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Always stack firewood towards a prevailing wind and no shade, this allows a breeze to pass through the pieces speeding up the seasoning process, elevate your stacked firewood so it does not collect moisture and cover the top but not the sides to allow for airflow, firewood can be stacked in a row or as a round Holz Hausen.
For those of you that heat with wood one of the most enjoyable parts of that is stacking a messy woodpile and getting it ready to season, it feels great to take a dirty, messy, loose woodpile and stack it into a masterpiece, making it more attractive isn’t the most important part but starting the drying process is.
This is wonderful to watch over time, how your wood changes color and drys into perfect grey color when dry.
For some the fact that every piece of cut wood is different when you stack wood, you’re building a big jigsaw puzzle, most people that burn wood as their primary source of heat are happy to spend an afternoon stacking wood with their family.
So continue reading and learn what way is the best for you and I also want to share some great tips to make sure your wood is stacked and seasoned most efficiently.
7 tips and tricks to stack firewood
let’s start by mentioning a few tips to get you started
1. Stack wood on a wood rack
To dry your wood and maintain it dry, stacking wood on a rack will keep it off the ground and provides airflow around the wood, if you stack wood facing a prevailing wind the moisture will be blown threw it and then away from it, remember every species of wood is different and some take longer to dry than others.
If you are storing firewood outside it is always good to put something under it so it’s up off the ground and not accumulating moisture, old shipping pallets work great they are generally free or cheap to buy but the idea is to have airflow under your stacked wood, so you can use anything that gets the job done like stones bricks, etc.
2. Stack wood away from your house
Try and avoid stacking your wood against your house, even though it’s convenient storing wood against the wall of the house or an entrance it can hinder the drying process because it will lack the proper airflow, it may also cause mold or fungus to grow on the side of your house and if it’s full of insects like termites they won’t be right against your house.
What’s better is having it just far enough away from the house that it’s in direct sunlight and not in the path of shade from your home or trees, but not too far away because in the dead of winter no one wants to be walking along distance threw snow to pick up wood.
Stack wood close enough but not too close
In the olden days the firewood was almost always stacked near the outhouse, that way if you went out to the washroom you could bring in some wood and take advantage of the fact that every family member could bring some wood into the house every time they go to the outhouse, the idea is that you don’t want it any further from your house then it needs to be for convenience sake.
3. Cover your wood
Always cover the top of your wood with plastic, metal roofing, or plywood leaving the sides opened allowing fresh air to pass through it, if you do this you will see a big difference in how fast your wood drys out.
4. Deliver where you want to stack it
Another tip is, to know where you want to stack the wood as soon as it’s delivered that way you can have the delivery driver put it where you want it, also try stacking as soon as possible, this way it can start the drying process and not pick up any unwanted moisture from your yard.
5. Don’t store wood in the house
I also recommend not storing wood in your house because it may have termites or ants in it and they could get into the structure of your house or in un wants areas, it’s always better to just keep a few logs inside the house and the rest stored outside or in a shed.
6. Stack wood bark side up or down?
If you are planning on storing your wood outside try stacking the logs that are on the top of the pile bark side up because the bark is a natural barrier against rain or moisture, and this will automatically speed up the seasoning of your wood.
7. How to stack in two different ways
So there are two common ways of stacking wood the first one is Stacking in a straight row and this is the most common of the two, and the second one is the Holz Hauzen stacks in a circular formation, and in this portion, we will talk about both of them so you can decide which one you would like to try.
How to stack in a row?
So you may be thinking this is easy what can this post show me, well stacking is easy but there are a few things you need to remember so your firewood can dry or season as fast as possible.
First find a place where there are no trees so your wood is exposed to the sun as much as possible, next find the direction of the prevailing wind and stack your wood so that wind can blow threw the pieces,
Also, try and keep the woos up off the ground so it doesn’t accumulate more moisture, this can be done by stacking it on wood planks, skids, etc, the aesthetically pleasing option is buying a metal firewood rack.
Remember to always cover your firewood once it is stacked remember to only cover the top but not the sides this allows the wood to breathe and dry faster and more consistently.
If you are planning to stack your firewood fairly high you can add some rebar stakes so it doesn’t topple over, and that’s about it, along with the tips above you should be on your way.
How to build a Holz Hausen?
Another great way to stack firewood is by stacking it as a “Holz Hausen” this is German for “Wood House” and it’s exactly what it says a house of wood, this way of stacking wood is controversial because some people swear by them and say they dry wood faster than a regular stacked row of wood, other say it doesn’t matter.
I think that the theory behind it makes a lot of sense because the idea of a Holz Hausen is that air travels into the stack and rises in the middle drawing air up and out of the stack causing it to dry faster, some people say this way of stacking your wood will dry it twice as fast making it more efficient than conventional stacking in a row.
Stack you own Holz Hausen
So before you build a Holz Hausen you need to find a spot in your yard that has no shade and is close enough to your house because you don’t want to have to walk far through the snow every time you need it some.
Many people that build Holz Hausen say that it’s a good idea to yard lay down a gravel circle as a base, this helps keep moisture away from the bottom of the wood and if you don’t have anywhere to lay down gravel or don’t want gravel on your yard then you can start building it on some wood pallets as an alternative they will stop the wood from sitting on wet grass, the idea here is to not have the bottom wood wet all the time.
So this type of stack is generally 10 feet wide but can be bigger or smaller the design is the same, first to start building one you can put a stake in the ground where you want your center, if you are making the ten-foot size you measure out five feet from the center and place pieces of wood to make a circle around it, tying a string to the center of the stake at 5 feet then you can use it as a guide to building it the right size.
To build one this size you will probably need a minimum of two cords of wood, so if you don’t plan on buying that much try stacking one 6 or 7 feet wide, people that build them say they work better when they are 10 feet wide.
Next, you lean pieces of wood inward around the first pile then you just keep stacking the wood in a circle and filling the inside of the circle to give it strength, as you get to the top it will be tapering inward and upward and this way not allowing the pile to topple over.
As you get to the top start to stack your wood with the bark side up, then at the top you can either leave it bare or cover it so rain doesn’t get into it, but don’t cover the whole pile with a tarp or plastic from top to bottom because you stack won’t be able to breathe and you’re wood will stay wet and never season, just like the typical row of stacked firewood needs airflow for it to dry, the more the airflow the better.
Remember if you decide to build a Holz Hausen they are a more time-consuming way of stacking your wood but a lot of people say their wood seasons much faster so if you feel handy and have the time it would probably be a great project, one thing is for sure none of your neighbors will have a pile of wood as cool as yours.
Thank you so much for reading this post please share it with others if you feel it will be helpful, and if you are interested in learning more about wood burning you can sign up for my email newsletter you will receive tips and tricks and product reviews, have a wonderful day.