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Jaguar83
Jaguar83's picture
stacking lumber correctly

I live in NC where I'm planning to mill some Oak, Hickory, White Pine, and Locust into some 4 X 8 inch beams. Also some Cherry into some 1 inch boards. Some of the wood was cut recently and some was cut over a year ago. Is there a book that tells all about how to stack the beams correctly so they will not bow, twist or bend once they have dried enough. I want to air dry the logs if possible. \n \n Thanks/Mike

Robert in W. Mi.
Robert in W. Mi.'s picture

Depending on how and where they were cut out of the logs, you may NOT beable to keep them from bowing and twisting no matter how you stack them.\n \n Some saw them oversize, air dry them, and then put them back on the mill, to square up and saw to size.\n \n To stack them, do the same as any other lumber, in stacks, and stickered, and \"out of the weather\". Have your stack up off the ground 18\" or so, and on very sturdy cement bolcks, all leveled. I like to put rail road ties across the blocks, and then the lumber on the ties. Put the stickers \"over the ties\" and at least every two feet. Keep all the stickers over each other, and over the ties.\n \n They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here's a pict... :>) [url=http://www.fototime.com/{9A34DEB7-F187-40C1-A524-134E5D4A73D7}/picture.JPG]http://www.fototime.com/{9A34DEB7-F187-40C1-A524-134E5D4A73D7}/picture.JPG[/url]\n \n I hope this helps you some,\n \n Robert

Csedd71
Csedd71's picture

Hey Mike, \n \n Although I am officially a “newbie” sawyer, I can say from my child hood experiences on the farm that Robert is correct. We never had a mill ourselves but all the lumber we had sawed (as well as our neighbors) from the local mill was stacked as Robert stated it. \n \n We also restacked our green boards every month if they were not immediately utilized. When restacking, we would place any cupped/ bowed boards with the cup/bow down, tight together on the sides and place them as close to the bottom of the pile as we could so the combined weight would force them flat again. When storing the lumber outside, this would help keep the rain from washing dirt or leaves between the cupped boards and stickers also.\n \n One last thing about outside storage. We never covered our lumber piles with plastic because it would create a “greenhouse” effect on sunny days and draw the ground moister up into the wood causing mildew/mold.\n \n Good luck,\n Cameron\n \n P.S. For furniture making, we had the best luck with our hardwood boards by having them sawn oversize thickness and narrow (4”-6” widths) in late fall after the sap is down then storing them inside above freezing, letting them slow cure til the following summer. If wide surfaces were needed, laminate.

sawyered 76
sawyered 76's picture

I agree with the previous posts. Richards pile looks good. You don't have to leave space between the edges of the boards initially. The boards will shrink and create their own space. I prefer to dry my birch with the sap wood edges bearing against each other as they move. Keep those those stickers lined up with the bunks. Also, high value lumber should be end painted to reduce end grain checking. Keep your piles out of the sun. If you put 6 mil uv rated poly on your pile, make sure it does not hang down and restict the air flow through the pile. Lumber is always best air dried in a shed. Remind your customers that hardwood intended for fine work should never be kiln dried. 4x8's will require a lot of weight to keep them flat. Good luck.

jsr
jsr's picture

This is the first time I've heard someone say that hardwood for fine woodworking should not be kiln dried. Could you elaborate?

Csedd71
Csedd71's picture

Here is a link to a USDA Drying Hardwood Lumber PDF pamphlet that has some real good info on different drying methods. I don't know if air dried lumber for furniture is better than kiln dried but I believe air drying is definitely better for musical instruments. \n \n \n http://www.woodweb.com/knowledge_base/Drying_Hardwood_Lumber.html

sawyered 76
sawyered 76's picture

Dear Stumpy,\n I'm not suprised that you didn't know this. Many people who work with wood believe that kiln drying \"improves\" wood. The truth is that kiln drying came into practice when the railroads began charging by weight instead of by volume. companies with large volumes of lumber to ship tried airdrying to keep their costs down but storing lumber for months to get it down to 12% was too expensive. So kiln drying was invented to reduce weight and get the wood to a stable condition prior to shipping to the end user. A kiln uses heat to drive the moisture out of wood. This subjects the fiber to extraordinary forces which can tear the fiber apart rendering it unfit for furniture making. Drying kilns use various techniques to reduce the forces on the drying wood but the fact is that slow air drying is the best way to preserve the inherent strength and workability of any wood product. I will post some Titles fyi in this strain soon .

jsr
jsr's picture

Thanks Sawyered 76.\n I will look forward to seeing any info you have. I am new in the business and intent to sell some wood that I saw. I need to determine my \"market\" for wood that is not Kiln dried. My impression is the vast majority of people believe that wood has to be kiln dried. Any thoughts on what markets do not place Kiln drying as a requirement?

