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How To Stack Split Firewood
Anyone who has a wood burning stove or fireplace has a stack of wood around the house. But what is the best way to stack split wood. For the answer to that we just need to take a little walk back into history where a wood-burning fireplace was the only source of heat for a home.
Firewood should be completely dry before use. In those old historic days the rule of thumb was: "Wood should be split before Easter so it can dry during spring and summer. Ready for use before winter's wood heating begins."
Step 1:
Once your wood is split, preparation for stacking can begin. Where you stack is just as important as how you stack. You should choose a place where you stack would be out of the elements if possible. A barn, shed or unused garage as an example, but some people choose to build a covered shed specifically for their wood stack.
If you don't have a shed type place to put your wood, use a waterproof tarp to cover the wood from the elements.
Step 2:
The next thing to remember is that wood should not be stacked directly on the ground. Doing this promotes rotting and bug infestation, as the first row of logs will always be moist, begin to rot and attract unwanted insects.
The easiest method to preparing your stack is to lay 2 4x4s on the ground and stack the logs on top of those. If you have access to warehouse pallets, you can use those as well. Many people prefer to use pallets as it provides a more stable foundation and can be used to stack multiple rows of logs.
Step 3:
Some people strongly suggest debarking the logs before stacking or use. If you choose not to do this, make sure you stack the logs with the bark side down. Stacking them bark side up will cause the bark to act as a top and keep moisture in the log and promote mold. Something you don't want to be burning inside your home.
Step 4:
Rule of thumb from the old historic days stated: "a mouse should be able to get through stack" to promote drying and limit rot. This is still true today. Stacking the wood, bark side down should help create this rule of thumb. The gap between each log promotes airflow, which promotes drying, which limits the desire for wood eating bugs to move in.
Your log stack should be built up in the middle and taper off to the ends. Even if you're using side stakes to hold the stack. This promotes water run off.
Step 5:
If you are using a tarp to cover you stack, do not totally wrap it on the sides. This will cause the moisture from the logs to stay inside the tarp and keep the stack from drying properly. It can also promote mold to build on your logs.
Instead, wrap the waterproof tarp over the back, top and front of your stack. But leave the sides open to allow air to flow through the tarp. Also don't wrap the tarp too tightly. Leave a little gap in the front and back that will allow the tarp to flap slightly in the breeze; again this will help with airflow.
You can use a couple of logs to help hold down your tarp. But instead of dropping those logs on the outside, consider wrapping the tarp underneath the logs on the inside of the stack. This will also help you maintain a gap between the tarp and the stack.
Additional Tips:
· Stack logs with the bark side down.
· Stack logs so there are gaps between each log to promote drying.
Be Careful:
· Never stack logs directly on the ground.
· Never totally wrap a log stack in a waterproof top.
Created: 09.03.2009       Updated: 09.03.2009
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