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