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Dead Stacking Kiln Dried Lumber?

by richardwootton
posted 03-14-2013 10:15 PM


26 replies so far

View kdc68's profile

kdc68

2074 posts in 1028 days


#1 posted 03-14-2013 10:21 PM

Great question…me personally, when I buy it from the hardwood lumber distributor and get it home I sticker it all , and let it acclimate to my shop…

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112933 posts in 2328 days


#2 posted 03-14-2013 10:46 PM

It’s a matter of having equal air flow around your wood so one side does not take on more moisture in the air than the opposite side, that can cause warping,cupping and twisting. If your going to store it flat it’s best to sticker it. When stickering your wood use the same type of wood for stickers as the wood is to prevent discoloration from the stickers.I would sticker you wood every 16”-24” and within 6” from the ends.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View pmayer's profile

pmayer

609 posts in 1816 days


#3 posted 03-14-2013 11:45 PM

I generally store dry lumber without stickering, but before I begin a project I will bring it into the shop and sticker or store vertically to let it acclimate. Having said that, I think it would be better to store it stickered, but I have never had a problem in following my approach. If I brought home some dried lumber that measured a moisture content that was quite different than the lumber in my storage area I might consider stickering it enable it to achieve equilibrium more easily.

-- PaulMayer, http://www.vernswoodgoods.com

View MonteCristo's profile

MonteCristo

2098 posts in 939 days


#4 posted 03-15-2013 02:52 AM

Once it’s been dried, dead stacking is the way to go so that you minimize the tendency for the boards to reabsorb moisture. Stickering it will only help it gain back moisture.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View Loren's profile

Loren

7825 posts in 2399 days


#5 posted 03-15-2013 03:16 AM

I usually don’t sticker it unless I’m planning to use it soon.

Once you start flattening the boards to build something
though, I recommend stickering them during the
millwork process to guard againts unwanted twisting
of prized long, flat sections. I often lean boards
against a wall as I am doing the milling instead of
stacking and stickering, but this does not mean
it’s a best practice to do so. Some woods are
wilier than others and with experience you’ll learn
what you can and can’t get away with in your
climate and with the woods you can get.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Moron's profile

Moron

4724 posts in 2644 days


#6 posted 03-15-2013 03:44 AM

it is always better to sticker wood

then not

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View kdc68's profile

kdc68

2074 posts in 1028 days


#7 posted 03-15-2013 03:57 AM

pmayer & Loren – agree with you both. I’ll sticker as soon as I get it home if I don’t plan on using it right away. I have a bunch of 5/4 cherry thats been stickered for quite sometime now. I don’t have immediate plans for it yet. But most generally I don’t store that much and tend to use what I buy right away. I refrain to mill to finished dimensions though. So I rough mill the lumber oversized and sticker it overnight or so. Then go back to it a day or so later and mill it again to finished dimensions..So I do sticker regardless… It works for me…

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View NGK's profile

NGK

93 posts in 662 days


#8 posted 03-15-2013 05:08 AM

Two or more of you said to acclimate it to your shop’s environment for a time. NOT a good idea inless the item is to be USED in the shop. IF it’s FURNITURE, then acclimate it in the exact room in the house where it will be utilized.

Once your lumber is kiln-dried, just wrap it in platic sheating which stabilizes that exact moisture content. Moisture can’t get inside the bundle, and at 6-8 percent there’s not much to even try to get out.

As soon as a project is completed—meaning assembly—you should stain and finish it immediately. Several coats of finish will not prevent moisture changes within the wood due to differences in environmental moisture in it’s permanant home—but it WILL DRASTICALLY SLOW DOWN CHANGES.

Kick the old lady in the butt when she says, “Honey, it’s such a lovely day ouside that I opened all the doors and windows to AIR OUT THE HOUSE.” All she’s doing is bringing in humidity and inviting it to take a new home in your wood furniture—and every other porous thing in the house.

View Moron's profile

Moron

4724 posts in 2644 days


#9 posted 03-15-2013 06:31 AM

its been awhile since I woke up

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1215 posts in 1227 days


#10 posted 03-15-2013 12:36 PM

If it is kiln dried and you sticker it in an area that is not climate controlled, your kiln dried wood will become air dried wood. If you can sticker it inside a climate controlled space, fine. If not, I agree with keeping it flat stacked and wrapped with plastic to keep the moisture content low.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

View richardwootton's profile

richardwootton

1471 posts in 706 days


#11 posted 03-15-2013 07:08 PM

Ok so it’s not stacked in a climate control environment so I need to wrap it in plastic and keep it flat stacked.

