Log burners and open fires have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity over the past few years. Nathan James Dodd explains how you can have a continuous supply of dry, well seasoned, wood by investing in a log store.
There's no doubt that burners and fireplaces can be attractive additions to your interior design, focal points that also serve a useful purpose, radiating warmth and light.
The fire becomes almost hypnotic. It's an ever changing conflagration, one second is never the same as the next and you can't quite take your eyes off the emerging, evolving and dying flames. Even the embers have a strange attraction. You want to sit closer, warming your hands on the glowing conclusion of something that you created and was burning so fiercely not so long ago.
What Type of Wood?
You may be lucky and live where a supply of Ash, Beech, Mountain Ash or Yew is plentiful, for these are probably the best types of wood to burn. They produce a good flame and ample heat. Laburnum, Poplar, Spruce and Willow are ones to avoid, burning poorly with the first two in particular producing more smoke than fire.
This is essentially a process whereby the amount of moisture within the timber is reduced. Depending on the season in which it is cut, timber can contain 50% - 60% or more moisture, for burning it needs to be as little as 20% - 30%.
Although you can use some wood when it's 'green', this unseasoned timber produces a lot of smoke rather than heat and can clog the chimney with tar. 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.
Moisture content, or lack of it, can be measured by a moisture meter but drying times will vary by species. However most wood should be usable after year, indeed the timber I harvest from the trees in my garden every autumn will all be burnt the following year.
There are many manufacturers, Biohort, Forest, Rowlinson, Halls and Zest 4 Leisure, who make very practical log stores in various styles with slatted sides and sloping roofs to keep logs well aired and dry. They are excellent value for money and will be sufficient for many household requirements.
You may also consider a Log Chest that tidies the logs from view and can also be used to store garden tools. The Pinnacle Log Store is another that's out of the ordinary, an attractive version that's certainly eye catching.
The Emerald Metal Woodstore is something a little different. 6ft tall, it's made from hot dipped galvanized steel and is easy to assemble. Pre-painted in emerald green, this store will have enduring good looks.
If you have a large amount of timber, a Biohort metal store may be the right choice. Logs in 35cm wide rows, or in fact any garden equipment, can be stored in a structure that is sturdily constructed from hot dipped polyamide coated steel and aluminium. Very stable and complete with guttering, the range has 230cm and 150cm wide versions with 20 year guarantees.
Other structures are designed to integrate storage areas. This can be a simple shelf for kindling as in the Rowlinson Large Log Store or larger secure storage space featured in their Log and Tool Store
If you are regularly splitting and sawing timber, the secure space will be very worthwhile, a place to keep chainsaws, fuel and other tools and equipment, locked away.
The Forest Overlap 6 x 4 Apex Shed has a log store attached that can also be used to shelter BBQs and garden furniture. Rustically styled the shed's overhanging roof creates 50% more space that is covered to keep the rain off.
Whatever the amount of logs you have, they'll be a wood store to suit your needs. You'll certainly appreciate their sturdiness and the resultant seasoned wood will heat your home through the chilly winter months.
Click here to view a wide range of Log Stores for sale on Gardensite.co.uk