How to store lumber on a slab Q?

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Forum topic by Sailor posted 06-08-2010 02:50 PM 1628 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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543 posts in 3439 days

06-08-2010 02:50 PM

I am picking up about 650 board feet of rough sawn oak today (for those of you who read the other thread, I found the oak was a good buy, more on this later). I am bringing it back to my shop which has a slab floor and isn’t climate controlled.

My question is, should I elevate the wood off of the slab or just lay it on the slab? For 10 years the wood has been laying on a slab. I am little concerned about moisture but not sure if I should be. Right now I have composite decking boards layed out every 2’ for the boards to rest on.

What you think?

Thanks guys, I will probably post another thread on the lumber since I haven’t milled any work before and may need a little guidance.

Not sure if this is the correct section to post this kind of thing in but it seemed like the best fit.

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

13 replies so far

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3902 days

#1 posted 06-08-2010 03:28 PM

I’d guess that the wood has pulled in moisture from the concrete and that you will need to elevate it and give it a decent amount of time to redry. I’ve noticed that leaving plywood on edge on my concrete garage floor causes water staining that goes up about 4-5 inches. There was no visible water ever on the floor. I think it just came out of the concrete.

View swirt's profile


3304 posts in 3146 days

#2 posted 06-08-2010 03:40 PM

Stickering wood for drying and storage is always a good idea. Both wood and concrete will allow water movement. If the concrete is wetter than the wood, water will move into the wood. If the concrete is dryer than the wood, water will move into the concrete from the wood. Either way you end up with wood that has one side that is not at equilibrium with the other side (or the other boards in the set).

I like the idea of using the composite decking. I’d probably rip the decking to only an inch or two in width so that you don’t have a big surface area (relatively) impeding air flow around the surface. But that really depends on how long you intend to leave it there.

-- Galootish log blog,

View rance's profile


4264 posts in 3334 days

#3 posted 06-08-2010 03:42 PM

Congrats Sailor! I’m sure you’ll put it to good use.

The decking you have will be better than just wood due to less wicking moisture from the floor. If your slab is not flat, then you’ll warp your boards so get that flat before you start. It doesn’t have to be level, but you do want it flat.

If you are anal, then put the ones he had on bottom, on the bottom of your stack to let them dry out more before you use them. Most of your problems can be avoided by just stacking it like you got some sense, which I’m sure you do. :) Put all the warped ones off to the side. If its gonna be a while before you use it, then weights on the top are helpful to prevent warping. The closer you get to using it, stickering the upper pieces would allow equiliberium(sp?).

Using pallets on the very bottom might be an option, as long as you keep the whole stack flat.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View NewPickeringWdWrkr's profile


338 posts in 3187 days

#4 posted 06-08-2010 03:48 PM

Stacking it straight onto the slab, it will wick up moisture from the ground and could cause issues with premature decay.

I would sticker it like swirt suggests and sticker between layers if possible to allow maximum air flow around each layer. I’ve not been woodworking long, but have been an avid renovator for some time and even base plates for framed walls should have a non-permeable barrier between them and the concrete (sill gasket).

-- Mike - Antero's Urban Wood Designs

View dmoney's profile


191 posts in 3253 days

#5 posted 06-08-2010 04:15 PM

I also suggest you sticker it since whenever I lay wood down directly on slab, if it sits for more than a week or 2 there will be a damp spot under it when I pick it up.

also keeps the bottom ones the same moisture content as the rest.

-- Derek, Iowa

View a1Jim's profile


117273 posts in 3751 days

#6 posted 06-08-2010 04:31 PM

As every one has said keep it of the floor but I would also recommend putting a layer of roofing felt or 6 mil plastic below the stack this will keep the moisture away from the wood.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View poroskywood's profile


618 posts in 3538 days

#7 posted 06-08-2010 04:54 PM

Jim has good advice.

-- There's many a slip betwixt a cup and a lip.--Scott

View PurpLev's profile


8541 posts in 3822 days

#8 posted 06-08-2010 05:33 PM

I put interlocking floor mats on the concrete, and stacker (using sticks) the lumber on top of that – this helps minimize any moisture coming in from the concrete:

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Sailor's profile


543 posts in 3439 days

#9 posted 06-10-2010 02:26 PM

Thanks everyone for the input. Sorry I haven’t replied but I have been so busy I haven’t even turned my computer on in two days.

Anyways, I carefully stacked the lumber by myself yestarday after work. It took me about 1hr and 45 min and that hussleing and I stopped twice to drink a bit of water. As I picked up each piece I checked the condition of the board and if I thought it was straight enough to be milled I took it to the pile, if I didn’t like it I placed it in a cull pile. Luckily when the trailer was empty I only had about 6 boards in the cull pile.

I have photos that I will upload this afternoon so you can see all this wood I got for $400! I think it was a heck of a deal myself.

The seller also threw in 3 whole sheets of 1/4” oak ply wood, a few larger pieces of 1/4” oak ply, some decent sized pieces of 3/4” oak. He was really ready to give everything away.

One thing I noticed was that alot of the boards were planed on both sides, I am not sure if the faces are parrallel to each other. A few of the boards “look” to be jointed on one edge but on a couple I notoced where it had been cut with a tablesaw. I guess this is going to have to be rejointed to be sure? I wonder why he was cutting this stuff with a table saw before it was jointed?

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

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3902 days

#10 posted 06-10-2010 03:30 PM

if I had a severely curved edge on a board, I’d probably slap a straightedge on it and cut it relatively straight with a circular saw. It would save me from having to make 100 passes on the jointer. Maybe that’s what he did?

View Sailor's profile


543 posts in 3439 days

#11 posted 06-11-2010 03:19 AM

Probably right Mojo. He did tell me he used to have a jointer so it would have been silly.

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

View bigjoe4265's profile


52 posts in 3106 days

#12 posted 06-11-2010 03:43 AM

If you can, think about sealing the concrete floor. I’ve heard not to sticker as it could cause twist/warp. Please correct me if I am wrong on this? I’d like the correct info. as well.



View Jennyjasper's profile


8 posts in 3082 days

#13 posted 06-16-2010 04:02 PM

Wonderful! Here is an extremely helpful article about the difference between green and sustainable!

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