Friday 3 August 2012

The art of woodburning

Freshly felled timber has a water content of about fifty per cent, this is why "green" wood hisses and smoulders, much of the heat goes to driving off the water. To get the most out of your logs the moisture content needs to be about 20 per cent. This means you have to season it for at least a year. The load of softwood that arrived yesterday is for late winter / early Spring 2014.

Its larch which has a higher calorific value than pine and the other softwoods.  You probably wouldn't want to burn larch in an open fire because it spits and sparks but its fine in wood burning stove.

Firewood is sold by volume and these loads are about 2..5 cubic metres. The same volume of hardwood, oak or ash, has twice the  calorific value so its more expensive and best used in the coldest weather, December to March.This is part of the "art" of wood burning, knowing when to use each type of wood. The next arty bit is the seasoning, I use the Norwegian method because we all know that Norwegians are the best at everything; getting to the South Pole, using their oil and gas revenues sensibly for the common good, blowing up Nazi heavy water plants, weather forecasts ( etc. I read that they, the Norwegians, stack their logs on pallets in a sort of beehive shape. Like the old peat stacks So this is what I did today and I am so pleased with the result I had to show you.

These firewood stacks, 1.25 tonnes in total will be covered with a small plastic stack sheet and left until winter 2013/14.

Hopefully the hardwood will come in the next week or two and it will be stored the same way.


Carol Learmouth said...

In many other settings these piles would be works of art and attract quite a price tag. Move over Tate Modern.

Tom Bryson said...

Thank you, I'm quite proud of them but didn't think of them as installation art.