“Every man looks at his woodpile with a kind of affection.” – Henry David Thoreau
As we get into the stove season and we are starting to stock up our log stores we all have our own take on what makes a good pile. But is there a right way and are we doing it?
Most people think the purpose of a log store is simply to keep the rain off, although it is a major factor, it is not the most important aspect. If we consider the dynamics of hanging up our washing for a second, it is the airflow that is drying our clothes – not the cover from rain. The same thinking should be applied to our log store. So the first consideration is the wind and the airflow through, above and below the logs. Even in the driest, most waterproof shed, a load of damp logs will be very slow to dry.
The wetter the area you live in, the more important this is. A pile of dry logs can take a heavy rain shower and be dry again soon if there is good airflow. However if you live in an area with prolonged periods of rainfall it is important to find out what direction the rain is usually coming from. So it is important to consider how to protect your logs from the prevailing rain laden winds whilst maintaining good airflow from the other sides.
It can be difficult to get sunshine falling directly onto your neatly stacked log pile, and if it does it can only ever reach the outer layer. However it can help to dry out the bark faster, reducing its waterproofing properties thus allowing more moisture to escape.
Trees can be a help and also a hinderance to your log store, if you’ve been camping you may have experienced the pitfalls of pitching your tent under branches the rainfall continues to drip long after the rain has finished. This can create a micro climate under the trees that is damper than the surrounding area. Having said that, there are some species of tree with dense canopies above and no airflow restriction below that can create natural wood stores.
And there’s more…
There are more factors including pest avoidance, multiple log stores and using an existing wall etc. You can find all these answers in The Wood Fire Handbook available in stores now. A great fire side read!
Discover it here: https://www.bonkandco.com/product/wood-fire-handbook/