Just an informative post. As we all come up on winter, some are getting a
load of firewood still and may be new homeowners who arent aware of some
More added for them will be nice!
1. Do not stack it against the house. The reasons vary but termites, bugs,
and damp-rot are the main ones.
2. If you have to stack it near a wood fence, provide about a 12 inch
free-zone between the fence and the wood stack (same issues as above)
3. By prefereance, stack it as far as you reasonably can from any wooden
barns and from your house. In a residential area with smal lots, this may
not be far, but try to get at least 20 feet from the house.
4. Raise the wood off the ground by 6 inches (more is fine). This can be
done very cheaply by making a cinderblock raised area for those metal frames
sold to keep wood, or can just be a long line of cinderblocks you stack the
wood on. In a long term place with a farm, you'll possibly want to pour a
cement bed for this.
Don and I just finished stacking 2 cords using a combination of the metal
frames on cinderblocks, and just cinderblocks (have to get more frames next
year). The frames let us get higher so save space, but the difference isnt
all that notable with a little practice.
Firewood stacks should be
1. Off the ground, so ground moisture cannot
migrate upwards into the timber. I use shipping
pallets, free at loading docks, which last 3 to 6
years on bare soil, much longer on rock or paving.
2. Covered overhead, so direct rain cannot
soak the firewood. Both sides should be left open
to sun and wind (the main agent in long-term
seasoning. Hardwood should be seasoned
(after splitting and stacking) for two years before
Build a decent wood shed to hold 5-6 cords of wood. Have windows on
all 4 sides to ensure good cross ventilation regardless of what way
the wind blows. I built mine to hold that amount as it's what I burn
per season. No worries about rain / snow - just keep a good path
shovelled. Train your kids to bring in an armful each day and add to
the indoor stack. Teach your eldest how to light a proper fire.
Outside wood storage is a pain in the ass. Firewood racks, tarps and
the mess thats comes with it. Wood shed storage with good ventilation
has always provided me with good / dry firewood. My neighbour converts
his green house into a wood storage shed each fall. It's like a
Keep 1/4 cord of dry wood in the house. Nothing kills a fire or
promotes chimmney problems than tossing cold / frozen wood on the
Always try and keep a year ahead of your fire wood (specially
hardwood). I'm ordering next years wood this week.
That would be great but I lack the space. I see another mentioned at least
a roof' of sorts. I do not have one. What we do is bring in several
wheelbarrows worth into the garage when it gets freezing and let it thaw out
there. Not a warm place, but above freezing. Sae idea before rain, we
bring some in to keep it well dry.
Grin, well, our needs are less than yours.
Chimney problems? I was not aware of any, just that wet wood is hard to burn
and smokey. Maybe smokey buildup? We have our fireplace professionally
cleaned annually. It's actually amlnost free as the recipt the the
homeowners insurance folks takes money off our insurance.
Good advice. We got 2 cords but probably will have 1 left. What it does is
augment the heating as the fireplace isnt big enough for the 4 BR house. It
does however dramatically lower the bill (we tested this, and it works). We
get (and pay extra) for seasoned firewood. Split the year before.
Hey, since you burn lots, a question? What do you think of the 199$ Cummins
wood splitter? Would it work when our wood is pre-split but some of the
logs are a bit big for the fireplace?
I've not heard of it. My neighbour purchased a Pow r Kraft from direct
tools. Plugs into a standard outlet and has 4 tons splitting power.
Think he paid 200.00 for it and has a 2 year warranty. Can do up to 10
inches hardwood / 12 inches soft wood diameter. An option for you and
your pal (given the 1-2 cord limit) would be to rent one for a
weekend. I order mine mostly pre split ( I'm 72 yrs old and find it
hard). Many folks around here rent them. I leave 20% of the wood
unsplit. When dry it's much better for the long overnight burns when
I've hit the hay.
When I was younger we used to nail 2 old tires (stacked) on a hardwood
junk. We would place 5-6 junks in it and wack away until they were all
split. The tire kept the wood from flying about and the rubber
protected the axe edge. It worked very well and saved my time and my
back. Cover it in a tarp when not in use lest the tire fills with
water during rain. Wood splitting is generally lonely work.
Sounds like this one. 4 ton and all, Meant to be operated horizontally and
we looked up the manual online and it seems needs to be up on something
(safety warning to do that). We can build something if it doesnt ft in the
brick grill built in the backyard. Don and I are fairly handy at such type
We've been looking but all the rentals are 50$-75$ a day in our area. At
that price, a unit with our usage level making it probably last quite a few
years, would pay for itself we think and be less hassle?
If it only lasted 4 years it would break even. If we had the unit, about
3/4 cord would get chopped smaller this year of the 2 cords and only because
we kinda like the smaller pieces. Easier to handle and all that.
Hehehe well, Don and I arent spring chickens anymore. I'm almost 50 and
he's almost 60 so labor saving devices are smart for us when it comes to
We live in Norfolk area. Tonight is supposed to be the first freeze. Won't
get much under32, but it's definately noticably colder now. It's probably
just a hair under 50F outside now and the heat hasnt kicked on yet (set to
70) but the fireplace is going. Thermostat is reading 74F. I dont have an
outdoor thermometer yet. (If you track many messages here, we are the ones
just back from Japan awaiting household goods to arrive and fixing up
I find splitting wood manually a relaxing, enjoyable thing. In
addition it is about the greatest exercise going as you use all your
muscles. . I am also 72 and do a minimum of 6 cord yearly. All
manually except the knots and crotches that I save out and when a
batch collects run them through the hydraulic splitter.
Reminds me. I am done for the year but I need to pull the motor on the
splitter and either get it overhauled or replaced so it will be ready
Visiting my father, I spent half a day splitting some wood with him. Lots of
wedge and hammer action. The next day I was so sore it hurt to laugh. My father,
who does this more than I had no such problem. He's 85.
I suggest that the next time you over-exert, you take 400-mg of ibuprofen
(Advil). It is truly a wonder drug.
On those occasions when I clearly "over-do" it, a couple of Advil right before
bed and I am NOT sore the next day. It's pretty amazing.
Save your money and get some used pallets. One the ends, you do what is
called a chimney stack. Lay two pieces down with space between, Now
crisscross two pieces 90 degrees. Repeat. If your wood is split in half,
put the flat side down, if quartered, lay them as flat as possible. Pick
the best sizes as you go and it becomes very easy to do. Between the stack
just lay the pieces in at random and you will find they self support quite a
Actually in this case, with subterranian termites, cinderblock is a better
idea. Thats area specific though (folks new to this, check your area and
his suggestion is cheaer if you can use it!)
In our case, we are decorating the cinderblocks (grin). We used a simple
paint meant for basements (just sticks better is all) then let the 13YO
loose with some water proof colored paints. Got little butterflies, bugs,
flowers, all sorts of things on'em now. Looks pretty cool.
Yes, got my stacks about 5ft at all but the edges where they sorta drift
over and down a bit. Probably not as fancy as you have here, but works well
I use 2 trees in the back as "bookends" then stack between them up to
about 5 feet high, well away from the house. By spring I burn up
everything before the trees come back even if that just means having a
Memorial day bon fire.
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