A good firewood rack not only saves you money, it provides a safe visually appealing answer to your wood storage needs. Firewood racks provide a modern answer to an old problem of storing firewood.
These days their are countless products on the market each with different designs features and uses. Here at “Firewood rack” we aim to provide you with the best products on the market with reviews and our recommendations on which ones to buy.
Be it an indoor firewood rack for yourself, as a present to a family member or friend, or a 1/2 wood cord outdoor log rack, we will help you in your buying process. Within this site you will find information on indoor firewood racks, Log racks, wood racks, log carriers. All with the aim to help you make the best buying decision.
We also provide a page on Firewood. This page provides a comprehensive guide on which is the best firewood to pick, how to make kindling, all the answers you could need to deliver the BEST fire this winter.
As a wood fire owner, you know the benefits of burning wood through the cold winter. The cost benefits against the heating bill, and the benefit of having a roaring fire in your home.
To get the most from this fire you need a good supply of logs, and to get the best heat from your fire these should be in a nice dry condition. To achieve this you need a well built sturdy firewood rack.
A winters supply of wood is an expensive thing, costing any where up to $500. This is for one year, if you store wood for following seasons this could double or triple. It often seems it is only a pile of wood, but when you look at you wood stack next time look at it as if it was a pile of $20 dollar bills. I’m sure if that was the case you would want to protect it to its best.
For your main stack of wood outside you should have a sturdy firewood rack that lifts the logs of the floor. Remember that base layer of logs is 10% of your stack and them getting wet can cost you $50-60. Again a well built cover specifically for your firewood rack can save you hundreds of dollars from damp logs from a poorly attached tarp.
Having a good firewood rack indoors also benefits your wood investment as it allows the wood to dry out and warm up before being placed on the fire. This generates more heat and will start to burn quicker, both elements of a good efficient fire. A good indoor firewood rack can also add a nice addition to your interior design.
A well built indoor firewood rack or outdoor firewood rack and cover, might cost some money now, but they are designed to last a lifetime (and often come with warranties to that affect). As such in the long run these racks can more than pay for themselves.
Information on buying a great outdoor firewood rack
A Firewood Rack can be made from metal, wood or plastic or a combination of all three. Typically it is used for storing your wood outside, in a neat orderly manner.
Normal designs for wood racks comprise of two upright beams at each end with two bars running along the ground. This is designed to keep the wood off the ground so it doesn’t get wet and also to keep the ends neat and vertical reducing the length of area you need to store your wood.
You can pick firewood racks based on quantity of cords you want to store. A cord is a measure of logs, 1 cord is normally a stack of logs 4ft wide by 4 ft high by 8ft long. Firewood rack come in 1/8, 1/4, 1/2 and 1/2 plus sizes for storing. If you plan to store more than this you can always have more than one rack in front of the other and have them in rows.
Firewood racks are made from the following materials, plastic, metal, wood.
You buy the wood for the struts and fix them together with plastic brackets. This is an excellent cheap alternative, but if you live in areas that have big freezes the plastic will start to get weak over time.
When you are throwing or dropping large heavy logs around it may crack the plastic. You will have to trade the price vs how often you will replace the units I haven’t used this type of firewood rack but I would imagine replacing every 1-2 years.
You can buy metal brackets if you don’t fancy using plastic ones
The preferred option if you want a long lasting unit. Typically made from Steel these units are powder coated to prevent rusting and are extremely strong and robust.
With metal racks you don’t have to worry about the side and base wood deteriorating and your entire pile collapsing, or the connecting plastic pieces breaking. If you have small children playing around wood stacks I would suggest a metal one is probably the safest option.
Word of caution, when buying metal racks online, always check the postage charges.
Note, recently wood piles have become a home design feature and as such you can now buy Firewood rack in fancy designs and formats. More suited for storage inside the home than the garden.
The origins of racks were wooden, with either a tree or 2 pieces of wood hammered into the ground at either end of the stack and the firewood piled directly on the ground.
This is still a feasible method, however compared to the other two, it prevents air from passing under you wood stack and causing moisture to migrate through your stack.
Be cautious with this design as the moisture especially with snow can creep up through the base layer up to the top of your stack. The entire pile can become very damp and hard to burn.
If you like the look of wood you can still make a rack as long as you raise the wood of the floor by the use of beams as shown in the picture.
As with METAL designs ornate wooden designs are becoming fashionable for interior design. Whether a wooden or metal firewood rack fits your interior decor is a personal decision.
Remember when buying a Firewood rack:
- Pick a material that fits your budget
- Typically a steel rack will last the best
- Try and get a powder coated firewood rack to prevent rusting
- Buy a size that matches your requirements
Indoor firewood rack information
Above I talked about firewood racks and that mainly covered outside storage of cords of wood.
Typically you will also have an indoor firewood rack, close to your fire for storing your logs.
Having an indoor firewood rack has a couple of benefits. First it means you can top up your wood in one go rather than going to your wood pile in the middle of the night. (although even with a rack I find I still have to do this occasionally) The second and main reason for having a rack indoors is it allows the wood to dry out fully with the natural heat of the house. Think of it as a final step to your wood management process.
Taking cold or frozen logs straight from a sub 40 outdoor temperature and expecting them to burn hot and warm is possible but not optimum. A log that has been allowed to warm-up in the house is more likely to light. It is also going to generate some good heat and coals. Stacking a small supply of logs on an indoor firewood rack achieves this.
How much wood you store inside really depends on how much wood you burn in a day. Typically I try to store 3-4 fires worth of wood on my rack. This gives the wood plenty of time to warm up and lose its initial dampness. It also fits into my routine of building a fire on a Saturday morning, then loading up the rack with enough wood to last until the following weekend.
