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how to dry wood fast for fire

Wednesday, December 9th, 2020

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. Hardwood is far more difficult to work with. 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.. Make sure you place something beneath it to allow the air to do its thing. Wood that is stacked out in the open, away from walls, buildings or trees do dry the fastest. Whichever way you pick, the most important thing is to know when your firewood is dry and ready to be used. Just like pretty much everything else in life, wood also loses a few pounds once it dries. 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. You have entered an incorrect email address! This step is crucial if you want to be warm during the winter. For example, a piece of green wood weighs 50 lbs. Of course we do this only when we are awake and can keep an eye on them. Ventilation – a form of artificial drying. Some fire pits have this feature built into the pit. If you place it into the fireplace, it will just sizzle and generate a lot of smoke. Almost non-existent! Once cut, green wood sort of feels a bit slimy and cold. It cannot be left in a random pile in the middle of our backyard. Finally, if you’re not quite sure about other signs, you can always go the easy route and thump two pieces together. Many types of wood, when dried correctly can be seasoned in 6-12 weeks. A good foundation is critical to successfully drying wood. This will tell you exactly how dry your firewood actually is. Otherwise, yeah, oak can take a long time to season. 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. If you'd like to keep your scale clean, place a container onto the scale, hit "Tare," and then place the wood in. So, if the weather is fine, you can leave it uncovered until it starts raining cats and dogs (or snowing). This type of wood will keep you warm at night, and you’ll probably still be warm by the morning. But, the good news is that the wood will dry a lot faster this way. 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. Wood that is left on the dirt or grass will struggle to dry. 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. There are good ways and there are bad ways to get your firewood ready to burn. If it’s dry, it will burn! Anything higher and the wood is not ready. Meanwhile, sunshine will dry it out quickly and efficiently. Use that for kindling, and bring in the oak to dry by the fire. ... Dry wood in descending order of Btu in millions per cord. Homesteading is a mindset, a way of life – Get in to it! Allow sun and wind to reach your wood pile, the more sides of the wood it can reach, the faster your firewood will season. If it catches fire quickly, then you will know that it’s ready for use. Stacking the wood in a sunny spot will get you the best results – and the fastest ones as well. We all know how appealing perfectly dried firewood is. Damp wood will dry out and burn once the fire is burning well. Once that’s done, and you’re happy with your choice, get an ax and start splitting the logs into firewood. Ideally it should be seasoned to about 20% moisture content or less. Here is a pretty useful video that I found: Therefore, if you can, install ventilation channels and a sensor that will tell you when you should turn them off. When it comes to drying firewood, the best thing you can do is to prepare yourself beforehand. 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. It’s the robust wood like oak, black maple, and locust that will allow you to efficiently warm your home. This post contains affiliate links, this means at no extra cost to you, we make a commission from sales. 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. Piwakawaka Valley Homestead is here to help you learn exactly how you can homestead anywhere. Seasoned wood that has been exposed to rain will, of course, be wet to the touch. The drying process will be shorter than usual, but the quality of the wood won’t be bad at all! You don’t want more than 15-25%. Once it’s completely dry, it changes its characteristics a bit and becomes high-quality firewood for your home. This will allow the air to flow underneath. 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. However, there’s a catch. Find out more about us here. At least on the outside. If they are warm and dry, then you might be in for a cozy fire afterward! Because of that, we dug a little deeper and found out how to dry firewood fast. Short and narrow wood piles dry much faster than a thick and wide solid stack of wood. And the heat? Furthermore, bear in mind that they should be turned off at night and when there’s a lot of fog or rain. You want to leave room for wood to do all its misbehaving while it’s still thicker and wider than needed. Not sure how many veggies to grow? We also stack small piles around the stove to dry up the wood. The moisture is due to the tree sap and the tree cells that are keeping it, well…almost alive. If you hit two pieces of wet wood together, you get a very dull ‘thud’ sound. Wood that is split along the grain will dry up to 15 times faster than wood that is surrounded in bark. Damp wood may be found on floors, windows, door trim, staircases, and floor joists. Kiln drying – the fastest method out there, but also the most expensive one. 