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Holz Hausen

What is a Holz Hausen?

We have tried various ways of stacking our wood over tha past few years. None of them have worked very well. All of the piles have collapsed to some degree. In early 2014 I saw a video on youtube about a holz hausen.

According to Wikipedia they are a "wood house", a circular method of stacking wood; proponents say it speeds up drying on a relatively small footprint. A traditional holz hausen has a 10-foot diameter, stands 10 feet high, and holds about 6 cords of wood. The walls are made of pieces arranged radially, and tilted slightly inward for stability. The inside pieces are stacked on end to form a chimney for air flow. The top pieces are tilted slightly outward to shed rain and are placed bark side up.

Based on my research, they are like houses; what I mean is that there is no "standard" size. They are whatever size the builder (wood stacker) wants to make them. I have seen pictures of 8' diameter and 6' high and I have seen some that are 12' in diameter and 20' high.

Here are some photos of our first holz hausen. I started by laying out a circle with a 5' radius. I put a stake in the ground at the center, then used a 5' piece of rope to judge the edge. I sprinkled lime on the ground to mark the perimeter. Then I laid bricks around the edge. I covered the ground inside the brick circle with some pea gravel so the wood would not be laying directly on the ground. It has a diameter of 10' and is about 10' high at the peak.

Then we laid a piece of split firewood on top of the bricks. The next step was to start layin firewood on top of that. Notice how the wood is sloped inward. The nicely shaped pieces get stacked on the perimeter and the oddly shaped pieces go in the middle.

As the the holz housen gains height the perimeter pieces lose slope. When the pieces lose slope and are basically flat we insert another filler piece to maintain the desired slope.

When we reach the desired height on the perimeter we fill the inside up until we have this.

It takes 3½ cords of wood to build each holz housen like this.