Want to impress the neighbours with your neat stack of firewood? With a few simple tips you can keep your seasoned wood healthy and dry while showing off your stacking skills.
In our previous blog posts on seasoning and storing firewood, we touched on the importance of stacking your logs correctly. This article delves deeper as we discuss how to stack logs like a pro.
Location, location, location
Choosing the best position for your log pile will give you a good head start when it comes to keeping your logs dry. Keep clear of boggy ground, hollows and trees and aim for well-drained, exposed land where possible. Although a covered, open-sided wood store is ideal, don’t worry if you don’t have one.
Anything that keeps your stack of firewood off the ground will do. A series of pallets or some lengths of timber will be fine as long as you keep them level. A couple of sheets of corrugated iron can serve as a rain cover or you can simply leave the top row of logs with the bark uppermost.
Here in Devon, the wind (and rain) mainly blows in from the south west so avoid facing your firewood stack in that direction. Instead, point it towards the south or south east so you get the benefit of the sun while protecting your stack from the worst of the wet weather.
Keeping the air flowing
Achieving a nice air flow around and between your logs will continue the seasoning process. Logs dry from the cut ends first and the sides can stay stubbornly moist if the logs are packed together like sardines or shoved back against a wall.
Leave a space of around 4 inches around your stack and make sure there are gaps between your logs. You will be surprised how much quicker they will dry out.
Avoid smothering your log stack with tarpaulin although it is a good idea to have some nearby to drape over the top during heavy rain.
Tips for a strong, stable wood pile
Now you know where to store your logs, it’s time to look at how you can build them into a neatly organised stack of firewood.
First, put some effort into chopping your logs to a consistent size. All you need is a tape measure and a piece of chalk and you will soon have it down to a tee. Six to eight inches is a good length to aim for but make sure the firewood will fit into your burner or stove.
If you are stacking on a pallet, building your pile from the side will make it easier to keep it straight. Logs that overhang the pile by even a small amount can destabilise it.
Your first row of logs will form the side support. Criss cross these logs to form a simple lattice.
Now take your time stacking each row. Only extend out as far as the first row and regularly check for alignment. Strike a balance between space and air circulation. You don’t want to stack the logs like a game of Tetris but you don’t want to leave huge gaps either.
Criss cross your final row of logs to form the other side support.
And there you have it: a log pile that will make your neighbours green with envy.
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