I just bought a truck load of oak wood and for some reason it would not catch fire. I held it over a propane fire; i even poured a little lighter fluid on it. Am i doing something wrong or did i get bamboozled.
Take your axe or hatchet and split a couple of pieces to about the width of a pencil. Soak some newspaper in cooking oil, place in your fire box and lay the pencil size pieces on top of it. Light the newspaper, you should get a good fire and light the pencil sized splits. Add a couple of pieces about the size of your thumb, then a couple of larger pieces working your way up to the split wood. If that doesn't work you got green or wet wood regarless of what anyone else says.
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[size=+0]Seasoned wood looks dark, or gray when compared to green wood - but if you split a piece of seasoned wood - it's WHITE on the inside. It's brittle, or gnarly. It has cracks running through each piece, and a lot of little cracks on the inner rings. Unseasoned wood has a wet, fresh looking center, with lighter (�drier-looking�) wood near the edges or ends which have been exposed since cutting. When firewood is very fresh, the bark will be tightly attached. Avoid these hassles at all costs! When you get cold, you'll be miserable if your firewood does not produce the heat you need. Only well seasoned wood produces pleasant, trouble free heat..[/size]
• Weight and Sound
Check the weight of your firewood. Heavier wood is not ready to burn. Also, you can take two pieces of wood and bang them together. A heavy thumping sound indicates there is a high moisture content and a lighter clapping sound usually indicates a lower water content.
• Water Content
Green firewood still has a large content of water in it. It can be wet or cold to the touch and have a strong smell to it.
Although this type of wood will burn, it does not burn as efficiently as seasoned wood and it can create a build up of creosote in your chimney. Creosote which builds up over a period of time can be dangerous and cause a chimney or house fire.
Water content will also make the wood hiss and bubble when you burn it. Wet wood will burn with a blue-grey color. Allow heavy wood with a higher water content to season longer.
Well seasoned wood is lighter in color than fresh wood or green wood. The color should be faded (or greyed) and the ends of the wood should be cracked and rough from drying rather than smooth and dark in color.
• Peel and Check
If you’re not sure your wood is ready to burn by looking at the exterior surface, take a sharp knife and carefully peel back a layer of the outer bark. If you find a moist, dark material inside, it’s still wet – it will need more drying time.
With the few simple checks and methods above, you can speed up the seasoning process of your wood and determine if it is ready and safe for use