Indoor firewood racks have gained a bit of a celebrity status, for interior decorating. Firewood racks have been seen on CBS, in magazines such as log home living, log home illustrated. Depending on the style of your home, an indoor rack can really add a statement. Personally I love the site of wood stacked by the fireplace, it adds a warm natural feel to our modern designed home.
Because of the interior design aspect of indoor firewood rack, you will find they come in far more shapes and sizes and materials than your typical firewood rack. I have seen some beautifully crafted iron holders and there are some amazing racks that combine carpentry. Resulting in draws to hold your matches and other lighting material.
Before buying an indoor firewood rack I suggest you think about the following 5 questions:
- Do I just want to store logs?
- Do I need to store kindling as well?
- Would it be useful if I could store matches and paper in the same rack?
- How much wood do I need to store?
- Where an I going to put the rack? What are the foot print dimensions I need to have?
Racks also make great gifts for friends or family, as mentioned above, consider the above 5 points when buying a rack as a gift. It might be the difference between seeing your present at their house next time you visit or not.
Finally when it comes to indoor firewood racks compared to outdoor, it really is the look of the rack that really matters. I know in our house, I get to pick the outdoor racks whilst my wife gets to pick the indoor ones.
Protect your firewood with a firewood rack cover
To protect your wood from the elements, you need a good Firewood rack covers, these are designed to cover both your rack and the top half of the wood stack. So that rain and snow will fall off the cover onto the ground and not fall on the wood.
If you buy a good quality firewood rack you should get a cover as part of the price. If not I strongly suggest you get one. They might not be as cheap as a tarpaulin, but they do provide better air flow through your stack.
For good wood stack management you want to ensure that moisture can’t get into your stack. I.e. rain, snow, damp floor whilst at the same time allowing air to flow through your wood stack to help remove moisture from within the wood.
The use of a tarpaulin definitely resolves the first issue. However it doesn’t resolve the second and if storing a lot of wood can make the problem worse.
Poorly protected wood, will lead to mildew and mold, these will put spores into the air when the wood is burnt. Obviously the less mold and mildew spores you breath the better. It also deteriorates the wood making it softer and therefore it produces less heat and a poor quality fire.
Good firewood rack covers will allow your wood to cure correctly. This means with good air flow it helps suck the moisture from the center of the log and correctly dry.
A full cover often results in moisture building up within the cover and preventing the logs from reaching a low enough moisture content. Best is between 18-20%, the wood may burn above this level but it doesn’t generate heat due to it converting the water to steam.
A good cover should be made from a heavy waterproof material, ideally it should allow water to fall straight off and hold no pockets of water. This is most important in early summer as the water can be home to mosquitoes.
A tarpaulin tends to lay flat on the ground and hold water around the edges. This is bad for both farming mosquito’s but also it maintains a water around the very thing your trying to dry. Your logs.
If you live in a snowy area your firewood rack covers should allow easy access. Some of the best covers have Velcro on the sides that allow a very easy open and close system to your wood. When its minus 40 and your collecting your logs do you really need the hassle of removing the tarp, collecting the wood then retying it back afterwards.
I have talked about the benefits of covering the top third of your stack to enhance the curing process. There are times when a full firewood rack covers is needed. Ideally you have split your logs early spring, and placed them out to cure during the hot summer months.
As you come into autumn your logs should have finished their curing and be at 20% moisture or less. If this is the case and the wood is in a good firewood rack that keeps the wood off the ground. A full cover is useful to maintain that moisture content. Ideally a combination of the two covers would be best.
So when buying firewood rack covers.
- If covering whilst curing your wood get a third cover.
- If the wood is cured get a full cover.
- Pick one made from sturdy material and stitching ideally vinyl.
- Look for easy opening features Velcro straps etc
- Pay that extra $10 for convenience
Face cord what is it
I must admit when I ordered wood for the first time, I had to ask what a cord was. I had expected the quote to be in trailers or tons etc. Unfortunately not the answer I received was how many Face cord of wood do you want.
After research I found out that a Face cord is a 4ft high 8 ft wide stack of wood. A Face Cord only corresponds to the facial area of the stack not the depth. Typically a face cord is one log deep so between 16”-18”. It is important to know the difference because if you ask for a “full cord” you will get a 4ft high 4ft deep 8 ft wide amount of wood. This can be 4 times the amount of a “face cord”
When buying wood always check if it is a “full” or a “face” cord you are buying. To ensure your getting the correct quantity. When comparing your wood supplier I suggest you take a tape measure to check the length of the log.
There are numerous names for wood stacks and sizes and different sellers may cut their logs to different lengths so please use the example below as a method of comparing prices.
Typically all stacks are 4ft high by 8ft wide. (confirm this with your seller)
The main issue is how deep is the wood stack or how long is the log.
3 different vendors could provide the wood in either 12,16 or 18 inch lengths.
Assuming you are going to buy a “full Cord” i.e. 4ft x 4ft x 8ft.
Divide the 48” of the full cord depth by the length of the log. Then multiply by the price.
E.g. 48” / 12” = 4 multiplied by $50 = $200
Compared to a vendor selling 18” logs at $90
48”/ 18” = 2.67 multiplied by $90 = $240
By using this method you can see that the 12” logs are cheaper than the 18” logs.
It is also important if you are buying a firewood rack to ensure that it is to the correct dimensions of either a face or a full cord. Check the details on the site you buy from it should highlight the measure.
Once you have found a reliable vendor, stick with them. Certainly compare pricing to other companies using the technique shown. A good lumber seller, that provides a good price and a good quality log is someone you should stay with.
So to recap.
- Check whether you are buying “face cord “ or “full cord”
- If selling in a different format do the calculation to compare price.
- Check what size your firewood rack is.