drying slab lumber

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Blog entry by Monte Pittman posted 03-13-2012 04:21 PM 2307 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am becoming unable to store some slab lumber in my shop. If I stack it on risers outside so it doesn’t touch the ground & put a tarp over it, will it be OK to dry there?

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

4 comments so far

View RockyBlue's profile


271 posts in 2688 days

#1 posted 03-13-2012 04:54 PM

I built a platform for some of my slabs to dry on. Make sure to use stacking sticks between each piece to let the air flow evenly. I put the stickers every 2’. Keep it out of the wind, as this may pull moisture out too quickly. I use tarps for what is not in my shed.

-- I haven't had this much fun since hogs ate my little brother.

View HerbC's profile


1754 posts in 2854 days

#2 posted 03-13-2012 04:55 PM


First, if you’re going to air dry the slabs outside, ensure the foundation for the stack is secure, solid and level and that it raises the bottom of the stacked lumber at least a foot off the ground. This will provide airflow beneath the stack, minimize the transfer of moisture from the ground and minimize the chance of invasion by insects such as termites.

Provide support and stickers at reasonable intervals, depending on the thickness of the lumber. for 4/4 lumber I use 12 – 16” intervals, greater if lumber is thicker. Ensure stickers are lined up vertically to transmit the weight of the lumber straight down to the supports.

Cover the top of the stack with a solid “roof” the will provide shade and protection from rain. Old metal roofing works well, so would plywood.

Do NOT cover your stack with a tarp. It will trap the moisture in and lead to rotting wood.

Good Luck!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View RockyBlue's profile


271 posts in 2688 days

#3 posted 03-13-2012 05:19 PM

Good points Herb. Ideally having a roof over it is the best option. I should be more clear about my tarp setup. I cover only to very top boards to keep snow off, the sides & ends are open. I fear the summer time when the wasps move into the stack. Anyone have any tips on keeping wasps or hornets out?

-- I haven't had this much fun since hogs ate my little brother.

View GrandpaLen's profile


1650 posts in 2267 days

#4 posted 03-13-2012 11:23 PM

Moth Balls.
I had a problem in my garage with wasps/hornets also the occasional mouse.
I had in the past used camphor cakes to keep the rust off tools in my rollaround Tool cabinet, and that worked great till I ran out. My better half had a box off moth balls, which also contains camphor, so I thought “what the heck” this might work in a pinch. It worked to fend off the rust and as a huge BONUS it drove out the wasps.
I have not seen a wasp, spider, boring bee or mouse in the garage for over 2 years, still using Moth Balls and the price is unbeatable @ 99 cents for a 2 lb. box at Dollar General. Besides a couple in each drawer, cut the top off a couple of boxes, set one in the corner and one in the garage attic.
However in the spring it smells like I just took my lawn equipment out of Moth Balls, ...’cause I just did.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

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