Good Heavy White Oak Is Puzzling Me!!

loger_gwDecember 1, 2011

Good Heavy White Oak Is Puzzling Me!! I feel it must be the 36" + dia of the wood that is making it hard to tell if it is seasoned. I have no idea when it was actually cut which I feel is part of the puzzle.

Reasons I thought it was seasoned:

1. Good .25" - .375" seasoning cracks that allows me to split the logs.

2. Very deteriorated bark on the logs.

3. No signs or sounds of moisture while burning the wood.

Reasons I questioned it being seasoned:

1. Weight of the wood. Naturally, smaller limbs will burn alone.

2. split wood w/n burn alone vs with what I know is seasoned wood.

Thanks For Clues! loger

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rustyj14(W/PA)

We used to burn white oak and other solid type of wood in the indoor fire-place. Heavy split wood always needed some feeder wood under it, to keep it burning good. That practice stopped after our two sons moved away. Figures.
Then, when near bed-time, we'd stop the feeder wood, and allow the fire to burn down, bank it, and go to bed. Always had a spark screen in front of the fire-place, and a good damper and exhaust thru the lined brick chimney. Also, doors with glass to close at bed-time, too.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 2:55PM
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ewalk

Loger: Seasoning cracks are the 1st sign of a seasoned piece of fire wood. The seasoning process as I have advised previously within another thread is a 6-9 mth period. Hardwoods retain as much as 50% water by weight . Once this level via seasoning is reduced to approx 20% your wood is optimium . After 4 yrs the Btu Rating will drop quickly . White and to a lesser degree Red Oak are very good (Btu Valve) firewood Hardwoods. Ash and Hickory are another very good source of heat within firewoods. Maple is my favorite and almost as high within Btu's as Oak but much more prolific in grouth rate within North America . Happy Splitting is best accomplished within winter season when freezing temps help to ease the splitting chores within Green firewood.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 3:55PM
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loger_gw

Thanks rusty! I am use to putting a seasoned "Back-Stick" in a good bed of coals and smaller wood at bedtime. Usually I'll have coals from the approx 10" log the next morning to start the next fire. To find it unburned, IMO that tells me it is not seasoned enough even though it appears to be in some ways. Now that the large logs are split I expect the TX heat will help some this late in the season vs the summer's heat.

Between splitting the large logs and building my friend a Fireplace Grate from 3/4" sq iron, We Are Whipped! I learned in the mid 70s to build and use Fireplace Dog Irons after building and burning a 1" sq iron grate in one season (due to burning Mesquite Wood 24/7). I Had To Let Him Learn vs Telling Him, Now He'll Know. LOL. loger

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 4:24PM
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loger_gw

Thanks Again ewalk! I remember your info and usually consider 1 yr in my stock as my seasoning time-line. But Lazy Me! With this monster, I was thrown a curve and wondered if it needed more time since it was dropped this summer due to being dead. I guess the "Bottom Line" is some trees appear dead before they are and the seasoning starts. My father told me to wait for a freeze on the manual splitting many years ago. Take Care All ! loger

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 5:35PM
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baymee(LehighValleyPA)

I've been burning only wood to heat the house for the last 35 years and one thing I've learned is that a single piece of wood will not burn. For wood to burn at all, you need a minimum of two pieces in contact with each other, or very close, to burn.

Last year, for the first time, I used some Anthracite coal in my boiler. Much cheaper, hotter, and easier than wood. But that's another thread.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 9:24PM
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ewalk

Loger: Yeah fore grates when fire brick is not used certainly will extend the life of your firebox .

Bay: Your right with the price of fuel oils and natural gas currently I think you will see more people reverting back to fossil fuels . I know wood use has sky rocketed locally in the last few yrs. Coal may be the back in style shortly also :)

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 5:41AM
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