Before the winter approaches, you’d want to stack up your firewood to avoid any sort of inconvenience during the season. The question then arises how to stack firewood? What are the efficient methods for stacking wood? Or the best place for stacking firewood.
To answer all these questions, I am here to provide you with detailed knowledge regarding how to stack firewood. This article guides you regarding multiple methods of wood stacking. Also, what you should do, where to stack your firewood, and where not.
Let’s take a look, without any further ado:
6 Firewood Stacking Techniques to Try:
There are different methods that have been used for stacking firewood. I am going to tell you some of the effective and commonly used techniques and how they are arranged. Let’s explore the techniques:
1. American Stacking Method:
Arranging stacking wood with the American Method is quite easy and simple. Not only arrangement is easy but the access to get some logs is also easier. Let me tell you how you can arrange logs with the American Method.
First, you need to create one layer of logs in the vertical direction. Then, make another layer of logs above the vertical layer but this time the direction should be horizontal. Keep stacking wood in layers in alternative directions and you will end up with the American style of stacking firewood.
You can use pallets or small stones to keep it above the ground. The plus point of this side is that it allows easy access. For smaller quantities, this method is good. However, the downside is it does not allow good airflow between the logs thus it is not good for stacking larger quantities of wood.
2. The German (Holshausen) Stacking Method:
German Method is also known as (Holshausen) which means “wood house” and is constructed in a way that it needs good sun exposure. It allows great airflow and the logs will be kept dry, even it helps in drying as well.
You can make this structure by starting with a ring-like structure in the base. Place the logs 2х4’s for making the base ring. Make sure that the bark side of the logs is facing outwards.
Once the ring is formed, form a layer above it in a way that the logs are leaning against the logs of the base ring. Make three such layers, in a way that they form 3 rows and the logs are leaning downwards. Then, again make a ring as that of the base and pile 3 rows over it.
Continue repeating this structure until you form 3-layer high piles or make 18 rows. Lastly, fill up the space left in the middle of the ring and cover the top.
This method is best for keeping the wood dry throughout the season. Also, it can be used for drying wood during the off-season. The structure is interesting by look so it won’t ruin the charm of your place.
3. The Shaker (Amish) Stacking Method:
Shaker of the Amish method is well known for arranging a large number of logs in an amazing organization. It is better than many modern methods and traditional rectangular methods of making piles. This structure gives stability and a pleasing aesthetic sense to your firewood stack.
By this method, you will end up making a round structure of the wood logs. You do not need to worry about uneven or odd-shaped logs. This structure can cover odd-shaped logs as well.
To follow this stacking method, start by placing an 8 х 16 16-inch long wood piece in the base. Make two layers of logs in a circular direction, similar to a wheel’s spokes. Leaning against the firewood, place two split logs over the center of the circle.
Keep making such layers above the circle until a disc-like shape is formed. Stop at the point when a cone-like shape is formed on the top and there is no more space left for placing more wood.
This is one of the best methods as it keeps the wood dry throughout the season. It also organizes a great quantity of firewood. Moreover, it is not a difficult structure to build.
4. The Norwegian Stacking Method:
The Norwegian method is well known for its feature of optimal airflow between the logs. The structure is like a top-covered well. The barked logs are arranged on the top, thus giving coverage to other logs. The upper covering of barked wood serves as the protection for the firewood.
For constructing the Norwegian design, you need to place 2 х 4 pressed logs on the pallet in a circular pattern. Keep making the circle higher by placing layers of logs over it. Along with building the outer covering, keep stuffing uneven logs inside the circle.
This way, the structure will be given support and stability so that it should not collapse. Also, you can fix uneven logs in an organized pattern. When a height of 3.5 feet is reached, cover the top with logs and the barks facing outward.
Similar to the German method and Saker method, it has enhanced air flow and provides a way for oddly cut logs.
5. The End Pillars Stacking Method:
This is the most attractive pattern I believe. You can use this method for stacking firewood along with getting an aesthetically pleasing pattern. It is very similar to the American method but the supporting pillars are also made from stacked wood.
Learn More: Full Cord vs Face Cord Differences
Let’s get to know how to make this design of firewood stacking. You can use pallets or treated 2 х 4s for making a base of 3 to 4 parallel rows. Then, make the pillars at each end of the base. You will do so by placing 3 to 4 pieces of wood next to each other.
