The Art of Firewood Stacking

By Chuck Ray | Posted: 01/25/2013 10:37AM


If you're nice and cozy by your wood stove, and feeling good about your own energy and stamina in splitting and piling all that wood for the winter, then good for you. But don't get too impressed by your own firewood prowess until you consider these Herculean efforts. My friend Sandy Smith here at Penn State sent me these photos to keep me humble.

Ever heard of the holzhaus(en)? Well, those were woodpiles that mere mortals would build. But real wood users need a real stack of wood, one to be proud of as you'll see from this slideshow.

Man, I just looked out at my woodpile. As Sarah explained so well, I'm experiencing feelings of inadequacy.

Next year I'm going to have to get serious. My chiropractor will welcome the extra business.


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About the Author

Chuck Ray, PennState, Associate Professor of Wood Operations

Chuck Ray

Dr. Charles D. “Chuck” Ray is Associate Professor of Wood Operations Research at Pennsylvania State University. His specialty is in the area of operations research, specifically those operational issues that confront the majority of the wood products sector. He previously spent 15 years in research and quality management for two large building products corporations, Temple-Inland Forest Products and Louisiana-Pacific. Ray is the sixth generation of his family to work in the sawmill industry, the Ray Brothers Lumber Company, established in East Texas before the turn of the last century. He can be reached at and followed on Twitter @ChuckDRay. He maintains an Extension website for Penn State at and also writes a blog on all wood issues called Go Wood which can be found at

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Gerald McKibben    
USA  |  May, 22, 2014 at 02:54 PM

Pictures of firewood art are circulating on the net now, and I found your site, and the great article by Chuck Ray on the subject. I put a link to your site from mine:


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