How to stack firewood
Did you know that around 1.7 million households in the United States of America use firewood as their primary source of heat during the colder months? Firewood is a wonderful option for heating your home because it provides a warm and cozy environment and it creates a sense of intimacy and nostalgia. It’s difficult to top the smell of firewood burning in a stove or a fireplace.
If you plan on using firewood as your main source of heat for your home then it’s vital that you learn how to stack firewood. Storing your firewood the correct way will make it last longer and burn stronger when those frigid winter temps arrive.
If you’re new to stacking firewood then it’s never a bad idea to get a few firewood tips. The good news is that you’re in the perfect place to learn all about how to stack firewood and all of the firewood benefits that you’ll enjoy.
Keep reading to learn more today!
How to Stack Firewood
You have a number of options at your disposal when it comes to stacking your firewood after you purchase or chop it. Don’t underestimate the task that lies ahead if you have a pile of firewood that you need to stack and store.
The first thing that you need to prioritize with your firewood is finding a way to store it so that it remains dry. If you don’t have space inside your basement or garage to store your firewood out of the elements then it’s a good idea to look at covering the piles with a tarp. Try to cover only the top of the wood so that it can still breathe while getting stored.
The next step involves stacking two logs facing one way and then adding two more facing the opposite way on top of them. You should have a nice and stable base by using this method for stacking firewood. Look to use square-shaped or flat-sided logs as your pillar or stack foundation.
You also need to make sure that you’re stacking the wood in a level manner. Firewood piles that aren’t level are at a higher risk of falling over. It’s also wise to wear the right safety equipment for the job when you start the process of stacking firewood at your home or camp.
Firewood Stacking Methods
Now that you know what firewood is and what the essentials are for stacking it, it’s time to focus on some different methods or techniques for getting the job done. Cultures from around the world have different ways of stacking and storing firewood, and learning from these cultures is a great way to learn some firewood tips.
The German Method
One of the most popular options when it comes to stacking firewood is the German method. The German method focuses on allowing airflow through the middle of the stack to keep the wood dry and well-preserved for when you need it. It also allows for each piece of wood to remain dry during this process.
The first key to perfecting the German method is to make sure that none of your firewood is longer than 24 inches or shorter than 12 inches. You also need to make sure that each piece has the same diameter as this method requires uniformity. Next, you’ll put a stake measuring at least 6 feet high into the middle of your wood pile.
You’ll use that stake as the support for storing the firewood and you’ll start to create a circle design. Think of the design as similar to a tipi when it’s completed. Continue piling on more logs while continuing this pattern until the firewood reaches the height of the stick in the middle, and place pieces with bark on them on the outside to protect the wood from the elements.
The End Pillar Wood Stack
Another proven method for stacking firewood is the end pillar wood stack. This method is one of the classics and many people choose to go with it when they’re trying to get the wood ready for their firewood uses. Similar to the German method, you’ll need uniform-sized logs in order for the end pillar wood stack to work at its best.
Using uniform pieces will add to the stability of the pile of wood to ensure that it doesn’t tip over or fall after you go through the process of stacking it. You’ll get two logs of similar shapes and sizes and have them snug against each other to start. Find two more logs of a similar shape and size and turn them 90 degrees so that they form a cross shape on top of the first two logs.
Continue using this pattern until the column reaches around 12 levels or layers. You don’t want the pillar to reach too high as it could make it less stable. Next, you’ll create a second tower that matches the first for height.
Make sure that you place this second tower a handful of feet away from the first one so that you’ll have plenty of room for stacking more logs between the two pillars. The best rule of thumb is to have the cut ends facing in the direction that gets the most wind. Continue building up the middle until it reaches the same height as the two pillars that you’ve built.
It’s also wise to place the logs with the bark facing up in order to protect your pile of wood from moisture. Keep in mind that this isn’t the best method if seasoning the wood is your priority, since it doesn’t allow great airflow. You can learn more here.
The Holzhaus Method
The Holzhaus method is another effective way of stacking firewood for when you need it. It’s a great option if you need to store your firewood but you lack access to a shed or a firewood rack. The essence of the design is a symmetrical circle.
You’ll start by finding a place on your property that gets a lot of sunlight for the best results, along with good air circulation. Next, draw a circle that is roughly 10 feet in diameter. Setting the end of each log on the edge of the circle is the next step for getting your firewood stack started by creating a bottom layer.
