There are a few different ways of drying wood. One final thing about natural drying – you should cover your firewood. If your wood is green, it should be left out uncovered exposed to the sun and wind. Now, you might be wondering why firewood needs to be completely dry before you fire it up. The air is too humid for the wood to season properly. Similarly, there are also a few ways to stack wood: 1. You can unsubscribe at anytime. Piwakawaka Valley Homestead is here to help you learn exactly how you can homestead anywhere. Damp wood will dry out and burn once the fire is burning well. If they create a hollow sound, then your wood is ready. Wood drying (also seasoning lumber or wood seasoning) reduces the moisture content of wood before its use. Use a log rack 4. It can either appear a bit bleached or go dark. It could take years, for all we know! Now, don’t get us wrong. It has to be lower than 75%. Once cut, green wood sort of feels a bit slimy and cold. In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. And, that’s it. You must learn how to dry wet wood fast and this guide will help you out. If the wood is covered in snow or ice, check the floor after 15 to 30 minutes and mop up the melted snow. Once you cut firewood into reasonably sized pieces, it’s not that heavy. Thus, all your efforts would be in vain, and the process would, yet again, be lengthy. For example, a piece of green wood weighs 50 lbs. Green wood is the moist wood you get once you cut down the tree. During that process, we need to make sure we are stacking the wood properly. This site is owned and operated by Pursuing Outdoors LLC. The long drying firewood. The drying process will be shorter than usual, but the quality of the wood won’t be bad at all! RELATED POST: Starting a fire without Newspaper. ; dry, it weighs 20 lbs. Furthermore, you ought to stack it in a way that will let the air circulate through and around it. Rain will help flush out sap that keeps the wood green. Otherwise, you’re in trouble. It tends to be more stable that just stacking it in a row, plus it gives better air flow to the wood allowing it to dry quickly. The next step to learning how to dry firewood fast is to stack the wood as neatly as possible. You would need to place the ventilators underneath the wood so that the air can circulate and dry effectively. But, more on that later. This post contains affiliate links, this means at no extra cost to you, we make a commission from sales. But, alas, the devil’s in the details. Getting Dry Kindling from Wet Wood. Even having a home kiln is not a cheap idea, no matter how much you cut down on your other expenses. Since green wood is still very moist, it’s not a good idea to place the wood somewhere in your house. About Piwakawaka Valley Homestead Furthermore, not having the meters probably won’t do you any good, as you won’t be able to know exactly how the drying process is going. CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete. Quickly drying wet wood . Of course, if you have a kiln or a ventilation system, and you’re not afraid of paying a bit more for your electricity bill, then dry your wood that way. The most common method used to air-dry lumber is to lay narrow sticks perpendicular to the layers of lumber to create an air space between each layer so the moisture can escape. This will tell you exactly how dry your firewood actually is. Get exclusive content, discounts and updates. Before we start drying our firewood like the pros we know we can be, we first have to consider the type of wood we can use. our Disclosure Statement. However, there’s a catch. Start the fire using dry kindling and wood. Thus, when it comes to expenses, there’s a chance you won’t actually save a lot of money by opting for the cheaper version. Even if you speed up the process, it could still take months until you can fire up the wood. These meters will tell you the amount of moisture that’s left in the wood so that you can adjust your process and maybe even speed it up. Reposition the racks in the kitchen oven so one is in the bottom spot and another is in the center. Still, even if you get it in summer, for example, there’s no need to worry about it. The key to keeping firewood dry is to protect it from rain and snow, but still allow enough sunlight to dry and season it. But, beware. RELATED POST: What is the best types of firewood? Without further ado, let’s find how to dry firewood fast and without too much hassle! However, when it comes to seasoning firewood, things can get a bit tricky. But, if there’s no kiln, nature has a solution! Well seasoned wood will feel lighter to lift than wet wood and will have some long cracks developing across the grain. Seasoned wood that has been exposed to rain will, of course, be wet to the touch. Let’s see how we can dry it! When the wood is damp or wet we put pieces on the grates farthest from the fire and let them dry. Drying it with the mass is a good way to finish off the drying. For the rest of the time, you will have to wait it out. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions in partnership with a qualified health care professional. Nevertheless, softwood dries a lot faster than hardwood, which is why it is a good option for people who just don’t have time to wait it out. A bit of sunshine and air is all it takes to fire up your fireplace and cut down on your electricity bill! Pursuing Outdoors LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to After all, who doesn’t love bundling up next to their fireplace and enjoying their hot cocoa? In order to get the flames and the warmth you want, you ought to think in advance. So, a good way of checking if it has seasoned nicely is to feel the ends of the firewood. If your firewood has a moisture content of greater than 20%, the fire will spend most of it’s energy on drying the wood out and not on producing heat! And the heat? Let’s see how we can dry it! It can take about six months, but if you fancy piling your wood or you just have a lack of space, this is a relatively fast way to dry your wood. The mighty kiln is a dreamy invention if you’re really into drying firewood. All you will need is some perseverance, strength to cut the logs into firewood, and a place where you can keep it. In addition, laying the wood near heat will help it dry out more quickly. Namely, it needs more time to dry in the first place, and it’s difficult to cut and split it into reasonably sized firewood logs. You could also buy a little dry firewood to get you started. But, more on that later. Take a small piece of firewood and try to fire it up. It takes a lot of structure to hold up a mass … Stacking your wood out in the sun and wind certainly helps it dry faster, but it will need a lid to keep the rain off. Although, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. This aspect usually depends on the type of wood you’ve picked. When you are stacking your wood, make sure that there is plenty of space for air to flow in and around each piece. When it comes to drying firewood, the best thing you can do is to prepare yourself beforehand. Wood seasoning time depending on its species is an extremely subjective topic. Please read If you leave the wood out for the Summer then stack it away later in to the woodshed once it is seasoned is ideal. The dry firewood should weigh a lot less than it used to, which means that it’s ready to be fired up. Then simply stick the prongs in the wood and take a reading. Hard woods vs soft wood The longest-burning firewood that produces the most heat will be a hardwood. Meanwhile, seasoned wood is the wood you want to fire up. You have entered an incorrect email address! If a piece of wood has 50% moisture content, for example, it … Kiln drying – the fastest method out there, but also the most expensive one. Meanwhile, seasoned wood is the wood you want to fire up. Short answer – A kiln will give you the fastest results. Termites and other wood-related pests will throw a party! We all know how appealing perfectly dried firewood is. If you place it into the fireplace, it will just sizzle and generate a lot of smoke. Increase the Air Circulation – Increasing the airflow to and around each piece of wood is one of the best ways to speed up the entire drying process. High-quality firewood has long been a dream of all crispy fire enthusiasts. Only cover with a roof. Stack it in an open barn or shed 3. Your electricity bill could go through the roof! Ideally it should be seasoned to about 20% moisture content or less. You can use plastic sheets or maybe even a tarp. But, if there’s no need for it, don’t do it! Ventilation – a form of artificial drying. But, when you cut it into the right shape for your wood burner (or fireplace), the drying process speeds up. Due to that, it’s heavier than dry firewood, and it cannot burn that easily. Another approach is to build a wood rack, which is fast, easy, and inexpensive. Set it to measure grams, place your wood onto it, and take note of your wood's weight. But that percentage often can exceed 100 because it represents the ratio of the weight of the water in a piece of wood to the weight of the same wood when it is completely dry. Once that’s done, and you’re happy with your choice, get an ax and start splitting the logs into firewood. Homesteading is a mindset, a way of life – Get in to it! The ends of the wood play a vital role in the drying process because that’s where the air needs to seep into. This will allow the air to flow underneath. We’ve found that pallets often work best for this. And don’t worry, we hate spam too! Softwood tends to burn a lot faster than hardwood. Place the wood pile on concrete or gravel or raise it up with some boards or pallets to let the air circulate underneath the pile as well. Furthermore, bear in mind that they should be turned off at night and when there’s a lot of fog or rain. The first thing you will have to do is, of course, find the wood you would like to dry. We all do! Just like pretty much everything else in life, wood also loses a few pounds once it dries. If you'd like to keep your scale clean, place a container onto the scale, hit "Tare," and then place the wood in. Split wood dries faster because it has more area exposed to the air than full logs with bark. Wood that is kept damp will rot rather than dry. Air-Drying Wood Tip #4 – Wait as Long as Possible Before Cutting Final Parts. Privacy Policy, Disclosure, Disclaimer & Copyrights. You would need a greater quantity of softwood just to make your home crispy and cozy! Autumn/Fall is really too late to get any beneficial drying done. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Damp wood may be found on floors, windows, door trim, staircases, and floor joists. Unsplit wood can actually stay green and wet even in perfect drying conditions for a whole Summer! Therefore, if we see some cracks there, there’s no need for us to worry. Tightly stacked piles may look more pretty, but they are much less efficient at actually seasoning firewood. But, the good news is that the wood will dry a lot faster this way. Cut your logs in to the length that fits best within the fire that you plan on burning it in. Leave your wood pile uncovered for the Summer, and move it under cover for the Autumn/Fall to allow the last of the moisture to dry off before the cold weather sets in. Sign up for our weekly Fresh From the Farm Newsletter. If possible, stack the wood on a rack off the ground. Cherry, which might take around 3.5 months; Rock elm, black locust, apple, pear, and other fruit woods and elms dry for at least 6 months. Both of these options will require a decent amount of time in order to dry. This means less power bills and less problems when the grid goes down. Even wood drying in a covered shed in Autumn is unlikely to get under 30% moisture content. It is a specially designed chamber with fans and air vents where you can easily stack your wood and control the humidity and the drying process by following the parameters. ... Dry wood in descending order of Btu in millions per cord. We all want the wood to dry as fast as possible. With a log rack, you can keep your firewood off the ground, and both ends of the wood will be exposed to air an… The degree of wetness in wood is called moisture content, and it's expressed as a percentage. To season wood means to give the wood time for the water to evaporate out of it. … Electronic postal or pocket scales can be purchased from office suppliers and big-box stores. Wood that is stacked out in the open, away from walls, buildings or trees do dry the fastest. ... and the fire will be easier to build. If the wet wood is left wet for a long time, it can become a good place to grow molds and mildew. However, if it starts to sizzle and produce a lot of smoke, then wait a bit longer. Split the wood into manageable pieces, and stack the pieces above the ground. The moisture is due to the tree sap and the tree cells that are keeping it, well…almost alive. A good foundation is critical to successfully drying wood. Furthermore, you would still need to place the wood on pallets or perhaps even net bags. Split the bigger logs you have (lengthwise) - that will help speed things up. As you build, don’t cut parts down to final size immediately. We have a wood cook stove and scrounged some burner grates from an old gas stove. So, if the weather is fine, you can leave it uncovered until it starts raining cats and dogs (or snowing). Throw a small piece of firewood into the coals of a glowing hot fire – wet wood will sizzle, dry wood will catch on fire within 1 minute. You don’t want more than 15-25%. | Out cutting and wanted to share a tip for some feedback. But confusingly that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a wood that is hard to the touch. You can opt for a criss-cross pattern, and ensure that the end of every wood piece is placed in a way that every row is perpendicular to the row underneath. Now, another way you could speed up the drying process is to use forced ventilation. The best ones have moisture meters that are very important if you want to sell or use high-quality firewood. This sort of artificial ventilation requires you to keep humidity in mind. There are a couple of ways to determine if your firewood is well seasoned. Stacking the wood in a criss cross pattern, like a log cabin, works well too. Of course we do this only when we are awake and can keep an eye on them. Affiliate Disclosure If you have had firewood that is wet and sizzling instead of dry and clean burning, you will understand the importance of seasoning your firewood correctly. Different types of wood will take different amounts of time. This can take from 6 months to over a year, depending on the wood and your firewood drying conditions. Many types of wood, when dried correctly can be seasoned in 6-12 weeks. Split It - Splitting the firewood allows the air to reach all sides of the wood, speeding up the amount … You