Do you know how to stack firewood? What’s the best way to stack firewood? Who taught you? It’s simple once you know how to do it, but there is a right way and wrong way to stack firewood. We tell you how to do it right.
“Chop your own wood, and it will warm you twice.” — Henry Ford
The Art of Stacking Firewood
Turning that old tree in your backyard into a stack of firewood is a great way to dispose of any mess resulting from tree removal while also helping to keep your home warm during the cold winter months. However, if you think that simply piling the cut wood into a heap is all there is to creating firewood, you are sadly mistaken. If you want your new pile of firewood to burn properly when the time comes to use it, you will need to ensure that it is first stacked properly.
In order for firewood to burn properly, it must first be seasoned. This simply means that the wood is allowed to dry until its moisture content is right around 20%.
If firewood is not seasoned properly, the excess moisture content in the wood will cause your fire to be harder to light. You will also find that your fire requires far more attention to keep burning and will produce a significantly larger amount of smoke. Finally, you may find that your firewood develops mold and mildew that prevents it from being safely burned inside your home. All of these issues can be avoided by learning how to stack your firewood properly.
How to Stack Firewood | Selecting A Location
The first step in creating a proper firewood stack is to select the best location. Since dead wood can make a great home for termites, you will want to ensure that the stack is several feet away from your home’s foundation, as well as any decks or sheds that may surround your home.
When selecting a location for your stack you will also need to consider any drainage issues that your yard may have. If your home is built on a slope, you will want to ensure that the stack is placed at the height of the slope in order to prevent moisture from draining under the stack after a heavy rain or snowfall.
Finally, ensure that the location you have picked receives plenty of sunlight during the day. This will help to speed up the drying process so that your firewood is ready when the cold temperatures begin to roll in.
Video | Firewood Seasoning Tips
Creating Towers To Secure Your Stack
Just like a row of books on a shelf, your firewood stack will require stability at both ends in order to prevent it from falling over. This can be done using several pieces of firewood that are approximately the same size.
Begin by laying two pieces of firewood parallel to one another. Next, place two more pieces of wood on top so that they are laying perpendicular to the original logs. Continue this process until the stack is at least six layers high. While you can build the stack higher, remember to never build the stack so high that it can no longer maintain structural integrity. This stack will serve as a type of bookend for your firewood.
After you have completed the first stack, repeat this process several feet away in order to mark the other end of firewood stack and provide the stability necessary to begin stacking your wood.
Old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.
Stacking Your Firewood
Now that you are finally ready to begin stacking your firewood, the first thing you will need to do is determine which direction is west. This is important since a large portion of the wood’s moisture will be expelled through the cut ends. Providing proper air flow around these ends is essential to promoting fast and efficient drying. Since wind patterns typically shift from east to west, it is important to lay your logs so that they are facing in this direction rather than laying them from north to south.
Once you have determined which direction your logs should be positioned in, begin your stack by laying firewood in an irregular pattern. For instance, you will want to alternate the sizes and shapes of the logs so that air is able to circulate between each log. You will also want to place each log a small distance apart in order promote faster drying.
Continue this process until your stack has reached the same height as the towers that were constructed in the previous step. If you have any firewood remaining, you will need to create a second stack. Do not attempt to simply throw the last few pieces on top of an already full stack. Not only will this interfere with proper air flow, but it can also compromise the structural integrity of your stack and cause the support towers to give way.
Splitting Firewood the Right Way
A Few Final Tips for Stacking Firewood
- If you find yourself struggling when creating your firewood stack, keep these few simple tips in mind.
- A stable support tower is key to the success of your stack. If the tower is wobbling at all, try using different pieces of wood. Do not attempt to create your stack until after the tower is completely secure.
- It can take as long as 8 months for wood to dry even when stacked properly. If your firewood was cut at different times, be sure to stack it separately. This will ensure that you always know what wood is ready to burn and what wood requires more time in the stack.
- Smaller firewood stacks provide greater air flow and stability. When stacking a large amount of wood, always consider making multiple stacks rather than creating a single large stack.
- If your firewood has been sitting around for a while waiting to be stacked, be sure to check each piece of wood for signs of mold or other fungi prior to adding it to the stack. This will prevent your entire stockpile from becoming compromised by a bad piece of wood.
- While stacking firewood can be a calming and enjoyable experience for many people, it also serves a very important purpose. Without proper airflow, your firewood will not be able to serve its intended purpose of keeping your home warm while producing a beautiful and constant glow. Consequently, it is important to ensure your firewood is stacked securely with plenty of room for air to flow around each piece of wood.
Stacking Firewood in a Circular Pile