Donna Paulsen, Author at Level Up Your Skills
Donna Paulsen

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How To Dry Firewood Fast?

Having dry firewood is a key part of building a successful fire. In this article when we say dry, we aren’t just meaning dry from rain or water. We are talking about dry all the way throughout the wood. Another term for the dry firewood we are referring to is seasoned. In this article, we are going to talk about the best ways to dry firewood fast. This way you will have wood to use in the winter to burn to warm your home or cook. It is always important to keep a large supply of seasoned wood on hand because it does take some time for the wood to dry properly, even if you are using faster methods.

How to Dry Firewood Fast

How to Dry Firewood Fast

Type of Wood

Before going into detail on how to dry wood fast we are first going to talk about some factors that affect how long it takes wood to dry. The first of those factors is if the wood is a hardwood or softwood. You may have heard of hardwood before when it has come to talk about furniture and the type of wood it was made of. A lot of times nice, heavy furniture is made of hardwood.

Hardwoods are great for furniture, but they are also great for building fires. This is because they are thicker, denser, and take longer to burn. This means they will provide warmth longer. Some common hardwoods are your oak, locust, and black maple trees. There are many other kinds of hardwood though. The downside though to hardwoods is that it is harder to work with.

The main reason hardwoods are harder to work with is because they take longer to dry. The other reason is that it is harder to cut and split into good firewood size pieces. For firewood, you don’t want large pieces because it won’t fit into the fireplace, but you also don’t want tiny pieces because they will burn to fast. Since hardwoods are harder to work with a lot of times people use softwoods for firewood, but you don’t have too. If you have some good hardwood logs that are the right size for firewood, then you can use them. You just have to remember to give them more time to dry.

Softwoods are easier to use than hardwoods and they can be found anywhere. Another reason why people like it for firewood is that it is cheap. Softwood burns faster though, so you need more of it. The big perk though is that it dries a lot faster. So, that is the first tip, if you need dry firewood fast, then get softwood. Both still take time though. Hardwood takes around 18 months to dry while soft takes 6 months depending on the method that you use.

Softwood

Softwood

Green vs. Seasoned

So, since it takes so long to dry you may be wondering if it matters. The answer is yes it does matter. Greenwood is moist wood that has not dried. It is the state the wood is in when you cut a living tree down. The moister is from the sap in the wood. When you burn green wood it does not burn well. Also, it does not produce much heat. That is because the heat is being lost into smoke from the moisture. Greenwood just sizzles.

Seasoned or dry wood, on the other hand, burns well. That is because there is no moisture in the wood to turn into smoke. On top of burning well, it produces a good amount of heat. That is important because when you are burning wood, it is the heat that you want to produce.

Methods

So, now that you know why it is important to dry out firewood and season it before use we can get into the three main methods of drying firewood. The three methods are

  • Natural Drying
  • Ventilation Drying
  • Kiln Drying

We will talk about what is involved with each type of drying and also cover which is the fastest way to dry firewood.

Natural Drying

The easiest way to dry firewood is natural drying. However, this way is normally the slowest of the three. With the tips we are doing to cover though, it will help make the natural drying way faster. For our explanation and tips on how to dry firewood, we are going to already assumed that the wood is split and ready to dry. To get the wood ready to dry it needs to have the branches removed and log that is the size you would stick into your fireplace or fire.

To dry firewood naturally, all you do is stack it. To make the drying faster though you can stack it in a specific way. Use these tips to stack the firewood, so you can have dry wood in a season. To dry firewood naturally it is best to cut the tree in the spring, so the wood will have a couple of seasons to season. Then when you begin stacking you want to stack it in a spot with a lot of sunlight. That is the first key thing. Next, when it comes to stacking the wood you don’t want it to be perfectly fitted together. Instead, you want holes between the wood. This will allow for airflow and faster drying.

One key tip to remember is also don’t stack the wood directly on the ground. This will prevent airflow and cause moisture to raise throughout the stack. Instead, stack it off the ground on top of something such as a pallet. This will help it dry faster. Also, the spot where you stack the wood should be away from your living area so bugs won’t come in. The next question is should you cover the wood. The answer is yes if you have too. You don’t want the wood to get rained on, but you also want to let it breathe. Only cover the wood with a tarp when you have too and uncover as soon as you can. Also, only cover the top of the wood. The best thing is to have a roof hut or shed built around the wood stacks to dry the wood in.

