Nothing captures the true feeling of cold like the scent and sound of crackling firewood. A steady batch of firewood will help offset your heating costs, especially given that it is a renewable resource. It can take up to a year to properly season firewood.
In this guide, you’ll get to know how to stack firewood and keep them burnable for a long time.
Why is it important to stack firewood?
If you are chopping the firewood using an axe, you’ll likely have very low productivity. It is recommended that you should upgrade to a high-quality chainsaw. Cutting firewood using a chainsaw will make the entire process much faster and easier. There are many high-quality chainsaws available in the market, making it very easy to cut firewood.
Before jumping to the best methods on how to stack firewood, it is essential to know why you need to stack firewood in the first place. Why not just toss all the firewood logs onto a pile and let it be?
In order for your firewood to burn properly, the firewood needs to be seasoned properly. Seasoning will mean that the firewood is dried to the point that it has lost all of its moisture. A properly seasoned log of firewood will contain around 20% moisture content. In case the firewood has less than 20% moisture, then it’ll burn very quickly and require a bigger quantity of wood to stay warm.
You can easily season the firewood by stocking the firewood outside and exposing it to the sun and air. Those two ingredients will naturally dry the wood over a period of several months. This is why firewood stacking properly will be the right way to go forward. In case the wood isn’t seasoned properly, it might end up being too wet to burn well.
Different firewood stacking techniques that you need to know
You might not know it, but historically and to this day, different countries and cultures make use of different techniques for firewood stacking. Each method will have its own unique benefit. However, how much firewood you require will dictate the method that you need to choose, as well as the way the wood is stored and stacked. The best way of stacking firewood outside or inside might be one of these methods – the German method, firewood stacked in a circle, stacking wood with a rack, and more.
1. The German method
One of the methods to stack firewood with the German or Holzhaufen (Woodpile) or Holzhausen (wood house) method. This is a great example if you want to know how to stack firewood outside without a rack. You can easily store it outside or in your garage or cabin near the yard. This firewood stacking method will allow the air to flow to the stack’s center. This way, each log of firewood will stay dry. Through this method, you will easily get a firewood stack that is about 7 feet high and 6 feet in diameter.
- Use firewood that measures no more than 12-24 inches long and logs that are of the same width.
- Place a 7-foot-high stake in the middle and lay the firewood down with one end toward the stake with the other toward the outside, creating a circle eventually.
- Repeat it in a circular manner until you get around 7 feet in height.
- For protecting the wood from the elements, simply finish off the pile by placing pieces that have bark on top.
2. End Pillar Wood Stack
A classic and one of the most popular methods to stack firewood is the End Pillar Wood Stack. It works best with uniform logs of firewood that fit as snugly as possible. This method will greatly help with support and stability. For stacking firewood, simply follow these simple steps and create your own end pillar wood stack.
- For constructing the towers, you should take two similarly shaped logs and turn the two of them parallel to each other
- Build the next layer using two parallel logs perpendicular from the first set
- Continue until you get a dozen levels or as high as you can go without letting it be unwieldy
- The second tower needs to be even while being several feet away from the first. In between, lay the logs beside each other such that the cut ends are facing the direction of the prevailing wind
- Keep layering the logs until the pile is of the same height as the towers
- Place the pieces, keeping the bark side up. This will keep the logs from shedding moisture into the pile. Even though it might be tempting to stack the wood in neat towers, they won’t be as effective for seasoning purposes as they will not allow for enough air ventilation.
- Use long sticks, as they’ll help bolster the pile. Lean them against the woodpile and then stabilize them in the dirt.
3. Holzhaus – Firewood Stacked in the circle
The Holzhaus method for firewood stacking is done in a circle that is symmetrical and self-sustaining without needing a rack or a shed. Extremely popular in Europe, this extremely effective method has started catching on in the USA and other countries. Try it out by following these simple steps –
- Choose a warm, sunny area for creating your pile that has good air circulation.
- Draw a circle in an 8 by 10 feet diameter.
- Set the end of each log towards the edge of the circle, as it’ll create the bottom layer.
- Continue in that fashion by adding more layers of wood around the circle’s perimeter.
- Add small logs of wood or those of an odd size to the middle of the circle.
- Now, place the top layer at a certain angle, ideally with pieces of wood lying across the center of the pile.
4. Stack the firewood in a firewood rack
One of the most commonly used method would be to stack the firewood in a firewood rack. Apart from the complex methods to stack firewood, you shouldn’t forget about using a tried-and-tested rack. Make a neat little pile for stacking firewood by following these steps –
- Take multiple pieces of wood that are almost equal in size and lay the logs side by side on the rack.
- Now, do the same in the opposite direction.
- Continue to stack the firewood until the pile is around 4 feet high. You should ensure that, as you go about stacking, the stack is sturdy and doesn’t wobble easily.
- Fill in the gaps with smaller logs of wood, which will strengthen the pile.
5. Shaker woodpile method
The Shaker woodpile is another popular firewood stacking technique. In this method, the firewood is stacked in a round formation, in which the sticks are touching at one end but spiral with bigger gaps at the opposite end. The first layer looks a bit like spokes on a wheel. It is a great way of using up oddly shaped firewood logs, adding a nice visual presence to the yard.
This method is very quick and stable and dries out the wood very fast. For creating a Shaker woodpile of your own, follow these simple steps –
- Place a wooden log or branch around 8-inches wide by 16-inches long. This piece should be placed at the center of the pile and construct a base of split logs in a circle, similar to a wheel’s spokes.
- Add in multiple logs above the center and lean the firewood against them, adding in layers until the pile is around shoulder height and create a disc shape.
- Stop once the top forms a cone and until you can no longer add any wood
Tips to keep in mind when stacking firewood
Although firewood stacking looks to be a simple task, it might not be as straightforward and some may think so. There are numerous things to keep in mind if you want to know how to stack firewood outside or even inside on racks. These tips will help you make sure that the wood is seasoned and can be used for long.
- Keep the seasoned firewood dry. If the wood is not sheltered or covered properly, use a tarp for covering the top so that only the rest of the wood can breathe.
- Stack two logs one way and two logs the other way while adding wood to fill the columns.
- Square-cut the logs or those that are flat will be great for columns, whereas round logs will work well with the main pile.
- All wood logs, whether placed in the main pile or stacked in columns will have to be level, or you’ll risk them falling over.
- For your safety, when you’re stacking wood, always wear proper safety equipment and wear working boots with steel toe protection.
So, what is the best way to stack firewood? The simple answer to this would be whichever method you prefer to use. There are multiple ways on how to stack firewood outside, how to stack firewood without a rack, on a rack, in a circle, and more.All of the methods mentioned above are amazing as they’ll allow you to easily stack the firewood within minutes. Remember to use a high-quality chainsaw, as it’ll make the entire process of cutting much faster and simpler.