How to Stack a Cord Of Wood

A pile of pinewood stacked neatly.
A cord is a unit of volume for fuel wood, measuring 128 cubic feet. The wood is neatly arranged and stacked in a pile. Photo by Joel Sharpe / Getty Images

A cord is a unit of volume for fuel wood, measuring 128 cubic feet (3.6 cubic meters) [source: AGMKT]. The wood is neatly arranged and stacked in a pile that measures 4-feet-high-by-4-feet-wide-by-8-feet-long (1.2-meters-high-by-1.2-meters-wide-by-2.4-meters-long), which translates to 128 cubic feet (3.6 cubic meters). When buying a cord of wood make sure the logs are arranged neatly and are densely packed, otherwise you may have measured the dimensions, but will not receive the amount of wood you're paying for. Stack your wood in a sunny, airy spot. If the logs aren't neatly stacked, air won't circulate between them and they'll remain moist, and won't burn nicely. It can take up to six months for wood to dry completely [source: California Energy Commission]. We will now learn how to stack a cord of wood correctly.

  1. Find a flat area outside your home. If it's not flat, the pile will topple over. It's advisable to place a big piece of plywood or a pallet down first. This will ensure the place is really flat and straight, and will serve as a barrier between the moist ground and the wood.
  2. Lay down one row of logs 8-feet (2.4-meters) long and 4-feet (1.2-meters) wide. Try to choose flat bottomed pieces for the bottom row, so the pile won't topple.
  3. Place some logs at right angles to the main stack at either end, to hold the ends and make the stack strong and stable.
  4. Place the logs one on top of another between the end rows. Make sure they're placed neatly and fit one next to the other. Avoid leaving too much space between the logs.
  5. Continue this process of making rows, until the stack is 4 feet (1.2 meters) high.
  6. Lean branches against the pile to keep it from slipping over
  7. Fix a good waterproof cover over the pile, to protect it from rain [source: Hough].