Robert in W. Mi.
Robert in W. Mi.'s picture

I'll bet you that 99.9% of all the furniture built is from \"kiln dried\" lumber!! I'm talking good production furniture, not hand made one of's..\n \n I had my own custom furniture/cabinet shop for many years, and i've used a lot of both. To be honest, it really depends on what your building, but for the most part kiln drying is just fine.\n \n \"If\" you going to sell air dried lumber, how are you going to get it down to 7 or 8%??? You can't do this outdoors in 99% of out country. You will have to finish it off in a heated building!! \n \n Robert

jsr
jsr's picture

I guess that's my question. Is there a market for air dried hardwood at 12% to 17% MC

svocummins
svocummins's picture

Hi Mike,\n \n Another option, if you have time, is to simply debark the logs and let them dry. Then when you saw them the lumber is far less likely to twist. The exception is if there is compression wood, and there's not much you can do about that. We have what's called pitch pine in my area, much harder than white pine, but prone to twisting. I've successfully dried logs on ties for a year or two, then sawed them.\n Another problem with air drying is that wood can dry TOO fast, which can cause twisting. The shed method keeps the sun off, but relative humidity plays a role too. If you can control humidity (closed shed, vents, etc) you can control drying rate and also warpage. Kiln drying adds heat, but I find lumber dries best in the cold. Cut in the fall (low sap), sawn, and dried all winter in a shed or barn or garage with good air circulation seems to work best for me.\n There's a whole lot of variables and this is just a small bit of info, but I hope it helps.\n -brian

StuartC
StuartC's picture

Hello everyone, especially sawyered 76, if I have that right.\n I am new to this site and the first thing I read is something about the pros & cons of air-dried timber. Right up my amateur street since I have been doing it on a casual basic for 5 years or so. In my experience air dried is not an option, in northern Scotland it would take forever. In practise it would not get below 16%, and I can't agree with the tearing of fibres-comment. If anything, electronic control of a de-humidification kiln will avoid that, particularly with proper logging control. Pun unavoidable! (logged as in recorded to avoid more than 4% difference,surface to centre) I achieve better that 95% success in any consignment. When I know how I'll post a jpeg!\n Stuart

ark.ed
ark.ed's picture

hey everybody', when i cut lumber for special projects idry it by standing it on end at about a 10 degree angle. this works for me seems to dry better. ibelieve this was common practice at one time before space became so important

StuartC
StuartC's picture

Hello Eddie,\n Yes, essential for Sycamore in the UK, after a good blast with the pressure-washer to wash the sugars off and stop bacterial and mould growth which then stains the timber. I know! I made this mistake with the first timber i had cut (hired in a W/Mizer) some 14 years ago. The black blotches ruin the timber for proper work, but I still have most of it and will make a bedroom suite out of it. Some people think it is a tropical exotic! Shh, don't let on..\n Stuart

Otto Schulte
Otto Schulte's picture

Hello,\n \n \"I know nuting\", as they use to say on Hogan's Heroes. (Sargent Schulz?).\n \n Anyway, I know nuting about kiln drying, but the company I work for kiln dries a ton of lumber. \n \n I'm just a logger, but I heard an interesting thing the other day that I thought I would share.\n \n One of our sawmills is going to have a new primary breakdown saw installed that cuts with the curve of small logs. This is being done for 2 reasons as I understand. One is that cutting a curved log straight obviously leads to a ton of waste. But the second, which I think is interesting for this posting, is that when you cut a curved log straight, and then kiln dry the boards, the boards warp. This would be due to compression wood. So, when the boards are cut with the curve of the log, you get green warped boards that straighten out when dried!\n \n I believe everything I hear! Ha ha. Well, I'm no expert, but I'm sure this is true, and I'm sure there's much more to it. It appears in life there is always advantages and disadvantages with everything.\n \n Otto\n W.C. Logger

ark.ed
ark.ed's picture

hey west coast,i have been involved with construction installation of a couple of curve saws they do seem to work. to bad they didnt have them around 20 years ago when you could still get quality timber. in this area fast grow is quickly becoming all you can get.I have also witnessed kiln drying of pine,they cook it for about 8 hours,plane it ,edge it and ship it out

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