Podcast #171 – Putting Firewood By

We are dangerously late splitting and stacking firewood for next winter. In a “normal” year, we would have filled all the available pallets by the end of the summer, but for several reasons that didn’t happen this year. So for the past couple of weeks we’ve been playing catch-up, with the barn turned into a firewood production center and both tractors evicted to the elements outside. It’s paying off, though; as I write this on February 7, we’re a little more than a pallet away from having all available pallets full.

In this week’s program we recount how we got behind, how we’ve addressed it, what we’ve learned about splitting different kinds of wood, and what we’re doing differently this year to deal with the too-short seasoning period. We finish with a discussion about how we’ve designed our pallets to hold lots of wood yet collapse for stacking when empty.

Listen – 18:49


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pallet 12 empty for site
Here’s pallet 12 empty, with one of the four verticals rotated into the upright position. Bases are 4 x 4, the diagonal brace is a 1 x 4, and all other lumber is 2 x 4. All lumber is treated yellow pine. The pipes are 1″ galvanized pipe with a dab of grease and a nipple on each end.
handoff for site
I can split and stack working alone, but it goes SO much faster (and is much more pleasant) when Amanda teams up with me. I split, she stacks.
pallet 12 2-3 full for site
Here’s pallet 12 at the end of the day, about 2/3 full. That gnarly stuff on the bottom of the near stack is that sweetgum I talked about in the podcast. It’ll burn just fine, but it’s a bear to split.
orchard floor for site
Here are pallets 6-11 spread out on the orchard floor. Our plan is to give them every possible chance to dry out in the hot, direct sun of the Alabama summer. We’ll move them under cover around Labor Day.


2 thoughts on “Podcast #171 – Putting Firewood By”

  1. i see why you would want them out in the sun once split, but how in the world do you move them undercover when Fall comes? That seems like a monumental job. janet

  2. Hi Janet,

    That’s the beauty of the pallets. Once we’ve loaded a stick of firewood on a pallet, we never touch that stick again until it’s time to burn it. I pick up a pallet (roughly 1/4 cord of wood) with Tractor’s pallet forks and move it wherever it needs to be. Moving all the pallets in the fall will probably take a couple of hours.

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