THE PERCUSSION METHOD:
- The Premise: as wood dries out, its acoustical properties change.
- How to do it: grab two sample pieces of wood at one end and let them dangle, one from each hand. Swing the bottom ends together, and listen to the sound at impact.
- What to look for: dry wood will “ring” or “bonk” when they hit each other. Wet wood, however, will issue a dull thud on impact.
CRACKING THE CODE:
- The Premise: as fuel wood pieces dry, the wood fiber shrinks, which causes visible radius cracks to open up on the ends of the wood.
- How to do it: examine the ends of a sample piece, looking for cracks that radiate from the core to the bark.
- What to look for: big, deep radius cracks are a good indicator of well-seasoned wood.
Note: this is the least reliable indicator, as the cracks won’t close back up if the seasoned wood is subsequently allowed to re-absorb rainwater.