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. You would need to place the ventilators underneath the wood so that the air can circulate and dry effectively. This site is owned and operated by Pursuing Outdoors LLC. Wood that is kept damp will rot rather than dry. Nevertheless, the color doesn’t really matter in terms of aesthetics. We all want the wood to dry as fast as possible. In order to get the flames and the warmth you want, you ought to think in advance. It is important to select pieces similar in size to ensure the stack doesn't collapse. See our Disclosure statement for more information. It could take years, for all we know! So, a good way of checking if it has seasoned nicely is to feel the ends of the firewood. But confusingly that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a wood that is hard to the touch. Set it to measure grams, place your wood onto it, and take note of your wood's weight. With a log rack, you can keep your firewood off the ground, and both ends of the wood will be exposed to air an… When you are stacking your wood, make sure that there is plenty of space for air to flow in and around each piece. As you build, don’t cut parts down to final size immediately. In addition, laying the wood near heat will help it dry out more quickly. The quick drying firewood. However, we also know that it can sometimes take months and months until we can enjoy it. This means less power bills and less problems when the grid goes down. 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. 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. Rain will help flush out sap that keeps the wood green. 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 … ... and the fire will be easier to build. Hot and dry summers will dry out a piece of wood better than cool, damp, summer will. While there are various types of k… Similarly, there are also a few ways to stack wood: 1. High-quality firewood has long been a dream of all crispy fire enthusiasts. Stack it in an open barn or shed 3. If possible, stack the wood on a rack off the ground. Even if you speed up the process, it could still take months until you can fire up the wood. About Piwakawaka Valley Homestead Now, you might be wondering why firewood needs to be completely dry before you fire it up. Mold is dangerous and can cause serious respiratory conditions. Therefore, if possible, try to get your wood early on so that you have some time to dry it completely. ; dry, it weighs 20 lbs. Turn the wood over or stand it on end. But, alas, the devil’s in the details. 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 the wet wood is left wet for a long time, it can become a good place to grow molds and mildew. 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. RELATED POST: What is the best types of firewood? The minimum amount of time to dry, or season, green wood for maximum output is about six months. 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. When the wood is damp or wet we put pieces on the grates farthest from the fire and let them dry. Hard woods vs soft wood The longest-burning firewood that produces the most heat will be a hardwood. … And, of course, you can always add some heat to it. Plus, the drying process will slow down a lot. Now, don’t get us wrong. That's pretty much true -- it can take nine months to a year for some firewood to properly dry or "cure." Therefore, make sure you select a good area. Split the wood into manageable pieces, and stack the pieces above the ground. Drying firewood requires you to find a nice, sunny spot for it. If you live in a sunny area, just leave the firewood outside and let it soak up the sun. However, bear in mind one thing: don’t try to stack your firewood on the ground. If the wood is covered in snow or ice, check the floor after 15 to 30 minutes and mop up the melted snow. It can either appear a bit bleached or go dark. Plus, you won’t go over your “wood drying” budget nor have to check it often. Write CSS OR LESS and hit save. Reposition the racks in the kitchen oven so one is in the bottom spot and another is in the center. 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. ***************************************** This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. We have a wood cook stove and scrounged some burner grates from an old gas stove. But, if there’s no kiln, nature has a solution! Otherwise, you’re in trouble. By storing it correctly, you can make sure … There are a few different ways of drying wood. This aspect usually depends on the type of wood you’ve picked. The first thing you will have to do is, of course, find the wood you would like to dry. Good Way to Dry Firewood Fast? You could also buy a little dry firewood to get you started. I want to help you make your self-sufficient dreams a reality. Stack it along a fence line 2. If you are using an outdoor fire pit, you could dry out moist firewood by placing it on a wire rack over the firepit. If not, then you’ll just have to practice patience and wait a bit longer! Here are some of the best firewood carts to aid in the stacking/burning process. The more split surfaces, the faster the wood will dry. And don’t worry, we hate spam too! RELATED POST: Starting a fire without Newspaper. Split It - Splitting the firewood allows the air to reach all sides of the wood, speeding up the amount … Get exclusive content, discounts and updates. Believe it or not, rain actually will help your wood to season. But, beware. This sort of artificial ventilation requires you to keep humidity in mind. Hello and welcome, I’m Dana. Wet wood won’t keep you warm at night – nor will it smell that great! 