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Firewood drying time

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by Thechap, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. jimmyrup

    jimmyrup ArboristSite Lurker

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    Wood drying

    Is your container a homemade kiln? If so I would be interested in learning more , I love the fact u use ur trash wood to dry ur Fwood because I am throwing approximately 1/2 cu. yd. a week onto my burn pile just to get rid of it. Also I am looking for an efficient way to load my wood, presently that is done by hand because my 31 HP kubota with 1600 lb lift capacity just doesn't work I've tried with my 6' mulch bucket but it seems to get jammed on the pieces of wood and won't dig into the pile. sometimes (like if I can't get my trailer to the back side of the pile on a steep hill I will just stack the pieces into the bucket) but the labor time is killing me. and when I use my root grapple the pieces fall thru the grates any insight you could share would be greatly appreciated.
    M. Thanks again
    JimmyRup
     
  2. CRThomas

    CRThomas ArboristSite Guru

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    Answer

    My kilns a container with a stove built in the back with a fan on the other end to pull the heat thru the wood slow. That gives the heat time to pull the moister from the inside to the out side. I have found a fast moving air flow does not make any difference. I test my wood by cutting a piece into with my chop saw and testing the in side. If I pull the out side to 8 to 10 percent the in side will be 14 to 16 percent. I have tested wood down to no measurement on my meters but still show a reading on the in side. Oak is another story as I say I only burn and sell Ash. I will proble be told I dont know what I'm talking about but it makes me and my customers happy. Ash has made my business successful I stick with a good thing. Now back to drying wood I bought some big steel baskets they hold a half a rank. I split into them to move around. They hold a half a rank. I take my tractor with my splitter on the back to the yard split into pieces I can handle put in the basket move them to the in side of my shop where my 20 ton electric to split it like my customers like it. From there to the dryer from dryer to wrapper from there to storage. I set the baskets up where I could just dump in the back of a pickup truck but I don't sell bulk any more. My dryer is just a 20 ft inside gray container with a stove to burn my trash wood the bark and stuff my customers don't like dirty wood in there million dollar homes my wood burns for looks not heat. That's the reason I sell wood year round. I hope this helps you. I wish I knew how to put pictures up on the site but I don't I email them to one member to put up but I guess he didn't have time.
     
  3. CRThomas

    CRThomas ArboristSite Guru

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    Info

    I have found it seam like air flow has more to do with drying wood than heat on a windy hot day after a rain wood will be down in the teens in just a short time like a couple hours on the out side. Later
     
  4. CRThomas

    CRThomas ArboristSite Guru

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    Thanks

    The info on drying firewood was great I only get wood cut in the winter when the sap is down that cuts my drying time in half. I go out in the woods and cut enough trees to hold me and then do the rest when I got time. Trees that are dying. With a meter tree cut in the winter Ash that is 32 percent. Tree cut in summer 56 to 64 percent. Bought some 2 bys at Lowes had to split them for runners with my table saw the wall was wet where my saw threw water on the wall and table that's suppose to be dry. Later
     
  5. haveawoody

    haveawoody Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Everything i cut ends up 12"-14" and i find 6 months is more than enough to cure almost everything.
    unsplit rounds and split wood cure almost identical times.
    i do find that 12" wood cures much quicker than 16" wood, maybe 25% earlier.

    Only exceptions for me are Rock elm, black locust, apple, pear, other fruit woods and other elms.
    They look dry after 6 months but burn much better after a year or more cure.
     
  6. Islero

    Islero ArboristSite Operative

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    Whitespider, those sure are some pretty firewood stacks!! Islero :msp_smile:
     
  7. cheeves

    cheeves Tree Freak

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    That's fantastic my friend!! Great job. I too have always wondered what this 2 year drying time is all about. Up here on the hill with the wind and sun, I've been good to go in 9 weeks before with previous green red oak. And I've been doing this a long time.
     
  8. waldershrek

    waldershrek ArboristSite Operative

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    and here I've been worried that the load of logs that I'll be having dropped shortly (and then cut, split and stacked in the wood shed) wasn't gonna be dried in time to burn this fall/winter
     
  9. Canyon Angler

    Canyon Angler Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Old thread, I know, but found it on a search.

    Just started burning here, using a white oak that had been lying on ground for (guessing) at least two years, since the sapwood was rotted but the heartwood was iron-hard. I cut/split/stacked it in late April or early May so we're looking at six months split/stacked – and I split it thin to try to speed up drying time – but it's not burning as well as WO that I've had drying for several years.

    Somewhere (maybe a woodworking forum) I heard that white oak, and possibly other oaks, can "case harden" where they dry on the outside but sort of "seal in" a lot of the internal moisture – and when that happens, they can reportedly take a long time to dry.

    Don't know whether that's what's going on here, but I'm switching over to some nice dry cherry for now...
     
  10. cumminstinkerer

    cumminstinkerer addicted to making my boiler run clean

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    has anyone else noticed that after you get your splits started drying a little and then get a little rain and then several days of good sun and wind they dry faster? I had that happen earlier this year and have seen it many times on the moisture monitor in the combine, corn that was 20% before a shower will drop down to like fifteen the first day of good weather. I'm not really sure why this happens but it seem in my experience to hold true with wood as well.
     
