Units Of Measurements
This is a unit 8 feet long by 4 feet high by 4 feet deep, or 128 cubic feet. Because of the irregular shape of logs, the average cord contains only about 80 cubic feet. The way the wood is stacked largely determines how much wood you actually receive. There is an old New England rule for stacking that pretty well sums it up: “If you’re selling, stack it so a cat can run through. If your buying stack it so it can’t.”
This is a unit 8 feet long by 4 feet high and any depth. It’s important to specify “full cord” if that is what you intend to buy. If you don’t, you may end up with an abbreviated version.
This is obviously a pretty vague unit measurement. What size truck? The average cord of seasoned hardwood weighs about two tons. If it is delivered in a half to pickup, you’re not getting a full cord.
By The Pound
A pound of wood, regardless of it type is a pound of wood. The only difference in types of wood is density. An oak log weighs considerably more than the same size pine log. This means there is more fuel packed into the oak log, and it is worth more. When buying by any other unit of measurement, you may pay more per pound for softwoods. If hardwood is available in your area, it’s a good idea to specify hardwood when ordering.
Placing The Order
It is best to buy from someone who has been recommended to you. The second choice is to buy from a full time, established wood dealer. While the number is increasing, there are very few around. The advantage to buying from dealers is that you are buying from a businessman who has a reputation to protect if he wants to stay in business.
When ordering, ask questions:
Is it hardwood or softwood?
What type of wood?
How much per cord?
A full cord?
Is it seasoned? How long?
To what lengths is it cut? Is it split?
Specify full cord if that’s how much you want. If you have a choice between hardwood or softwood, specify hardwood. If you don’t have a choice, you can always go somewhere else. Specify dry, seasoned wood. Tell tem you want it stacked, but be aware that many will charge you extra to do so.
When It Arrives
It is important to be there when the wood arrives and be firm about getting what you pay for. Check the wood as it is unloaded . Then measure it to make sure that what is delivered is what you paid for. Check for dryness by looking for check marks. These are cracks that radiate outward from the center of the whole log would be. The larger the better. Green wood may appear dry, but without pronounced check marks, you can be assured it is not. Another method of testing is to bang two pieces together. Dry wood will give a dull thud. If you ordered hardwood, don’t accept pine, cedar, or other softwoods. If you do, you are paying filet mignon prices for hamburger.
Storing Your Wood
Wood should be split as soon as possible. Un-split wood will take considerably longer to season. Wood should be stored off the ground. Ask your chimney professional about a log rack. If it is possible, store wood in the sun. Wood stored in shade takes longer to season and can decay. Cover the pile with plastic on rainy days . Occasional light rains won’t hurt, but continuous or heavy rains can slow down the seasoning process considerably. Don’t store wood in the house or stacked up against the house or garage. Cut wood attracks all kinds of varmints and undersirables.