How to build a log store

There has been a massive upsurge in wood burner installations. This has obviously resulted in many more piles of wood being stored in preparation for colder nights. But only dry wood burns well, so a log store is an essential part of the garden.

Dry wood can mean two things. Wood can be dry in that the overall moisture content is low i.e. it has been cut and dried for a year or more, resulting in a material that will burn efficiently. Dry can also mean it has been kept out of the rain and is dry to the touch. A moisture meter will tell you the moisture content, and handling the split wood logs will give an indication of whether or not it has been sitting out in the rain for weeks. The idea is that with dry logs you won't need your fire to drive out the moisture before it gives off any heat. It stops that rather tiresome smouldering look.

Keeping wood dry

But to dry wood, or to keep wood dry, you need to store it. The trick is not to enclose the wood too much – for example, piling it in a snug shed is actually not the best thing to do. Moisture won't escape and the wood will begin to rot. What you need is good air flow around and through the wood.

The other consideration, if at all possible, is to position your log store near the house. Chances are you will run out of wood half way through a burn and nipping out to the top of the garden on a frosty night will ruin your wood burner mood. Keep it handy.

Using a log store

The simplest way to build a log store is to use a wall as a back to the store and construct a simple roof. Slope the roof away from the wall and make it deep enough to take a couple of faces of logs. It can be as simple as two uprights either concreted into the ground or fixed to paving using bolts and post fixers. Run two pieces of wood from the posts to the wall and attach your roof to those. The roof itself can be old roof tiles nailed to cross beams, or even a piece of overlap fencing. It won't be water tight but it will keep most of the rain off the wood. Importantly, it will allow air to circulate into the wood pile.

Another handy building to utilise is a shed. It is often easy to extend the slope of the shed roof a few feet to the side to accommodate your log store. Again, tiles or overlap fence panels will make the whole job effective. It also looks good.

Ready-made and rather beautiful log stores are available to buy (as are sheds with built in log stores to one side). Simply put it all together and within an hour or so you will have your logs drying a treat ready for a proper burn.

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