My guy splits it with teenagers.
My guy splits it with teenagers.
Buy the ticket, take the ride. -H.S. Thompson
Personally I think that every firewood cutter should sell by some version of a BTU "quantity" only.
During high school I hand cut and split just short of 20 cords my senior year to pay for my tuition. This was fairly dense high BTU Valley Oak from the north side of Visalia that had to meet their demise due to a road widening project near my former home. The trees were over 3 feet wide and hundreds of years old. Living north of there now were we have Willow growing in the river/drainage ditch on our ranch. In the next 5 years we will need to dispose of hundreds of cords from these trees as they are being killed by a massive misltetoe infestation. The BTU value of these things is what I would consider worthless in comparison to the Oak down south or the nearby hills.
A cord may be a cord size wise but I would take the BTU value as the ultimate determiner of the value involved in the transaction.
By btu would be nice but the heat content of a pile of mixed species wood would be hard to determine. By the ton would even things out a bit and the wood would come with a scale ticket. I doubt that btu per ton varies a lot between species for dry wood. When I sold wood we would stack a cord and load it into the truck, after that we just loaded the truck to look the same each time. If the customer stacked it and came up short we would just give a little more. It doesn't come out the same every time you stack it anyway.
A cubic foot of pine and a cubic foot of oak weigh different, so why wouldn't their BTU?
A reference chart offering both BTU per cord and pounds per cord of many wood species:
Note the qualifiers at the bottom of the chart
USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft
as I recall from a woodlot management course at cornell many years ago; the original definition of a cord is a stacked pile of wood 4x4x8 feet the length of the sticks being 4 foot. this is an amount of 128 cubic feet. all the states have seperately played with this since. you will also note that a full cord cut to stove length and split makes a pile less than 128 cubic foot when restacked. in ny firewood is often sold legaly as a face cord that is 4x 8xcut length. the cut length is determined by the buyer and seller often 16 or 18 inches. in most states a face cord is not a legal measure. check with your states weights and measures, these laws have been on the books a long, long time........ 25 or 30 years ago I sold a local gentleman an order of 10 face cords of cut and split [by hand][ at least 20 inches long] shag bark hickory. this guy spent 10 days stacking the pile so tight the wind would not blow thru it. he called and complained he was short, and brought up the fact that he could complain to weights and measures at the county level. I figured he had political connections. the standard for stacking in ny is "reasonable". I "gladly" brought bob another pickup load and a half, he had demanded a big stacked pickup load. it was explained to me that is was good business to give him extra despite the fact that he had worked me over pretty good on the original price... the following august he called wanting more and reminded me that he expected generous measure and a discount because he was a regular repeat customer. I informed him that I was too busy and please never call again... within a couple more years he was burning oil because no one would sell him wood except the town drunks and druggies that cheated him. too bad. yes he did call more times and complained to my competitors that I was too busy and they should treat him as well as I had... funny thing often the compeditors know each other.... I wonder if beekeepers know each other and talk as friends??... I almost forgot part of the original grumbleing was because there was some smoothe bark hickory mixed in [bitternut]. he did specify hickory not shag bark hickory.
Last edited by mathesonequip; 11-10-2013 at 12:18 PM.
Using data from the link in post 25- red oak (considered prime firewood around here) .00619 MBTU/pound, sugar maple .00620 MBTU/pound, poplar (American aspen, considered poor firewood here) .00620 MBTU/pound, even balsa (assuming you could afford to burn it) .00620 MBTU/pound. Dry wood is mostly cellulose, so at least for these species you get about the same heat per pound of wood. Other factors like burn time, enter into rating of firewood but it seems that for heat content species wouldn't matter if you could buy the wood by weight.
I think the difference comes in the density of the wood. While a pound has about the same Btu's a cubic foot of each will weigh differently.Dry wood is mostly cellulose, so at least for these species you get about the same heat per pound of wood. Other factors like burn time, enter into rating of firewood but it seems that for heat content species wouldn't matter if you could buy the wood by weight.
This shorter btu list is easier on the eyes lol
Cords are just silly. Ricks are where it's at.
BTW I like this coffee klatch, or whatever it's called.
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We seldom burn firewood for heat down here so we don't have the same problems you guys have but it seems the amount of moisture in the wood is pretty important.
I've cut pecan and oak for my smoker that takes two years to properly dry. Since BTUs and obviously weight is directly affected by moisture content do you have some type of official test or do you do the bang the pieces together and if they ring like a bell test?
Here's a link to a video of a neat piece of apparently homemade equipment for splitting wood. It looks like it's faster than a hydraulic ram.
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