Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Drying Firewood

with 4 comments

For the record, drying firewood shrinks. I have yet to devise a stacking system that stays upright for a full year of shrinking. First, it starts to lean, and then it pushes against an adjacent stack. Eventually, they tend to topple over into a scrambled pile of split logs. I have resigned myself to simply climbing in there to pile firewood back into an orderly stack, regardless the odds it would probably just tip over again later.

I used to strive to push the stacks back into balance before they tipped over, but now I accept they are going to lean. My odds of causing it to tip over the other direction by pushing it upright are high enough I have forced myself to get over being annoyed with how it looks and just leave it be.

Yesterday, we moved half of a stack of the oldest logs onto the wood rack on our deck for premium proximity to the fireplace. It’s interesting to be handling wood that I stacked two years ago. In that amount of time, some impressive rodent nests get built, probably chipmunks. It would be reasonable to assume the critter activity in the stacks contributes to destabilization.

As I am splitting logs to refill the right side of the woodshed, it occurs to me that I could just toss them all into a big pile and forego the tippy stacks.

Why is that such a difficult decision for me?

  • I believe it wastes less space to stack the wood tightly.
  • I can better gauge how much firewood there is when it is stacked.
  • I can easily tell how long each stack has been drying.
  • Stacks appeal to my sense of order.

At the same time, I know from past experience how much we use per winter season, so the volume of a pile filling one half of the woodshed would give us two years. I could stuff a jumbled pile to fill the space to a greater extent than I achieve with individual stacks.

Since I already started a new stack on the right side of the shed yesterday, I’m now thinking about doing a bit of both. I could put down a base layer of individual stacks to cover the space on the right half and then switch to just tossing split pieces on top of those short stacks.

If only I can convince myself to follow through with such a random-looking storage choice.

It would be something of a “can’t beat ’em, join ’em” solution of intentionally tumbled drying firewood.



Written by johnwhays

November 2, 2020 at 7:00 am

4 Responses

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  1. Yes, a lot of people around here cut firewood like you but we don’t. We pile the long cut logs together and progressively trim off pieces at the end when needed. A little by little approach. Sometimes, it is good to get out and chop wood, not too little not too much. It never becomes a big chore, just a little exercise and fresh air:-)

    Ian Rowcliffe

    November 2, 2020 at 9:21 am

    • I like it. Do you find the wood is dry enough to burn well by not having it “season” the way split logs do?


      November 3, 2020 at 7:58 am

      • Not normally a problem here: rather the opposite: we don’t want to wood to burn too quickly..

        Ian Rowcliffe

        November 3, 2020 at 12:23 pm

      • ahh, that makes sense.


        November 3, 2020 at 12:25 pm

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