Jump to content
coppicer

Making wire netting cages

Recommended Posts

I'm having difficulties deciding on how to store the higher volume of firewood I expect to extract from my property over the next few years.

 

At first I thought I would extend the existing approach, which has been to store the wood in an open-fronted "box" made out of pallets. However, this needs a lot of pallets, and it only works if you stack the wood neatly, and if the wood itself is of reasonable and reasonably consistent size. You can't just throw logs in there and hope they will stay put. Going forward the wood will be more variable in size, and there's going to be more of it, so stacking carefully by hand is no longer practical. What I need is a container into which I can drop the cut wood and forget it, and that I can move around as required using a pallet fork or loader. It seems to me that these my options.

 

(1) Cages from an IBC tank. These are sturdy and a good size; this would still be my preferred option if it were not for cost and availability. £40 a tank seems to be the going rate, so a couple of dozen tanks would cost me the best part of a grand. Also, I live in the back-end of nowhere, and I very seldom see IBC tanks coming up for sale within a reasonable driving distance. Because of their bulk, delivery costs seem pretty high, probably adding 50% to the purchase price.

 

(2) Vented bags. Initially this seems like a really good idea, and I may still use them, but after trawling through dozens of threads here on arbtalk, I see a lot of comments about them not holding up well to sunlight, and about not drying as well as IBC cages, leading to mould in the middle of the bag. The cost is not too bad, however.

 

(3) Wire netting cages. I came across this in a fascinating and quite inspiring post made by @the village idiot at the end of last year. He describes the use of wire netting to process about a gazillion bags of firewood per year, and provided some useful pictures. From what I can make out, he dumps rounds into wire netting enclosures, then transfers them after splitting down to a more reasonable size into cylindrical wire netting enclosures standing on pallets. This seemed interesting and inexpensive, though I have my concerns about how well a wooden pallet would stand up to being left in woodlands for a couple of years.

 

So I decided to experiment with a combination of (2) and (3) above, documenting it in a short thread (partly because I feel guilty about semi-hijacking an interesting thread by @difflock). Final point: this is a hobby, not a commercial venture. I do it because I enjoy it, because it gets me out of the house and keeps me active, and because I use the wood burner for space heating, so it does actually save on the gas bill.

 

Dan

Edited by coppicer
spelling
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's how I have stored firewood up till now. As you can see, I need for pallets for the base, sides and back, and a piece of plywood on top. In this case I was experimenting with a very thin piece of plywood, and it hasn't worked. You can see that it's gone all wavy. For other boxes I used marine plywood, I think 18 mm, which was expensive, and you only get two "roofs" per sheet. I actually gave this a coat of Cuprinol Ducksback, and it has held up well to the rough weather of the past couple of years.

 

For the most recent couple of boxes I have simply tied the pallets together using wire rope and crimps. That seems to work reasonably well, better than using long screws to fix it together, which is what I was doing when I first started. I only have about half a dozen of these boxes on the go at any one time. In future I will need a few more - maybe as many as a couple of dozen.

 

Overall, costly and time-consuming to make.

 

20180818_170816-50%.jpg

Edited by coppicer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a wire cage that I assembled yesterday. There was some old netting that I was able to reuse from a defunct fence; this needed a length of about 4 m. Pallets are not that easy to get hold of, as I have found that builders merchants round here tend to be pretty tight and careful about giving them way, especially the more solidly built ones that you actually want. Still, the cost of the materials is close to zero. My concern is that this lightweight pallet will just decay over the course of a couple of years if left out in the open.

 

I made this cage by fixing the lower edge of one end of the netting to the middle of one side of the pallet using 2 mm galvanised wire and a wire twister attachment on my drill. Then I wrapped the netting around and fixed it at the next corner in the same way, and so on until I had attached it the pallet all the way round. Where the netting overlapped, I fixed it with some hog rings initially, just to keep it in place, then bent the wires back and twisted them round to fix the netting at the join.

 

The whole process took me maybe 40 minutes of faffing about. It should be a lot quicker, of course, as I get used to it. Perhaps 10 minutes? Fixing at the corners and at the sides takes time, because you're fighting the netting and trying to keep it taut. In this case it didn't come out particularly tight. I might be able to get a fair number of logs in this, but it looks to me as if the netting might become detached from the pallet.

 

It probably needs a wire in each direction across the top to keep the netting from bowing out too much. A more general concern is that smaller logs might just fall through the holes. I have some old chicken wire lying around, and I could clip that inside netting as a kind of "liner" to keep small diameter logs inside.

 

Next time I think I will try making a rough cylinder out of the netting beforehand, then plonking the cylinder on top of the pallet and fixing it in place. That seems to be how the village idiot does it in his operation.

 

20200516_145319-50%.jpg

Edited by coppicer
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bricks etc under the  pallets blocks makes them last alot longer but you need 9 bricks for each one.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just make a ring of of old pig net and sit it on the pallet, got to be careful moving them that's all.  I usually put a second pallet underneath.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Which corner of the country are you in?   £40 for an IBC is a lot.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dan,

Handling and storing firewood is a proper bugger, I started with potato boxes, but they were well rotten before I ever bought them, and with outside storage they then deterioted even faster, and I had no way of emptying them either, and then we are remote from any source of cheap IBC's, and pallets cages on our wet ground rot SO quick, hence my billet bundles method(copied from the Germans, so there must be some merit therin?),

But which is still bloody tedious.

I would love a PTO driven processor, but where to go with the cut lengths so produced.

And, all in all, one really needs to be working on a concrete surface, so as to allow for the clean-up and disposal of the resulting bark/splinters and ensuing mulch.

And then a big airy shed to store the logs in.

Or just stick to a chainsaw and Axe.

Marcus

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got a few plastic pallets for free they seem to last be lasting really well so far but atm they are all used in a fence to protect a polytunnel from wind.

 

PLASTICPALLETSUK.CO.UK

1200 x 800mm Euro Plastic Pallet. A variety of high quality 1200 x 800mm Euro Plastic Pallets.

 

Some more would be handy

Edited by Stere
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Featured Adverts

About

Arbtalk.co.uk is a hub for the arboriculture industry in the UK.  
If you're just starting out and you need business, equipment, tech or training support you're in the right place.  If you've done it, made it, got a van load of oily t-shirts and have decided to give something back by sharing your knowledge or wisdom,  then you're welcome too.
If you would like to contribute to making this industry more effective and safe then welcome.
Just like a living tree, it'll always be a work in progress.
Please have a look around, sign up, share and contribute the best you have.

See you inside.

The Arbtalk Team

Follow us

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.