Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Preparing Good Firewood

Spring is an excellent time to start preparing firewood for next years burning season. Not only is the weather just right for working outdoors, but the summer heat is great for drying out the wood. Seasoning firewood can reduce the moisture content from around 50% down to 20% or less.
Cutting your wood to approximately the same length can make stacking easier. One tip: use the bar of your chainsaw as a guide for your cuts. If you're using a power splitter, be sure you don't cut logs longer than your splitter will accept.
Even though the Hawken outdoor furnace has a large door and a deep firebox, it's still a good idea to split your wood. For larger logs, it's down right necessary. Splitting your wood will help season the wood faster. Power splitters are great for this but for those of us that use the good old splitting maul I recommend a good sized chopping block with an old tire nailed to the top. The tire keeps the wood in place until you have all the wood split. No more chasing the fly away pieces. The tire will also absorb missed swings.
IDon's Signature

Stacking firewood properly can make a big difference in how well the wood will season. Here are a few tips:

1. Stack the wood in an open area to allow good circulation.
2. Make the stacks 1 log deep. This will also allow good air
3. Cover the top of your stack to keep rain from rotting your
4. Brace your stacks to keep the piles from blowing over.
5. Use posts to support the ends of your pile. Tie
logs into wood stack to increase structural stability.
6. Smaller pieces season faster. Of course the large door
and firebox of a Hawken means the wood doesn't have to
be too small.

Don's Signature

By preparing wood several months in advance you'll be sure to have proper fuel for next winter. If you have wood left over that is already seasoned, stage it so that you're sure to use that wood first. This will buy even more time for your new wood to season and prevent older wood from rotting and becoming useless. I'd like to thank woodheat.org for the images and much of the above information.

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