Adventures into recycling

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Blog entry by charlie48 posted 07-18-2010 01:29 PM 1403 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A few weeks ago I had some trees removed that were crowding and leaning towards the house,so I thought I would take a few more from the wooded area back of the shop to justify bringing in a sawyer(,about 1,500 bd.ft.)The call come yesterday,the sawyer had a three day window and could start Monday, then it hit me, I just jumped knee deep into something I had little idea of what to do.So I’m reaching out to all my fellow LJ’s on ideas.
The plan is to air dry,so short of building an enclosed shed ,I’m looking for suggestions on some kind of shelter, and the proper way to stack it all.
Thanks for looken.

-- Charlie............Only time will tell if it was time well spent.

8 comments so far

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3103 days

#1 posted 07-18-2010 02:23 PM

Do you have access to any pallets Charlie? I am considering your time window here and the Sawyer is coming tomorrow? In a rush, I would probably try to use a couple of pallets to get the 1st layer of slats off the ground. I would use the rest to make spacers that go across each layer of boards to supply air flow between layers. You will need a sealant like anchor seal to apply to the end grain of the slats to help minimize splitting. Temptation would be to throw a tarp over the top set of boards. I wouldn’t recommend that as it would seal moisture in.

Good Luck,


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Sailor's profile


543 posts in 3259 days

#2 posted 07-18-2010 02:25 PM

What an undertaking! I would love to do something like that, it seems I am addicted to wood and just want A BUNCH of it just so I can build build build whatever. But it seems it’s hard to find time to build build build. But, I would find time to get a good deal on some wood lol.

I wish I could shed some light on it, but I haven’t gone there yet. I am watching this thread for sure.

I wonder the cost of all of this compared to the cost of buying the lumber already rough sawn? Keep up with your expenses if you don’t mind. I’m sure some of us would love to do something like this someday but are unsure of the cost.

Good luck with your bold undertaking!

-- Dothan, Alabama Check out my woodworking blog! Also my Youtube Channel's Facebook page

View canadianchips's profile


2600 posts in 2991 days

#3 posted 07-18-2010 03:25 PM

Pallets on the bottom, lots of spacers between each row to prevent warping, and an in-expensive tarp. covering the top, similar to a poor mans tent.
Then PATIENCE to let it dry.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3058 days

#4 posted 07-18-2010 03:51 PM

I seen a video a while back. Sorry can’t remember where it was. The guy had a sawmill. His setup for airdrying was what everybody said above. Except he made a metal top angled to shed the water. And he had somekind of material around it that would allow the air through but not rain. You might be able to search for it. I will try to find it, if I do I will post it for you.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View charlie48's profile


248 posts in 3164 days

#5 posted 07-18-2010 04:01 PM

David,and canadianchips,Pallets are a great idea, but I’m not sure I can get any quickly. I think I saw an ad at HD for landscape timbers I think 6’ or 8’ long for 2.00 per.I’ll be on the road sone to find something today.I have tarps, but I’m concerned with snow load ?
Sailor,The cost of sawing the wood is 300.00 per 1000 bd. travel and set-up fees,25.00 for each set fee and 25.00 for travel .under 50 miles. I’ll keep track and let you know after job is done.
Tim,Thanks I’ll search, but would appreciate if you find something to post, Thanks

-- Charlie............Only time will tell if it was time well spent.

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 2934 days

#6 posted 07-18-2010 09:25 PM

This is how I do it: Your first layer of boards needs to be a good 8” above the ground. Put down 2 or 3 bricks with a 4×4 or similar across. Another, parallel and level to the first. Then some crossbearers, 2×2 or whatever, spaced at 18” centers. Stack first layer of boards. Place stickers directly above crossbearers. Stack next layer, stickers, layer etc. My stickers are 3/4×1. Make sure stickers line up vertically. Leave air gap between adjacent boards. Put stickers on top of last layer and cover with corrugated iron, providing some overhang. I stick some bricks or logs on top to weigh it down. A tarp is a bad idea, moisture can’t get out. Then I would rather put nothing! I’m not worried about rain getting to the sides. It will be fantastic if you can stack in a location that gets a breeze to carry moisture away.
I don’t bother to cover the Pine that I cut. Topmost layer goes grey and cracks some.
Sealing the ends of your logs is always a good idea. Use any old oil paint if you can’t get the fancy stuff.
No need to rush too much, those boards will come to no harm if they are flat stacked for a few days.

Wait at least a year for 1’’ boards, depends on species and location. Do something else while you wait…;^)

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3238 posts in 3706 days

#7 posted 07-19-2010 06:23 AM


We hope you had success getting ready for tomorrow, but like Div said, take enough time to get it right (but don’t let the boards set too long).

We’ve been cutting our own lumber and drying it for a number of years now and have found that if you want good results, you need to do it carefully just as Div has said or you will end up with twisted lumber.

We started out with large concrete block, then placed railroad ties on them, making certain they were level. (They are left there, ready for each successive sawing.) After the level base, we proceed the same as Div.

There seem to be two schools of thought on horizontal spacing: Some say to leave space between boards and some say to place tightly together. We have found that placing them tightly together may take a little longer for drying, but it keeps the boards straighter and cuts down on rodent infestation. (We always lose some boards to rodent stains that are so deep you can’t get rid of them.)

We leave the poorer quality boards for the top (some that you might actually later throw away) as extra weight, and use extra concrete block for weight as well.

We also spray insecticide on each layer while we’re stacking which seems to cut down on the damage by insects.

Here’s a pdf that might be helpful. Fine Woodworking magazine had some good articles years ago on how to dry lumber. March 1982, pages 82-83 is a good article for general information for outside air drying and stacking. (You might be able to call your local library to find out how to access the article on the web.)

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View charlie48's profile


248 posts in 3164 days

#8 posted 07-19-2010 01:14 PM

Thanks Div, and Leftie. I’ll use Ideas from all . While he is sawing I’ll be building,so I don’t think the boards will spend any time on the ground.I should be OK thanks to all of you.
I’ll Blog again when all the dust settles.
Thanks again to all for the help.

-- Charlie............Only time will tell if it was time well spent.

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