....from potential a stack of walnut lumber and slabs.

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Forum topic by SG6578 posted 05-20-2015 02:50 AM 1458 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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42 posts in 1444 days

05-20-2015 02:50 AM

From browsing Craigslist I picked up 7 walnut logs ranging from 13” in diameter to 30” in diameter and hauled them to a local small sawmiller back in April. If the guy couldn’t get $200 for the load he was going to sell it as firewood. I couldn’t let that happen as I LOVE walnut.

Had two logs cut into 8/4 slabs
The remaining five logs were cut to 5/4 both live edge and dimensional. It was my goal to have as little waste as possible. Out of all the 5/4 approximately half of it is 1c or better and about 100 bf is select or better.

I paid $200 to the gentleman from craigslist. I spent another $200 on the sawmilling costs.

I have approximately 750+ bf as some of the logs were far from being straight and had many branches cut off of them so the waste factor was higher than normal I would assume

I attached a picture of one of the smaller slabs and half of the logs before milling.

So if I had more room in my shop and yard I would do this again. Supports a local business and it would be profitable…..if I planned on selling it but I have a feeling that’s not going to happen :D

Question: I plan on air drying in my garage. I have them just plainly stacked on top of each other for the time being. Are they going to be fine like that for a few days or should I sticker them ASAP?

Have a good night,


14 replies so far

View TravisH's profile


641 posts in 2168 days

#1 posted 05-20-2015 03:24 AM

I would move them outside, sticker, cover and weight. I would not wait either. Really would have concerns with air flow (lack of) in a garage.

View WDHLT15's profile


1797 posts in 2709 days

#2 posted 05-20-2015 11:42 AM

A couple of days would be OK, but not more than that. Walnut is a little more tolerant than most species.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

View Jake's profile


850 posts in 1864 days

#3 posted 05-20-2015 12:35 PM

I would get them stickered by the next day latest. If you intend to keep them in your garage, move them at least a foot from the wall and use 1” stickers to get sufficient air flow. If possible, storing them outside, in the shade, covered and stickered would be preferred.

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

View SG6578's profile


42 posts in 1444 days

#4 posted 05-20-2015 01:22 PM

I guess you’re right about air flow in the shop but if I air dry outside I have a few concerns.

A)I see some guys put a galvanized sheet over the top of the stack…..what about rain that blows sideways and wets the ends of the stack? Does this hurt anything?

B) I live in the very upper midwest, are -30F winter temperatures going to affect anything? Wouldn’t freezing in the boards cause ice to expand and cause checking?

C) How much clearance from the ground do I want? I see guys prop the whole stack up with cinder blocks and other guys have nothing at all?

Maybe I’m thinking too much about this but it’s all new information to me. Thank you for the help.

View HerbC's profile


1792 posts in 3093 days

#5 posted 05-20-2015 02:36 PM

Answering your questions:

A) It would be best if they didn’t get wet at all but the amount of wetting you’re talking about should do very little damage.

B) I’m not qualified to answer that question because I live in Florida but I doubt that it will be a problem.

C) Generally you want to be high enough to provide plenty of room for air passage under the stack as well as through the stack. You also need to raise the cover a few inches above the top of the stack if possible. Other concerns are that stacks very close to the ground might be more susceptible to insect infestations…

Good Luck!


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

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1879 posts in 2203 days

#6 posted 05-20-2015 02:38 PM

I just want to say that you suck! I’m seriously jealous

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View Tim's profile


3812 posts in 2195 days

#7 posted 05-20-2015 02:50 PM

Other guys are more qualified to answer, but great score there. You earned it but man that will be nice.

Here’s a good reference to answer your questions if you want to read up.

View AZWoody's profile


1419 posts in 1457 days

#8 posted 05-20-2015 09:22 PM

For keeping it inside the garage, a small fan will help a lot and should solve the air flow problems.
It will be slower to dry than if you have them outside but it’s a more controlled environment and will help to prevent splitting and warping.

Also, placing a couple rows of cinder block on top will help keep it from cupping or twisting in the stack.
If the boards are wide and stable enough, I use 30 gallon drums of water on top. Some species are worse than others but all species will move when drying.

View BroncoBrian's profile


875 posts in 2192 days

#9 posted 05-20-2015 09:52 PM

Super jealous of that find. Did you know if was walnut when you went to look at the wood?

-- A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

View TheFridge's profile


10814 posts in 1719 days

#10 posted 05-20-2015 09:57 PM

Aren’t you suppose to paint the ends to help avoid checking or the ends b caus they dry faster?

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View SG6578's profile


42 posts in 1444 days

#11 posted 05-21-2015 12:03 AM

Some are, some aren’t. The ones without the paint have wood glue as I was out.

I knew it was walnut. It helps that he had an enormous diesel crane too.

View SG6578's profile


42 posts in 1444 days

#12 posted 05-22-2015 02:44 AM

Here it is all stacked and stickered outside. This really presented a challenge to me as every stack of lumber I’ve seen seems to be in even lengths and cut on all four sides.

Because 80% of the boards I got back had a natural edge it was hard to keep an even stack with straight sides. I found myself alternating lengths and layers of thicknesses for awhile. I covered the whole thing with a piece of 5/8 standard plywood and wrapped the plywood with an outdoor tarp and some old clothesline. Put about 40 small paver bricks along where the stickers line up.

My main concern at the moment is:

A) The sheet of plywood overhangs on the main stack ends a few inches on the ends, but is flush with the sides. Do I want to fix this or is a little water runoff ok?

B) The bottom lumber and slabs are 8 1/2 feet and extend beyond the main stack 1 1/2 feet. I put a small piece of osb on an angle to catch water runoff from the top. Is this sufficient or do I want to consider something else.

C) The whole stack had protection from the north and south and is open on the east and west, leaving the ends of the stack exposed to east to west sun…..Is this ok?

I will have to add some more stickers between the piece of plywood on the top and the top layer of slabs as the tarp blocks the gap.

Maybe I’m being obsessive with this but hey, it’s all relevant information when it’s new information.

View SG6578's profile


42 posts in 1444 days

#13 posted 05-22-2015 02:02 PM


View Tim's profile


3812 posts in 2195 days

#14 posted 05-24-2015 12:00 AM

Again I’m not qualified to answer, but from what I understood from reading that source I linked to above and others like it, I think you want to have your cover extend out a bit on all sides. The more you protect from rain and sun the better, but you don’t have to be ridiculous. When walnut sells from $5-$15 per bf though it does seem worth doing it right.

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