The rest is just a matter of time when it comes to drying firewood naturally. If you follow these tips though you can have dry firewood in as little as a few months if it is softwood. If it is a hardwood it will take longer though especially depending on how much it rains in your area. Just stack the wood in as sunny of a spot as you can though and make sure it has good airflow to dry the wood out fast.

Ventilation

The next method focuses on airflow, and that is the ventilation method. This method uses forced ventilation and airflow to speed up the drying process. However, it is not a cheap method.  To dry wood using this method you still stack the wood in the same way as the previous method. This time though you are going to put ventilators in the pallets under the wood stack. The ventilators will move the air around. Another thing with this method is that the humidity has to be below 75% if it is greater then that, then you can rewet the wood.

The ventilators should also be turned off at night, when it rains, or if it is foggy. This all ties into humidity. You don’t want moisture considering on to the wood stacks. The increased airflow with the ventilators does lead to faster drying though when done right. This method is costly though as you have to buy ventilators and also it uses electricity. You will have to determine how much the quicker drying speed is worth it to determine if this method is the best method for you.

Kiln Drying

The last method is the most costly at first, but also relatively simple and a lot faster. That is using a kiln to dry the wood. A kiln is a device that produces heat, like air vents, and you can control the humidity. It is used to dry wood and also can be used to fire pottery which is where you might have heard of a kiln before. Nice kilns have moisture meters, so you can see exactly how much moisture is in the firewood.

The thing is, if you don’t have a nice kiln with a meter, then it might not do you much good to kiln dry your logs because you still won’t know exactly how dry they are. On the other hand, though a kiln can dry out logs in a matter of hours or days deepening on the type of wood and the way you have it set up. That is way faster than any other way. If you are drying a lot of wood, need it fast, or want to sell wood, then investing in a kiln might be worth it.

Conclusion

The fastest way to dry firewood is with a kiln. The next fastest and easiest though is probably just drying it naturally with the stacking method. We don’t recommend the ventilation method with ventilators because it cost too much and runs the risk of rewetting the wood too much. If you follow the tips we have for drying wood naturally, then you can have dry firewood fast. Drying firewood isn’t hard, but it is important. As we have said seasoned wood burns way better and provides more heat than moist wood. That is why it is important to dry our your firewood and season it before use.

When Should You Carry Arrows In The Nocked Position?

Archery and bowhunting can be a fun sport, but it can also be dangerous. You don’t hear about bow accidents as much as gun accidents, but they can happen. In this article, we are going to look at one way they can happen, and that is carrying an arrow nocked. We are going to talk about what this is. Then, we are going to answer the question when should you carry arrows in the nocked position.

When should you carry arrows in the nocked position

When should you carry arrows in the nocked position

What is nocked

Before going into the answer to the question, it is important first to know what a nocked arrow is. The nock is a part of the arrow. It is the little plastic piece on the end. When an arrow is in the nocked position, it means that it is attached to the string of the bow. The bow does not have to be drawn for the arrow to be considered nocked.

How to nock an arrow

It is important to know how to nock an arrow properly. It is pretty simple as bows are made to show you where to nock the arrow. All you do to nock an arrow is hold the arrow between your index finger and thumb. Use your other hand to hold the bow parallel to the ground with the string towards the body. Then rest the arrow on the bow’s arrow rest. Align the cock father up, which is normally the one that is a different color, and then align the slot in the nock with the string. After that, just pull the arrow back until the string locks into the nock making the arrow ready to fire.

Nocked arrow

Nocked arrow

When to carry a nocked arrow

So, now we can get to the question of when should you carry arrows in the nocked position? The only time you should carry an arrow this way is if you are approaching game cautiously. You should also make sure no one is in front of you. It doesn’t matter if the bow is drawn or not. If you are carrying a drawn bow with a nocked arrow, then you need to be extra cautious. You don’t want to shoot yourself or someone else.

If you are not slowly approaching the game, then you should not be carrying a nocked arrow. Following proper bow safety is important. If you are experienced or hunting alone, then you can get away with carrying a nocked arrow. Also, carrying a nocked arrow on a hand-drawn bow is a lot safer than on a crossbow. That is because crossbows are cocked as soon as the arrow is loaded. If hunting with a crossbow only carry a nocked arrow if you are going to shoot at the game soon.

