The Best Way to Stack Firewood

firewood stack

How much wood, would a (Scandinavian) woodchuck chuck if a....

In the frigid, frigid worlds of Canada and Northern Europe, theres a debate about the right way to stack your firewood. Canadians like their wood stacks straight and square, eh. Scandinavians like their woodpiles circular, ja. Considering the Scandinavians have been heating with wood for much longer than us Canucks, we figured there might be something of value to this method.

Stacking firewood is an under-valued and quite possibly lost art. It’s a technique to prepare wood for the fall and winter seasons, but without a doubt creating a neatly stacked pile of firewood is incredibly satisfying.

If your wood hasn’t dried properly before burning, it won’t burn efficiently and contributes to creosote build up, which in turn can lead to chimney fires. So good firewood stacking means you get drier, seasoned wood and a happier warmed home.

Though our fellow Canadians may hate us for saying this, our vote goes to the Scandinavians. Placing wood in a radius pattern is the best way to stack firewood because it allows the wood to dry more rapidly. Other benefits: stacking it in a round takes less time, sheds water better (because the wood is at an angle), takes less space and makes the pile more stable.

best way to stack firewood

Tradition says wood needs to sit for 6-12 months in order to have it properly dried, but with the Scandinavian way your wood stack can dry in 3-6 months.

Tips on this best way to stack firewood:
  1. Pick the sunniest spot on your property with good air circulation.
  2. Draw out 8 to 10 ft diameter circle.
  3. Place the end of each log along the circle’s edge to make the bottom layer.
  4. Keep stacking layers around the perimeter of the circle.
  5. Throw all the odd-sized or small pieces in the middle.
  6. Layer the last circle at an angle, including - if possible - pieces across the centre of the pile.

scandinavian firewood stack

When the wetter weather sets in, you can protect your pile with a 12 ft tarp.

 

Image credits (top to bottom):

Photo by Boston Photographer Erik Jacobs 

Real Rural Life: Build Better Woodpiles, by Steve Maxwell

Hytte magasinet: Selger Som Varm Ved, foto by Lars Mytting

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