Stoke up the fire

Stoke up the fire

This is a blog we should have written a few months ago. But let’s be honest: not many people are interested in cutting firewood in Spring or Summer.

As everyone knows it’s pretty much impossible to burn wet logs. Even though the weather has already started turning colder a few simple tips can make firewood preparation easier.

Firstly cutting firewood to the correct length is relatively easy. The ideal size seems to be about 100 mm less than the size of your hearth or wood burner firebox. A true firewood aficionado will try and obtain a consistent length: it maximises the amount of timber placed in the fire for the least effort, and makes stacking easier.

The time needed to dry out firewood depends on many factors, including splitting, stacking and the weather. Logs split into about 100 – 150 mm width seem to offer the best balance between drying time and burning in the fire: timber cut just before winter should probably be split into thinner logs, as the intended firewood has less time to dry.

Once split, firewood should also be stacked off the ground, on a wooden pallet or similar base, to prevent contact with wet earth and allow air to flow around the logs. While firewood stacking has become a unique art form in some Countries, the logs should be stacked with sufficient gaps to allow the air to circulate. A sheet of plywood or corrugated iron should also be placed on the top of the pile, to reduce exposure to the rain.

Freshly cut timber has a moisture content of up to 50%. Drying should reduce this to around 15-20%, improving combustion and reducing smoke. Dried firewood should certainly feel lighter and should have a hollow sound when knocked. Any freshly split kindling should also feel dry to touch and it should burn without hissing.

Unfortunately timber used for firewood often contains lots of knots. Our log splitters are ideal for splitting knotty timber and will make splitting firewood much much easier.

If you would like more information please go to our firewood projects page http://bit.ly/2jGPVZO We’d also appreciate your comments and suggestions so please feel free to add something at the bottom of our blog page.

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