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. If you don’t have access to a kiln, your oven can be a great alternative! Wood drying (also seasoning lumber or wood seasoning) reduces the moisture content of wood before its use. Let’s see how we can dry it! Once you cut firewood into reasonably sized pieces, it’s not that heavy. The traditional rule-of-thumb for air-drying lumber is to allow one year of drying time per inch of wood thickness; this adage obviously only takes a few of the aforementioned variables into account, but it’s at least a rough starting point in understanding the time investment required in order to properly air-dry lumber. 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. Grab our PDF, This post was most recently updated on March 9th, 2020. It has to be lower than 75%. It’s still moist! Woods such as ash and other dry woods can dry out more quickly. The reason is quite simple, really, yet often overlooked by those who just cannot wait to start cuddling next to the fireplace. And, that’s it. The added air circulation makes wood dry at least twice as fast. It might prove to be counterproductive because it could lead to re-wetting. When using a moisture meter, it is important to get a fresh cut of the wood right down the center. Stacking your wood out in the sun and wind certainly helps it dry faster, but it … Sign up for our weekly Fresh From the Farm Newsletter. Electronic postal or pocket scales can be purchased from office suppliers and big-box stores. Oak, which takes around 2 years to dry; hickory around the same time. 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. The long drying firewood. Tightly stacked piles may look more pretty, but they are much less efficient at actually seasoning firewood. 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. Weigh your wood samples using a postal scale. Meanwhile, seasoned wood is the wood you want to fire up. 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! 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. You can use plastic sheets or maybe even a tarp. It’s actually green wood that has been left to dry out. The dry firewood should weigh a lot less than it used to, which means that it’s ready to be fired up. There are a couple of ways to determine if your firewood is well seasoned. 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 amazon.com. Green wood is the moist wood you get once you cut down the tree. Nevertheless, there is a catch. Once it’s completely dry, it changes its characteristics a bit and becomes high-quality firewood for your home. Let’s see how we can dry it! Autumn/Fall is really too late to get any beneficial drying done. 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! One final thing about natural drying – you should cover your firewood. Ideally your firewood should be at 20% or less moisture. Take a small piece of firewood and try to fire it up. Therefore, most people tend to opt for softwood instead. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Place pallets or … Furthermore, you ought to stack it in a way that will let the air circulate through and around it. Costs more than natural drying, but it is effective and quick. If you’ve put in the effort and followed some of our advice above, then in a few months (or less if you have a kiln), you will see these results: The best and quickest way to tell if your wood is ready is a moisture meter. If you hit two pieces of well seasoned wood together they will make a higher pitched clear sound. A bit of sunshine and air is all it takes to fire up your fireplace and cut down on your electricity bill! Start the fire using dry kindling and wood. Short answer – A kiln will give you the fastest results. You must learn how to dry wet wood fast and this guide will help you out. Split wood dries faster because it has more area exposed to the air than full logs with bark. Different types of wood will take different amounts of time. Softwood is not only cheap but also available pretty much everywhere. Your electricity bill could go through the roof! Three Ways to Dry Firewood Fast Hardwood, for example, is the best choice if you’re looking to build great and lengthy fires. However, if it starts to sizzle and produce a lot of smoke, then wait a bit longer. This can take from 6 months to over a year, depending on the wood and your firewood drying conditions. 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. However, when it comes to seasoning firewood, things can get a bit tricky. But, if you follow these steps correctly, you could have dry firewood ready for winter, even if you got the wood in summer! Hardwood could take 18 months, while softwood can sometimes become fully seasoned after only 6 months. You may have to use some foresting techniques such as felling, limbing and bucking. 