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Green wood bunks

Started by Peterd, February 14, 2024, 12:28:40 PM

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Good afternoon 

I am new to the sawmilling game and I have a really basic question that I haven't quite seen addressed I guess. I am hoping someone here might be able to post a quick answer. 

Can I build my drying bunks out of the same green Blue Spruce lumber that I will then be putting on them?
Assuming that these bunks are then placed on proper flat level For drying, would the degree of shrinkage put enough stress on the stack to ruin the boards?

Perhaps ruin's a bit strong, but induce of warp, nonetheless. 

I have until the end of winter to mill up perhaps 35 halfway decent logs, and then my attention Has to turn to other things.

Naturally , I was hoping to use some of the smaller logs as bunks and stickers. My plan was to cut up the stickers and try to get them somewhat dry before then using them  I figure I have enough time to accomplish that with fans and what not


doc henderson

not sure if you mean just dunnage to set lumber on like a 4x4 or are you referring to like a skid or pallet?  either way, I think green is ok as long as you weight it down. the weight of the wood should keep it in place, and in the future will conform the skid to the surface below.  there are some threads on drying platforms/racks and also skids and pallets.  It is usually low-grade lumber and I think green is ok, assuming I am interpreting your question correctly.
Timber king 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor powered by a 12 volt tarp motor


Welcome to the Forestry Forum.

As Doc says, and first just lay down a sticker on the green bunk wood before stacking lumber on top. Should be good to go.
south central Wisconsin
It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others


I apologize for the lack of clarity. These bunks are effectively large pallets. 2 x 6 sized material screwed to 4 x 4's placed at 16 inch centers. The pallets are 4 feet deep and as wide as the wood I'm cutting, in this particular case 8 feet.

my plan is to sticker up as much wood as my tractor can lift, and then stack these bunks on top of each other and place weight on top of that.

Once everything is palletized I can move things around easily enough if I have to and I can rotate the pallets top to bottom should that seem like something I might want to do.

Laying stickers down on top of the 2 x 6 material is on my list as well as between bunks once they are stacked.

I just didn't want to do this out of Green wood and find out too late that I screwed things up. I just don't have time to dry this material before I build the bunks, but I probably do have time to dry the stickers

doc henderson

even a bit of drying of the stickers is good.  i have used them green but not good for light wood.  is this for furniture, or flooring or just framing lumber?  looks like spruce.  Do not worry, there is plenty of time and opportunity to screw things up, see the did something dumb thread.   ffcheesy
Timber king 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor powered by a 12 volt tarp motor


Peterd, what kind of sawmill you got? 
blue spruce??
I only sawed spruce once, with 10° blades.   smiley_thumbsdown  I burned them things as quick as I could to get rid of the so called lumber.   smiley_thumbsdown
Not saying your lumber will come out bad.
This was before I knew of the FF.
Takes 7° blades to get straight lumber. Or some thing like that. I can count the spruce I have on my land with one hand. 
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Don P

I'm working on 12' long pallet # 7 in the past week, we seem to be generating pallet material at about the same rate as our need. I can move about 500 bf on a pallet around here so that isn't really much. We'll run out of dry stickers in the morning and be into our "breeze dried".


OK, a little bit more of the story.

Like so many others I concluded that the perfect toy for me would be a small, portable sawmill. we are a small horse ranch in northern Michigan. About a third of our land is pasture and the balance is wooded, maple Aspen beach, and we used to have a lot of ash. That's all laying around dead because of the Ash Borer

I bought a Woodland Mills 130 max sometime ago and it seems to be doing fine. 

The most current project is a small stand of blue spruce, I was tired of looking at and took down. It generated about 20 pulp cord of nice straight logs, some as big as 18 to 20 inches more in the 12 to 14 inch range. I figure I probably got 3500 board feet of decent material. 

my plan unless things go horribly wrong, is to panel that out and put it on the walls of my home when we remodel. 

if all else fails, I'll have plenty of wood to throw in the fire. 



Fill out your info in your profile, it may make a difference in the answers you. I don't think it would in this case but it does sometimes.
Nyle Service Dept.
A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.
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I graft used shipping pallets from various local businesses  with odds and ends framing lumber on a cement slab that's pretty true and level then make a matching roof out of old roof steel for my air drying then after a few months then stack it in a shed for storage until use. I have made several of assorted lengths and they work fine. 

Don P

I got a pic of a finished stack this afternoon. The lumber pallets are 42" wide, the roof pallet has a 48" solid decked top, Ice and water shield on that and used tin screwed down to the top.

 I need to scrounge around and find some more ice and water for the next pile roof, the pallet is almost done on the trailer. I have the trailer marked out for runner locations and it is a handy work platform. I nail on the bottom boards then flip it over and shoot on the top, that leaves it face up and ready to go.

doc henderson

Don, what are you lumber dimensions?  runners and slats?  what is the spacing.  
Timber king 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor powered by a 12 volt tarp motor

Don P

The runners are 1-3/4" x 42" spaced at 2' which works fine for pine but could be tightened up for more cantankerous wood. The slats are ~1x4-1x6 but the top on the roof pallet above is some blue 1x12's, fewer cracks to drop a screw into when attaching the top, which is just scrap 5v tin.


To the OP.  You don't want green stickers touching your green lumber or you're likely to get sticker stain.  You either need to cut and air dry the stickers long enough, or go buy some dry pine and rip it into stickers.  Lumber pallets are a good thing.  You can use green wood for those.  Mine are 46" x 8'. Actually I also make 46"x6', and I use 48"x40 pallets for short wood because sometimes I have nice walnut, cherry and Ash that I end up with some shorter logs.  I have one 10' pallet for a longer white oak log I cut.  I can put lumber up to 6" longer than the pallet on the pallet.  I usually alight the lumber to one side of the pallet.  When I get 13 layers of 4/4, I strap the pallet with Kubinec strapping to make it more stable moving it around.  As it air dries, I can tighten the straps.
My pallet design uses 46" bottom stringers spaced 12"-15" apart.  Top boards that are the full length of the pallet.  Then I screws 3/4" stickers to the top of the pallet above the stringers.  I often salvage oak or pine stringers from 12" material pallets that come from the lumber/builder yard.  Most job sites don't have the use for the pallets once the material is used, but they are great to cut down into lumber pallets.
Lumber Pallets
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