Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Cord of Wood

"It was a cord of maple, cut and split
And piled- and measured, four by four by eight.
And not another like it could I see.
No runner tracks in this year's snow looped near it.
And it was older sure than this year's cutting,
Or even last year's or the year's before."
-The Wood-Pile by Robert Frost

If you burn wood to keep warm in the winter, heed the advice from Comsumerist with
Measure Your Firewood Before You Pay For It
Unless you have a scale that can accurately weigh several hundred pounds of wood, never buy your firewood by the ton or the "truckload." In many states, unpackaged firewood must be sold by the cord
.A Cord of wood is 128 cubic feet. For example a wood pile 8 ft by 4 ft by 4 ft = 8*4*4 = 128 cubic feet.
Be sure to measure the height, length and depth of the stack. If multiplying the three measurements together doesn't equal 128 cubic feet, it's not a cord.
And make sure the wood is properly stacked like a box of matchsticks.
The pieces should be stacked neatly with individual pieces touching and parallel to each other. If it looks like a Jenga game or a log cabin, it's time to re-stack. [or find another seller.]
Bottom Line
For your protection, you should always be sure to get a receipt. In some municipalities, sellers of firewood are required by law to provide customers with detailed receipts of firewood sales.

The Weights and Measures Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology has a handy PDF you might want to read before investing all the time and money in that stack of firewood.

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