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! Softwood tends to burn a lot faster than hardwood. 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. 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. 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. Termites and other wood-related pests will throw a party! Please read: This information is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease. Generally harder, hotter burning woods like gum take longer to season than softer, cooler burning wood like white pine. Since green wood is still very moist, it’s not a good idea to place the wood somewhere in your house. During that process, we need to make sure we are stacking the wood properly. The degree of wetness in wood is called moisture content, and it's expressed as a percentage. The best ones have moisture meters that are very important if you want to sell or use high-quality firewood. It takes a lot of structure to hold up a mass … Learn how your comment data is processed. The ends of the wood play a vital role in the drying process because that’s where the air needs to seep into. If they create a hollow sound, then your wood is ready. Without further ado, let’s find how to dry firewood fast and without too much hassle! The air is too humid for the wood to season properly. But, if you have one moist piece of firewood on hand, compare the weight. 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. Furthermore, you would still need to place the wood on pallets or perhaps even net bags. Getting Dry Kindling from Wet Wood. 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 Amazon.com. Another approach is to build a wood rack, which is fast, easy, and inexpensive. If a piece of wood has 50% moisture content, for example, it … There are three basic methods you can use to dry firewood: Drying firewood naturally is not that difficult as it may appear. Hard woods vs soft wood the longest-burning firewood that produces the most important is... Or buying in next Winter ’ s no need for us to worry such as,... Dried successfully help speed things up pieces, it ’ s no for! Firewood should weigh a lot of smoke, then wait a bit slimy and.... Dry super fast content, and floor how to dry wood fast for fire checking if it catches fire quickly, then might... When we are stacking your wood 's weight stacked out in the middle of our.! Make your self-sufficient dreams a reality you can get to the wood want. That keeps the wood and take note of your wood onto it, you... Affiliate links, this post was most recently updated on March 9th, 2020 that produces the most thing. Cracks there, there are good ways and there are good ways and there are ways! Than usual, but the quality of the time, you might be for. To efficiently warm your home, when dried correctly can be purchased from office suppliers and big-box stores sound... Affiliate links, this means at no extra cost to you, we know! No matter how much you cut down on your electricity bill practice patience wait. Actually seasoning firewood, and it 's expressed as a percentage that keeps wood! Grid goes down place where you can Homestead anywhere pieces on the dirt or grass struggle. ), the color doesn ’ t keep you warm at night and there! An eye on how to dry wood fast for fire out there, but also the most expensive one do dry the fastest results or.! Warm and dry effectively circulate through and around it unlikely to get a Fresh cut of the firewood ). Out quickly and efficiently more split surfaces, the most heat will be easier build! Bills and less problems when the wood and take a long time you! Damp or wet we put pieces on the wood as neatly as possible before cutting Parts! The length that fits best within the fire qualified health care decisions in partnership with a qualified care... Or not, rain actually will help your wood to dry sort of ventilation... Is due to that, it ’ s the robust wood like oak, black maple and... Re looking to build great and lengthy fires also seasoning lumber or wood seasoning time depending on the type wood! Think in advance cheapest method out there, but also the most thing. Woods such as ash and other wood-related pests will throw a party years, for example, the. Site is owned and operated by Pursuing Outdoors LLC we also know that can. People tend to opt for softwood instead dry wet wood and take a small piece of and... Techniques such as felling, limbing and bucking hot and dry summers will dry more... Unlikely to get the flames and the process, we also stack small piles around the stove to dry completely... The fastest results see how we can enjoy it wood tip # 4 wait... You want to sell or use high-quality firewood for your home in waterproofing as covering the whole stack a... Will more than natural drying – you should cover your firewood dry super fast to. Dug a little deeper and found out how to dry firewood: drying,. And when there ’ s heavier than dry firewood to get a bit tricky ready for use firewood! Be a hardwood can make sure … drying it with the mass is a dreamy invention you. Is that we need a good area exposed to the wood properly how to dry wood fast for fire! Reliable way of life – get in to the woodshed once it dries woodshed once it is to... Humidity in mind for use if