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r.garrison1
r.garrison1's picture

A top vent may be in order, too. Maybe an RV vent or two?

Something for the warm air to rise to before it is expelled. If you have a bit of clearance from the top of the lumber, that should be enough, if there is good enough.

eddiemac
eddiemac's picture

fbl,  you really need air to flow through the stacks, between the boards.  Removing the floor boards will not accomplish that and, if it lets in ground moisture, can actually be detrimental.

Bill
Bill's picture

I agree with Eddie , but rather than a saws all I be more inclined to use a skill saw with a metal blade or an angle grinder. I've cut up to 1/2" steel with both when I wanted a clean cut other than a cutting torch. It's also a good excuse to buy a plasma cutter smiley.

fbl
fbl's picture

Bill, Thanks for reminding me, I have a plasma cutter I haven't used for a while I'll get the dust off it and give it a try and I'll not take the floor up and give an update in a couple of weeks.  Fred

wayne busse
wayne busse's picture

If you have electric, a couple box fans would be great. My stacks are 8' tall in the middle of a big building without any ventilation, but by hanging two cheap box on the face of the stacks, I got good results. I move the fans every day or so at first and after a couple of months I use one fan. 10 percent after nine months and staying there so far.

Post Oakie
Post Oakie's picture

Depends on what's under the container.  The plywood floor forms a vapor barrier between the lumber and the ground and because of that, I would be inclined to keep it, with 4x4s under the stack for air circulation.  If there is a good vapor  barrier under the container, that might not be necessary.

Chop Top
Chop Top's picture

I Have a solar powered Attic fan works pretty good Turns on it the heat of the day Shuts down at night 

Still trying to figure out this Photobucket crap so I can show some pictures

 

fbl
fbl's picture

Anyone know if a grain bin with fan and raised floor has ever been used to dry lumber.  I know of one that is 20+feet in diamiter that is a give away and a man says he would put it up for 2k with new bolts and sealant? Not sure if it practial or not and if it is 3phase would be a problem for me. I could use it to store my 10ac of wheat (just enough wheat to keep my old 82 combine in shape) and when empty dry wood. Fred

Post Oakie
Post Oakie's picture

Chop Top, are you having trouble with Photobucket, or with getting the Photobucket images over to the forum?

Fbl, the grain bin might be a good way to air dry the wood, but I don't see how it would act as a kiln.  How would you load & unload it?

fbl
fbl's picture

Post Okie It would have to be really outstanding wood because it would take two people and a lot of hand labor to put through the door. I need it more for the grain than the wood but might try it if I end up buying it. You can add heating unit which might make a makeshift kiln.  I have not had a chance to cut the extra vents in the contanier and now we have about 8" of snow on the ground and still falling, a little unusal for us in recent years.  Fred

r.garrison1
r.garrison1's picture

Do you have a conveyer that you can lay at bench height? If so, maybe use it to feed wood stick by stick into the bin. One person on each end. Make certain the slow person is feeding; I've been on the pulling end of sawmill belts and chains, so I know what that job is like.

fbl
fbl's picture

We had our first snow for 2016 about 9" which is a lot for this area at least in recent years we missed the big snow just west of us on its way north. I took the time to measure moisture in those red and white oak planks that are in the storage bins and was pleased after about 4 or 5 weeks they were down to 15% in the red and 12% in the white, when they were in log form just before cutting them around 35 to 45 % after being in the woods for a number of years and the fact that they had been down for some years might have speeded up the progress. Is that a reasonable drop in moisture for this time of year? 

[/URL[URL=http://s1024.photobucket.com/user/fbl2/media/IMG_0200_zpsfpdhz7da.jpg.html]

Bill
Bill's picture

I think wood will dry fast when it's cold out because there's less moisture in the air.

Post Oakie
Post Oakie's picture

That sounds about right to me.  A lot of people think that heat is what dries the wood, but all it does is to lower the relative humidity of the air so that it can pull moisture out of the wood.  Of course there are limits.  I doubt frozen wood will dry much no matter how low the relative humidity.  Ice cubes just don't evaporate.

wayne busse
wayne busse's picture

Winters here in Indiana are generally dryer but it all depends on the jet stream. If the air is coming from up north it's drier, if it's from the south, wet. Last March we had ten days of air off the gulf of Mexico, 100 percent humidity and zero drying. Even with a couple fans on the stacks everything started to turn black with mildew.  Once the jet stream was back from the north, the mildew stopped forming.

Bill
Bill's picture

In theory freezing shouldn't dry but it seems to freeze dry by sucking the moisture out or to the surface. Extremely cool just turns the log onto a block of solid ice I can't say how the boards react to it.  Here the heat in the summer is also fairly dry without a lot of humidity compared to many places. Spring and fall the humidity slows it down considerably.

