The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

How do You Stack Your Firewood?

May 9th, 2013 · No Comments · Posted in farming, Sustainability

Our wood pile, several hours later

Our wood pile, several hours later

Who knew there was a method to stacking firewood?

Actually, there are many methods. Silly me, once I had the wood pallets on the ground, I just started stacking, wondering how I was going to hold my huge pile of firewood together on the ends.

But then my wife linked me to a very helpful article in Popular Science magazine describing several tried and true methods for stacking firewood. I chose the “tower” method, which involves erecting stacks at each end of a row by layering logs alternately at right angles.

Does this tower of logs look wobbly to you?

Does this tower of logs look wobbly to you?

In the photo above, you can see my first efforts at building towers. You have to focus on several things at once when you do this: making sure the logs fit reasonably well together so the tower isn’t loose, and seeing that  it’s plumb in all directions so it doesn’t fall over and take a pile of logs with it. Of particular concern is what happens when ground beneath the wood pile freezes, thaws and potentially heaves. Those columns better hold.

Hopefully the pallets beneath the logs will mitigate any heaving that takes place. Because according to the Popular Science article, having a stack of logs fall over in February is exceedingly embarrassing and you can see why: our firewood is within feet of our front door. Anyone who visits can’t help seeing the logs and either admire how well we’ve stacked them or laugh up their sleeves at our incompetence.

Closeup of improved "tower" construction

Closeup of improved “tower” construction

I do believe I’ve gotten better at my tower construction. Now as i make my way through the pile of logs that were dumped in our yard earlier in the week I look for pieces that will work especially well in the towers. In fact, if you look at this closeup you can see that I use half-moon shaped logs in one direction. At right angle to these are logs cut into quarters. At this point, I can take one look at a half-moon or quarter-cut log and tell whether it’s suitable for my “tower” construction. I have separate piles for each, as well as a third pile for skinny pieces of wood destined for splitting into kindling.

Ouch! There's still a pile to be stacked

Ouch! There’s still a pile to be stacked

Does this make me an anal-retentive woodsman?

What I’ve stacked so far measures almost five feet high, four feet wide and a bit more than 10 feet long. That’s 200 cubic feet. We had two cords–or 256 cubic feet–delivered, which means the pile you see next the truck represents a bit less than half a cord. Hurrah! I’m more than 75 percent finished stacking this wood for the winter.

That’s the good news. The bad news: we have another two cords on the way.


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