Attending Glee, the leading garden and leisure industry show, was a great opportunity for Nathan Dodd to spot trends and anticipate products that will come onto the market in the near future.
If you have an open fire or log burner you'll need a log store to keep the wood dry. This is essential for the timber to burn well, creating maximum heat rather than smoke. Here is David Coton's guide to choosing a store and the different types of wood that are best to use as fuel.
Log burners and open fires have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity over the past few years. Any logs must be dry and seasoned well to burn efficiently, therefore investing in a log store is an excellent idea to protect the wood from rain and bad weather.
All the major manufacturers of timber garden buildings, Rowlinson, Halls and Forest, offer very practical log stores of a similar style - the slatted sides and sloping roof sufficient to keep logs well aired and dry. They are excellent value for money and will be sufficient for many household requirements.
These makers have recently been joined by an inpressive range from Dorset Log Stores. British made from pressure treated Swedish Redwood In attractive rustic styles, these are practical garden structures, well designed with a pleasing appearance. The largest version is the Okeford 6ft Log Store that measures nearly 6ft 5ins wide and 2ft 8ins deep.
If you have a large amount of timber, one of the metal Biohort WoodStock wood stores may also be a wise choice. Logs can be stored in a structure that is sturdily constructed from hot dipped polyamide coated steel and aluminium and has a 20 year guarantee.
If you are regularly splitting and sawing timber, a secure space where you can can keep expensive chainsaws, fuel and other valuable items is very worthwhile.
There are several products that are designed to integrate these lockable storage areas. Good examples would be the Forest Log and Tool Store and the Rowlinson Log and Tool Lean To Shed, both feature storage areas for both garden equipment and logs.
You may be lucky and live where a supply of Ash, Beech, Hawthorn, Mountain Ash or Yew is plentiful, for these are probably the best types of wood to use in a log burner or on an open fire. They burn slowly, produce a good flame and supply ample heat.
Laburnum, Poplar and Spruce are among ones to avoid, burning poorly with the first two in particular producing more smoke than fire. Willow is also a very poor timber to use even when seasoned.
Although Ash can be used when still 'green', seasoning is essential for all wood if it is to burn well. This is essentially a process whereby the amount of moisture within the timber is reduced. Timber can contain 50% - 60% or more moisture, you want to reduce that to 20% - 30%.
Seasoning is usually achieved domestically by splitting the logs, cutting them into short lengths and storing them in a sheltered position with good air circulation.
A log store is therefore ideal, and whatever the amount of logs you have, they'll be one to suit your needs. You'll certainly appreciate their sturdiness and the resultant seasoned wood will heat your home through the chilly winter months.
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