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How many stickers do I need in my wood stack?

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Forum topic by cracknpop posted 966 days ago 1625 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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cracknpop

93 posts in 973 days


966 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: walnut hickory lumber stacking stickers question

Bought a stack of wood for $100 at an auction recently. Two trips to get it all home. Thought it was oak and cherry. Planed a few boards to find I have over 200 bd ft of walnut and over 135 bd ft of hickory, not counting the 10 large beams that were on the bottom of the stack. Most boards are 7-9” wide, 4/4, and rough sawn. They were stickered and were dusty as if stored in a barn (this was a construction company liquidation sale). My impression is these have been air drying for some time.

I have built a rack in my heated workshop to stack the wood off the floor. My question is do I need to place stickers between every layer of boards or can I stack a few boards and then place stickers? How far apart should stickers be placed for the 12’ long boards? While summer is several months away, anything I should plan ahead to best deal with humid Indiana summers (sadly, my shop is not air conditioned)?

Thanks for your suggestions. While I am waiting on your replies, I shall be looking through the reviews of planers and jointers… with what I saved on this lumber, I have money for new tools. Then I will look through the posted projects for ideas. :^)

-- Rick


10 replies so far

View redryder's profile

redryder

2134 posts in 1725 days


#1 posted 966 days ago

I have learned that in this case, more is better. Two wet boards laying together is a welcome matt for mold. When I have had 12’ boards, I have always used at least four stickers between boards. Good luck….........

-- mike...............

View HamS's profile

HamS

1167 posts in 1013 days


#2 posted 966 days ago

Every board needs to be separated from its neighbor. I use stickers every four feet or so and if your stack is more than 4 or 5 boards make sure they are on top of each other. I am not sure that is actually needed, but grandpa always made me do it that way. He always restacked the piles every six months so the stack was shuffled a little. Of course, I was the one who moved the boards and he was the one who directed things. His lumber did not warp too often though.

Ham

-- My mother named me Hamilton, I have been trying to earn my nickname ever since.

View Barbara Gill's profile

Barbara Gill

153 posts in 1284 days


#3 posted 966 days ago

The stickers should start and stop near the end of each board and others places 18”-24” apart. Each sticker should be placed to be directly above the stickers in the layer below. This is so the weight is transferred directly down to the base. If this is not done, the boards might not finish drying flat.
You have built a rack. It is imoarative that the base established before any boards are stacked matches the pattern of the stickers. I usually start with 4×4’s. So if you will be using 5 stickers per layer you need to start with 5 base pieces. If your rack does not have this ability, you migh have to either change it or run 4×4’s the length of the rack and then start your layers. If the beams you have are true with each other, they can probably be used.

-- Barbara

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cracknpop

93 posts in 973 days


#4 posted 966 days ago

Thanks for your thoughts. Do I still need to use stickers if the wood is already dry?
So far, I have used 5 stickers with three boards stacked, another set of stickers, 3 boards stacked, and so on… simply to help stack more lumber in a given height. I can always restack.

Ham, did your having to restack the wood co-incide with your getting in trouble? Any time my cousins got into trouble, my uncle had them move a big stack of bricks he kept around.

-- Rick

View Barbara Gill's profile

Barbara Gill

153 posts in 1284 days


#5 posted 966 days ago

If the wood is as dry as you want it, no stickers are necessary; solid stack it.

-- Barbara

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7386 posts in 2272 days


#6 posted 966 days ago

I only sticker it if I’m putting it under a tarp and leaving it outside.

I usually acquire wood kiln dried to around 8%.

If the wood is just needing some shop acclimation I usually just lean the
boards against the wall. In milling this is what I do to because the important
thing when you remove surface thickness is to allow both sides to get
equal air. There’s a school of thought that you can stack or clamp
wood flat as it acclimates or dries but I don’t agree with that school,
generally.

If caught in the middle of final milling of door parts or other dimensionally
sensitive millwork, I’ll bundle the parts up wrapped in cling wrap abd
hope for the best.

I also sticker parts like door panels overnight on my bench and put a
weight on top. I keep some dumbells and railroad tie lengths around
for this sort of thing.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1091 posts in 1100 days


#7 posted 965 days ago

You will be better served to sticker each individual layer. However, if the wood is completely air dried, like Barbara said, you can flat stack it as long as the wood is under cover.

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

View Barbara Gill's profile

Barbara Gill

153 posts in 1284 days


#8 posted 965 days ago

You really should check the moisture content of the wood. If, as you speculated, it was stored in a barn, it could be anywhere from air dried to 8-9%. In barns with tin roofs, if the wood is stickered on an upper floor it could be as dry as if it was kiln dried. Around here the average moisture content for air dried wood is 12-14%.
You said the wood would be stored in a heated shop. If the moisture content is >8% you might want to sticker the boards so they can dry some more.

-- Barbara

View cracknpop's profile

cracknpop

93 posts in 973 days


#9 posted 963 days ago

Thanks again for your input. Picked up a moisture meter (Mini Ligno E) today and tested all my stacked lumber. 80% of sites tested were 8% or less, a few of the hickory boards tested at 10%, and I had one piece of cherry that tested 12%, while rest of stack was 8-10%. Some kiln dried red oak I have had in my shop for most of the year tested 6% still, despite the humid summer we had.

For now, I believe I will leave it solid stacked. Next weekend I plan to build some shop cabinets so I can better organize some things. Then with additional available space, restack the hickory and any other lumber that tests more than 8%.

-- Rick

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1091 posts in 1100 days


#10 posted 962 days ago

You can leave it flat stacked, and then in preparation for a project, just sticker what you need for the project a couple of weeks ahead to let the wood do any more drying if it wants to.

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

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