Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Firewood rack Mark 2

I like firewood. In fact I probably like producing firewood as much as I like producing wood fires. I'm not much of a carpenter or carver or sculptor but I'm a good cutter and splitter. As a good firewood producer theres nothing worse than watching your hard work go for naught as it rots or gets wet or is buried under snow. Over the years I've toyed with a few different techniques for keeping the wood off the ground and dry. Heres the mark 1 wood rack:

It doesn't look like much now but 9 years ago this was the top notch of my wood storage empire. The design is very simple, 2x 8' 2x4s laid parallel, 2x 4' 2x4s as uprights at each end and some spacers. The parallels are separated by one foot. I've since tried wider spacing but one foot is about as close to perfect as you can get. Not shown in this picture are 2 angle braces holding the backs of the uprights. I'm not sure these really add all that much but they don't cost much and are probably worth doing. Theres a rope across the top which helps to keep the tops from bowing out and helps to hold a tarp as seen in this shot of the second mark 1 rack which sits in my backyard:

This is the same basic design as mark 1 but displayed here with a tarp over the wood. This does a pretty good job keeping the wood dry but has a few problems. The first is that tarps don't really last all that well. I use leftover tarps once they're not good enough to cover other things so while they're "mostly waterproof" some water gets through. This is not a big problem, dry firewood sheds water naturally anyway. Another issue is snow which builds up on the tarp and has to be removed. This is a drag because its hard on the tarp. High winds will tug the tarp around, at best this means the wood gets uncovered at worst it means the tarp gets shredded or lost. Oh sure you could strap the tarp down tight so it doesn't move but then getting the wood out is a hassle. Any method for holding the tarp is going to end up being a compromise between weather proofing and convenience. I use hardwood blocks cut from old pallets tied to the corners. I've also used bricks with holes in them which work well but are somewhat fragile when tossed around by a tarp in the wind.

Finally a tarp covered woodpile is at a distinct disadvantage when in comes to drying. This is a drag because the basic design of this pile is great for drying. The wood is supported only by 4 inches of 2x4 and gets airflow all around. but then we trap that moist air with a plastic tarp, bad plan.

As you can see from the original rack using untreated wood for this is a bad plan, that rack has rotted badly and isn't held together by much...

Enter wood rack Mark II:

Shown here partially complete on the deck at camp. This features pressure treated 2x4s for the lower end which is actually in contact with the wood, with standard 2x4s forming a 2'x8' roof on a 6 in 12 pitch which is probably too much, before I finish it I'll probably lower that to 4 in 12 which will give better coverage over the wood. I chose 2'x8' because I can cover 2 with a single sheet of OSB or plywood but in reality 2.5'x8' would be better as again it would better cover the firewood. Before final construction is complete the upper wood will all be painted or polyurethaned for greater protection. It will be covered with a piece of 3/8" OSB which will also be painted or polyurethaned, a metal drip edge installed and then asphalt shingles for roofing.
Its hard to see but there are a pair of 2x4s halfway down to give more structure to the roof. I didn't trust an 8 foot span with snow load.

Unfortunately I got caught by rain and wasn't able to finish this wood rack on my recent trip to camp but I'm confident I can easily get it done on my next trip. This is an important addition to our camp because with recent improvement inside the camp we have the ability to go there in the winter. Assuming we can make it to camp on snowmobile we will need good, dry wood to heat the place...

1 comment:

BizarkDeal said...

HIO Firewood Rack from Bizarkdeal

First off what I want to say is that this large firewood rack by HIO fits a lot more wood than I first expected it to. It comes in 4 pieces with all the components you need to put it together except for tools. It comes in two sides and two bottom pieces which are 5 foot long. It took my fiance about 10 minutes maybe to put this together, but he use a socket wrench to make it easier. It is very thick quality metal with a very beautiful black finish on it which looks very nice and allows you to nicely stack your firewood. One thing I have to say about this is the fact that it since it does not come with a cover so it would be best to use indoors as you don't want to get your firewood wet if you live in a rainy area. Would be perfect for keeping firewood neatly stored in a garage. However you could also buy a firewood rack cover for it so you can use it outdoors as well (which is what I plan on doing). I did look for a cover for it online, and I see lots of covers. However usually they come in increments of 4 feet and 8 feet in length so this 5 foot steel firewood rack is a little bit of an odd man out when it comes to size, and therefore harder to find a cover for. I like the fact that you can move it like a few inches away from your wall so that you can make sure mold doesn't grow behind it. And it is rather thin so it can lean against a wall and not seem to take up too much space. You do have to have wood that is cut a specific length to fit on the rack however, (too short and it will fall through) what I did was use larger pieces of wood at the bottom and then stacking smaller pieces of wood on the top. Definitely think this is a quality product, and well worth the money, I just wish that it came with a cover.