September is firewood-figurin' season around here. It is the time when I typically place our seasonal order for firewood for the Winter. I went out to look at how things were shaping up (currently) and then I figured I'd wander through the archives to see what history tells me. Lets start where we were a year ago and where we are today. A little bit under a year ago - pre-order - the racks looked like this . The two outdoor - side-of-garage racks were empty, the rack on the top of the stoop by my office was empty. And the inside-the-screened-porch racks were mixed (small one half-full, large one was full on bottom and half-full on top). I ordered 3 Facecords in September of 2022 . Oak, Cherry and Hickory. We used a lot of wood last year - here's January's status . Today, here's what those racks look like: The two outdoor side-of-garage racks have been emptied of the kiln-dried wood. The stoop rack is empty, too. Inside the screened porch, the small rack
Showing posts with the label firewood
Back in last October (2022), we had the large Norway Maple tree taken down in our front yard. The guys who removed the tree chip'd a bunch of the smaller stuff and then hauled all of the larger material back to the far reaches our yard . I had them put as much of it on the rack that I had back there to begin to dry out. You can see what the original pile of rounds looked like in this post if you scroll all the way down to the bottom. Almost as soon as the tree was taken down, I began to split some of the rounds . Here's a post from November showing some of that work . I was curious about the moisture content and how long Norway Maple would take to season - as some online suggest it is 'fast'. By December, I had blown through most of the kiln-dried firewood that I had delivered, so that free'd up the racks by the side of our house. I decided to move some of the recently-split Maple firewood up there . Now...five months later (October --> March), wh
The last time that I ran a [ firewood consumption ] check-in for this season was seven weeks ago on December 1st . At that time - which was 60 days into the burning season - we had emptied the smaller sideyard rack (and replaced it with Norway Maple) and had burned about 1/3rd of the larger one. The two inside racks were - at that time - mostly full. I consider the burning season to be 5 months long - about 150 days. October, Nov Dec = 90 days. Jan, Feb = 60 days. Total of 150 ending on March 1st. Where are we today? 115 days out of 150 = 76% thru the season. The most-recent comparison is from this past February when I had quite a bit of wood left. See this post . At that point, the two inside racks were full (just like now), the stoop rack was full and there was a pile inside the garage. Let's look at the racks as they stand today. First...the two inside racks are, indeed full. No photos of those. But, the stoop rack - looks like last February and is 'mostly'
I might have jumped the gun. With what, you ask? The moisture reading on the recently split Norway Maple firewood. As a reminder, we had a very large Norway Maple (that was in a bad state of decline) removed from our front yard this Fall . I had the wood processed into rounds and brought to the back of our property to begin to dry out. By the end of October, I started to split the rounds . And they were HEAVY and wet. (or....as they say in the firewood business: 'green'). I wanted to track how fast this Norway Maple firewood would dry out and become 'seasoned' enough to be able to burn. The pros say that you need to get the moisture level down below 20% to be dry-enough to burn properly. F rom the time that I began to split the wood to 18 days later (2.5 weeks), I was reading the moisture level to be 50% . Now...if you read any of the firewood online forums, you'll see that A LOT of people claim that Norway Maple (or...some folks call it Box Elder wood)
In October, I began to split all the Norway Maple wood that came from the mature tree that we took down in our front yard . The crew that took the tree down processed the trunk and major limbs into rounds of various lengths and put them up on a rack in the far back of our property. That work continued in November and December. In November, I decided to begin to attack some of the large pieces with a splitting wedge to get some smaller pieces that I could split with my axe and that's been really helpful in getting some of the larger pieces processed. I've used the fact that some of the wood is just sitting on the ground as a sort-of forcing function to compel me to split those pieces first. They're the largest ones because I couldn't lift them up on the rack due to their weight. By November 11th, I noted that some of the freshly-split Norway Maple was *VERY* high in moisture with a reading of 50% moisture . But, a month later, it was already down to 13% . I di
A few days ago, I posted some photos and an update on my annual firewood consumption and speculated that I was moving faster than I needed to (in terms of burning) and that without some intervention, I would likely consume my entire stockpile of firewood before the end of the burning season - March 1st, 2023. In that post , I talked about how I might extend my supply by cutting in some of the recently-split Norway Maple firewood from the large tree in our front yard that we took down. It was just a couple of weeks ago that one of my fresh, just recently-split pieces of Norway Maple was registering 50% on my moisture meter . Norway Maple has a reputation of being VERY fast drying and gets down to sub-20% moisture very quickly. But, how quickly? Here's what the moisture meter is showing on a few different pieces of this same Norway Maple firewood after just 2+ weeks: What the what? 13 and 14 percent? Anything under 20 is ready to be burned. So, does that mean I can start t