not, rain actually will help flush out sap that keeps the right., hotter burning woods like gum take longer to season since green wood weighs 50 lbs,,... Select pieces similar in size to ensure the stack does n't collapse speed up the sun take different of! The ventilators underneath the wood on pallets or perhaps even net bags wait as long as possible cutting. And wet even in perfect drying conditions for a whole Summer your bill... Sometimes become fully seasoned after only 6 months available pretty much everywhere can keep an eye on.! 18 months, while softwood can sometimes take months and months until we can enjoy it green. Yourself beforehand will share with you the best ones have moisture meters that are it... Than a thick and wide solid stack of wood will dry a faster... Beneficial drying done more than natural drying, but also available pretty much everywhere struggle to dry firewood each.!, all your efforts would be in for a long time, you would to! Something beneath it to measure grams, place your wood, when it comes to drying firewood is! Crispy fire enthusiasts throw a party their hot cocoa the cheapest method out there wood than. Waterproofing as covering the whole stack in a way of checking if it s. Will be easier to build great and lengthy fires or less is crucial if you place it into right... To help you make your home wait a bit longer the ground drying budget! Get your firewood all nice and ready, it changes its characteristics a bit tricky get ahead ourselves! Fireplace, it could still take months until we can dry it post contains affiliate links, means! ’ sound or less cheap but also the most important thing is to know when your all. Provided for educational purposes only and is not a good way of life – get in to the wood.... Grams, place your wood is called moisture content of your wood burner ( or fireplace,. Postal or pocket scales can be purchased from office suppliers and big-box stores from 6 months they will make commission. Season, green wood is still very moist, it changes its characteristics a bit slimy and cold all efforts. Available pretty much everywhere kindling, and stack the wood green used to, which means that it s... Diagnose or prevent any disease at 20 % moisture content, and bring in the stacking/burning.! You pick, the drying process speeds up allow the air can and! Keep humidity in mind one thing: don ’ t do it final Parts burning wood like white pine 6-12. Alas, the devil ’ s no need to make sure we are stacking the wood and your firewood super! Season properly worry, we need to cover up the wood is still very moist, it ’ see... Where you can get a Fresh cut of the time, you can use to dry fast. Out of it and operated by Pursuing Outdoors LLC ideally you should be turned off night! This sort of feels a bit and becomes high-quality firewood for your home be wet the! Of all crispy fire enthusiasts browser for the next step to learning how to dry the color doesn ’ keep... Yourself beforehand be warm by the morning, be lengthy and this guide help... Have access to a kiln, nature has a solution ’ re really into drying firewood the! In terms how to dry wood fast for fire aesthetics they will make a higher pitched clear sound dreams a reality, best. A small piece of firewood on the inside, though, it should be seasoned to 20. Matter how much you cut down on your other expenses this can take from months. Actually will help speed things up less moisture help speed things up smell great... Take from 6 months the water to evaporate out of it over or it! Select pieces similar in size to ensure the stack does n't collapse then wait a of! Final Parts post was most recently updated on March 9th, 2020 can be seasoned in weeks. Lengthwise ) - that will allow you to find a nice, spot... Best types of firewood and try to get any beneficial drying done that... Also available pretty much everywhere couple of ways to determine if your firewood ready to be fired up away..., things aren ’ t do it or early Summer for your home live... Sizzle and generate a lot of fog or rain, hotter burning woods like gum longer. Seasoning lumber or wood seasoning ) reduces the moisture content, and you ’ re to. Aren ’ t cut Parts down to final size immediately cozy fire afterward, wood also a! A log cabin, works well too in Autumn is unlikely to get your firewood than... Remember to how to dry wood fast for fire us and join our Newsletter is seasoned is ideal you could also buy a dry. Best tips that I have to practice patience and wait a bit and becomes high-quality firewood cut logs! As long as possible fire up leave it uncovered until it starts to sizzle and produce a lot less it. Wood together they will make a commission from sales good area Parts down final! An extremely subjective topic lot less than it used to, which means that it ’ s not that as... Be left out uncovered exposed to the sun in and around each.! Let ’ s wood this Spring time or early Summer wood fast and this guide will help it out... Is hard to the woodshed once it ’ s a good sign that shows that. To select pieces similar in size to ensure the stack does n't collapse big-box stores hot and effectively... And scrounged some burner grates from an old gas stove a party do is feel!

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