Then, in the opposite direction place another 3 to 4 wood pieces over the first layer. Keep repeating this alternate pattern until you make 12 rows of high construction.
After the formation of pillars on the two sides, fill the center space by making an American method design. The center structure should be of the same height as that of the pillars. You are done with making a beautiful and efficient stacking method.
6. Criss Cross Method:
The Criss Cross method of wood stacking is a pillar-like structure of wood logs. It is the same pattern of pillars that we discussed in the end pillars method. The only difference is that we only make pillars of wood in this method.
Though it is simple, it looks good. You can follow the procedure that I have told you above while discussing the end pillar method. In this method, you can store a low quantity of wood efficiently.
However, for large quantities, we need quite a large space to make this pattern. Therefore, it is not suitable for a bigger quantity of wood as you need to leave spaces in between. Leaving space between pillars is essential to allow airflow.
6 Effective Rules of Stacking Firewood in Winter
Here are some of the rules that you should always consider while stacking the wood. These are basic rules that must be followed, no matter what method of stacking you are using.
1. Prioritize Safety:
While stacking your firewood, you need to wear all the safety items to protect yourself from being injured. Wear gloves, as the wood may have thin, pointed edges that can pinch in your skin. The gloves should also provide grip.
Safety Boots will prevent you from any accidental fall of logs on your feet. Overall, you need to be mentally fresh and do the job with full attention.
2. Stack it Above the Ground Level:
The second rule is that the logs should be stacked above the ground level. For this purpose, you can use racks to organize and stack the firewood. In case, you do not have a rack, place the log on stones or other such material.
Keeping your logs above the ground prevents moisture from the earth from entering the wood. Moisture also attracts bugs and all of this can cause a big mess. Also, moist wood does not burn and hence it is all at a loss.
3. Enhanced Airflow Between the Logs:
Never make a compact or too-tight stacking between the logs to save space. There should be a little space left between the logs so that the air can easily pass through them. The airflow between the wood keeps it dry. Even if the wood is kiln-dried, still the space should be left for air passage.
Stack your wood in a way that the end cuts are exposed to air and sunlight. This way, the wood stays dry and you can experience efficient burning. A foot of space should at least be left from all the sides of the stack, whether you are piling it against the wall, fences, or other such structure.
4. Clean Out Weeds and Plants:
Make sure that the area where you are planning to stack the wood, does not grow and weed or plantation. Such areas contain moisture and attract bugs and pests as well. In such an area, your wood cannot be protected from bugs or moisture.
5. Make a Rigid Structure with Stability:
The stacking should be rigid in a way that removing logs from the stack does not disturb the remaining structure. Otherwise, there is a high risk of falling firewood over you which you would never like to happen. Thus, make a structure with stability.
To avoid such a risk, do not pile the wood over 4 feet high. Also, make an organized arrangement by placing the larger logs at the bottom and the smaller ones above. This arrangement will create a stable structure of wood. You can also arrange the wood in structure of a rick.
6. Coverage of the Stacked Firewood:
To keep your wood safe from the rain, it must be covered or placed under a shelter. The areas with regular rainfalls, it is recommended to buy kiln-dried wood and keep it in the indoor spacing.
Why Stacking Firewood is Important?
Stacking firewood is necessary if you want a hustle and trouble-free winter. If you have stacked wood in your stock, you will stay stress-free and enjoy the chilling season.
A properly planned arrangement is of keen importance for stacking your wood. Or else, you might end up wasting all the firewood. If you are not organized and planned with your stock, it can get wet and you would not be able to use it for efficient burning.
Another aspect is that keeping a large amount of cord of wood in stock could be dangerous. It can catch fire and set the whole place ablaze. Thus, proper stacking is crucial to avoid such incidents as well.
Choosing Where to Stack Firewood?
For stacking wood, choosing the right place is paramount. As I have told you earlier stacked wood can set the place on fire. To prevent such accidental harm, you should choose the appropriate place for stacking firewood.
In general, it is said to keep the stacked wood away from the household. Also, you have to choose a place where there is reach to sunlight. Keeping the wood dry and exposed to sunlight, will prevent moisture and pests.
