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How to store 40 year old dry lumber

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Forum topic by steffen707 posted 05-21-2018 07:29 PM 584 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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steffen707

104 posts in 2316 days


05-21-2018 07:29 PM

I’ve recently purchased about 2000 board feet of 40 year old pine and oak boards rough sawn, 1” thick, varying lengths from 17 foot to 8 foot, 12 inches wide to 6 inches wide.

All of the wood had been stored mostly in covered sheds for the last 40 years.

I don’t have access to a building to store this in. What is the best way to store it outdoors? Should i completely cover all sides of the stack with tarps, or do I need to allow it to breath from the ends of the pile? The wood is already dry remember, do I need to continue to stack them with spacers between the boards? Should it be between every board, or every 3-4?

Thanks for your help.

-- If you think it will take a week and cost $100, it will take a month and cost $400.


14 replies so far

View jonah's profile

jonah

1721 posts in 3321 days


#1 posted 05-21-2018 07:42 PM

If possible, build a roof or shed to store it in. You don’t want it to get rained on. At the very least, a tarp over the top of it.

You will want to sticker and stack it like any other lumber. Even if it’s fully dry you want to keep air circulation around it, especially if your area has wide temperature and humidity swings.

View steffen707's profile

steffen707

104 posts in 2316 days


#2 posted 05-21-2018 07:44 PM

are you suppose to use a sticker between every board?

-- If you think it will take a week and cost $100, it will take a month and cost $400.

View therealSteveN's profile (online now)

therealSteveN

648 posts in 597 days


#3 posted 05-21-2018 07:55 PM

I'll start of handing you some basic info about wood and moisture

Know that wood will always be alive in the sense that it’s pores, and structure may collapse a bit when water initially comes out after being cut, but they never go away. This allows wood to absorb moisture long after it is “dead”

You’ve asked a loaded question, because every piece of wood, even if you have several of the same species can react slightly differently to one another given the same amount of exposure to moisture, so the only certain way to know is to get it wet. Some boards will reabsorb greatly, maybe even to the point you have to re-dry them, sticker them out, and possibly warm them up indoors.

A second kiln run typically will not help much, not to mention the cost, but if you are South of 20%, down to as low as 6, 7, 8% you could have some swings outdoors, even covered up. I would expect some movement along with this, and both increased moisture, and warp, twist, cup, curl will all be negatives. I have been around wood since I was a toddler, and I don’t remember wood that was ready, getting moved outdoors and getting better for it.

If you can find a place indoors you will be much better off.

Places indoors you may not think of:

Attics (careful about how much weight in one place)

Basements, but off the floor if it’s concrete, put down 4×4 posts and stack on these, otherwise you can draw as much moisture out of the concrete.

If you are anywhere near the country a farmer may rent space, so far in my life this has always been a portion of the cost of renting one of those rent a space places.

Friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers: garages, barns, basements.

You are reminding me of me when I was younger, now I always know where my “great deal” is going to go, before I buy it.

-- Think safe, be safe

View therealSteveN's profile (online now)

therealSteveN

648 posts in 597 days


#4 posted 05-21-2018 08:04 PM



are you suppose to use a sticker between every board?

- steffen707

If it is dry wood, and DOES NOT get an increase in moisture, you can simply stack it, no stickering required. Only if it gets wet will you want air movement all around to help dry it out. Being outdoors under a roof even, it will absorb moisture in the air.

-- Think safe, be safe

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7758 posts in 2937 days


#5 posted 05-21-2018 08:51 PM

”...How to store 40 year old dry lumber…” ???!!!

“STORE”? Whut The Furniture?! IMO, you should immediately start building, creating, anything and everything with this 40yr-old stored dry lumber!

Time to get off the Dead Axx and onto your Dyin’ feet!... To say the least. That said, if you truly think you are going to have a problem storing that much dried lumber, then selectively sell a percentage of it for other projects. Just remember, old Midas did not do well just sitting around counting all his gold… Just sayin’...

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Tony_S's profile

Tony_S

871 posts in 3106 days


#6 posted 05-21-2018 08:53 PM


If possible, build a roof or shed to store it in. You don’t want it to get rained on. At the very least, a tarp over the top of it.

You will want to sticker and stack it like any other lumber. Even if it’s fully dry you want to keep air circulation around it, especially if your area has wide temperature and humidity swings.

- jonah


This^^
As well, with dry lumber, you wouldn’t normally need to sticker every layer when re-stacking, but in this instance, since you’re more than likely just going to be covering it with tarps(tarps leak) I would sticker every layer. That way, if the lumber does get wet, it’ll get better air circulation and will be able to dry out much quicker.
Don’t wrap the tarp around the bottom either, you’ll just end up trapping water if it does leak.
Keep it up off of the ground and keep an eye out for bugs.

Make sure when you do use the lumber that you acclimate it properly first before you start. The moisture content is probably a bit too high since it has never been in a climate controlled environment.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

View steffen707's profile

steffen707

104 posts in 2316 days


#7 posted 05-21-2018 09:15 PM

Wow! Thanks for the great info!