can use the top layer of wood first and next layer will get a chance to dry enough when you are done with that first layer … Good Way to Dry Firewood Fast? It’s amazing. Place pallets or … Whichever way you pick, the most important thing is to know when your firewood is dry and ready to be used. Burning wet wood will leave you with a cold room, a lot of smoke and lots of that sticky creosote up your chimney that can (and will) cause a chimney fire. Ideally your firewood should be at 20% or less moisture. This type of wood will keep you warm at night, and you’ll probably still be warm by the morning. Nevertheless, the color doesn’t really matter in terms of aesthetics. How to Dry/Season Firewood Fast – Top 3 Ways, Fishing off the Rocks (land-based) in the Bay of Islands: New Zealand, Natural drying – using what we already have: the sun and the air. Because of that, we dug a little deeper and found out how to dry firewood fast. But, if you follow these steps correctly, you could have dry firewood ready for winter, even if you got the wood in summer! If you hit two pieces of wet wood together, you get a very dull ‘thud’ sound. Anything higher and the wood is not ready. The pieces placed on the ground will get wet, and the ends against the fence won't dry well, resulting in improperly seasoned wood that burns unevenly. Drying firewood requires you to find a nice, sunny spot for it. Of course, there’s no need to cover up the obvious – it is not the cheapest method out there. Nevertheless, there is a catch. It’s actually green wood that has been left to dry out. The quick drying firewood. If you hit two pieces of well seasoned wood together they will make a higher pitched clear sound. The more split surfaces, the faster the wood will dry. We also stack small piles around the stove to dry up the wood. Drying time varies with the cut; 2-foot pieces (a standard firewood length) will dry in about six months, while 4-footers may take a year. If you get your wood in spring, for example, and you leave it like that (in the shape of logs), who knows when it will dry! Stack it along a fence line 2. Therefore, if possible, try to get your wood early on so that you have some time to dry it completely. Plus, the drying process will slow down a lot. The wood will be “bare” on the sides, which in turn will allow the air to circulate through it, giving it enough ventilation. ***************************************** Here are some of the best firewood carts to aid in the stacking/burning process. Not only will you get exquisite results, but the wood itself will be ready for use in a few short months that will just fly by! And, of course, you can always add some heat to it. While there are various types of k… If they are warm and dry, then you might be in for a cozy fire afterward! No, no! Write CSS OR LESS and hit save. Turn the wood over or stand it on end. Stacking your wood out in the sun and wind certainly helps it dry faster, but it … If not, then you’ll just have to practice patience and wait a bit longer! There are three basic methods you can use to dry firewood: Drying firewood naturally is not that difficult as it may appear. It’s the robust wood like oak, black maple, and locust that will allow you to efficiently warm your home. The minimum amount of time to dry, or season, green wood for maximum output is about six months. Oak, which takes around 2 years to dry; hickory around the same time. It’s actually green wood that has been left to dry out. If you don’t have access to a kiln, your oven can be a great alternative! Make sure you place something beneath it to allow the air to do its thing. If it catches fire quickly, then you will know that it’s ready for use. Almost non-existent! You want to leave room for wood to do all its misbehaving while it’s still thicker and wider than needed. But, again, things aren’t always as perfect as they seem. Wood that is split along the grain will dry up to 15 times faster than wood that is surrounded in bark. It’s still moist! The most reliable way of checking the moisture content of your firewood is to invest in a moisture meter . When the drying is done in a kiln, the product is known as kiln-dried timber or lumber, whereas air drying is the more traditional method.. It might prove to be counterproductive because it could lead to re-wetting. Wood that is left on the dirt or grass will struggle to dry. However, we also know that it can sometimes take months and months until we can enjoy it. This step is crucial if you want to be warm during the winter. Therefore, most people tend to opt for softwood instead. That’s a good sign that shows us that the wood has dried successfully! Piwakawaka Valley is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Believe it or not, rain actually will help your wood to season. That's pretty much true -- it can take nine months to a year for some firewood to properly dry or "cure." Once it’s completely dry, it changes its characteristics a bit and becomes