Let me give you some ideas for indoor and outdoor stacking. It will help you in choosing the right place to stack your wood and you will have your firewood ready to burn.
The Best Place for Outdoor Stacking:
If you are buying kiln-dried wood, then it is never recommended to be placed in an outdoor space. For normal firewood, you can place it in an outdoor space that has a sort of shelter, reach of sunlight, and enough space for ventilation.
The stacking structure should be better away from your home. The pests are attracted to shelter and they may make their way to your home. Also, placing the stack away from the home will minimize the risk of accidental fire hazards.
While stacking the firewood in an outdoor space, you need to make sure that the logs do not block the emergency exits. Also, be careful of pipelines or savage systems. The pipelines beneath make the soil moist and if the wood is placed nearby, it can get moisture from there.
The Best Place for Indoor Stacking:
If you are buying kiln dry wood that is clean and free from bugs and pests, then you can place it indoors. Generally, people store firewood in indoor places such as basements, garages, or living rooms. Some people have huge stores for this purpose in their homes.
The best place for kiln dry wood could be one of them but make sure that there is no moisture there. Just leave spaces for airflow while stacking wood in the indoor space, and your wood will be safe.
Be mindful of stacking the wood there. The stack should not go beyond the height of your shoulder or more than 4 feet high. An above-height stacked wood can be harmful to you while taking wood from the stack.
Always Follow the Area-Specific Rules:
However, apart from all these guidelines, in some areas, there are specific rules for stacking firewood. Make sure that you comply with your area-specific rules. These rules may include; the maximum amount of firewood that you can store, how far should be the wood from the neighbor’s house, etc.
For instance, regions such as Glencoe and Hanover Park have very specific rules for firewood stacking. Do follow any such restrictions to avoid being subjected to fines for breaking rules. Also, these rules are made for your safety, do follow them.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What is the best way to stack firewood?
The best way of stacking firewood varies with your choice and demand. If your wood has moist content and you want to stack the logs in a way that can help in drying, then Norwegian is best. It allows the optimal airflow between the logs.
If you are looking for a method that gets you easy access to removing a few logs for burning, then American Method is best. For smaller spaces and larger wood quantities, the Shaker Method is best as it holds a great quantity of wood.
Likewise, for seasoning, the German Method is recommended. While Criss Cross is the easiest method to stack firewood.
2. Should firewood be stacked bark up or down?
As far as the matter of Bark up or Bark down is concerned, it has no rigid answer for which should be followed. Both ways have their pros and cons especially when the wood is stacked under a shelter. At that point, the airflow is what matters the most and the matter of bark up or bark down becomes personal preference.
3. Is it OK to stack wet wood?
If your seasoned firewood gets wet in the rain or by some other means it gets some moisture, leave it for dry. It will dry out in a few days. However, continuous exposure to moisture will ruin your firewood and it won’t burn efficiently. Therefore, it is recommended to store wood in a dry and ventilated space.
4. How long does wood have to sit before burning?
It is recommended that the wood used for burning should have a moisture content of less than 20%. Thus, to dry wood to the prescribed level, it should be set for 6 to 12 months before off season. The lower the moist content, the better the wood for burning.
Wet wood or having a moist content greater than 20% is harmful. As the wood undergoes burning at a cooler temperature it causes incomplete combustion. It is not good for health and causes creosote accumulation in the chimney. It can cause fire hazards as well.
5. Where should you not stack wood?
You should never stack your firewood at a place where there are chances of wood getting wet. Also, areas that have moisture content should be avoided. Moreover, you should not stack firewood at places where there is a danger of getting fire. Thus, keep your firewood away from all these areas to keep your firewood safe and away from accidental fire breakouts.
This was a detailed article regarding how to stack firewood. I hope I have covered every detail for you to provide you a complete knowledge for storing your firewood. Do follow all the guidelines for organized and hustle-free work.
I have told you the rules that you have to follow regardless of the method you follow for the stacking. From choosing the right place to the right method according to your demand, you can take guidance from this write-up.
In the end, I would like to remind you of your safety. Wear safety protections such as gloves and boots while working in the woods. Do not make higher stacks of wood than your shoulder and be mindful of choosing the right place to avoid accidental hazards.