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  11. Canyon Angler

    Canyon Angler Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Interesting. Never heard that about corn, but I've often wondered about it with wood. Seems like if it got wet, and then you got some fast hard dry sunny windy weather, it might make the wood crack and check more on the surface/end grain and maybe expose more of the wood to drying. Maybe that's what's happening?

    Living near salt water, I've also wondered whether wetting wood with saltwater, then letting it dry might make it dry even faster since salt has such an affinity for water and draws water out of things. I guess this wouldn't work for long, since rain would wash off the salt, and the salt would "draw" rain and dew to itself, so maybe it's a "wash" –
     
  12. cumminstinkerer

    cumminstinkerer addicted to making my boiler run clean

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    Maybe the rain deal doesn't work the same everywhere with wood or corn, I know here in Iowa it does for sure with corn and soybeans, I havent used a moisture and timed it with wood either, it sure appears to go faster though. I dont cover any of my wood and I dont stack either, as it falls off the old grain elevator thats how it stays, right out in the log storage area in the wide open on top a hill.
     
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  13. muddstopper

    muddstopper Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I think I might still have some wood in my shed that is as old as, or close to as old as, this thread. It will probably get burnt this year as I dont plan on putting any more wood in the shed until what is in there is gone. Oak logs laying on the ground will rot before they will dry. I have some 4ft rounds in my wood pile that have been bucked up for several years. I just never got around to splitting them because of their size. Yesterday, I had help putting them on the splitter and decided to split them before they completely rotted away. The outside of the wood is all doughty and will just peel off when you hook a set of log dogs into the sides. The inside wood is dripping with water. So much for cureing unsplit wood. I have scrounged up a couple of cords of whiteoak, redoak, birch, maple and popular that the power company cut back in early spring. They where trimed and left laying as they fell. Some of the trees where probably 50ft or more in lenght and I skidded them whole to my wood pile. Some of this wood was also split yesterday. All of it would be considered green. I dont own a moisture meter, dont need one to tell me the wood is wet. So much for whole trees drying out once cut down. Splitting wood will speed up drying, I dont care how many edumacated idiots tell me otherwise, they can come here and try and prove me wrong. You quarter a round into four pieces and you increase the surface area being exposed by a factor of 4. The more surface area, the faster it can dry. The better the wind flow and the more direct the sunlite, the faster it will dry. I leave my split wood in windrow piles. I split until the splits pile up behind the splitter and then pull up a few feet and split some more. When I am done the wood is in one long pile, 3-4 ft high. It will dry faster like that than it will in a nice even stack, again more surface area exposed to the elements. Now, the wood laying directly on the ground will still rot before it dries, but that is also the same wood that will be on top of my stacks when I get around to actually stacking the wood, so it drys pretty quick once stacked. I have tried leaving my wood in great big piles, I found it doesnt dry as well as stacked, but the little piles seem to dry pretty fast. Since I dont sell any wood, I dont need nice clean stacks to sell my wood and I dont have to be in any hurry to stack, just when I getroundtoit.

    Now, I have had some success drying whole trees. If I lay a couple of logs on the ground and stack the rest on top of those logs, so they dont touch the ground, they will dry somewhat. I have done that in the past when I had more wood than I could be worked up. Even this method doesnt produce a dry, low moisture content wood in a single summer.. If I leave it long enough that the bark starts to slip, then buck and split, it will dry pretty fast stacked under a shed.
     
  14. Ironworker

    Ironworker Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Water is attracted to water, therefore the moisture will wick out towards the water on the surface of the wood. Sometimes you just have to break it down to the molecular level;)
     
  15. cumminstinkerer

    cumminstinkerer addicted to making my boiler run clean

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    @Ironworker that makes good sense and that was kinda what I was thinking but wasn't certain, we got a little night before last and yesterday morning, then it cleared off but was cool, today is supposed to be sunny and warm with a breeze, I'll bet things really dry today, I will report back on monday, will have to find MM though.
     
  16. NSMaple1

    NSMaple1 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I am thinking water will rather migrate from wet to dry. That's what makes a wick work.
     
  17. cumminstinkerer

    cumminstinkerer addicted to making my boiler run clean

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    @NSMaple1 that is logical but it really doesn't explain my observations totally, unless by wetting all of the outer cells it causes the wicking effect to become more strong. Like I said previously I don't understand it but have observed it happen, It is really amazing to watch on the yield monitor, say start in the morning and get a shower around ten, take a couple hours to let that dry and the corn will have dropped a couple points same with beans, just takes a little more wait time due to the stems and pods being tougher and you run way more material through the combine running beans over corn.
     
  18. muddstopper

    muddstopper Addicted to ArboristSite

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    My sixth grade science teacher calls it cohesion. The water molecules stick together and I speculate that as the outside water evaporates, it pulls the water inside to the outside. Thats my theory and I am sticking to it, ahh, unless someone comes up with a better story.
     
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  19. olyman

    olyman Tree Freak

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    your telling me,, the usa gov isn't known for waste?????
     
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