Cutting Firewood-Stacking

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 38,652
    Jacques Couture of Couture’s Maple Shop & Bed & Breakfast demonstrates how to cut firewood including tips for properly stacking the wood.

    Jacques Couture: I am Jacques Couture from Westfield Vermont. We have a business here called Coutures Maple Shop & Bed & Breakfast and we use a lot of wood on this farm for fuel. We live in Northern Vermont where it's pretty cold. Actually today the temperature is kind of chilly. Now we have cut some firewood here and I am going to give you a few tips about how wood should be stacked so that it gets dried out so that it is not soggy when you try to burn it in your furnace. If you cut wood and leave a pile the way this is behind me, it will pick up moisture from the ground. So one of the things that I think is very important is to have a few planks that you put on the ground to begin with so that you have a foundation for the wood pile and also on the ends of the wood pile it's quite important to be able to -- if you want to have a square end, pretty important to kind of pick your pieces that will fit and be able to be stacked. You have to kind of work with them a little bit, pick your pieces.

    If the wood pile is not stacked properly you may have a pile that looks pretty nice for a few minutes and maybe a little later gravity is going to kind of make it fall. So you wouldn't want that to happen as much as possible. So on the end my wood piles I like to criss cross them so that I can kind of build an end that tips in just a little bit so that it doesn't fall over. As you see wood is not all symmetrical. You have to use a little bit of ingenuity to get your piles to be level.

    Sometimes if a piece of wood is bigger at one end than the other you kind of use that and you use the piece of wood in its best position. Sometimes you flip it over one way sometimes the other so that it stays somewhat leveled, so that the pile doesn't just fall over. In some situations like in ours for instance most of our wood piles are piled inside our woodsheds, so we have some pulls on the ends of the piles that keep our piles from falling over. But with a little bit of care you are able to make your wood piles stand pretty square by just a little careful stacking.

    Here we go. One of the very important things safety wise for burning firewood is that it be good and dry not fresh cut and we use the term green wood that means trees that are cut fresh if you want that wood to really burn well and be efficient it's good that that would be seasoned maybe for at least six months. Ideally what we do is we cut next year's wood this year, so that we do not have to worry that we are cutting -- that we are trying to burn wood that's too green or has too much moisture in it. Why do we want to burn dry wood? First of all it's more efficient, secondly it is safer. If you burn green wood in your furnace, in your house, you are likely to have some creoset problem which could cause a fire and you don't want to lose your house.

    One of the nice things about stacking wood the way that I am doing it here is that air goes through the wood pile. It continues to it dries much more quickly. One of the tell tale signs of wood that's been seasoned for a while is when you look at the ends and you start seeing a lot of little cracks in it that means it's well on it's way to drying. It doesn't mean that it's completely dry but it is on its way to doing that.