The photo above shows the approximately two cords of firewood that I have left from last winter. It's not easy to see, but there are three rows here - a short one in front and two longer ones in back.
You don't see the crisscross ends on all of the stacks because I took firewood to burn from those ends. This winter I think I'll take the wood in layers from the top. This will keep the stacks more stable and make it easier to calculate how much wood I have left.
Protecting the Firewood
The stacks are covered with brown tarps doubled over a couple of times and held down with some pieces of wood. The tarp keeps the snow and rain off the top, but lets the air get to the wood so it doesn't get moldy.
When I first covered the wood, I made the mistake of letting the tarps drape down the side of the woodpile a couple of feet. Several months later, I saw that the top layers of wood were getting moldy and so I tucked the tarp back up so the whole pile was exposed to the sun and air.
How Much is a Cord and How Long Will It Last?
One cord of wood measures 8 feet long, 4 feet high, and 4 feet wide - which equals 128 cubic feet.
To determine how much firewood I had left, I took the length of each stack and multiplied it by the height. I then multiplied this figure by a width of 1.3 feet (most of this firewood is 16" long) to get the total cubic feet in that stack.
I did the same calculation for each stack and added the three together. I came out with about 264 cubic feet - which is about 2 cords of wood.
Since I didn't get my Avalon Olympic wood stove until this past February, I don't know how much wood I'll burn during one winter. And that, of course, depends upon many factors. Some are:
1) the weather
2) how well insulated my house is (very)
3) how warm I want to keep the house
4) how efficiently I burn the wood
5) how many btu's are in the wood that I have (depends upon how old the wood is, the type of tree it came from, etc.)
I'm guessing that I'll burn 3 1/2 to 4 cords of wood this winter. So, I got two more cords of firewood this spring, as you can see below. It's mostly maple, oak, birch, and ash.
Firewood Size and Dryness
This new wood is 18" inches long. For a short time, I had a used a wood stove that took shorter pieces, so that's why I originally got the 16" firewood.
My wood stove will just barely take pieces that are 24" long. Although the 18" pieces won't burn as long, they're easier for me to stack, to bring into the house, and to get into the stove. And, as anyone will tell you, when you get 18" firewood, not all of it will be exactly 18" long - some will be a little shorter and some a little longer.
The trees that this new firewood came from were cut down last winter and the wood was split just before it was delivered in April. So that should give it enough time to dry out before this winter.
Since I took this photo, I've stacked most of the new firewood on log racks that I built. Hopefully, I show you that in a later post. [Added: Here are photos of the two cords stacked.]
Posted by Beth on Sunday, July 23, 2006