Proper firewood storage racks can make the difference between a pleasant winter warming yourself in front of your toastyand a winter cursing yourself for not properly storing your firewood. While you can buy firewood storage racks at almost any home supply store you can also make your own firewood storage rack out of materials you already have on hand.
The simplest kind of firewood storage rack and one you’ve undoubtable seen more than once, is to take a couple of pressure treated 2 X 4’s and lay them between two young trees, using the 2 X 4’s to keep the wood off the ground and the trees to hold the wood in place. The main problem with using live trees as part of your firewood storage rack is that the weight can stress the trees and the firewood can spread disease and harmful insects to the live saplings.
A better alternative is to build yourrack with the pressure treated lumber and some iron bars for the ends (these bars are available in kits with hardware made especially for this purpose) or build the firewood storage rack completely out of pressure treated lumber. You can find lots of plans for firewood storage racks online, both free and for profit, or you can improvise if you happen to be the kind of person who likes to do that and if you already have lots of odds and ends laying around.
The main consideration when building your own firewood storage rack is that the wood be up off the ground and that it be exposed to air circulation so it can season and dry out properly. Unseasoned wood is difficult to burn, makes lots of smoke, creates creosote (a toxic, foul-smelling byproduct that can coat the inside of your chimney) and is really heavy.Once your firewood storage rack has held you’re freshly split firewood for at least a year, you can cover the wood to keep it dry and keep the snow and ice off of it in the winter. Don’t cover unseasoned firewood or the wood may mold or rot.
Should you buy a firewood storage rack or build your own?
That depends entirely on your budget and you’re feeling about home craft projects. Firewood storage racks come in all price ranges, so buying one read- made doesn’t have to be all that indulgent, and the materials may be more weather resistant than whatever materials you have on hand.
On the other hand, if you or your spouse finds the very idea of paying for something as utilitarian and straightforward as a firewood storage rack (basically a big ‘U’ made out of anything fairly weatherproof) shocking and wasteful, then by all means, make your own.
Making your own firewood storage rack isn’t hard or complicated, and if you go that route, you can feel good every time you see the price on a manufactured one and remember that you never had to pay it! One caveat: Stay away from materials that decompose in the wind and weather, since you will have to keep replacing the rack and bugs or rot may get into your wood.
Beyond that basic bit of common sense, materials and firewood storage rack designs are limited only by your imagination. You will also want to build or buy at least two: one for seasoned wood ready to burn and one for wood that is still drying out.
Whichever kind of firewood storage rack you choose – homemade or ready-made make sure you place your firewood storage rack at least twenty feet from your home in a location that is easy to reach when the weather gets cold and snowy.