Old 11-08-2010, 03:46 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Jacksonville,Fl
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Default Hurry up firewood aging

General wisdom dictates that hardwoods, such as live oak, takes at least 1 yr to 1.5 yrs to age, and that is when it is off the ground and has its own roof (a tarp holds the moisture, so that doesn't count)

I have a bunch of live oak that is 4 months old, and a hot oven. When the coals are removed, does filling the oven with firewood and shutting the door to "kiln dry" the firewood make up the age difference. Is the final product equivalent to truly aged wood, or perhaps even superior?

What say you all?
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:51 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Washington State USA
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I think KD wood is considered to be more brittle than air dried wood. For instance one doesn't use KD (Kiln Dried) wood in boat construction because it doesn't flex and bend the same. It loses its elasticity. This I believe/suspect is in part due to the natural oils, resins and sap being cooked out when the wood is KD (also because of damage to the cell walls due to the heat). Since you are not using the wood for any such purpose I suspect the only difference would be the slight loss of BTUs from the lost oils and resins which might otherwise be present in air dried wood.

I always try to load my WFO with the next firings wood after the coals have been removed and the temperature allowed to drop below 500F. This makes for a easier to start fire with less smoke. I do this regardless if the wood is "aged" or not.

Hope this helps,
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:59 AM
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Default Re: Hurry up firewood aging

"the temperature allowed to drop below 500F. "

Otherwise you can "coke off" the wood.
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:06 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Hurry up firewood aging

It is generally known that air dried wood dries at the rate of 1" per year.
So if your wood is 4" diameter and under a roof (or protective roof/covering but not a tarp draped over the wood) will take 2 years to season. Remembering that a 2" slab will take only 1year to season.
I have sucessfully burned 5 month old green gum but you must have a rather HOT fire going to keep it burning.

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Old 11-10-2010, 09:01 PM
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Default Re: Hurry up firewood aging

Interesting that you successfully used 5 month aged Gum for the oven. Using the new log splitter to produce fairly small chunks of wood, I managed to get a successful burn using 2 month aged wood - from green. Admittedly here in Perth the weather has been ideal for drying - long warm days with little rain and humidity so that must certainly have helped. Shortly we will be having 40C days so may season even quicker. If I can get a turn around on the larger logs of 6 - 8 months I will be very happy.
/ Rossco
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