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Posts Tagged ‘Firewood’

The final lograck

It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly seventeen months since I wrote the first entry in SPISBLOG’s Journal.

That first post was about a surplus of firewood we got as a result of some mature trees being removed and what I did to get that wood ready to season.

This afternoon’s work was the closing chapter on that firewood post.  The remainder of that firewood was moved to our new house and the last  log rack was decommissioned.

The back story-

Back in 2005, our neighbor had a tree taken down and just stacked the split wood along his back fence.  He stacked it on the ground close to the fence, restricting air circulation around the woodpile.  Within a few months it was a nasty, waterlogged, racoon infested, mildewy, mess (which is still there today).

I resolved to not let our woodpile end up like that.

My solution was a series of simple yet affordably constructed log racks made from pressure treated 2×4’s and deck screws.  When they were no longer needed I could simply disassemble them and reuse the lumber for other projects.

The design is simple, efficient, and time-tested.  It kept the wood up off the ground allowed for good air circulation and ample sunlight which helped the wood season quickly.  I kept them covered with strips from an old tarp.   The entire rack of wood is in excellent condition.   Pest free and well seasoned.

A free set of plans, in PDF format, can be found here.

Here’s an interesting book I’m planning to check out all about  woodburning- “The Woodburner’s Companion” by Dirk Thomas

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seasoned wood on seasoned lograck

seasoned wood on seasoned log rack

Example of the racks I made-
spisblog_lograck_plans.pdf

To help familiarize myself with the recently installed Inkscape Vector Graphics Program (on my Linux box), I created a simple plan for the log racks I built last fall. This was my first use of this application, so the drawing is not to scale and can use a fair amount of refinement.

From my experience this simply designed, inexpensive to build, log rack can support a lot of weight. As I mentioned in my previous posts I loaded them up with freshly split oak and maple in the fall. I set them on some inexpensive concrete patio pavers so they wouldn’t sink into the muddy ground during the spring thaw and rainy spring. They made it through the hard Midwest winter and very wet spring with ease. A couple of the racks were on a slight slope and were not level when I loaded them. They ended up twisting out of square, but they held together just fine. The ones that were level look as good and true as the day I built them.

The first (proof of concept) rack I made didn’t have the middle support. One of the long 2×4’s broke under the load. There was a knot in the middle of the 2×4 that caused it to fail. I suspected it was going to have problems because the long run was sagging a bit within a month of loading it. I just never got back to install the middle support. I used more care when selecting the boards for the long runs of the other three racks. They all held up fine.

I found that I like these racks better than the metal tube racks. They are wider, more stable, hold more wood, look better and are easier to cover. They fit my needs for a cheap, simple, efficient way to store a surplus of firewood. It got the wood off the ground and helped it season without getting moldy, rotten of full or rodents.

Here’s an interesting book I’m planning to check out all about  woodburning- “The Woodburner’s Companion” by Dirk Thomas

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It’s been a while since I last posted, so I think I’ll give it another go.

Firewood Racks-
First, an update on the firewood racks I made last autumn- They held up surprising well through the winter. I ended just covering the tops with pieces of an old tarp I had sitting around. I held them down with a couple of logs. This kept the wood dry as it seasoned. I still have three racks of split seasoned wood left, plus two more racks worth of unsplit seasoned logs.

In December, we had a major ice storm hit our area that knocked out our power for seven days. We camped out in the family room and burned the fireplace nearly 24 hours a day to keep warm. The seasoned wood we had split sure came in handy!

As a result of that storm we ended up with another cord worth of large branches (that I cut up after the power came back on). I had two of the new racks loaded with another third of a cord each and they held up with no signs of fatigue. the log rack design was simple but very durable.

New house-
We’ve since moved to a new home (on 1/2 acre) and no longer have a wood burning fireplace, so this wood will last a long, long, time burning a few pieces at a time in the patio copper firepit.

With the new house comes a lot of new projects. I plan on posting information on some of the major projects I’ll be doing around here (setting up my woodworking workshop, landscaping, cedar siding repairs, weather proofing, and energy efficiency improvements.

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The warm weather has passed and the cold midwestern Autumn has returned.  The outside temperature has climbed to a balmy 39F.   What a perfect morning for a fire in the hearth.

Hearth

Hearth

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Firewood

Filling up the firewood rack

Filling up the firewood rack

In September we had six trees taken down which provided a lot of firewood for the wood burning fireplace in our family room and the outdoor copper fire pit on our patio.

Thanks to a rented log splitter I was able to get the majority of the wood split.  I ended up with roughly five split cords.  Another session with the splitter should finish up the remaining two cords.

The most recent activity in the firewood project was to build log racks to store the wood for seasoning.

I contemplated buying some more hollow tube one-cord racks (like the two I already have) but I didn’t want to spend the money on something I wouldn’t need after this surplus of firewood is gone.

I ended up building them out of pressure treated 2×4’s and deck screws.

The final design is 4’H x 8’L x 16” W with a center cross-member, supported by a 4×4 (made from two 2×4 scraps screwed together).

The racks are surprisingly stable and rigid, considering the tops are open.

I plan on screwing tarps across the top to keep the snow and rain off of the wood while it seasons.  I really need to get this done before the snow flies.

The recent boom in firewood has really helped motivate me to have fires more often.  We’ve had three in the last two weeks.

—- If you enjoy my writing please check out my current blogging project at Enjoy Time Outdoors . Thank you .—-

Here’s an interesting book all about  woodburning- “The Woodburner’s Companion” by Dirk Thomas

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