I ll start of handing you some basic info about wood and moisture

Know that wood will always be alive in the sense that it s pores, and structure may collapse a bit when water initially comes out after being cut, but they never go away. This allows wood to absorb moisture long after it is “dead”

You ve asked a loaded question, because every piece of wood, even if you have several of the same species can react slightly differently to one another given the same amount of exposure to moisture, so the only certain way to know is to get it wet. Some boards will reabsorb greatly, maybe even to the point you have to re-dry them, sticker them out, and possibly warm them up indoors.

A second kiln run typically will not help much, not to mention the cost, but if you are South of 20%, down to as low as 6, 7, 8% you could have some swings outdoors, even covered up. I would expect some movement along with this, and both increased moisture, and warp, twist, cup, curl will all be negatives. I have been around wood since I was a toddler, and I don t remember wood that was ready, getting moved outdoors and getting better for it.

If you can find a place indoors you will be much better off.

Places indoors you may not think of:

Attics (careful about how much weight in one place)

Basements, but off the floor if it s concrete, put down 4×4 posts and stack on these, otherwise you can draw as much moisture out of the concrete.

If you are anywhere near the country a farmer may rent space, so far in my life this has always been a portion of the cost of renting one of those rent a space places.

Friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers: garages, barns, basements.

You are reminding me of me when I was younger, now I always know where my “great deal” is going to go, before I buy it.

- therealSteveN


-- If you think it will take a week and cost $100, it will take a month and cost $400.

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

5549 posts in 2288 days


#8 posted 05-21-2018 09:31 PM

rent a storage unit.

View Jack Lewis's profile

Jack Lewis

275 posts in 1101 days


#9 posted 05-22-2018 02:54 AM


If you can find a place indoors you will be much better off.

Places indoors you may not think of:
- therealSteveN

Rafters of the garage is a fine place also.

-- "PLUMBER'S BUTT! Get over it, everybody has one"

View steffen707's profile

steffen707

104 posts in 2316 days


#10 posted 05-24-2018 01:42 AM

Well i’m making 3 accent walls in our house around 540 board feet. So i will be getting cracking soon. =)

”...How to store 40 year old dry lumber…” ???!!!

“STORE”? Whut The Furniture?! IMO, you should immediately start building, creating, anything and everything with this 40yr-old stored dry lumber!

Time to get off the Dead Axx and onto your Dyin feet!... To say the least. That said, if you truly think you are going to have a problem storing that much dried lumber, then selectively sell a percentage of it for other projects. Just remember, old Midas did not do well just sitting around counting all his gold… Just sayin …

- HorizontalMike


-- If you think it will take a week and cost $100, it will take a month and cost $400.

View steffen707's profile

steffen707

104 posts in 2316 days


#11 posted 05-24-2018 01:44 AM

I think I’m going to move about half of it in the basement and then store the rest outside. Guess now’s the time to cut 4 trees down and put up a carport type shed.

are you suppose to use a sticker between every board?

- steffen707

If it is dry wood, and DOES NOT get an increase in moisture, you can simply stack it, no stickering required. Only if it gets wet will you want air movement all around to help dry it out. Being outdoors under a roof even, it will absorb moisture in the air.

- therealSteveN


-- If you think it will take a week and cost $100, it will take a month and cost $400.

View SFP's profile

SFP

27 posts in 1279 days


#12 posted 05-29-2018 11:41 PM



are you suppose to use a sticker between every board?

- steffen707


Yup. Use DRY stickers all the same thickness. Two feet apart should suffice

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2958 posts in 1503 days


#13 posted 05-30-2018 05:31 PM

Do not cover the sides unless you want rotten wood in a few years. Sticker and cover with roofing metal overhang at least 12”. Do not put it under tree cover if possible.

You didnt’ ask but I’ll tell you anway: Start with a solid foundation that is level and planar. I use 16X16X4” concrete pads with a concrete block on top. 4×4’s between blocks.

This can take more time than is takes to stack the wood!

Jack – putting 1000 BF of lumber in the rafters? Hmmm.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View steffen707's profile

steffen707

104 posts in 2316 days


#14 posted 05-31-2018 01:20 AM



Do not cover the sides unless you want rotten wood in a few years. Sticker and cover with roofing metal overhang at least 12”. Do not put it under tree cover if possible.

You didnt ask but I ll tell you anway: Start with a solid foundation that is level and planar. I use 16X16X4” concrete pads with a concrete block on top. 4×4 s between blocks.

This can take more time than is takes to stack the wood!

Jack – putting 1000 BF of lumber in the rafters? Hmmm.

- rwe2156


For the overhang, do you mean don’t put the wood closer to 12” from the edge of the roof, either front/back or sides? What about snow? I imagine if I don’t cover the sides at all, snow could blow from the sides and stick on the wood.

One more question, how close can you stack each pile of boards? Do you need just an inch of space between them laterally, or should it be more like 6 inches?

-- If you think it will take a week and cost $100, it will take a month and cost $400.

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