We're now in the thick of things firewood-wise. The burning will only increase in both frequency and length of sessions as we head towards the heart of Winter and the holiday season when we're hanging around the house more and more. So, where do we stand? Today marks the two-month mark. Our firewood was delivered on September 30th, so that means we've burned through 60 days of wood. With 90 days to go (that gets us to March 1st). We had three facecords delivered on September 30th . And, at that time all of the racks were empty but for the bottom of the porch rack and about 15 pieces on top of that. What does it look like today? The porch racks are full (mostly). See below for the short one, followed by the double. Note the wood on top of the double. I'm claiming that's an equivalent amount that was remaining this Spring. Outside, the smaller of the two racks has been exhausted. The larger one is about 1/3rd used. If you look at the photo below, you
I've gone about splitting, stacking and seasoning firewood in different bursts (of activity) over the past few years. Usually, I process, split, stack the wood during the winter months in preparation for Fall/next Winter burning. Here's a look at some January 2021 winter-time splitting . I've done this with a splitting axe. But, the Norway Maple rounds that I recently put on the new rack in the backyard are different than what I've dealt with previously. Some of these rounds are *so* big and *so* heavy that I can't really move them, let alone put them up on a block to begin splitting. So, the axe has worked, but it has mostly - what I call - 'nibbled' around the edge. You can see those results here from the end of October where there are a lot of thin slices. My Dad recommended that I try a splitting wedge on the very big, borderline immovable rounds. The theory is that the wedge can split them in-place and by removing 1/2 to 3/4 of the wood in se
I mentioned that I started to split some of the Norway Maple tree firewood that resulting from the removal of the large tree in our front yard. In a post a couple weeks ago, I talked about how I've started to split some of the larger rounds with my axe. I've taken a slow-but-steady approach to the project and will continue to split this wood over the next few months. The first splits resulted in pieces that I am putting up on a rack to season for the year. I did, however, want to begin to track the moisture content of this freshly cut, green wood. Here, below, is a photo of my moisture meter showing 50% moisture in this piece: The moisture level that split, dry firewood needs to get to in order to be considered 'seasoned' is below 20% - so we have a long way to go. Norway Maple is known for 'drying quickly' , so I'll test this theory by trying to track these freshly split pieces in the coming weeks/months. Will it be ready this season? I doubt it,
As I mentioned in the post showing how we had our Norway Maple tree removed , we had the wood processed into rounds. 16 to 18" rounds. That I could split as they dried out. I wanted to see how hard these were going to be, so I put one of the larger rounds up on another one and began chopping with my axe. I was able to split the round into about 40 different pieces. Knowing I pay between 25 and 40 cents per piece of firewood, that means that one round processed into about $12-$15 of firewood. Currently unseasoned firewood, but....still...firewood. Here, below, is a look at the wood that came from just ONE round split by hand: As I empty out one of the racks close to the house, I'll start to fill it with this Norway Maple split wood. Based on what I read on the Web, it doesn't take long for Norway Maple to season from green to 20% in six to eight weeks . That means...that we'll be able to burn this stuff THIS SEASON if I run out of wood.
'Tis the season for firewood delivery in our house. This year, I ordered three Face Cords for delivery from The Grove Firewood out in Sugar Grove. 1 Oak, 1 Cherry and 1 "SuperMix" - which is a combo of oak, cherry, hickory and birch (normally). They didn't have any birch this season (so far), so my mix was heavier on Hickory. Here, below, is a video of the three face cords being dumped on our driveway. This is kiln-dried firewood. How does this stack up to previous years? Here's last year's post from early October where I talked about a late September delivery of three facecords . Fall of 2020, I ordered three , too. I stacked these three facecords in the various racks - including a big messy pile on the stoop outside my office. I'll post some photos of the current state of the racks in the coming days/weeks. For now, here's a look at what the racks look like before I started loading the new wood:
The last time that I did a Firewood check for the diary was back when we had our Fall delivery in October of 2021 . That was three full facecords - one Cherry, one Birch and one 'Super Mix' (a combo of Oak and Hickory). We're now four full months later in terms of burning season and it was time to note where we stood in terms of tracking how much is left and whether we need to reorder. Looking back at that October post , it seems that I started the season with the 'inside racks' being mostly full. That meant that I filled up the two outdoor racks, the stoop rack (plus a side pile) and a stand-alone stack in the garage. Where are we standing today? The outdoor racks have been basically exhausted. My strategy was to pull from these racks early in the season - while the weather was nice and we didn't have a lot of snow on the ground. As things got colder and there was snow, I'd move to the stoop and garage racks. That worked - and I've left the i
