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Author Topic: First time stacking outside to air dry?  (Read 1154 times)

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Offline Brad_bb

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First time stacking outside to air dry?
« on: June 21, 2017, 08:57:45 AM »
So this will be my first time stacking outside to dry.  5/4 Ash boards for flooring.  I'll probably kiln finish dry them after air drying, then bring them inside to plane.  Stacking outside, planning to use cinder blocks 2 high on bottom, spaced 18 inches apart, leveled as best I can.  Will stack timbers for weight on top and will cover top with Tin.  So I assume the sides will turn grey?  And that should be ok since I'm going to plane? Is this a good plan?  (Will sticker 12 inches as normal.) Up until now I have stacked in my pole barn and It's worked.  But this is on another site, and they will be planed on this site, so I don't want the extra work of stacking and to move home and back.
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Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: First time stacking outside to air dry?
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2017, 11:20:36 AM »
Ash is very prone to insect damage. Kiln dry asap for best color and lack of insects.
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

Offline fishfighter

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Re: First time stacking outside to air dry?
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2017, 11:37:42 AM »
I would treat the boards as you sticker them for bugs. I do get bugs in the oak I stack and sticker outside. :( But as the wood air dries, the bugs leave.

As you can see in this picture of a oak board, stickering with dry oak stickers, I still had some stain and graying.

 

 

The good thing is that the stain was from water. Lite planning took it all out.

 

 

When I stack for air drying, my stacks are only 16" wide. To me, I am getting better air flow thru the stack. Down here stacking like I do, wood moisture drops down below 20% in less the 6 months on 4/4 boards. I set 8"x16" cinder blocks every 3' apart. Put a sticker down and then start stacking and stickering from there. I try to keep the stacks from going up above 3'. The tin I use is 36" wide. That helps keeping rain and direct sun from hitting any of the stack. Also, I set my stacks running east to west to help keep the sun off. Do paint the board ends for checking.

Offline Brad_bb

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Re: First time stacking outside to air dry?
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2017, 12:30:59 AM »
Ash, Ash, and more Ash.  Well this is how far I got today.  I dropped some bands off for resharp and decided to stop at Menards to get some cinder blocks.  The majority of the stack is misc. sizes that came from the outside boards of the logs I was cutting timbers from.  A couple logs I sliced thru and thru for boards if they wouldn't make good timbers.  Got some mold growing on them from the last week and a half sitting until I got to edging them.  It should come off with planing later. 
 

 

I finished milling the Ash logs I had stacked on bunks last July.  But now the neighbor has been taking down a lot of dead ash on his place and I'm helping him by hauling off the logs with my side by side and Logrite fetching arch.  These are the new logs on the ground.
 

 
 

 
Anything someone can design, I can sure figure out how to fix!
If I say it\\\\\\\'s going to take so long, multiply that by at least 3!

Offline Kbeitz

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Re: First time stacking outside to air dry?
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2017, 10:42:18 AM »
I think ash is one of the hardest woods on saw blades.
What do you think ?
Collector and builder of many things.
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Offline Brad_bb

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Re: First time stacking outside to air dry?
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2017, 02:12:48 PM »
I don't think so.  I have bands last quite awhile.  Removing bark or having clean bark really helps- logs not dragged through mud or gravel.  Osage is tough on bands.
Anything someone can design, I can sure figure out how to fix!
If I say it\\\\\\\'s going to take so long, multiply that by at least 3!

Offline Randy88

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Re: First time stacking outside to air dry?
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2018, 03:51:16 AM »
I know this is an old thread, but we've always air dried all our lumber, just a few things we've learned over the years, don't take offense, just passing along some information.     

By doing it way you just did, if you stand back and look, the pile is up off the ground nicely, with the exception of where the cement blocks are, those are hollow, and all the ground moisture is now channelled up off the ground right to the bottom of your pile, with only a thin sticker between the blocks and the bottom boards??

We used to do this, but what happens is, those bottom layers will be wetter and usually rotten when you go to use them, or at the least, where the blocks are, those sections of the boards will much wetter than the rest.     

If you notice on most major lumber handlers, they have a wooden beam on top of the cement blocks, or cement slabs then stack the lumber on those, some even have several layers of wooden beams before the lumber is stacked up, that's to keep the moisture off the bottom boards.     

Not sure how long your planning on keeping the lumber stacked outside, but we've gone to using skids made out of scrap cant's then scrap 2x6's, 8's or 10's, then before we stack lumber on them, I add another set of cant's on the skids, then stack the lumber on those, this does several things, first it gives the extra height off the ground and cement blocks and helps to protect the bottom boards from moisture, gives the option to pick up the whole pile of lumber off the skid, or move the whole skid of lumber in one shot, aids to keep the pile level and straight on the blocks and makes life a whole lot easier all around.     

Before we started building the lumber skids, which I love by the way and tell you enough just how much they have saved me in both lumber and labor, we first started the pile by laying down about three layers of boards we planned on throwing away, then piled good lumber on that and depending on how long the lumber was stacked on cement blocks would determine how many layers were good on the bottom of the pile.     

Now most people only sort, stack and keep good lumber, the rest is sorted and if not good enough to keep, is cut up and discarded before stacking and handling, meaning your losing some good lumber in the bottom of the piles on each set of cement blocks, or at the least, if moved soon enough, have several layers not good enough to keep and use right away, due to being too wet, if moving into a kiln, which I've never run, those bottom layers will much wetter than the center or rest of the pile, not sure how that affects the drying process in a kiln or not.      Again just passing along some information we've learned over the years.   I mentioned this because I noticed there was a skid steer by your mill to handle the skids of lumber stacked up and most don't notice that the bottom few layers are much wetter than the rest, or lose some lumber before they figure out what happened and why.      Best of luck 

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: First time stacking outside to air dry?
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2018, 09:07:19 PM »
To bad you could not put it on that gravel drive and not near that fence. The sticking looks good. I would highly suggest  the first and last sticker be wide and overhang the boards even if they don't align vertical. This will stop cupping. Keep sawing and stacking, the higher the better.    P.S. we are loosing the ash fast here.

Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: First time stacking outside to air dry?
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2018, 06:18:36 AM »
Regarding control of,warp, you might check out Causes and Cures for Warp at

https://forestandwildlifeecology.triforce.cals.wisc.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/111/2017/07/68.pdf

Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more


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