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What Is a Rick of Wood?

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Buying firewood from your local supplier can often be quite daunting if you are unfamiliar with the different sizes of wood, such as a rick of wood, cords, half cords, etc.

A rick of wood is a stack of wood that you can purchase from your local wood supplier. Defining this size helps us understand how much wood you will be getting from the supplier.

A rick of wood is a 4 feet tall and an 8 feet long stack of wood with a varying width depending upon a wide array of elements. These elements may include the supplier, region, etc. A rick of wood is also known as a face cord. There are three different widths for a rick or a face cord: 

  • 12 inches
  • 16 inches
  • 24 inches

Today, you will learn about the various sizes for purchasing wood from your local supplier. You will also learn the major differences between these sizes, and how a rick of wood stands out among them.

This guide will help you understand how much wood you will be buying with a rick of wood and help you make monetary decisions for your firewood needs.

How Much Wood Is in A Rick of Wood?

As per the Oxford Dictionary, the word “rick” is derived from the old English word “hrēac.” This word literally means a stack or a pile. It was originally used for farm-related objects, such as:

  • Hay
  • Wood
  • Corn
  • Wood

This unit of measurement is still commonly used in the Midwest for other farm-related items, but it is used for measuring a stack of woods in other parts of the Northern US.

Before we take a deep dive into the world of wood measurements, you need to understand a little bit about a cord of wood. A cord of wood is basically a stack of wood with:

  • Height of 4 feet (48 inches)
  • Width of 4 feet (48 inches)
  • A length of 8 feet (96 inches)

Some people often make the mistake of thinking that a cord is the same amount of wood as a rick. However, this is not true. While these two may seem similar at a cursory glance, a rick is basically a portion of a full cord.

How Does a Rick of Wood Compare to A Full Cord?

So how many ricks of wood are in a cord of wood? Since we already know that there are three basic options used to identify a rick of wood, here are those options compared to a full cord of wood:

  • 12 inches wide rick will equal 1/4 of a cord of wood
  • 16 inches wide rick will equal 1/3 of a cord of wood
  • 24 inches wide rick will equal 1/2 of a cord of wood

Since the values mentioned above in comparison to a full cord, let’s take a look at these values by themselves for a rick of wood:

  • 12 in. rick will be 4 feet high by 1-foot-wide by 8 feet long
  • 16 in. rick will be 4 feet high by 1.33 feet wide by 8 feet long
  • 24 in. rick will be 4 feet high by 2 feet wide by 8 feet long

Now that you understand how much a rick of wood will offer you, it is also important to consider the width of a rick to completely understand the amount of wood that you will be purchasing from your local supplier.

What Elements May Influence the Size of a Rick of Wood?

Another important aspect of understanding a rick of wood is knowing that there is a wide array of elements and variables that influence the overall size of a rick of wood. These elements include:

  • Region
  • Supplier
  • The type of wood
  • The width

This is why you need to research well before choosing a vendor for your wood needs. You may not get the same amount of wood with the same size everywhere in the country. The amount of wood will vary from vendor to vendor or region to region, and you will have to take into account the total amount of wood before purchasing a rick of wood.

What Is the Overall Weight of a Rick of Wood?

On average, a rick of wood of superior-quality and high-end firewood will offer a weight of almost 2.5 tons or 5,500 lbs. This average weight is for high-end firewood, which may include red or white oak. 

On the other hand, inferior quality and low-end wood or spruces will weigh around 1.25 tons or 2,500 lbs for a rick of wood. One important thing you must understand is the weight of a rick of wood will also depend on the actual amount of wood that you are getting. Since this amount of wood varies from region to region, you can expect around 2,750 lbs. to 5,500 lbs. for the high-end firewood and 625 lbs. to 2,500 lbs. for the low-end wood.

How Many Pieces Are in A Rick of Wood?

Depending on the region, you can expect about 550 to 650 individual pieces of seasoned wood in a full cord of wood. Again, this depends on different variables, and the formation of the stack is among the most important variables that determine the number of pieces in a full cord of wood or rick of wood. 

So, if there are 550 to 650 different pieces of split seasoned wood in an actual full cord of wood, you can expect around 250 to 350 different pieces of wood in a rick of wood. This will vary from vendor to vendor, but on average, you get around 250 to 350 different pieces in a rick of wood.

How Much Will a Rick of Wood Cost You?

Once again, the total cost will depend on a variety of factors, such as:

  • The quality of wood
  • The type of wood
  • The vendor
  • The region

On average, a rick of wood for high-end firewood will cost you around $150 and $250. Moreover, a rick of wood for low-end spruces and wood will cost you around $80 to $120. This price doesn’t include the delivery charges, as those will depend on the miles from the vendor to your place.

Some vendors will charge you a delivery fee of USD 1 to USD 2 for every mile. On the other hand, there are several vendors who will offer free delivery for a limited number of miles in the local region. You can either ask for delivery, or you can load all the rick of wood in your pickup truck and take the wood home in roughly 3 to 4 trips.

What Is the History Behind the Terms Cord and Rick?

The first thing you need to understand is that a true and a full cord of wood is basically a stack of wood that has the following dimensions: 

  • 8 feet width
  • 4 feet height 
  • 4 feet depth

On average, the total volume of a full cord of firewood is around 128 cubic feet. The name cord dates back to the 17th century when lumberjacks used to harvest and store wood in the form of stacks, and they also used to tie the stacks with the help of cords of rope to keep them in one place. 