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3564 posts in 1564 days


#12 posted 03-15-2013 08:19 PM

If it is kiln dried, and I know I won’t be moving it for awhile I will sticker it. If I am going to be sorting through and using it soon, I just stack it flat so it is easier to pull.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

726 posts in 1709 days


#13 posted 03-15-2013 09:12 PM

Stickering is only beneficial in reducing sticker stain and mold growth while the wood is drying; if it is dry, down below around 15%mc or so, then mold cannot grow and the wood will not benefit from stickering. The big part is how dry the kiln operator really got it; some do dry well, by weight, others just throw it in and color it done. There is no standard, so you need to trust the operator and their integrity. If it is indeed dry, then you can dead stack it with no worries; if it’s still moist inside, best to sticker it. Whatever you do it will only moisten/dry up to around 10-12% outside the kiln anyway.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View NGK's profile

NGK

93 posts in 662 days


#14 posted 03-16-2013 01:19 AM

Nomad62——-You need to get your facts straight. Stickering does not “reduce sticker stain”, it causes it. Often this is the case when the stickers are a darker wood than the light-colored woods like sycamore, pine, and especially holly if any of us are lucky enough to have that much holly or that size. Stickering stain is often caused by the mold which is allowed to grow where the sticker touches the moist board—that zone where the drying air can’t get into soon enough.. It helps if stickers themselves have been kiln-dried or are a less dense species.

You are correct in saying that in general mold will not grow below 15% moisture, but it possibly could in moderately high temperature and humidity, with moisture creeping in the sides of the stacks.

A kiln-dried stack at 6 or 8 or10 or 12 percent moisture will again creep slowly up to 15 percent moisture if not wrapped in plastic. The lumber always tries to get back up the the EMC (environmental moisture content) for the average humidity lever for that area of the country. This number is 15 percent here in the Midwest (think Big 10 basketball).

View reberly's profile

reberly

172 posts in 1440 days


#15 posted 03-16-2013 01:33 AM

Hi NGK,
I kind of agree with Nomad 62. He said “Stickering is only beneficial in reducing sticker stain and mold growth while the wood is drying” If you have ever dead stacked wet boards they will mold and fuse together causing “stain” for the entire boards in very little time. Stickers let the air through reducing what might be better called “contact stain”. I have only run a few sawmills for a few decades and 4 kilns – dehumdification, conventional heat, solar, and hybrid so it is just an observation. I too sticker lumber until kilned dried and then I dead stack in environmentally controlled racks. My dead stacked lumber rarely creaps over 10% moisture content.

-- "Big Timber is our Legacy" , http://eberlywoods.com

View NGK's profile

NGK

93 posts in 662 days


#16 posted 03-16-2013 03:01 AM

reberly—There is NO sticker stain if there are no stickers. The stain and mold from “dead stcking” is not sticker stain. Regarding your “dead-stacked” lumber ever creaping above 10% would depend on your state and level of average humidity. In a dry state like New Mexico this is true. Here in the midwest and moreso in the humid south, if you don’t wrap in plastic the outer partrs of your boards and stack will climb in moisture while the relatively protected “insides” of the stack will have trouble gaining any of the moisture which surrounds the outside.

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2966 posts in 1037 days


#17 posted 03-16-2013 03:04 AM

They often dead stack dried wood. Just band it down to a skid or if you don’t have a skid, you can probably get one from any local business, People around here love it when I show up to take that wood away. Band it tight if you plan to store it a while and cover it with a moisture barrier if it’s in a place prone to moisture. Keep the skid one foot off the ground or concrete. should be fine.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Matt Rogers's profile

Matt Rogers

48 posts in 721 days


#18 posted 03-17-2013 02:39 AM

As far as I know, kiln-dried lumber acts differently from air dried lumber even after reaching EMC. Kiln dried lumber will go back down to a lower moisture content faster than air-dried lumber because more of its chemically bound water has been driven from the wood cells. Air dried lumber can reach low moisture levels, but it takes a long time to do so. It will still equalize inside just as well or better than kiln-dried stuff, just slower. Just two cents to add.

I also dead stack lots of lumber and even properly air dried lumber after it has been sitting for 1-2 years. I have never had a problem with a stack of air-dried wood that I had dead stacked in a rack sitting outside under a roof getting moldy or anything like that.

-- Matt Rogers, http://www.cleanairwoodworks.com

View MonteCristo's profile

MonteCristo

2098 posts in 939 days


#19 posted 03-17-2013 06:27 PM

Pretty cheeky reply to Nomad62 by NGK. The former runs a mill and I’d say he has a lot of experience to draw on, although he did mis-speak on sticker stain. His previous posts have always made sense to me as well.

On the idea of wrapping wood in plastic – OK for small projects but for those of us with several thousand BF of lumber, it’s hardly an option.

