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Six tips for drying, storing and stacking firewood

drpower rapidfire4smYou’ve spent the morning splitting logs for firewood.

Now it is time to properly stack the split logs. But what is the best way to stack your wood? The experts at DR Power, makers of the DR RapidFire log splitter, offer these how-to tips for drying, storing and stacking firewood.

Tip #1: Shorten the drying time

It typically takes up to six months for wood to dry enough for the fireplace or wood stove. But wood can be ready to burn in four to six weeks with this tip. Stack the wood in a single row and roughly 4 feet high off the ground. First, be sure to lay 2 x 4 boards on the ground to prevent mold from damaging the stack. Drape 4-mil thick plastic sheeting over the top and down both sides of the stack. Leave each end exposed. Drive metal T-posts (like those used for barbed wire fencing) into each corner, making sure they are slightly higher and wider than the stack. Stretch heavy-duty twine down the length of each side and secure it to the posts. What you’ve created is a mini-greenhouse. The sun heats the wood, condensation forms against the plastic sheet and drains down the sides. This tip works best late in the fall when days are still warm.

Tip #2: Monitor moisture

Freshly chopped firewood is 50% or more water content. When wood gets down to 20% it’s ready to burn. You can determine when it’s ready with a moisture monitor available at home improvement warehouses.

Tip #3: Where to stack

Make your firewood stack a reasonable distance from the home to avoid problems with rodents, insects and even termites. You can keep a smaller stack readily available outside the door.

Tip #4: Lay a foundation

Use 2x4s or other lengths of cut wood to keep the split logs off the ground. Stack the split logs parallel on top of the boards.

Tip # 3: Bark down

Stacking the wood with the bark facing the ground helps it dry faster.

Tip #4: Twin towers

Make two towers of perpendicularly stacked logs at each end of a row. Randomly stack logs between each tower. The trick is to make sure the towers are stable enough to support the logs in between.

Tip #5: Round stack

Start by driving a wood pole into the ground. Loop a 4-foot long rope around the pole. Stretch out the rope and use it to keep track as you create a round stack of firewood. Leave empty space in the middle between the pole and stack. The logs should touch more in the middle and have larger spaces between them on the outside. Make sure the layers tilt slightly inward as you build the stack. At the top build logs into a cone-shape once the stack is roughly 4 feet tall. The dome helps rainwater and snow drain through the stack.

Tip #6: To cover or not?

One theory is to cover split wood to prevent rain and snow from entering the center of the stack. If you live in rain-prone areas like the Northwest it might be a good idea to cover the top of the wood. You can use a panel of aluminum sheeting or other heavy material that won’t blow off the stack. Leave the sides exposed to allow circulation throughout for better drying. Keep the ends of the stack uncovered if plastic is used. Doing so will allow circulation and prevent the wood from molding.

The experts at DR Power Equipment offer a complete line of wood splitters for every property. To view the complete lineup, click here.

DR also offers a comprehensive buyer’s guide to help make the best buying decision when choosing a wood splitter. To get a copy of your buyer’s guide, follow this link.

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