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Seasoning Timber

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Seasoning Timber

Post by assassin on Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:01 am

Why do we season timber and what are its benefits?

When we burn timber it has to have its water content reduced for several reasons; the first being that fresh cut timber is a living thing and contains a mass of liquids to allow it to naturally grow, and secondly, if we try and burn wet timber it has to reach sufficient heat to drive out the moisture before it will burn, and thirdly, when we burn wet timber the heat drives out the moisture and something called wood gas and it is a combination of this moisture which goes up the chimney as steam and this steam contains wood gas. A combination of wood steam and wood gas equals smoke visible at the chimney.

When we obtain timber and we cut it to length we always split it, on most occasions the timber will come complete with the bark and this seals in the moisture and most of the moisture is in the centre of the wood, so if we split it in half we are exposing a much larger face or surface area of the timber at its wettest part and this exposure of the wettest part of the timber to air actually reduces the moisture content much quicker, for larger pieces we can cut them into quarters and increase our exposed drying surfaces even more by having two drying faces. By correctly drying our cut timber logs and splitting them for seasoning, and seasoning them properly we can cut our smoke pollution considerably which may be important to know in the near future.

Many people stack or store their logs incorrectly as many buy them in bags and leave them in the bags, by leaving cut timber in bags, anything which runs or evaporates out of the timber is trapped inside the bag and is absorbed back into the timber, so they never actually do season, so is there a better way of seasoning. If logs are stacked on a windy part of a property we use the wind to pass through them and this removes the moisture much quicker than stacking them in a stagnant or static environment and we can use nature to do the work for us, and if we have greenhouses with standard shelving inside and we can lay some slabs under these shelves, we can stack partially dried logs under the shelves and let the heat of the greenhouse dry them out very rapidly for us.

If you want to build a log store you can use recycled pallets and build a log store to any size you like, you will need a flat roof with a shallow pitch as opposed to a pitched foos as this gives more internal space, and instead of a solid structure we need a slatted structure with gaps in them to allow the wind to blow through the gaps and remove any moisture, we need to store any freshly cut timber for at least a year to season and stack it in a logical order to keep a logical rotation of timber for seasoning for our fires.

Before use it is better if we have two log baskets inside the house with at least three days worth of logs in each basket, we fill both and use only one basket until its empty and then refill it and use the other basket, by having the timber in our house it gives it at least three days to bring it up to the house temperature which also aids the burning of the timber.

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