high-quality firewood for your home. Stacking the wood in a sunny spot will get you the best results – and the fastest ones as well. Woods such as ash and other dry woods can dry out more quickly. Please read: This information is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease. Not sure how many veggies to grow? Please remember to follow us and join our newsletter! Costs more than natural drying, but it is effective and quick. See our Disclosure statement for more information. What is does mean though is that we need a good supply of dry firewood each Winter. By storing it correctly, you can make sure … The term “moisture content,” when speaking about wood, refers to the weight of water held by a piece of wood, expressed as a percentage to a dry piece of wood of the same type and size. The whole purpose of drying wood is to get the moisture content of the wood down to a point where the wood is more stable, and often somewhere between 8 and 14 percent. Otherwise, yeah, oak can take a long time to season. Short and narrow wood piles dry much faster than a thick and wide solid stack of wood. But, if you have one moist piece of firewood on hand, compare the weight. When using a moisture meter, it is important to get a fresh cut of the wood right down the center. The added air circulation makes wood dry at least twice as fast. Ideally the wood will take up most of the length, so as to be efficient without too much space at either end, while not needing to be wedged in or left at an awkward angle to get the door closed. Meanwhile, sunshine will dry it out quickly and efficiently. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Hardwood is far more difficult to work with. Weigh your wood samples using a postal scale. Plus, you won’t go over your “wood drying” budget nor have to check it often. Some fire pits have this feature built into the pit. The reason is quite simple, really, yet often overlooked by those who just cannot wait to start cuddling next to the fireplace. Wet wood won’t keep you warm at night – nor will it smell that great! Finally, if you’re not quite sure about other signs, you can always go the easy route and thump two pieces together. Softwood is not only cheap but also available pretty much everywhere. It’s still wet because there’s tree sap in it, and before it dries, it will stay a bit too cool for our taste. Below I will share with you the best tips that I have to help you get your firewood dry super fast. Once you have your firewood all nice and ready, it’s time to stack it. If you like tips on frugal living, self sufficiency and consuming less, sign up to our newsletter below, I would LOVE to have you! However, bear in mind one thing: don’t try to stack your firewood on the ground. In situations where green wood is to be processed into usable boards, (especially in the case of thicker lumber), a kiln is frequently used to control the drying process. Hot and dry summers will dry out a piece of wood better than cool, damp, summer will. It cannot be left in a random pile in the middle of our backyard. It is important to select pieces similar in size to ensure the stack doesn't collapse. Three Ways to Dry Firewood Fast Do not wrap your pile totally in waterproofing as covering the whole stack in a tarp can double the drying time. Use that for kindling, and bring in the oak to dry by the fire. If you are using an outdoor fire pit, you could dry out moist firewood by placing it on a wire rack over the firepit. You can get loads of it for a small amount of money, and it will produce a great fire that will keep your family warm. While softwood can sometimes become fully seasoned after only 6 months to over a,. That there is plenty of space for air to flow in and around it can double the drying process to... Woods can dry it next Winter ’ s dry, it could still take months and months until can. A great alternative wood on a rack off the drying time pretty much everything else in life, wood loses... 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Quickly, then your wood 's weight they will make a higher pitched clear.. Tree cells that are very important if you live in a covered shed in Autumn is to. Was most recently updated on March 9th, 2020 ready, it will more than %! Criss cross pattern, like a log cabin, works well too time depending on the wood and your is... To measure grams, place your wood early on so that you plan on burning it an. Leave it uncovered until it starts raining cats and dogs ( or )! Way that will help it dry out more quickly can actually stay green and wet in... Need a good area next step to learning how to dry firewood each Winter find a nice sunny. To do its thing – wait as long as possible before cutting Parts... To check it often lengthy fires similarly, there ’ s see how we enjoy... You can use to dry up the wood on a rack off the ground old gas stove is! Stand it on end possible before cutting final Parts, though, it ’ a. 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