How to select, split and store wood

How to select, split and store wood

The secret behind the perfect winter fire is to start splitting your wood already in the spring, more specific between February and April. This is because your wood needs to dry for 6 months to get rid of a large part of the moisture content.

Regardless of whether you use your wood for your campfire or fireplace, it is good to know how to proceed when selecting, splitting and storing your wood. We have gathered the whole process, tips and everything you need to know before your annual wood storage.

Which wood should I choose? 

Having the right type of wood is more important than you think, it facilitates the start of the fire and is also a factor that applies to how long your fire will burn. Many people facilitate their process of buying ready-cut wood, which works well. But a tip is that you always make sure that you buy wood which is flammable and if it has been allowed to rest. This is so that you can be assured that it has been allowed to dry for 6 months.

If you choose to split your wood yourself, we recommend that you choose deciduous trees such as oak, beech and birch. With these tree species, your fire will burn longer and leave less creosote residues (read more about creosote here). It is also possible to use wood from such as spruce and pine – but then you may need to refill your wood storage more often as these two species burn faster.

How do I split my wood? 

When it’s time to split your wood, we recommend that you choose a place with plenty of space to swing your axe and that you are outdoors. Place a chopping block under your log to avoid back pain or that your axe going into the ground if you miss. The block you use to place your wood on should be low to the ground and should preferably not exceed your knee length.

When you are ready to chop, keep both hands firmly around the shaft of the axe to avoid accidents – always keep your arms straight along the entire swing. Position yourself by holding an arch in your lumbar spine, bending your knees and using your legs. Let the weight of the ax do the work, not all your strength. Also pay attention to your distance to the wood. If this is the first time you are using an axe, we recommend that you test-swing the axe a few times to set the technique and accuracy.

Watch our video on how to chop wood with an axe down below

Roselli’s Finnish, handmade outdoor axes are created with a wide blade angle which prevents the axe from getting stuck in the wood. All our axes are coated with linseed oil to ensure a firm grip even when it is wet.

Recommended outdoor axes for splitting wood:

How do I store my wood? 

Once your wood is split, it’s time to start stacking and placing it. It’s important to stack correctly and in the right place so that your wood has time to be sufficiently dry for the winter.

Regardless of whether you choose to buy or build a wood stand,  you should keep in mind that your wood stand needs to be robust and sufficiently raised from the ground. Also make sure that the ground under your stand is even and dry so you avoid water accumulating around your wood. Place a roof or cover your wood rack with a tarpaulin to prevent water from coming into contact with the firewood.

When stacking your wood, remember to stack it loosely so air can come in between. Also keep in mind that wood shrinks when it is drying during the year, this means that the wood may be moved. Therefore, make sure to secure your wood stand properly so that your wood can not be moved too much. To prevent your wood from rotting, place some kind of treated wood underneath to prevent moisture from reaching your wood.

How do I know my wood is ready? 

Freshly cut wood can have up to 100% moisture, which means that about half of its weight is water. The ideal moisture content for a successful fire is usually around 20%. One of the many ways to see if your wood is ready to be burned is by looking at the color as dry wood turns gray, dry wood also cracks along the edges and gives off a loud sound when it strikes against each other.

Good luck with your wood storage! 

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