Posting a couple of photos in the [ garden diary ] to start the new year to mark where I've spread out some of our hardwood ash in the beds in the backyard. The two photos below in this post show the thin layer that I've scattered on top of the snow in the south bed in the backyard from the Oakleaf Hydrangeas to the newly planted Hicks Yews . I've done this in the past (bringing out the wood ash from our fireplaces) and scattered it around the yard. In 2019, I applied a thin layer to the base of our Frans Fontaine Columnar Hormbeam trees . This year, I had a bucket-and-a-half and chose the south beds to amend the soil over there. Currently, it looks a little strange. Grey patches on top of pure white snow. But, once we get a melt/thaw then freeze cycle - or...another snowfall, I'm thinking this stuff will disappear from view. The word on the Web is mixed in regards to adding ash to the garden, yard and compost bins. It seems that in a limited way, there's no
Back a week or so ago 1 , we had our Fall delivery of firewood delivered to kick off the burning season. This year, I ordered (again) from The Grove Firewood out in Sugar Grove. This is the second time I've ordered from them having been pretty happy earlier this Spring with a couple of face cords. Here, below, is the delivery being dumped on our driveway. This represents three face cords - a full face cord of Cherry, full face cord of Birch, and a facecord of their "Supermix". That "Supermix" is a combo of Oak, Hickory and Cherry, so the driver mentioned that since I bought a separate face cord of Cherry, he went 50/50 with Hickory and Oak. This is the first year that I've bought Hickory wood - where I normally buy Oak, Cherry and Birch. That load of three face cords is between six hundred and seven hundred pieces of firewood and is the same amount that I bought last Fall. Here's the post showing three facecords of Birch, Cherry and Oak (one each
Back in the end of June and early July, we had what felt like three-straight-weeks of constant rain. My yard never looked better. But it also had some other impacts - beyond having to cut the grass 3x per week to keep it how I wanted it. I was moving some firewood around recently and noticed that a couple of the logs on TOP of our firewood racks were showing some new, white fungal growth: If you look at this post showing off the firewood rack that I built from parts I sourced dumpster diving next door, you can see that I put on a cedar shingle roof . That *mostly* helps shed the water. But, in one of those rain storms, our front yard Norway Maple lost a minor limb . It came down and I cut it up into rounds. But, I didn't process them fully as Summer tasks got away from me. So, I just popped them up on TOP of the firewood rack. They sat there thru all the rains. And, you can see that they were already covered in moss from when they were up on the tree. When I was walking
Last Summer, I built a few firewood racks in our yard based on scrap wood that I scavenged from our neighbor's dumpster. I put two of them next to the house and loaded them with bought firewood . And, I built an additional one back by where our fire pit is located and loaded it with scavenged Ash firewood . Last Fall, I also acquired even more firewood from a neighbor and ended up stacking that on a couple of two-by-fours with the hope of being able to process it this Spring. With my brand new battery-powered chainsaw ( gloves here) , I began to cut down SOME of the larger pieces to get em into a spot where I can process the rounds. That started, but I didn't get it all done. As part of my Spring-time " order of operations " list, we're going to be expanding our beds. In order to do that properly, I needed to move that existing pile of Ash rounds to a new spot. Hence, the creation of a new firewood rack. I built this one out of leftover lumber that I
Back at Christmas, I received a new, battery-powered chainsaw. My first chainsaw. (Is that a thing?) I'm a total newb with a chainsaw and, frankly, pretty hesitant with it that I haven't even taken it out to use it just yet. I need to, but I'm playing it safe. To that end, one of the things that I've added to my program are these gloves. Will they keep my fingers from being lop'd off? I'm not sure. Can they hurt? Not a chance.
Recently, I was working in my office early one morning when I heard the BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP that comes with the backing up of a large truck. It sounded close, so it got me out of my desk chair to look outside. And, that's the exact moment when I remembered that I reordered some firewood from Best Firewood. I was the first delivery of the day it seemed. I walked out the front door and saw the guys unloading - by hand - our two face cords. One of Cherry. And the other of 'mixed hardwoods'. Like I did last Fall, I decided to forgo paying for stacking and had them drop the face cords on the driveway, close to where I intend to bring it around the back. Here they are unloading: And here's the beginning of the big pile. They started with the "mixed hardwoods" and the guy on the top of the truck is pulling the cherry firewood. It was just Friday that I posted about how we were down to around fifty pieces of firewood in our racks . For this season, we
Here's a look at the five firewood racks that we have in and around our house. (I have another aack at the back of the property, but we use that one for fire pit wood.) These were full with Oak, Cherry and Birch early this Fall and by early January, we've just about completely exhausted the supply. First, the pair of outdoor racks along the fence line. On the left, you see some of the recently split Ash (or Walnut??). On the right, you see some of the unprocessed Norway Maple that came down this Summer. I've just ordered another two Face Cords of wood that will be delivered next week to fill these up, but I'm thinking I should get the rounds out first so I can split them this Winter. Next up, below, is the Oak rack that I keep on a side stoop. Two months ago, it was full . Today, it is empty but for a coupe of pieces that I'm keeping on hand to test moisture content over time. Now, we move into the screened porch. The double rack (photo below) has about a