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  1. #91
    Veteran Member SpringHollow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Logistics of firewood hauling and splitting?

    My experiences: I do not split anything less than 10 - 12 inches and they dry when stacked in the sun and wind - one can watch them check as they do so and they get much lighter. Rounds left to split after a few months of summer weather are much harder to split if they have been stored in a stack in the sun and wind up off the ground. Split wood seems to dry faster than unsplit. Wood chunked in the woods and left there stacked off the ground never dried because of the dampness in the woods.

    Dry is relative since any wood stored in normal conditions has a certain moisture content.

    Ken
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  2. #92
    Platinum Member rjkobbeman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Logistics of firewood hauling and splitting?

    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    When it comes to wood, there exists a lot of misunderstanding about how it dries.

    True that it dries faster out the end grain than from the side of the grain.

    But not true that it dries when not split. And the proof is that it splits easy (as it is still green as mentioned).

    And another confusion is that wood (even split) will be dry after one year. It will be less wet than it was when fresh cut from a live tree, but it will not be very dry.
    It will be more seasoned than the year before, but it will not be very dry.

    The walnut stacked like that in the rounds (blocks) will not dry much over 5-10 years, let alone one.

    But each can and will do what they feel best for them, and that is really the only thing that is important.
    So feel good about whatever you do, and enjoy the exercise. I do.
    I'm no expert on the subject, but I have a big burn pile of trees taken down when I built my house.

    I cut the trees into managable sized lengths. I figured this would help in the burning process as well. It did, but not much.

    I tried burining again last weekend. I got a lot of the trees to burn down over a 48 hour period, but it took a lot of dry, smaller stuff to get it real hot first. These trees are between 1 and 3 years since they were cut down and cut up. They did "burn" but not a raging fire. They basically burned down to coals as long as I had other "fuel" to keep the fire going.

    I started to pay more attention to the sections I cut up and noticed they still looked green. My father-in-law suggested I split them because they will stay green for a LONG time without being split.

    He convinced me...
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  3. #93
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    New Holland TC40D

    Default Re: Logistics of firewood hauling and splitting?

    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    When it comes to wood, there exists a lot of misunderstanding about how it dries.

    True that it dries faster out the end grain than from the side of the grain.

    But not true that it dries when not split. And the proof is that it splits easy (as it is still green as mentioned).

    And another confusion is that wood (even split) will be dry after one year. It will be less wet than it was when fresh cut from a live tree, but it will not be very dry.
    It will be more seasoned than the year before, but it will not be very dry.

    The walnut stacked like that in the rounds (blocks) will not dry much over 5-10 years, let alone one.

    But each can and will do what they feel best for them, and that is really the only thing that is important.
    So feel good about whatever you do, and enjoy the exercise. I do.
    I have been burning wood for nearly 30 years now and have to disagree. In fact, I've cut Red Oak that has been dead for a couple of years but still standing and it is nearly as dry as stuff that has dried in my pile for the better part of a year. Yes, ideally, cut and split it and let it dry for at least a year. As others note, wood dries more from the end than the split side, but it still does dry from the sides too so cut and split is best, assuming there is adequate air circulating. In addition, wood gives up it's moisture exponentially, taking longer to "dry" as it approaches the average moisture content of the local air. However, most naturally occuring moisture is gone from the wood in a year's time, that is, if split and stacked with adequate air circulation, after a year, the wood is nearly as dry as the air it is normally sitting in, on average. If not split, yes it will take longer, but 5-10 years? Not unless there is no air movement, or continual shade, or frequently getting wet and not drying.

  4. #94
    Bronze Member Josh61513's Avatar
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    Default Re: Logistics of firewood hauling and splitting?

    When in doubt, measure the moisture content of a piece which has been freshly split (so that you can check the core). If your wood has more than 20% moisture content you are wasting plenty of BTUs to boiling out the water, and contributing creosote to your chimeny/stove pipe.

    It has been my experience that many species of wood are ready to be burned after being cut and split for a year, an exception would be oak which seems to take nearly two years to get below 20%. Wood which hasn't been split certainly takes longer to dry than split pieces, as I have witnessed first-hand by using my moisture meter.
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  5. #95
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    Default Re: Logistics of firewood hauling and splitting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Verticaltrx View Post
    Thanks for the pics and replies.

    I guess a lot of how it's done depends on the specific terrain of the area and the distance of the haul. Once I get my new 5x10 trailer built I will be able to haul a lot more per load (3500lbs vs 2000lbs) so that will also help. Got me thinking about putting a detachable hydraulic splitter on the front of the trailer run off the tractor hydraulics.

    Here's some pics of the kind of terrain I'm dealing with:

    (I guess in this type of terrain a 3pt logging winch would be real handy )
    For that sort of terrain words like "Percheron", "Belgian" and even "Haflinger" come to mind.
    Heck, maybe even a regular mule or two ?
    (-:

  6. #96
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    Default Re: Logistics of firewood hauling and splitting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reg View Post
    For that sort of terrain words like "Percheron", "Belgian" and even "Haflinger" come to mind.
    Heck, maybe even a regular mule or two ?
    (-:
    My father has a team of Suffolk Punch draft horses but we never have time to work them, especially since our firewood cutting time is limited. Also have a pair of 'oxen', which is a term I use loosely as one of them will probably be going in the freezer this winter (he doesn't have the intellectual caliber to do much other than fall over.)
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  7. #97
    Super Member crazyal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Logistics of firewood hauling and splitting?

    I split everything as soon as I can. But I have a 27 ton splitter so how hard it splits isn't an issue. I also loose stack the wood. I've seen others stack it tight and it retards drying as air just can't get the moisture out of the stack. But do what works for you.
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  8. #98
    Veteran Member jake98's Avatar
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    Default Re: Logistics of firewood hauling and splitting?

    Ten pages and nobody mentioned using a grapple? or did I miss it.. I can't imagine doing firewood without one anymore.
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  9. #99
    Elite Member Chilly807's Avatar
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    Default Re: Logistics of firewood hauling and splitting?

    As to drying times for wood, I agree with most of the posts here. Some species take longer than others, most of what we cut (if not all) is ready to burn in a year's time.

    I cut them to length, split and stack as soon as possible. Everything down to about 3-4 inches gets split (small stove).

    As to drying full length fire wood, my experience has been that it's slow. In fact, if you can cut log lengths and keep them up off the ground, it's one way to keep wood for longer periods without it deteriorating too much. I have enough ready wood for 2-3 years at the moment, and another pile of get-it-while-you-can wood that is still in long lengths until a year before we need it. White birch and poplar don't do well like this.

    Wood dries out from all sides, provided it can get exposure to dry air. The outer layers are sap-wood, which has the highest moisture content of the tree. I have cut 8-9 foot juniper fence posts that were about 6 inches or better in diameter for corner posts, weighed enough that you didn't enjoy handling them at all when they were green. After they were peeled, they dried out relatively quickly and weighed less than half of the green weight.

    Sean

  10. #100
    Gold Member
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    Default Re: Logistics of firewood hauling and splitting?

    Good Post. I go thru 7 cords a year but not been cutting/splitting it all by myself yet.

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