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Thread: Wood Storage - Is Stickering Necessary?

  1. #1
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    Wood Storage - Is Stickering Necessary?

    I'm eager to get started on my split sawbench project so I can graduate from my wobbly table. But I'm concerned that I don't know about caring for lumber in my garage.

    My 2x6s that I've had in the garage for 2 months have been on edge on the concrete. I don't have a lumber rack or really any space for one yet. Are the 2x6s sucking up moisture and now unsuited to be worked?

    Also, I've got a bunch of old barn wood that was donated to me. It was in a climate controlled workshop for 20 years. Do I need to sticker these planks as I stack them in my garage, or just stack bare faces together? Do I need to put plastic under the pile?

    1. Are my 2x6s ruined until elevated for a time being?
    2. What would you recommend someone with limited space and no lumber rack do with old lumber?

    Thanks!

    - Matt

  2. #2
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    In a word,yes. And make sure from the side view,that the stickers are in line with each other vertically. Than will help keep the wood near the bottom rom becoming warped due to pressure from above.

  3. #3
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    Dang, I'm sad thats the case. Once I sticker it, how long before it would rectify the 2 months on the concrete? Do I have to put plastic below the pile?

  4. #4
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    Matt, I have a concrete floor where I store my wood. I use plywood in between the wood and the floor, I'm not sure if it's necessary but I would not put good wood directly on concrete for storage.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  5. Quote Originally Posted by Matt Bainton View Post
    1. Are my 2x6s ruined until elevated for a time being?
    2. What would you recommend someone with limited space and no lumber rack do with old lumber?
    1. Highly unlikely, but depends on the temperature and humidity variations in your garage. They're suitable to work if they look suitable to work. Framing lumber in the form of nominal 2x6s is usually not the best milled or dried, and improper storage just expedites their tendency to warp. If your pieces aren't warped past the point of workability--which is dependent on your tooling--they're fine to use, especially for a laminated bench top, which is mostly forgiving as far as wood movement is concerned.

    2. Build a lumber rack for the cost of a few 2x4s, or lean it all against a wall. Stacking on the floor is the least efficient option in my book, but if you do, stickering takes almost none of your time and money, and it's good to have the sticks around for anything fresh. If the barn wood was old before it was set in a shop for 20 years, it's unlikely in my experience to do anything crazy untill you mill it, wood tends to settle over the years.

  6. #6
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    How old is your house? In the last 40 years it should have a vapor barrier under the slab.

    id say unless you saw condensation in the garage you didn't get much from the concrete.

  7. #7
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    I have some lumber/timbers on edge on my garage floor, but with stickers between wood and cement, and an air gap between boards. No warpage.

  8. #8
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    Mark, my house was built in `63. I have not _noticed_ condensation anywhere, so I'm hoping its at least a little protected.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joel Thomas Runyan View Post
    1. Highly unlikely, but depends on the temperature and humidity variations in your garage. They're suitable to work if they look suitable to work. Framing lumber in the form of nominal 2x6s is usually not the best milled or dried, and improper storage just expedites their tendency to warp. If your pieces aren't warped past the point of workability--which is dependent on your tooling--they're fine to use, especially for a laminated bench top, which is mostly forgiving as far as wood movement is concerned.
    I appreciate the practicality of this insight. Wood is still pretty mysterious to me. I dug through the 16' lengths at the orange BORG for an hour till I found something usable. To clarify, I'm hoping to build a split sawbench such as this and this.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joel Thomas Runyan View Post
    2. Build a lumber rack for the cost of a few 2x4s, or lean it all against a wall. Stacking on the floor is the least efficient option in my book, but if you do, stickering takes almost none of your time and money, and it's good to have the sticks around for anything fresh. If the barn wood was old before it was set in a shop for 20 years, it's unlikely in my experience to do anything crazy untill you mill it, wood tends to settle over the years.
    How do you lean boards against the wall? Doesn't that let the wood bow? I'll probably sticker what I can for now, as I can't mount anything to my brick garage for a while.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Bainton View Post
    How do you lean boards against the wall? Doesn't that let the wood bow?
    Lean boards nearly vertical, just enough so they won't fall.

  12. #12
    Matt,

    The weird thing about wood is that even though its dead, its alive and because it wants to assume the moisture of its environment, unless the environment is constant, then wood is always going to "move". Its one of the basic fundamentals of ww'ing that really took me years to understand. I would constantly run into problems with warped or cupped boards (still do but now I understand why) and in the middle of a project would have to abandon a door or a top, etc. and start over (now I know how to fix alot of problems).

    So first of all DON'T PANIC! You're wood is definitely NOT ruined but -- however, it would be best not to use it immediately.
    Hey, at least you didn't store them face down that could be much worse.

    Yes the old wood can be stacked but keep a space on the bottom.
    I like to bundle my stacks together with light weight tie down straps it just keeps things together.

    I have both vertical and horizontal storage. I much prefer vertical. You'll see why the first time you peruse your lumber for just the right boards.
    For vertical, do NOT just stack your wood up. You may get away with it and you may not.
    Make the vertical a least 7 degrees and you're good to go.

    My suggestion:

    Go get some 1x2's you can buy a whole pack of 12 for like 5 bucks.
    Figure out what your stack is going to be (2,3,4 boards wide, whatever) and cut the strips to match.
    Sticker the boards and give them a couple weeks, then start the milling process.

    You'll be fine! Good luck you'll be working on your bench in an couple weeks.

  13. #13
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    My house was built in '63 too. Sometimes everything is dripping wet.

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    FWIW, generally the lumber from the BORG is very rapidly grown. You'll likely have a much better experience starting from better stock from a local sawmill. I'm not suggesting that you need to work in hardwoods but good pine and good cedar are going to be a much nicer experience than Borg doug fir.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  15. #15
    FWIW,

    Anyone with a shop that has a concrete floor over dirt should treat the floor with chemicals to stop water-vapor transmission. Not only will it save your wood from warping and tools from rusting, but it will lower your dehumidification costs as well.

    I used stuff from the "Radon Seal" company (2 different products) as I also have a radon problem. If no radon, then the best solution is one of those chemical that crystallizes inside the concrete. that's better because if new cracks occur over time, new crystals form and fill them in.

    This stuff really works, and it's not too expensive, either.
    Last edited by Allan Speers; 10-17-2015 at 6:46 PM.

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