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Face Cord Of Kiln Dried Firewood

A face cord of firewood is a third of a cord. It is one row of firewood cut to 16-inch lengths stacked 4 feet high, and the width of the stack is 8 feet wide. So the cubic volume of a face cord 8 Feet wide by 4 feet high and 16 inches deep is 42.66 cubic feet or, as it is sometimes called, a third of a cord.

To be sure you have a fair measure of a face cord; the second part of the definition of a face cord is that the wood should be "To be sure you have a cord, the wood should be stacked neatly in a line or row, with individual pieces touching and parallel to each other, making sure that the wood is compact and has the few gaps possible." This is to ensure as many pieces of wood in the pile as possible by not creating gaps and voids in stacking so you get a fair measure.s

A face cord of kiln-dried firewood weighs approximately 1,200 pounds. This fact is one of many that makes our firewood burn bright and burn right. A regular face cord of wood 8' X 4' X 16", not kiln-dried, will weigh 400 pounds more. This means you have to burn off 50 gallons of water in the wood to get it to burn. The water content creates the hissing, popping, and smoking from burning wet wood.

In Massachusetts, firewood is sold by cubic volume, not by weight.

face cord firewood stacked smallA scale graphic of a face cord firewood with Firewood Boy who is about 4' 9". Click to enlarge.This is because the variation in moisture content can affect the weight so greatly. Selling a product this way would give large variations in the volume of wood you buy. This would make it hard to compare prices from different dealers.  A face cord of kiln-dried firewood weights

What firewood weights, and how do we know it?

A full cord of wood weighs 3,600 lbs if kiln-dried, and the average cord of green wood is 4,800 pounds. There are listings published per species of what different wood species weigh, both green and kiln-dried. Being a mixture of different hardwoods, it is a lot more accurate to go by what truckers use to legally establish what load they can carry so they do not get a very expensive ticket.   

This is because there can be considerable variations in the weight of firewood based on the species and its moisture content. Here at, we sell kiln-dried wood and are very familiar with how much water can be in firewood and how it can reduce the quality of the wood for burning.  It is one of the core principles of supplying the highest quality firewood. To put it in perspective, some species of wood, like willow, can have so much water in the wood fibers that the weight would be twice what it contains when dried. So if you bought firewood by weight you would get half the amount of wood, it would be terrible to light, hard to burn and create a lot of soot. On the other end of the spectrum, Oak is very dense, so it is an example of wood that is heavier than most based on total wood fiber present. Plus it may have a relatively high moisture content since the density makes it harder to dry it. The point is, do not buy firewood based on weight because it is not a fair unit of measure that does not correlate with the qualities you want in firewood.

The terminology problem - how much wood

face cord kiln dried firewood small 20160115 144438 EditA Face Cord of Kiln Dried Firewood Delivered In Weston, MassachusettsIt is sort of like how much wood can a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Don't get turned around by terms that are not clear. When buying firewood, be specific in your questions when you hear terms like a truckload of wood, fireplace cords, stove cord, furnace cord, pick up full, bushels, thrown cord, loose cord, or rack of wood. Understand how much wood by stacked volume you expect to get from whom you will buy wood. It has to be a fair deal for both the buyer and the seller with clear communication.

Massachusetts has no legal definition for purchasing a smaller quantity of firewood other than a full cord. So, we want to be very clear in what we mean when referring to the term a face cord of firewood. It is one row of firewood that is a third of a cord. Our service is based on the knowledge that people do want to buy quantities of firewood less than a full cord of firewood. Much of our wood is sold to people who want convenience and good wood that burns well, not whole house heating. So, the amount ordered is based on how often they burn wood, how much storage space there is for the wood, and how often they are home to relax by the fire. In the Boston area, not many people have a woodshed anymore. Most people want bug-free firewood stacked conveniently inside close to the fireplace. We often deliver and stack wood on decks, in pantries, or in small storage areas that cannot handle larger volumes of wood. It would not make sense if we insisted that all they could buy was a full cord. There is an additional charge for stacking. 

Keep in mind that with some firewood suppliers, if the lengths of wood are shorter, then the other dimension has to change to get the same volume, or you are not comparing the same quantity of wood if choosing from two different suppliers. Woodcut, short for a small wood stove, would be a good example of the volume being very different. The common usage of the term face cord does NOT include a depth specification. We hold to a depth of 16 inches, so you get the full 42.66 cubic feet of firewood you expect to get. For people custom-ordering different log lengths, we have a firewood calculator to figure out what the stacked pile dimensions should be.

Buying firewood? Confirm the volume terms being used.

A face cord is equal to a third of a cord of wood when purchased from Boston Each log is measured and cut to 16" lengths on the wood processor' cutting table before being split to keep it a consistent, verifiable measure of the wood you are buying. Picture a cord of wood stacked with three rows of wood being blocky and it forms a stable cube that will not easily topple over. The face cord is just one row and would probably be stacked in a rack for support or in another shape. If this is the case and you want to avoid the volume math, check out our firewood calculator. Just put in the dimensions H X W X D, and you get the cubic volume.

A Rick of Firewood

A rick of firewood is another term often used to mean the same thing as a face cord. Do not assume this, but confirm there is an understanding of the dimensions of the wood being bought: stacked firewood 4 feet high, 8 feet wide, and 16" deep. Some firewood dealers use the confusion over measurement terms to deliver less wood and get paid more if the consumer is not familiar with buying firewood often, and it is mostly for ambiance. Purchasing firewood from a supplier is not inherently confusing, but be careful that what you are asking about is the same as what the supplier understands it to be.

buying a face cord of wood sells kiln-dried firewood in the Boston Metropolitan area and Metro West, typically stopping around the distance of Framingham, Massachusetts. Our product and service differ from others in that we only sell kiln-dried firewood. We also know that people want to enjoy a fire in the fireplace that burns right and burns brightly. They do not want a lot of labor or a mess around the house brought in with the wood. Storage of the wood needs to be convenient, not huge piles, and without fear of bringing termites or pests into the house. We do not mandate that you can only buy cord quantities of firewood. We sell, deliver, and stack for you our firewood where you want it. Stacking is additional. For firewood delivery, the minimum you can buy is a quarter cord of wood. The next size up is a half cord for those who have space and burn more. For those who want less, we do offer a pick-up service in our yard in Dedham, Massachusetts, for any amount of bundles you want. Our bundles are 1.5 cubic feet, so you can handle more wood with fewer trips than buying gas station bundles, typically .75 cubic feet of firewood. 

To order, call Paul at 781-254-2773 Request for a quote page.