#11  
Old 10-15-2008, 03:25 PM
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Default Re: Are my logs too big?

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Jim, if i leave these logs insitu, outside under cover, have you any time scale they might take to develop radial cracks?
Jim's been drying and using wood for several decades that I've known him, so his (and others') practical advice will be most useful, but here's a pretty good backgrounder I came across: Best burning wood firewood
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  #12  
Old 10-15-2008, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: Are my logs too big?

Gang,

My wife offered to split my wood for me. I think it's like therapy for putting up with my obesession/build this past year and half.

Dick
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  #13  
Old 10-15-2008, 06:57 PM
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Default Re: Are my logs too big?

P de D(I like the way Cjim did that)
I would suggest covering them with a tarp of some kind...just on the top...don't surround them...if you can raise them up off the ground a bit(that is part of the airflow part)...and also facing the stack southwest wouldn't hurt either...that is what the "good ole' boys" down here say to do
Best
Dutch
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  #14  
Old 10-15-2008, 07:33 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Are my logs too big?

Out here where we are usually talking hardwoods, ie. Eucalypts, drying takes a year per inch of timber in the diameter dimension and not the length. However, that said, a 6" log will take 3 years to dry, one inch all round.
Softer woods will be more open graied and releases their moisture much easier and hence quicker, but they don't usually burn for as long but they do produce plenty of heat.
You can burn green wood BUT you have to ensure a raging fire for it to catch as the resins and oils within will encourage the burn. Look at the trees that are burning in California today, the Eucalypts simply flare up and burn in a couple of minutes but it is only the dead wood that catches. I have burnt 1 month cut logs in my slow combustion heater but must have plent of reddual heat ther for it to catch and plenty of air intake to ensure a constant burn or else it smoulders and eventually go out with a lots of smoke.


P de D
You will see the ends of your logs split as they dry. This is a real problem for woodworkers and wood turners trying to dry special wood samples and they paint the ends to reduce the moisture loss and hence shrinking of the wood fibres.
One thing that you could do is once you have finished your cooking and your oven is too cool to cook, load it with your split wood and use the residual heat to dry your next firing wood.

Neill
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Old 10-15-2008, 09:41 PM
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Default Re: Are my logs too big?

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Originally Posted by thebadger View Post
Gang,

My wife offered to split my wood for me. I think it's like therapy for putting up with my obesession/build this past year and half.

Dick
Splitting wood is a lot less expensive than therapy, and more effective. Take that....

James
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  #16  
Old 10-16-2008, 01:59 AM
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Default Re: Are my logs too big?

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Originally Posted by Ken524 View Post
I sprang for a gas log splitter from the Big Orange Home Center. Building an oven and arbor pretty much did in my elbow and shoulder.

The splitter is amazingly easy. Be careful, I know someone who lost a finger with one. Still, I think it's safer than an axe and a lot easier on my wimpy, middle-aging frame.
Aha, so I am not the only one with a tennis elbow following the build ... it's getting better now, hope yours is too.

As for comparing the sizes, a comment from one of your resident scientists: put something to judge the scale against in the photo, preferably a small ruler.

Other than that they look remarkably like my logs, which I split in an old fashioned way using an axe, but only to get the initial stack. This initial stack (which I put near the middle of the oven - as far as I can reach, has to be well seasoned. I try to get a selection of diameters: from half an inch kindling through inch-thick intermediate to two-inch logs. I need only a small amount of those. Once they get going I add thicker and less seasoned wood and this does not produce much smoke at all at that stage.

In this way I managed to limit sticking my head into the oven to the initial stack stage, when there is no fire. I then use long tongs to add the thicker stuff.

Also, using old fashioned bellows (bought them in a fireplace and oven shop in Sardinia last year) is really effective if the fire starts to die down or smoke too much after having been moved further to the back. PdD, this is the stage you have been mentioning, by the way, and bellows do work for me very well.

And while I am at it, please think about your poor lungs and do not stick your head in the oven, limit smoke inhalation - it is really bad for you both in the short run and in the long run. Products of dry distillation of wood (gases and aerosols produced during heating and incomplete burning of wood, a.k.a. smoke) are very carcinogenic.

And on this cheerful note ...

Regards from sunny and very autumnal Cumbria,
W.
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  #17  
Old 10-16-2008, 05:42 AM
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Default Re: Are my logs too big?

Well, I hope noone thinks that I stand there inhaling great lungfulls of smoke!!!

Wlodeck - here's a 12" rule as per your request.

I've gone an splashed out on a log splitter now. Can hardly pick the thing up!

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  #18  
Old 10-16-2008, 06:04 AM
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Default Re: Are my logs too big?

That was very quick. Thanks. Given this information I can confirm that your logs are as big as mine ... if this helps of course.

I also started to notice more detail - nothing focuses ones thinking as well as a suitably placed ruler.

There are small chunks of recycled wood in there, cowering near the bottom of the photo. And one of them looks like it has come from old decking planks. These are usually seriously treated - yet another health hazard - quite a source of nasty dioxins when burnt.

On this subsequent positive note :-)

W.
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Old 10-16-2008, 06:48 AM
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Default Re: Are my logs too big?

I believe those decking pieces to be untreated iroko.

Glad you liked the ruler.
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  #20  
Old 10-16-2008, 07:05 PM
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Default Re: Are my logs too big?

I'm a newbie that has been cooking all summer in my pompeii oven built from forno plans-- i have great luck with the top down, splitting some really fine shreds for the top kindling, but what really makes it easy is keeping 5-6 logs in the oven after each use. They are sooooo dry when I make the next fire, it's a piece of cake! I also use a $10. propane blowtorch to ignite the kindling instead of matches. Still only halfway through my first tank after 20 fires.

Now i no longer smell like Santa after a long Christmas Eve after starting my fire
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