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Author Topic: Drying Stacks  (Read 3704 times)

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Offline Tom

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Drying Stacks
« on: November 01, 2001, 07:07:15 AM »
I have to do something smart for once.  My usual modus operandi is to use whatever timbers or  2x's stacked on edge to build my drying stacks without too much regard as to how much weight I am eventually going to put on them.

This past summer, trying to appease my wife with the looks of the place.  I moved stacks to a field in front of the house and very carefully stacked them on top of existing stacks.  More for storage than drying.  Well now I have stacks that are 8 feet tall and the supporting timbers beneath broken.  Two stacks on the ground on one end.  I dread restacking the stuff but know it must be done.  

This time I want to make something with a little thought envolved and am considering building a base kinda like a floor frame to stack wood on.  I have to be careful because if I use too many nails then the Tax Assessor considers it a building and my taxes go up.

Anyway,  the reason I mention this is because I have always told folks to consider storage when the start sawing and have only half way listened to myself.  Now I've got a mess.  Not one that I can't handle but if I could reach my butt I'de kick it.

Part of what I've learned is 'don't stack the stuff so dad-gummed high".  I was trying to minimize space for looks and over did it. Another thing is don't mix species and if you can help it don't mix sizes and definitely don't mix lengths.  All this I knew at one time or another......Alzheimers?

Well, anyway, I've got it to do again. :-/

I'd skip plane it and flat stack it in the barn but am afraid to flat stack wood for any length of time in an open pole barn.  To sticker it there would take too much room.  I already have 5 out of 6 bays taken up with stickered wood  and would prefer that my tractors be in there. :-/ :-[
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Offline Don P

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Re: Drying Stacks
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2001, 10:52:39 AM »
8' too high? :D Boy thats good to know..I was staring the wasps face to face as I slid in lumber tight under the rafters at the sawshed at home,12'.  I just build 2 piles and jab in planks across the two for catwalks in the  piles as I go. I do need more storage too, Michelle's barn seems to be groaning under the weight of my wood. ::)
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Drying Stacks
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2001, 02:13:39 PM »
Here's what I've seen done and it works pretty good.

For the base, we use 6x6.  We made ours 16' wide, to accomodate 16' lumber.  Then stack 6x6x8' on top, every 2 feet.  That will allow you to use a forklift to set the lumber down.  You may get away with either 4x6 or 4x4.  I always liked the 6" though.

We stacked our lumber about 4' high, and on sticks.  Then between the bundles, we put 3x4s every 4 feet.  But, we would tie 2 bundles together with 8 footers.  We went 4 bundles high per rack and 2 bundles deep.

On top, we would use thin boards nailed to 3x4s for a roof.  The roof would be put on top of the last bundles.  It kept out the sun and rain, but allowed a lot of air circulation.

Low tech and no building permits.  
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Offline Tom

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Re: Drying Stacks
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2001, 03:43:53 PM »
Good Idea Ron,
that's pretty much what I've got except I've used 4x4's for a base laying side by side. They aren't enough, I've found, and a 6x6 or multiples there-of would make more sense.  I have a book around here somewhere that states (paraphrased) " when supporting weight on horizontal boards, a rule of thumb is one inch in depth is comparable to 3 inches in width."

That is why my  bases made from 2 2x6's standing on edge have held and the ones made with 2 4x4's side by side have failed.

I use concrete blocks for support beneath them and could benefit by using more blocks too, I guess.

Oh yeah, I use 12 to 16 inch wide 3/8 pine boards for a roof and let them overhang the pile about 2 feet.  Works good as long as the hurricanes stay away

Don,
I have always felt that I could stack to the sky as long as my stickers were lined up. Perhaps there is a point where wood begins to crush.

I stop where I do because that is the highest I can go, comfortably, while standing on the back of my flat bed. There are concrete blocks 2 high with 4 or 6 inches of wood on top for a base which has me starting the stack 22"-24" off of the ground. Then I stack about 8 feet which has me somewhere around 10 feet in the air.  I'm afraid my nose will bleed if I go any higher. :D
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Offline timberbeast

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Re: Drying Stacks
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2001, 05:00:35 PM »
I use 6" cedar posts for the base,  and I seldom go over 6 ft.  before I start a new pile,  as a lot of my customers like to pick through the stack looking at all the boards.  If I have an "order",  and have had several for 2x6 stuff,  I use the posts for the base,  9 ft long,  and I use the material itself as stickers,  i.e.,  a layer of 2x6,  4 2x6 stickers,  and so on.  It has worked well,  and cedar dries so fast,  the stickers don't cause any staining.  The roof is a plastic tarp,  with bungee cords going to the top stickers.  Keeps the rain off,  but no ends are covered,  and lots of air circulation.  Then again,  I move the stuff fast,  it's seldom here for more than month.
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Offline woodmills1

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Re: Drying Stacks
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2001, 05:22:07 PM »
i have built 12 foot piles. i sticker at less than 2 feet.  i start with 4x4 tha i painstaicingly (spelled wrong) construct flat and level.  never had a bottem fail.  please line up your stickers, it does make better lumber.  my failures are out at the ends where i put long on top of short.  never make stacks over 5 foot wide, mold is not your friend.  cut and stack, cut and stack :D :D ;D
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Offline timberbeast

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Re: Drying Stacks
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2001, 06:33:28 PM »
Another thing the old-timers taught me:  Tilt the stack end to end,  any water that may get in from a windy storm will run out the down side.  Also,  per each layer,  leave about 1/4 inch overlap on the down side.  This effectively creates a "roof" over the area where any water would settle,  and face the "upside" into wherever the prevailing wind comes from in your area.  I agree totally with lining up the stickers,  but since I leave a good half inch between boards,  have not seen any mold,  in 30 years,  unless the ends are covered and block the moisture's escape.  Want a cheap kiln for a few boards at a time?  A sauna.  I've done it with maple......worked great!
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Offline Kevin_H.

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Re: Drying Stacks
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2001, 09:11:23 PM »
As we are talking about drying...I have been using 3/4 x 3/4" plywood as stickers. seems to be working well and rips real easy on the woodmizer...I place my stickers about 12" apart using 4x6" for the base. never stack more than 4' wide...Cover with corragated metal. seems to work well.
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Offline Frank_Pender

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Re: Drying Stacks
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2001, 04:18:46 PM »
I use ;) ;) a pallet that is 5' wide and 9' feet long.  I begin by placeing 1x1 stickers across the unit.  then I procede to locate each layer of lumber as it comes off of the mill.  When the time comes to run it in the kiln I simple place the unit of stickered lumber on the kiln dolly and push the dolly into the kiln.  I have about 45 of these units for stacking and locating lumber and other by products from the mill onto them.  sure makes moving merchandise around so much easier.   ;)
Frank Pender


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