How To Build And Use A Firewood Shed
Having your own firewood shed makes
heating with wood much easier. It puts and end to digging through snow or damp leaves to gather wood, and
then having wet wood to try and heat with.
When you bring wood in from your
firewood shed and stoke up your new or used cast iron wood stove, it lights right up and starts giving
off that nice even heat, as only a wood burning cook stove or fireplace insert can do. This is so much better
than heating with wood that is damp and full of sap!
A firewood shed saves
There are as many types of firewood sheds as
there are people who heat with wood. However, there are some pretty basic similarities among all of them. The
main idea is to keep your wood dry and out of the elements, plus make it easy to manage. One of the drawbacks of
heating with wood is the fact that each single piece is handled so many times.
Once the tree is cut down and cut up into
blocks, it is usually split. Then it is tossed into a pile and later picked up and tossed into a truck bed. Then
it is either dumped or tossed out into somebody's driveway or field.
You need to pick it up again to stack it,
then pick it up again to bring it into the house, then put it into the stove! Finally, you have to remove the
ashes. No wonder they thought of pellet stoves!
What to look for in a firewood shed
There are several functions that most sheds
have in common. First, the wood need to be off the ground, otherwise it won't dry properly and will tend to rot
and attract insects. This can easily be done by using old pallets or skid from a shipping department, or you can
just make a very simple floor.
Second, the wood needs to be exposed to as
much air as possible. Often a shed will not really have any solid walls, just some supports to hold up the wood.
However, if the rain or snow tends to blow in from one side, you may need to have a protective wall.
The roof needs to be angled enough to shed
water and snow. If you are making a nice shed to enhance your property, consider matching the appearance to the
rest of the house or surrounding buildings. Something as simple as shingles can easily accomplish
How big should your firewood shed be?
How big should the shed be? That depends on
how much wood you plan on using. A typical house in Vermont, for example, uses about 5 cords of wood a season.
This obviously changes depending on your house, quality of wood stove, and climate.
A firewood shed for 5 cords is probably
unrealistic for most people though. That would mean your shed would be 4 feet deep, 6 feet high, and over 26
feet long! Since a full cord of wood is 128 cubic feet, you can figure out how big your shed needs to be to
accommodate the number of cords you wish to store.
It is not practical to stack the wood over
about 6 feet, and a 4 foot pile is not really high enough for a shed, thus the 6 foot stacking height is
generally a good idea. Most likely, you will make the shed 8 feet high, but only stack it around 6 feet
What about those other cords of wood? They
can be stored in a garage, basement, some in the house, and the rest outside in a sort of temporary
shed, waiting to move into the “real” shed. Or you can have wood
delivered in stages, unless you cut it yourself.
In any case, you can develop your own rhythm
and style of storing and stacking your firewood. A shed need not cost much, you can often used recycled material
and odds and ends from other building projects. It is a wood shed, after all!
Firewood accessories are important
wood can be a very enjoyable experience, if you make some effort
to figure out a method. Besides the shed, you will need to have a good gas chain
saw, extra chainsaw
chains, files for sharpening, a splitting maul, hearing protection,
safety goggles, and some good gloves.