Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   water in oak wood
Thursday, January 21 2016
With my windfall almost fully salvaged (I'd piled a few remaining low-grade scraps along the side of the Stick Trail), I had to find a new source of firewood. So I went down the Stick Trail about a third of a mile and cut down a medium-sized dead Red Oak a little below the trail. I assumed that if I felled a tree, the wood wouldn't have as much surface dampness as already-fallen trees. And this was indeed true; the punky rotted sapwood hadn't been soaked by rain and then immediately flash frozen (as it had been on the wood from the windfall). But there was a different problem that I've occasionally seen with standing dead Red Oaks: water had found its way into the heartwood. Woods of the White Oak group don't generally have this problem, because they actively block their xylem vessels as they're abandoned and become heartwood. But the xylem vessels in Red Oaks remain open and can occasionally conduct water from the remains of their crowns down into their dead roots. An indication that there had been a continuous (though not excessive) supply of water in this tree was indicated by the high density of tiny (one millimeter) borer holes revealed by splitting it. There was an average of about one such hole per square inch of exposed wood, which is higher than average. The lack of any Carpenter Ant activity, however, suggested that there had never been much water available. Still, there was too much water present in the salvaged wood for me to be able to burn it without drying it first, which was something I'd been hoping to avoid with this salvage. Because I want wood I can burn without drying, I won't be salvaging any more of this tree for the time being, though there is still plenty left. Today's load came to 118.75 pounds, though of course that's with water.

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