Sourcing and buying fire wood

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If you have the space, source and buy your fire wood in the summer.Firewood dealers are far more generous on what constitutes a load during the summer months as they are far less busy and glad of the custom.You can contact your local tree surgery company and buy it green ,then season it yourself.This will take two years to season and you may well have to split it yourself who needs the gym when you can swing an axe in the height of summer?

a splitting axe and a felling axe

The axe on the left is a felling axe it takes a lot of hard work to split with a felling axe.

The axe on the right is a splitting axe, designed for fire wood you can use this with a sledge hammer for splitting tougher woods.On its own it`s much better for splitting than the felling axe.Be wary of axes with fiber glass handles they really sting your hands and can shatter if you strike the handle.

a stack of freshly split fire wood

This is a pile of freshly split green wood notice the lack of radial cracks on the ends.

40% moisture reading using a moisture meter

This can easily have a moisture level of 40% .Burning this will lead to tar formation coupled with poor heat output,using twice as much fuel.You can buy a moisture meter for as little as £15, a good investment for the fire wood user.

moisture meter reading 19.5%

Your goal is to only burn fire wood with a moisture level of 20% or less.

ultimate fire wood shed

This can be best achieved through careful management of your fire wood stock, on a two to three year rotation.

fire wood stacked in green house to dry out

If you have a disused green house,this is the best place for your fire wood to season,with all doors and windows left ajar.

In this area,due to the surge in fire wood use, the local fire wood dealers are struggling to keep up with demand.The quality of fire wood delivered drops dramatically as the burning season progresses and dealers  run out of the better quality seasoned wood.In this modern age when you can buy out of season foodstuffs imported from round the world it`s important to note that fire wood is very much a seasonal product.

It is better to accept that the fire wood you have delivered,unless it`s kiln dried will require at least a years seasoning to reach it`s full potential.Dry fire wood has twice the heat out put as poorly seasoned fire wood therefore you use twice as much poorly seasoned fire wood to achieve the same heat.If you have just had a wood burner fitted or you have low stocks as a rule of thumb you should have at least two years worth of fire wood on hand,ideally three years worth on a rotational basis.

Burning wood – sweep every three months in use

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