Over the course of the past four centuries, the term has been widely used for wood measurement, and it basically means a full stack of wood. It has now become a universal standard of measurement for all types of wood.

Before you even think about buying a full cord of wood, you need to understand that it is a lot of wood. Sometimes, it will take you more than three of four trips to take a cord of wood from the lumberjacks to your place. Moreover, this cord of wood will also last for months. Therefore, you need to take into account your wood needs before you actually go out to buy a cord of wood.

There are other wood measurement terms that are basically different variations of the term “cord.” These terms include:

  • Full cords
  • Face cords
  • Half cords
  • A Rick of Wood

Now you understand why the most used measurement for wood is called a cord. On the other hand, the term “rick” has a different history. Some historians believe that the term rick came into being when different business owners and wood sellers wanted a different term for the face cord. 

This need arose because the majority of people started confusing a face cord with the full cord and ended up complaining about getting a different amount of wood than required. Therefore, wood sellers and business owners came up with the term rick and started using it as the measurement of wood for something smaller than an actual cord of wood.

How Many Ricks Would You Require?

The number of ricks required depends completely on the amount of wood you need for your individual requirements. If you only want to last one winter and keep your house warm, you will only need one rick. 

A single rick is roughly about one-third the size of a full cord, and it can last you at least one full winter. This means it can last for over four months with ease. Another thing that you need to take into consideration is the quality of the wood. 

If you choose to go with the green or red firewood or a good quality oak, you would only need a single rick. On the other hand, if you decide to go with low-quality spruces and inferior wood, you will need a rick or a half or more than one rick. Some people use low-quality spruce and buy two to three ricks to last one winter. 

There will not be any significant difference in the cost associated with the different kinds of woods. You will be purchasing more than one rick for lower quality wood and only one rick for higher quality firewood.

How Can You Choose the Best Wood Quality for a Rick of Wood?

One of the most important aspects behind buying a rick of firewood is the quality of the wood. You need to make sure that you are buying hardwood or softwood that is properly seasoned and is ready to be burnt upon purchase. 

If you intentionally buy green firewood, then it’s a completely different story. However, if you want to burn the firewood and warm up your house quickly, you need to make sure that the wood is properly seasoned and dried. It will then be ready to burn.

A seasoned rick of firewood should be completely grey in terms of color and should also have splits on the end since it has been dried for burning. Depending on the different types of wood, it takes about half a year or a complete year to season the wood. 

You should ask the vendor when the wood was chopped down. If it was chopped down within the last few months, then it means that it is not ready to be burnt for the winter season.

On the other hand, if you are buying green firewood, you should also ask for a discounted price, as green firewood is not seasoned at all.

How Can You Season Your Rick of Wood by Yourself?

If you choose to buy an unseasoned rick of wood, you can completely season it by yourself at home. It will take a few months before you can burn this wood, but you will be able to enhance, increase, and maintain your firewood quality. 

As a general rule of thumb, hardwood requires a longer amount of time to be seasoned as compared to softwood, which dries out in a few months. The first thing you need to do is split up the individual pieces of wood, keep them outdoors, and expose them to the maximum amount of sunlight. 

You also need to make sure to place them in an outdoor environment where the wind blows faster to speed up the process of drying up the wood for burning. Faster winds can dry out the wood faster.

You can also lift the wood off the ground with the help of pallets or other material and keep it at least two feet above the ground. This is quite useful in preventing the wood from soaking up any moisture from the soil around it, and it will also allow the wind to flow from different directions and dry the firewood in a faster and more efficient manner.

Another important thing that you need to keep in mind is to cover the stack of firewood left outdoors for seasoning with a proper shed. This shed can be a simple weatherproof sheet or a proper shed that can prevent rain or snow from getting to your firewood and ruining its quality. The majority of people cover the firewood with a weatherproof sheet or a tarp.

When covering the firewood with a tarp or weatherproof sheet, you need to keep in mind not to cover the entire stack and leave a little place for the wind and sunlight to interact with your stack. As a general rule of thumb, people cover only one-third of the stack with the sheet and only cover the complete stack when it’s snowing or raining. 

Suppose you want to take it to the next level. In that case, you can make a temporary shed out of wood or any other material, and keep it a little above from the stack that will allow the sunlight to reach the stack without letting any snow or rain interact with the firewood. If you don’t want to build a temporary shed, you could look into buying a firewood rack.

What Do We Have to Say?

There are different methods of measuring the wood, and the rick of wood is one of the most commonly used units of measurement for a stack of wood. In reality, a full cord is actually a universal method of measurement, but the majority of business owners and wood sellers also use a rick of wood in order to prevent any confusion with the face cord.

A rick of firewood will probably last for a few months, and it will be about 2.5 tons if you go with superior quality wood. It will also cost you somewhere between 150 to 250 USD depending upon the choice of wood.

One of the most important things that you need to keep in mind is that the size and the number of wood in a rick of wood will greatly depend upon the region and the vendor. Therefore, before you even begin to finalize the purchase for your rick of wood, you need to make sure that you have perfectly calculated the amount of firewood in your stack, and you are paying only for the wood that you want. 

You need to research well before buying this rick of wood and always make sure to purchase seasoned wood that can be quickly burnt up for the winter season.

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Jena Slocum Co-Founder

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