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Seasoning wood
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Tom S.    Posted 11-04-2003 at 17:00:04       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I've just recently installed a wood burning fireplace and have learned how quickly you can burn a lot of wood. How long should I leave wood sit after cutting before I can burn it? Must it be covered or does this just speed up the seasoning process?
I've been burning some hardwood which I know has been dead for years yet a lot of it just doesn't burn well.
Any tips?

deadcarp    Posted 11-04-2003 at 18:11:43       [Reply]  [No Email]
it may not be the fuel's problem my friend: fireplaces are notorious heat-wasters but there's nuthin you can do about that now. might try to keep the glass doors in place to limit the free airflow. i know lotsa people like a roarin fire but without thermal storage it's gone quick. so try for a smaller fire, feed it more often and grab all the radiant heat you can :)
the outdoor stove people ran into a fast-burn problem, so rather than redesign a clunky stove, they just cut off the air supply to starve the fire, then use a fan to rekindle it as required. now they get billowing smoke every time the fan starts. those super-hot-burning little glass-fronted airtight stoves with the ceramic afterburners are probably about as good as they get for saving fuel. nuthin's perfect but anything's cheaper than buying fuel :)

Les    Posted 11-04-2003 at 17:48:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
There is no one-size-fits-all meaning of "seasoned". A decent rule of thumb is to cut it a year before burning. Of course if it's under cover it will dry faster than being left out in the weather. Oak takes longer to dry. Two years would be better for oak. Maple, birch, beech dry faster than oak. Ash is pretty dry even when it's green. So is cherry.
I have mine split and stacked under cover in an open shed. It dries, even in the winter. The air is much dryer in the winter around here but of course, since it's cold that slows down the drying process.
Anything you can do to help it dry will improve the heat you get out of it. It will burn when it's green but a lot of the heat goes into driving the moisture out of the wood and that's heat that you don't get to enjoy for yourself.

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