6 Best Firewood Racks | March 2017
- stores up to 1/8 cord of firewood
- double powder-coated finish
- keeps firewood neat and safe
- for indoor or outdoor use
- folds flat for storage
- makes a unique gift idea
- adds a touch of style to any area
- sturdy steel construction
- backed by a 1 year warranty
Choosing The Right Firewood Rack
In order to store firewood properly, it's imperative that you do so using a good firewood rack. Having ready access to dry, clean firewood is a luxury many of us enjoy during the autumn and winter months, when a crackling fire makes a house feel cozier and more inviting. For other people, firewood is no mere luxury item, though, but is rather the primary means of warming their homes. And while the term "wood pile" is often used to describe a supply of logs, indeed any wood simply left in a pile will soon rot and molder to the point at which it can no longer serve as decent fuel for a fire.
In the broadest manner of thinking, firewood racks can be divided into two categories. There are racks that are primarily to be used outside and those for storing wood indoors. Depending on which of these two types of rack you need, the many factors to be weighed as you make your decision are surprisingly disparate.
To begin with an outdoor firewood rack, the first consideration to make is a simple one: capacity. If you intend to store a cord of wood that you will use to keep your wood burning furnace running all through the winter, then you need a large, rugged firewood rack that can accommodate a massive number of logs. Overloading a rack can cause your wood to topple over (or can break the rack, having the same effect) and end up on potentially wet or muddy ground, which will soon ruin the logs. Invest in a rack that is large enough hold your store of wood without the logs being stacked above its sides. For a truly immense wood pile, you might need multiple racks.
Next consider the outdoor location in which you will store the wood. Some firewood racks use wooden beams as their base; this is a fine arrangement for wood stored on a patio, porch, or deck, but if the rack sits directly on the ground, then you need a unit with a metal base. Otherwise the boards comprising the rack itself may well rot. Also worth considering is a firewood rack that comes with a cover, as the cover included with a rack will fit better than any tarp. If you do cover your wood pile with a tarp, make sure to secure it with rope, bungee cords, or with weight placed atop the tarp. Finally make sure you choose a rack that has a rust resistant finish, which is usually achieved through powder coating.
For an indoor wood rack, aesthetics often play as large a role as functionality. In fact, many indoor firewood racks are loaded with carefully selected logs that are then left in place all season long as decorations. Whether or not this is your plan for your rack, make sure you first consider where the unit will sit before you fall in love with a given option. Especially if a firewood rack is going to be a temporary part of your den or living room decor, you need a unit that fits the space without taking up too much "real estate" in the room.
Also consider the type of flooring on which the firewood rack will sit. Some units have long, flat bars at their base, and these exert minimal pressure on the floor; others have individual "feet" that could potentially scratch a wooden or tile floor.
A Few Words On Chopping Firewood
If you purchase pre-seasoned, pre-split firewood, then your only responsibility for its maintenance is to keep it dry and exposed to some decent airflow. If you split your own wood, however, or you'd like to start doing so, there is a little bit more to know about the process.
The easiest way to split logs into usable firewood is to use an electric log splitter. These powerful devices can make short work of even thick sections of hardwood, saving your back and shoulders the strain of splitting wood. If you're going to chop firewood by hand, make sure you have a good maul (the proper name for an axe used to split wood), a wedge, and potentially a sledgehammer to drive said wedge home.
It can be relatively easy to chop even thick logs (or whole sections of trunk) into firewood so long as you work around the edges, chopping away logs from the larger piece of wood before you begin to split the heartwood near the middle of the trunk. Once you begin to work on the central section of a large log, or if you are getting bogged down with the outer sections, make an initial chop with the maul, then tap the wedge down using a sledgehammer or the back of your axe. And make sure that as you swing either implement, you stand with your feet and shoulders squared off against the wood; this stance gives you the most power and control.
Laying The Perfect Fire
Creating a perfect fire for your fireplace or wood burning stove takes only a few simple steps. The first is to clean out ashes and partially burned wood left by older fires. A clean fireplace works better, allowing for ideal airflow and heat distribution, and regular maintenance tidying is easier than rare massive cleanups.
Next make sure the flue is open and check the draft by lighting a match and seeing if its smoke goes up into the chimney. If not, first try simply leaving the fireplace open for a while, allowing it to warm to room temperature. Also consider lighting a candle in the fireplace -- this will produce heat that might start a draft but will let off minimal smoke.
For a novel approach to making a fire that won't produce a glut of smoke, consider laying a so-called upside down fire. This arrangement places larger logs on the bottom of the pile, with space left between them for embers to settle. Lay plentiful kindling and moderate sized wood atop these large logs and set the pile alight. If the wood is properly seasoned, the heat and embers produced by the kindling will soon catch the large logs, and the smoke will not have had to creep around them to go up and out the chimney.