How to Properly Stack a Cord of Wood

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Home Improvement

A cord of wood is a measurement of volume that equates to 128 cubic feet. This wood is typically stacked and arranged in a neat pile. The pile should measure 4 feet high by 4 feet wide by 8 feet long, which equals the volume of a cord. It is important to ensure that the logs are tightly packed and arranged neatly when purchasing a cord of wood to ensure that you receive the correct amount. When stacking your wood, it is best to do so in a sunny and airy location. Poorly stacked wood can lead to a lack of air circulation and cause the wood to remain moist and not burn properly. It can take several months for the wood to dry completely. Here are the steps to properly stack a cord of wood:

  1. Find a flat and level area outside your home. It is recommended to place a large piece of plywood or a pallet down first to ensure that the area is level and to create a barrier between the wood and the moist ground.
  2. Begin by laying down a row of logs that is 8 feet long and 4 feet wide. Choose flat-bottomed logs for the base row to prevent the pile from toppling over.
  3. Place logs at right angles to the main stack at either end to hold the ends and create a stable base.
  4. Stack the logs one on top of the other between the end rows, ensuring that they are placed neatly and fit together tightly.
  5. Continue this process, making rows until the pile reaches a height of 4 feet.
  6. Lean branches against the pile to prevent it from slipping over.
  7. Finally, cover the pile with a good waterproof cover to protect it from rain.


1. What is a cord of wood?

A cord of wood is a measure of firewood typically measuring 128 cubic feet (3.62 cubic meters). This is usually a stack of wood that is 4 feet (1.22 meters) high, 4 feet wide, and 8 feet (2.44 meters) long.

2. How much wood is in a cord?

As mentioned earlier, a cord of wood is 128 cubic feet (3.62 cubic meters) in volume. The actual amount of wood in a cord depends on the size of the logs being used and how tightly they are stacked.

3. How do I prepare the area for stacking?

Before you start stacking, you need to prepare the area by clearing any debris or vegetation. It’s best to choose a level area that is not prone to flooding or moisture.

4. What tools do I need for stacking?

You’ll need a chainsaw or a handsaw to cut the logs to the desired length. You’ll also need a measuring tape, a level, and a maul or a sledgehammer to split any larger logs.

5. How do I stack the wood?

Start by laying down a base layer of logs parallel to each other. Then, stack additional layers of logs perpendicularly on top of the base layer. Make sure to alternate the direction of the logs on each layer to create a stable stack. Use a level to ensure that the stack is straight and even.

6. How high should I stack the wood?

A cord of wood is typically stacked 4 feet (1.22 meters) high. However, if you have a smaller amount of wood, you can stack it lower. Just make sure that the stack is stable and not at risk of collapsing.

7. How do I cover the stack?

Once the stack is complete, cover it with a tarp or a piece of plastic to protect it from rain or snow. Make sure to secure the cover with bungee cords or ropes to prevent it from blowing away in the wind.

8. How long does it take for the wood to dry?

The time it takes for wood to dry depends on the species of wood and the climate. On average, it takes about 6-12 months for wood to dry properly. You can check if the wood is dry by looking for cracks on the end of the logs or by using a moisture meter.

9. How do I store the wood after it’s dry?

Once the wood is dry, you can move it to a more permanent storage location. It’s best to store the wood off the ground and in a well-ventilated area to prevent moisture buildup. You can use a woodshed or a covered area to store the wood.

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