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How dry can seasoned logs get?


MikeM
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The driest kiln dried I have ever come across is in the Morso warehouse. They buy in the summer when MCs following kilning will not rise, then its kept in a heated warehouse until despatch. Surface MCs when I last checked a year or so ago were well into single figures.

 

A

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I find this thread and other threads about the moisture content of logs funny, people are getting to anal about bloody wood! We have burnt wood since the start of time and I doubt they had a blinking moisture meter back when cave men were using fire as heat. Get some wood and hold it in your hand, if it's wet then leave it if it's dry then burn it. The whole firewood market is a joke, people brainwashed into thinking softwood is crap. Well your wrong, the Scandinavians burn pretty much only softwood and they happy enough. This is one of the reasons I'm getting out of logs, people are getting way to fussy about what they burn.

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The driest kiln dried I have ever come across is in the Morso warehouse. They buy in the summer when MCs following kilning will not rise, then its kept in a heated warehouse until despatch. Surface MCs when I last checked a year or so ago were well into single figures.

 

A

 

 

Sounds like a total waste of time ;)

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I find this thread and other threads about the moisture content of logs funny, people are getting to anal about bloody wood! We have burnt wood since the start of time and I doubt they had a blinking moisture meter back when cave men were using fire as heat. Get some wood and hold it in your hand, if it's wet then leave it if it's dry then burn it. The whole firewood market is a joke, people brainwashed into thinking softwood is crap. Well your wrong, the Scandinavians burn pretty much only softwood and they happy enough. This is one of the reasons I'm getting out of logs, people are getting way to fussy about what they burn.

 

Without wanting to sound too defensive the original purpose of the thread was to challenge the very brainwashing you are referencing. It was to flag the next stage, which moves from softwood is crap to naturally seasoned wood is crap.

 

I take your point about cave men, but they didn't have stove sellers, doom pedalling chimney sweeps, twin lined flues or firewood moved around Europe in shipping containers to contend with either. As consumers we do not have the knowledge that you have as producers and tend to rely on what the so called subject matter experts tell us.

 

I see no difference in those providing a decent quality product, soft or hard, at a price that can compete with other fuel types, being edged out by dishonest kiln dried impoters or the beer money brigade, who seem to attract so much comment on this forum.

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I find this thread and other threads about the moisture content of logs funny, people are getting to anal about bloody wood! We have burnt wood since the start of time and I doubt they had a blinking moisture meter back when cave men were using fire as heat. Get some wood and hold it in your hand, if it's wet then leave it if it's dry then burn it. The whole firewood market is a joke, people brainwashed into thinking softwood is crap. Well your wrong, the Scandinavians burn pretty much only softwood and they happy enough. This is one of the reasons I'm getting out of logs, people are getting way to fussy about what they burn.

 

Do you not think that if you can educate customers and give them honest accurate information then they might realise the difference between wood ''seasoned'' to 35% at the bottom of a Cornish valley and wood from a merchant who has seasoned his timber on high ground to 20%, stores it undercover in a warm dry barn and delivers the advertised quantity and quality. Both may have been cut for the same length of time but a reading of the moisture content would demonstrate why some logs are better than others before going in the fire. From this follows that advice from their local supplier about the suitability of his/her product be it hard or soft wood will more likely to be trusted rather than believing the hype of a foreign importer.

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Do you not think that if you can educate customers and give them honest accurate information then they might realise the difference between wood ''seasoned'' to 35% at the bottom of a Cornish valley and wood from a merchant who has seasoned his timber on high ground to 20%, stores it undercover in a warm dry barn and delivers the advertised quantity and quality. Both may have been cut for the same length of time but a reading of the moisture content would demonstrate why some logs are better than others before going in the fire. From this follows that advice from their local supplier about the suitability of his/her product be it hard or soft wood will more likely to be trusted rather than believing the hype of a foreign importer.

 

 

I've tried and tried until I'm blue in the face, the customers I have are cool but most people are only bothered about the price, well round my way anyway.

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I've tried and tried until I'm blue in the face, the customers I have are cool but most people are only bothered about the price, well round my way anyway.

 

same here it's price before quality.

I delivered a bag to a customer on Friday, hes been buying off me for 3 years but every year he still buys a load of green timber because it's cheap. tried pointing out to him it's the same quantity at the same price as my own stuff it just comes in a tipper and is 10 to 15% more in mc.

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I take your point about cave men, but they didn't have stove sellers, doom pedalling chimney sweeps, twin lined flues or firewood moved around Europe in shipping containers to contend with either. As consumers we do not have the knowledge that you have as producers and tend to rely on what the so called subject matter experts tell us.

 

Cavemen probably had a high mortality rate from inhaling smoke from dirty fires just as today indoor air pollution from wood smoke is the biggest cause of infant mortality with over 2 billion people still regularly cooking with wood. At least we have the opportunity to burn wood cleanly in a box partitioned from the indoor space and venting combustion products well above the air we breathe. Not to mention the step change in efficiency by doing so. Having written that you can go overboard with demanding dry wood and burned hot and fast a burner can cope with higher mc wood as long as the three Ts of temperature, turbulence and time are observed. Theoretically burning fresh felled wood would only cause a loss of energy of 14% over burning it bone dry *IF* it can be burned cleanly, and there's the rub, the evaporating of the moisture reduces the temperature to below what is needed in the absence of sophisticated heat feedback. I see little problem with burning wood 30% mc wwb and down.

 

Muldonach is correct in what he said about a log of 30% mc wwb still losing moisture any time that the RH is less than 100% but this is only because at 30% mc the wood is still just above its fibre saturation point, a small amount of water is free and not bound to the cell structure. As soon as that is lost (and this free water is the easy bit to get rid of) then the remaining water is weakly bound to the cell structures. It is this that then remains in equilibrium with the ambient air humidity but because there is a small amount of energy in the bond it tracks slightly differently whether the mc is increasing or decreasing, this means that a given air humidity the wood can have a small range of moisture content difference depending on whether the air is becoming more or less humid, all absolutely insignificant in firewood but interesting to cabinet makers.

 

A little moisture in the wood can moderate the rate of gasification which makes secondary combustion more manageable but this refers to mcs below which we see in my home environment.

 

I'd be interested to see the rationale in drying wood chip as the particle sizes are generally small enough to dry them on the fly, When Tilbury was burning wood a government department that had been semi "privatised" were drying chip in an alvan blanch grain dryer that had had a second oil burner fitted, I considered this a bit naughty and a breach of the spirit of the grant aid for non fossil fuels being paid.

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