Monday, September 17, 2012

Chop Your Wood And It Will Warm You Twice

I found this of interest this morning, and thought perhaps someone else might as well.
From "The Farmstead" book,

"The most common measure of firewood volume is the cord. A standard cord can be described as a well-stacked pile of logs, 4 feet high by 4 feet long by 8 feet long. Since few people burn wood in 4 or 8 foot lengths, most sales are a face cord - that is, a 4 by 8 foot face, cut into desired lengths. A face cord of 16" long pieces is really one third of a standard cord."

Later on in the same article, the author continues with this advice,
"Most wood species will not burn if freshly cut, so the wood you purchase should be reasonably dry, or "seasoned". The surest way of having dry wood is to purchase it several months prior to using it. Splitting logs hastens drying. Split logs or small round logs should be stacked  outside under a roof for 6-10 months before burning."

I remember many years ago, when I was a teenager, we burned wood here. There was one or two places I lived after I left home that we also burned wood. That old saying that "chop your wood and it will warm you twice" is accurate. I remember splitting wood being a lot of work, then stacking it, then bringing it indoors, and then finally clean up. Not to mention keeping the fire a reasonable size, minding the chimney, keeping the chimney clean, etc, etc. But all of that being side, besides the mice that inevitably got indoors, I enjoyed burning wood. It smelled good, it was good exercise, and it was relatively inexpensive. Wood is a renewable resource, if managed correctly. And if you're lucky enough to own a wood lot, it can be source of income for those industrious enough to eke out a living from it.

Have you ever burned wood in a fireplace or woodstove? Do you plan to do it at some point in the future? Tell me what you think about burning wood as a source of heat in the comments!

Coming up next, what wood burns best, wood stoves and their history and the future of burning wood.