Acclimatizing to your shop is also a widely accepted strategy, unless of course your partner doesn’t mind you using the living room for a shop.

On dead stacking once EMC has been reached, this is also a widely accepted practice. Only a bozo would do so where the wood is likely to regain a significant amount of moisture. And even if it did, if it (temporarily) regained moisture while dead stacked, it will lose it when the relative humidity shifts again.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

726 posts in 1709 days


#20 posted 03-20-2013 03:54 PM

Okay, okay, I admit I misstated that “sticker stain”, I should have said mold, fungus, or bacterial growth between the pieces of wood. “Sticker stain” is made by stickers, as the name states; but the cause is still the same, said issues between the wood, and it does not matter if it is from a sticker or a slab. It is never due to another woods’ color, that is called “staining”, not “sticker staining”. Whether it is a sticker or another piece of wood, it is still the same issue. So freakin sorry for the hideously wrong info, I assumed that a person could figure that out… like it seems all but 1 did. Wood will not degrade to mold or fungi regardless of the external conditions if the wood is dry. If the wood gets moist again, then indeed it will; it does not matter what area you are in, the wood needs to be moist, not the surrounding air. The air will have mold or fungi spores in it that can enter the wood, but they can’t do a thing without the wood being moist enough to sustain their advancement. There is nothing a person can do to eliminate the moisture re-entering the wood; plastic, roofs, whatever, the only way to keep wood dry is to have it in an environment suited to do so; but as MonteCrista stated, a partner may not appreciate a stack of wood in the house. 10-15% is fairly typical for reacclimation just about anywhere, with obvious exceptions to rain forests and deserts, and is generally accepted as useable. Wood is like a sponge, absorbing and dispelling moisture as it can. Once kiln dried correctly, it is generally more stable meaning it is more likely to hold its shape once machined and much more reliable to not crack or check. Thanx for the support, to those who do. I do what I can to help, but am no college educated genius so I do make errors on occasion. If I say something wrong, I’ll return my paycheck I received for having said it.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View NGK's profile

NGK

93 posts in 662 days


#21 posted 03-20-2013 05:40 PM

I was reluctant to help some members “better understand” lumber drying or anything else, because it seems like here there are too many nitpickers. Everybody seems to know more than somebody else. It seems responders just want to join the mutual admiration society and say “Great job, Joe” or prove they know more than anyone else. Regarding lumber drying may I suggest you contact the U.S.Dept. of Forestry in Madison, Wisc.

I said that once a stack of lumber is dried to 8 percent, that it can be wrapped in plastic sheeting and it will maintain that low percentage. Some seem to think IF IT IS DEAD STACKED that it will not regain very much moisture from the environment. That is true ONLY of the central core of a non-wrapped stack. The ends and outer boards (top, bottom, both sides) will gradually regain moisture up to 15 percent EMC here in the Midwest.

I have some kiln-dried lumber that has been wrapped and stacked FOR TEN YEARS and it is still under 9 percent in spite of the plastic seams not being taped and occasionally opening the stack to take out a few boards.

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1565 posts in 1265 days


#22 posted 03-20-2013 05:47 PM

Literally every lumber yard that I go to for kiln dried wood only stickers for the fork trucks, usually a pallet. Every load is dead stacked, some of it lying there for well over a year, in a non-climate controlled area. If they don’t sticker kiln dried wood, their lifeblood, why should I? I don’t sticker kiln dried, I edge stack it so I know what I have and can pull any board out, but in one case, I do have a stack of walnut and ambrosia maple that got dead stacked for over four months now in my wood storage room, and no warpage. Of course, my edge stacked stuff didn’t warp either.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1215 posts in 1227 days


#23 posted 03-21-2013 12:01 AM

I agree with you, NGK.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

View xylophage's profile

xylophage

70 posts in 1285 days


#24 posted 03-21-2013 06:25 AM

This post thread is most entertaining…Nothing like full grown men politely bitch slaping each other. So, i must through in my two cents. I say dead stack. I had a large pile of bubinga that took me years to go through. They were dead stacked, and I never had any problems with the results.

On a side note…I notice the major players in this thread do not have one project posted among them.

-- D.A Winograsky

View Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

726 posts in 1709 days


#25 posted 03-21-2013 03:46 PM

Guess I did get bitchy yesterday, and I apologize for that. Had me a bad mood going on, nobodys liability but my own. I stand by my words, but not my emotions.

Lumber yards will run their lumber thru a treatment of some chemicals that prevent mold and bugs, so they can deadstack it without worry.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

726 posts in 1709 days


#26 posted 03-21-2013 03:58 PM

Lumber mills, not lumber yards

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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