The mythical cord of wood
I purchased another "cord" of wood and it was delivered yesterday. I have for several years harvested free wood, so this it my first purchase in some time. The seller assured me he understands a cord is 128 cubic feet of wood, assumed stacked neatly. My area is approximately 8 feet wide, so if I can fill it 4 feet high and 4 feet deep I have about a cord of wood. After stacking the delivery I measure about 70% of a cord. While I've done better in the past, none ever better than about 90%.
One could argue I stack my wood too tight, but I wonder. The wood was delivered in a large high dump truck, so there was no easy way to tell looking at the load how much wood was in there, I know one can't get a cord of wood in a normal pickup unless it has high sides on it and the wood is stacked there-in, a lot of work for not a lot of money. The dump truck was loaded by a conveyer belt, so the wood had a lot of air space around it in the truck.
Am I measureing wrong or stacking wrong, or is it (almost) impossible to get a cord when you pay for a cord, any recommendations on sources in Hunderdon NJ? I'll write it down for next time. I have looked at the stacks of fire wood for sale at the curb in my rural area. Offered at $5 or so for a stack, but the stack is almost all air. The stack is constructed by layers of two pieces of wood on each layer, perhaps 5 layers, or a total of 10 pieces of wood. The way it is stacked I'd say the volume of the stack is 5 cubic feet, but stacked side by side would be no more than 2 cubic feet, or about $300 per cord. At least I did better than that, a so-called cord in this part of NJ is now $175 and up. At what I got its real cost was more like $250, not a lot better, I'd better go do a more careful count on the wood in those stacks.
One neighbor buys bulk wood, lengths of trees that he cuts and splits. I wonder how "size" of that delivery is estimated, as it too I believe is sold by the cord, but it could be sold by the ton, which one can relate to a cord given the type of wood/density. I think this type of purchase is more accurate. This all makes me thing wood pellets and corn as fuel may be a good choice. It may seem a bit more expensive than hard wood, but as it is sold by the pound, you do get what you pay for.