Conclusion

The question of when should you carry arrows in the nocked position is a really easy one to answer. It doesn’t take a lot of explanation to tell you to only carry it when about to shoot some game and only if no one is in front of you. Following bow safety, while hunting is important as bow and arrows are dangerous weapons. You may not hear about bow accidents as much as gun accidents, but that doesn’t mean that bows can not cause you harm. They can, and that is why it is important to use them responsibly and to not carry a nocked arrow unless you are about to fire it, even if the bow is not drawn.

How to Keep A Wood Stove Burning All Night?

Wood stoves are a great source of heat. Some people have to rely on them to heat their house all the time, while other people just use them in emergencies such as power outages. No matter why you are using a wood stove for heat, it is important to be able to keep it going. In this article, we are going to look at how to keep a wood stove burning all night. Nighttime is the time where you are asleep, and you don’t want the fire to go out and wake up to a cold home. However, most people don’t want to have to get up during the night to feed the fire either. With these simple tips, you won’t have to get up or worry about your fire going out.

How to Keep a Wood Stove Burning all Night

How to Keep a Wood Stove Burning all Night

How does it work

Before going into detail on how to keep a wood stove burning all night, we are first going to make sure everyone knows what a wood stove is. We don’t want you to get confused and think that it is a fireplace. While the techniques we will talk about will mostly work with a fireplace, wood stoves and fireplaces operate differently. A wood stove is a stove with a large pipe that runs through the whole house. It is with this pipe that smoke and heat is transferred to the house. A fireplace is designed to only warm one room. Wood stoves are also metal, while a fireplace normally is built-in with stone around them. So, now that you know the difference, we can move on to how to keep a wood stove burning all night.

Wood stove

Wood stove

Steps

There are only a few steps to get a wood stove ready to burn all night. They are.

  • Preparation
  • Setting up Wood Stove
  • Restarting Fire

In the following sections, we will look at each step in detail.

Preparation

The first step is preparation. To get a wood stove to burn all night you need to have it in the right condition. A lot of times, the reason a wood stove will not burn all night is that people have it too hot before bed. The way to prevent this is to start letting the wood stove burn down and cool off in the early afternoon and evening. Depending on when you plan to go to bed will determine when you should let the wood stove start to cool down.

It is generally a good idea to let the stove cool for a few hours before setting it up for the night. You want the wood stove to be empty of large pieces of wood before bedtime. Once you are about to go to bed, you can then move onto the next part of preparation. That is getting the inside of the stove set upright.

When you open the stove, you will see a lot of ash and coals. The coals are the small bits of wood that are glowing. The key to getting a wood stove to burn all night is to get the bed of coals set upright. You want all the coals in a pile in front of the stove. The coals are hot and can ignite wood, so you want them in a pile so it ignites the new wood that you are going to add slowly, instead of all at once. As you get the coals into a pile with a shovel or other tool you can remove the ash. Getting the ash out is key to help not smother the fire.

Setting up the inside of the stove

Once you have all the ash out, and you have the coals in a pile in the front it is time to finish setting up the inside of the stove. All you need to do to set up the rest of the stove is to add logs into the back of it. Since you are trying to keep the fire burning all night, you want to add logs that are going to take a while to burn. To do this you can add hard, and big logs. Depending on the size of the logs, you will probably want to fill the stove up.

The number of logs can vary based on the size of the stove and the size of logs. Normally five to seven logs are enough, though. You want to make sure that the logs are tightly packed and that only the front log is touching the coals. That way it is the only one that will ignite at first. Using this method will make sure that only one or two logs burn at a time and the next log won’t ignite till it touches the coals. This will keep the fire going longer and help ensure it burns throughout the whole night.

Once you have the logs setup, you can close the door of the stove gently. It is key to do it gently, so the logs don’t fall. Also, it is a good idea to close the damper. This will reduce air going into the stove and help it burn slower.

Restarting Fire

Once, you have the fire burn throughout the night the last step is restarting it in the morning. This is simple. All you do is add seasoned fry wood onto the coals after smoothing them out and getting the ash out. If there are not a lot of coals, you can add kidding into the stove first to get it to ignite before adding big pieces. You can also reopen the damper to let air in and get a nice fire going for the day.

Conclusion

Keeping a wood stove burning all night is that simple if you know what you are doing. The key is to make sure the stove isn’t too hot before bed, and to make sure you add the right wood properly. You want to make sure the coals are in the front of the stove. Then you want to add hardwood into the back. Using this method will keep your wood stove burning all night and keep your house warm.