There is nothing better than sitting in front of a roaring log fire in winter. A prerequisite for this, however, is properly stored firewood. In order for firewood to dry properly, it has to be stored for up to three years, depending on the type of wood, which is best done in stacks. The stacks ensure that air can circulate well through the wood, allowing moisture to escape.
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Choose a suitable place
The aim of the wood piles is to reduce moisture but also to protect the wood from rain. It’s easy to think that a heated basement might be ideal. But the opposite is the case. The air cannot circulate sufficiently in the basement. Which causes the wood to ‘suffocate’. This also drastically reduces the calorific value and, in the worst case, mold can even form at certain points.
The ideal places to stack firewood are in an airy shed or outdoors under a rain shelter. This can be a roof for the stacks or storage along a house wall with an eaves.
There are also tarpaulins for wood available on the market. However, these tarpaulins are not suitable as permanent protection against moisture. The tarpaulins are too tight, which in turn reduces air circulation.
prepare the ground
If an outdoor location is chosen, the subsoil must usually also be prepared. The firewood must not lie directly on the ground, otherwise it may begin to rot. In addition, the wood absorbs moisture from the ground and does not dry out.
The subsurface should not only be level, but laid out with pallets or boards. This prevents the firewood from lying directly on the ground and thus being able to dry well. Pallets are often available free of charge or very cheaply at hardware stores. Alternatively, old wooden boards can be used. However, these should have a certain stability, since they have to withstand a large load. The boards can be used as a base for several years, but if they are rotten, they must be replaced.
To ensure that firewood dries quickly and the storage time is not unnecessarily increased, the individual logs should be of the same size. It is not necessary to measure with a ruler, but if you make firewood yourself, you should make sure that the length is the same, as this will make it easier to stack later. The ideal size for firewood is between 25 and 33 cm. This allows it to easily fit through the door of the ovens. However, stove manufacturers recommend sticking to the lower limit. The only exceptions are stoves or fireplaces, which have very large combustion chambers. In this case, the length can be up to 50 cm.
In addition to the length, the diameter is also important. The logs dry evenly and it is prevented that individual logs need a longer drying time. The diameter should be a maximum of 7 cm. This is measured on the widest side of the wood. However, logs that already have this diameter should be split at least once. This promotes rapid drying of the logs.
Stacks in rows on a house wall
The advantage of a wall stack is that the logs can be leaned against a house wall. If the wood is layered on a solid base, such as concrete, a pallet or boards must still be used as a base. Because puddles can also form on a paved floor, for example. The support also ensures that the stack is well ventilated from below.
Instructions for layering on the house wall:
- If necessary, protect the house wall with OSB panels
- Stack 3 – 4 logs lengthwise and crosswise at each end for stability
- Lay the wood in rows with the bark side down
- maximum height of 2 – 3 meters without additional side supports
- If necessary, protect against rain or snow with corrugated iron or corrugated plastic
The wall stack is a practical variant because the wall serves as a support. You can easily stack small, low firewood doors without additional side supports. From a height of three meters, the cross stacking on the sides is no longer sufficient as a support. These would be pushed apart by the logs in the middle.
Cross stacking is also used when a window on the house wall needs to be left uncovered. In this case, from window height, the left and right are layered crosswise again for stability. The stack is completed above window level with a board, which allows the layering to continue above the window.
Wall pile in the shed
The Wall Stack can also be built in the Shed. It has the advantage that multiple rows can be set up here. However, criss-crossing the ends of firewood is only necessary if there is no supporting wall. In this case, however, it is not possible to place them in rows, as this means that adequate ventilation is no longer possible. Therefore, about log length is left between each row. The logs are simply thrown loosely across the rows into this gap.
Wall stacks for the eye
Although logs should be of consistent size and thickness, there are sometimes exceptions to this rule. Many deliberately deviate from this in order to make creative patterns in the stacks with sticks of different thicknesses and lengths. Some creative forklifts turn it into real works of art, for example from the color nuances of different types of wood.
Some even build old wooden wheels into it, which is definitely an advantage for large stacks. As a result, central areas of the stack can also be well ventilated.
Build fathom piles
The fathom is a historical unit of measurement. It corresponds to the span between the horizontally outstretched arms of an adult male. This also results in the difficulty that a fathom is not an exact measure. As a rule, it is assumed that a cord corresponds to a length of around 1.80 m.
It is occasionally still used as a room measure for firewood. A fathom stack corresponds to a length, width and height of one fathom each. That’s about 2-3 cubic meters of firewood. However, the Cord Stack is rarely used to stack finished firewood. As a rule, it is suitable for stacking roughly split wood that still has to be cut to fit for stoves in the forest.
Stack round stacks
While the fathom stack is more complex, the round stack is less complex to layer. With the round stack, a round tower is built up layer by layer. Depending on the diameter, the tower can be several meters high. In principle, higher towers are also possible with a larger diameter. It is often read that the round stack does not need a cover, but this increases the storage time. In theory, the water will drain off the sides, but this means that the top logs and sides get repeatedly wet. It is therefore advantageous to still cover the round stack.
Instructions for a round stack:
- lay a horizontal, circular foundation
- Carefully stack firewood in the form of a cylinder
- fill the center parallel with logs
- from a height of 1 m, always place further in the middle
- Lay the last layer of wood with the bark facing up
The location is not always optimal for a round tower and it can quickly become crooked due to logs of unequal thickness. In this case, individual logs are placed horizontally from time to time to compensate for such irregularities. Then wood is piled up again according to the instructions.
The advantage of the round stacks is that they are very flexible in terms of location. The disadvantage, however, is that the bottom row usually rots because it often lies directly on the ground. Alternatively, the floor can also be covered with old boards in this case.