Baron
Baron's picture

cheekyYou got a Jet! Dang!

Things must be pretty good in Indiana.

One more month Wayne and everything is mud. I've kinda been enjoying the frozen ground. 

mcintosh34
mcintosh34's picture

..... hardwood is preferable, right? Seems I read that somewhere, but can't find it at the moment. Figures, as I have a bunch of cypress to stack, but only 3/4 x 3/4 pine offcuts readily available. Anyway, confirmation or refutation asap would be very appreciated.

r.garrison1
r.garrison1's picture

Hardwood for stickers is probably preferred, primarily because it is denser and doesn't hold moisture as much as most softwoods. There are exceptions; some oak have such open pores. Tamarac is a softwood that is pretty good.

Pine is pretty soft, and can hold the moisture a bit. Just watch for that.

eddiemac
eddiemac's picture

mcintosh34,   dry would be more important than hardwood vs softwood; 3/4" thickness is ideal, width can be random.

scottie44
scottie44's picture

Agree with eddimac.  Dry is the most important.  I tend to make stickers of softwood as my hard woods get trimmed to yield as much as possible.  Typically not much is left from outside edges for stickers.  To me having enough is more important that what type of wood they are.  To date my stacks have dried very well!!  I also cut 1x1 as my normal slabs are 4/4 cuts and I am used to sawing that thickness.  Then turn on edge as a bundle, make a chainsaw cut down the middle of a 8' length, and yield 2-4' stickers from each pass per board.  The cut down the middle does not go all the way to bottom, so they stay constrained and connected until the final cut.  I'll take a picture and post next time I cut stickers.

Baron
Baron's picture

Scotty that is how I do it now also. Saves allot of back work. 

Post Oakie
Post Oakie's picture

Great idea pre-cutting the stickers to length on the sawmill.  I've been cutting them full length then cutting to 42" (the length of my loader forks) on a chop saw.  Lots of good info and inspiration here on the forum!  I agree.  Use the pine stickers and get that cypress air drying.

Ducky70
Ducky70's picture

Hi I'm new to this forum. I would like to know how to air dry a piece of sycamore that I bought yesterday. It is 2 1/4" T X 15 1/4" Wide X 8' L It was just cut off the log while I was there. I was thinking of putting varnish on the ends and put it in my barn that is all inclosed. I have other lumber in there. Thank you for your time and help in answering my question. 

Ducky70

Baron
Baron's picture

Well ain't that just Ducky? Welcome!

IMHO drying hackberry, gum, beech and Sycamore are the most difficult to keep stable.

I spoke with a Sawyer at a recent show that told me he cuts and tightly sticker these items and then covers them with shade cloth and puts the stack out of the wind to dry. He said the slower it dries the flatter it stays. 

I paraphrase Gene Wengert on the Forestry Forum correctly, I think, When I say that weighting of the stacks alone is tough as it takes allot, allot, allot of weight. 

So in my humbled opinion I'd put 2" stickers 10" apart on a flat dry floor. Put your board on them and then 1" or more stickers 10" apart on top of the board and then stack allot of your lumber on top of that. Then I'd walk away and forget it for two years minimum.

These are my opinions wrought from abject failure on some of my cutting in times past. 

 

Best!

Baron (btw, not a real Baron)

Ducky70
Ducky70's picture

Thank you Baron!!! I read that it is hard to air dry with out twisting. I'll try my best to keep it flat.

Thank you again!!!

Baron
Baron's picture

Sycamore is among my most favorite lumber. 

Post Oakie
Post Oakie's picture

End coating is a good idea, but rather than varnish, I'd recommend several coats of latex paint (any color).  Better yet is paraffin or Anchorseal (which is the best).  Even then, prepare for some cracking.  Get it at least 4" off the floor, sticker like Baron described, and stack your other lumber on top for weight.

By the way, welcome to the forum.  Do you do any milling?  What kind of woodworking do you do?

r.garrison1
r.garrison1's picture

For end sealing, I have some asphalt crack sealant; that does OK, and a stiff brush works to apply and spread it.

 

I also have some spraycan grafting wax I haven't tried yet; I may do so, but it would be more expensive in the long run.I used the grafting wax when I had some apple trees; they are gone now, so I might as well use it, but I wouldn't buy it just for sealing the ends.

smithbr
smithbr's picture

I've also got a stack of old concrete blocks kicking around.  When desperate, throwing a dozen or so of those on the top of a valued stack would be an idea, no?  Not sure what the drawbacks might be, but I can see putting a sacrifical layer of wood on, just so the concrete wouldn't add grit to the good lumber below.

Blair

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