If you use firewood for outdoor cooking, heating of rooms, or for other projects, you must understand its measurement terminologies. Terms like “rick of wood,” “cord of firewood,” and “face cord” are commonly used in firewood measurement. You’ll need a proper grasp of these expressions to work on firewood quantity.
A rick of wood is often used when purchasing firewood for your fireplace or cooking stove. As most homeowners use wood to fuel their fireplaces to keep their homes warm during the winter months, paying attention to how the wood is packed is only fitting.
Whether purchasing firewood or cutting firewood from the forest (with a permit), you’ll often be making your calculations using wood ricks. Despite the term’s importance, a rick of wood remains a mystery to many. For this reason, we’ve arranged this piece to help homeowners and everyone using firewood understand what a rick of wood means.
What is a Rick of Wood?
A rick of wood is a wood measurement unit called a face cord. So, different terms have the same meaning even though it causes much confusion among users. It is 4 feet high and 8 feet long, but its depth varies. This means the actual size of a rick of wood is not constant. Typically, the depth of most firewood is 16 inches, with some cut 24 inches deep.
Sixteen inches deep firewoods are the most popular sizes due to their suitability for most fireplaces. Longer firewood may struggle to fit into some fireplaces, leaving room for accidents. In hindsight, a stack of 4-foot-high and 8-foot-long firewood is called a rick or wood.
However, the wood depth may be less than 16 inches or 24 inches deep as most firewood processors use chainsaws to cut and eyeball the dimensions. Typically, you should see variations between 1 inch lower and 2 inches higher than the specified depth. A consistent lower-depth size should raise suspicion.
A cord of wood is the standard firewood unit of measurement, but a rick of wood is an informal measurement term that is essential to understand. And the best way to do this is by relating the rick of wood to a cord. Consequently, a rick of wood can either be 8 foot x 4 foot x 16 inches or 8 foot x 4 foot x 24 inches, each being ⅓ and ½ of a cord, respectively.
How Much is a Rick of Wood?
More than throwing numbers around is required to describe the quantity of firewood. So we’ve included this section explaining the amount of firewood in a rick. With that out of the way, the best way to know the exact amount of firewood is to measure it. This is because it is easy to get ripped off since the rick of wood is not an official measurement unit. A rick of wood can even vary based on location, showing its wide variations. Some of the primary factors that affect the quantity of timber in a rick are:
- Tightness of Stacked Wood: There’ll always be air spaces between stacked timber, reducing the wood’s size. However, the tighter the stacked wood, the more the quantity. So you want to check how well the wood is stacked while considering its overall size.
- Rounded and Split Wood: This is related to the previous factors as stacking round wood will leave more air spaces around it and ultimately less quantity of timber in a rick.
These factors are the primary determinant of how much wood will be in your rick. Thankfully, you can quickly check them through observation without specialized tools.
With the many variations in the dimensions for a rick of wood, including the often unprecise depth of the wood, knowing the exact quantity of timber in a rick is challenging. However, depending on its use, you can get an accurate number of ricks needed.
Some people use their firewood for outdoor campfires, indoor fireplaces, or barbecue grills. Some other people use it for all of the above. Generally, you’ll need about two to three ricks of wood to heat your home for an average cold season. A rick will typically last for about eight weeks of heating your home. Remember that three ricks are equal to a cord of wood, so it may be economical to purchase a cord instead of three ricks.
The size of wood you need for your campfires and grills will depend on how often you use them. It is best to get slightly higher than required for each task.
How Much Does a Rick of Wood Cost?
Simply put a rick of wood costs between $80 to $200 for a seasoned wood rick. However, considering several factors affecting the price, you shouldn’t take this at face value. From various experiences, we’ve realized that the cost varies mainly on location, availability, drying method, negotiation ability, and whether it is seasoned wood.
Remember, just like many other commodities, the price of a rick of wood rises during peak periods. Sometimes availability is severely affected, and dry wood is challenging to find. Additional services like delivery will also raise the cost of firewood.
Other Firewood Measurements
Apart from a rick of wood, other terms are used to determine the size of firewood. While a cord is the generally accepted firewood measurement unit, the common representation differs based on location. It is best to know the other alternatives so you understand when used by sellers. Here are some other measurement terms:
- A Cord of Wood: This term is the officially recognized firewood measurement unit with a volume of 128 cubic feet. The cord is also known as a full cord with several variations like half cord and quarter cord.
- Sheldon Cord: The value of this stack of wood varies but is typically more significant than a full cord.
- Face Cord: This term is the same as a rick of wood and is often used interchangeably.
Purchasing The Firewood
When purchasing firewood, you must first determine the type of wood to buy. It is best to buy locally sourced wood as it reduces transportation costs and prevents the spread of pests and diseases. Here are some other things to consider:
1. Type of Wood
Softwood like pine, spruce, and cedar dry faster and are easier to light, saving you the stress of putting fire in a cold condition. However, it also means it burns quicker and will not last before the rick is exhausted.
On the other hand, hardwoods like oak and maple take a more extended drying period and are harder to light but burn slowly. You save more by using hardwood. Hardwood also produces more heat, helping you stay warm for longer.
You can select the best wood by considering its aroma, coaling, and sparking tendencies. Wood with sparking movements is unsuitable for indoor use as it can easily cause fires.
You also want to consider purchasing seasoned wood or wet wood. If you intend to use the wood anytime soon, stick to adequately seasoned wood, as damp timber requires a lot of drying and attention. Correctly seasoned wood should be grey with splits on the ends.
Buying wet wood will save you a lot of money as it is considerably cheaper, but ensure you’re buying way ahead. You also want to consider the drying process used alongside its dryness. The two most common processes are oven and kiln-dried wood.
3. Storing The Firewood
It is always an excellent idea to purchase a large volume of wood, even more than is required, as it saves you money when buying in bulk. It also prevents the dreaded period when you run out of firewood in the winter. However, before you can achieve any of this, you must learn how to store firewood. Importer storage can cause the wood to gain moisture making it difficult to light.
Raise the wood off the ground by using pallets or setting 2x4s as runners underneath the stack of wood. The space under will ensure air can continue to dry the wood while preventing moisture from the ground from reaching it.
If you’re storing the wood in an open place, you should cover the stack with a tarp to block moisture from above. Keep the tarp on top of the pile with up to 2/3rd of the wood open to prevent mold growth.
Here we answer some of the popular questions people have about firewood ticks.
Ans: It depends on the size of the pickup bed and the firewood depth. Generally, a rick of wood 24 inches deep will fit into a pickup bed.
Ans: There are about three ricks of wood in a cord of 16-inch deep firewood. Only two ricks make a cord in a stack that is 24 inches deep.
Ans: Hardwoods like maple and oak burn the longest while producing more heat. On the other hand, softwood, like cedar, is often depleted within a short period.
A rick of wood is a common wood measurement term used when purchasing firewood. It is a stack of wood 4 feet high and 8 feet long, with depths between 16 and 24 inches. You’ll find that a rick of wood is about ⅓ or ½ of a cord which is the standard wood measurement unit.
Choosing the type of firewood and how it is stacked will help you get a better deal and ensure your safety while keeping warm. Typically, a rick of wood will last about eight weeks in a fireplace warming your home. With this, you can determine how many ticks you require based on the number of fireplaces and the length of the winter months.