Storing Hardwoods

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I've recently started working with hardwoods and have built up a supply of about 100 board feet. My question is whether or not I'm storing it properly.

The boards are kept in my basement workshop laid on top of three concrete blocks with sticks between each layer of boards. I've been careful to assure that the tops of the concrete blocks all lie in the same plane. I am still concerned that this may not be the best method of storage.

If you have any suggestions, I would appreciate them.

William D. Turner Brookfield, Wisconsin

Stickijig lumber (placing sticks between layers) is a common practice used by the harduxtod industry before kiln drying. To initially lower the percentage of moisture, the lumber is sticked and left to partially air dry. When the lumber is then placed in the kiln for drying, it is sticked again to help ensure even drying. After the lumber has been dried, it's then stacked in a solid bundle (without sticks).

If you stick lumber that has already been kiln dried, the lumber will constantly be trying to get its moisture content in equalibrium with the air in the room. Be cause most of the country has more humidity than 7-9% (the moisture content of kiln dried lumber), the lumber will be trying to absorb moisture.

If your lumber is kiln dried, I would stack it in a solid bundle with a piece of plywood under the bottom layer aiid another piece on top of the bundle. The ply wood will help prevent moisture from entering the top and bottom layers.

Since the ends of the boards will absorb and release the most moisture, they should be protected with a product that contains a high solid content, like polyurethane.

When you are ready to use the lumber, I'd suggest you set it out on blocks like you suggested, for at least one week. This will allow the lumber to become somewhat adjusted to the humidity of the room without raising the moisture content to the point where the stability is reduced.

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