You can also cushion this woodpile by continuing to add more logs around the outside of the circle as you go. You’re sure to have some odd pieces of firewood that you’re unsure of what to do with. Add these outlier logs to the middle of your firewood stack.
The last step involves placing the rest of your firewood on top of the layers you’ve already created and continuing stacking over the middle of the pile.
Using a Firewood Rack
You could argue that this method is cheating compared to the other methods listed, but it’s fair to say that sometimes it’s better to work smarter rather than harder. Using a rack is much easier and less labor-intensive than methods like the Holzhaus and German methods.
Start by picking out a firewood rack that is large enough to meet your needs. After picking out your rack and setting it up, you can get started with stacking firewood and enjoying all of the best firewood uses. Use pieces of firewood that are of a similar shape and size when you start to stack firewood.
These pieces of wood will get stacked side by side as you start to create a bottom layer on the rack. Continue stacking your firewood until the pile of wood on the rack reaches around four feet high. It’s also a good idea to push on the pile a bit to get a feel for its sturdiness of it before considering it a job well done.
If you discover any medium-to-large gaps in the pile of firewood then it’s a perfect opportunity to stuff some smaller pieces into them. Taking this step will allow you to keep some kindling and smaller logs ready to go for starting a fire while also making your pile much more stable.
The Shaker Method
The Shaker method of stacking wood is arguably the most aesthetically pleasing option for stacking and storing your firewood. It’s another round design that has the firewood logs touch on one end while spiraling out on the other end of the design. After you complete the first layer of firewood you should see a design that looks like the spokes on a bicycle wheel.
If you have a lot of logs that aren’t uniform in shape and size then you should consider using the Shaker method. It’s compatible with a number of different log shapes and it provides a nice look to your yard even when you’re not getting any firewood uses.
You’ll love the shaker method since it is quick and easy to set up, and it’s perfect for allowing your firewood to breathe while getting stored. You can start by placing a log that is roughly eight inches around and 16 inches long in the middle. You’ll use this log as the base for the overall design of your wood pile.
Make sure you get at least two rows deep with this design before moving on to the next steps. Next, you’ll add two logs that you’ve split to the middle of your wood pile as a way to lean more firewood against them for storage. You can continue adding more firewood to this design until it reaches the height of your shoulders.
The finished design should look something like a cone, and you can continue adding to it until there’s no more room to add firewood. You can’t go wrong with the Shaker method if you have a ton of firewood that you need to stack.
Benefits of Using Firewood
There are a number of notable benefits that you’ll gain from using firewood as your home’s main source of heat. It doesn’t matter if you’re facing frigid winters on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan or mild winters in the mountains of North Carolina, firewood provides a different and more comfortable heat for your family to enjoy.
Here’s a closer look at some of the best benefits of using firewood at your home.
Ease of Use
It’s quite easy to get a fire started when you’re using seasoned firewood that you’ve stacked and stored over the past year. Green wood contains a large amount of moisture that needs to burn off in order for your green firewood to catch. It also takes a ton of work to get this type of firewood to continue burning.
Even a novice with stacking firewood will have no problems getting fires started with seasoned firewood.
Another big benefit of using firewood as a heat source for your home is the money that it saves you compared to using heating oil or an electric HVAC system in your home. You’ll have no issues finding a reliable source for your firewood, or if you have a property you can cut and split your own firewood before learning how to stack firewood in your yard.
You can also gain peace of mind that your home will always have heat even if the power goes out in the middle of winter. All you’ll need to do is gain some fire-starting skills and you’re good to go.
Eco-Friendly Heat Source
Using firewood to heat your home is great because it has the smallest impact on the environment compared to your other options. Wood is a carbon-neutral heat source, meaning that the carbon monoxide from the fires at your home is equal to the amount taken in by growing trees. Your wood stove is also much more efficient with energy compared to an HVAC system.
Now You Know How to Stack Firewood
No matter if you’re planning on living off the grid or you just like the smell and feel of a fire in the fireplace, it’s essential that you take time to learn how to stack firewood at your home. You have no shortage of methods for stacking firewood so it’s all about trying them and finding the right one for you. Doing this will allow you to save money and help the environment with an efficient form of heat.
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