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Thread: wood storage

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Forest Lake MN
    Posts
    238

    wood storage

    Hi Guys,

    I am wanting to build up a supply of wood, not huge, but enough that I dont have to run out and but for every project. This is partly because I live kind of in the middle of nowhere and its a decent drive to anywhere I can buy decent wood and that is compounded with traveling a lot for work and also generally working 12 hr days even when I am home.

    I plan to store in my basement shop to have better climate control than my garage or shed, and have a decent amount of room to work with. My thinking was that storing horizontally would be best and that the easiest solution would be to get a heavy duly steel frame shelf with wire shelving. Another option would be to stack it on the floor with stickers, although this makes it less convenient to find what you are looking for. Vertical storage opens up other options but I would assume it would invite more warping etc.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Posts
    631
    General advice seems to be:
    - all lumber should be stored up off the ground (including concrete floors) to avoid introducing moisture
    - wood tends to be stable once fully dried -- so no need for stickers or horizontal storage at that point.

    I keep my small lumber supply on the top two shelves of gorilla racks. These are 12' feet long. It's was reasonable when I had one or two sets of wood and they were long boards. I'd pull down my cherry boards and sort through to decide which to use for a top, etc.
    However, it has gradually gotten more awkward as the boards get more irregular.
    Also, I'm starting to eye the space for other things, so may be looking at shed options (was thinking it would be ideal if I could have a chopsaw there, with a setup similar to Gochnour's lumber station -- although I observe that he also seems to be overrun a bit, too)


    Matt

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    Posts
    1,550
    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon SPEAKS View Post
    Hi Guys,

    I am wanting to build up a supply of wood, not huge, but enough that I dont have to run out and but for every project. This is partly because I live kind of in the middle of nowhere and its a decent drive to anywhere I can buy decent wood and that is compounded with traveling a lot for work and also generally working 12 hr days even when I am home.

    I plan to store in my basement shop to have better climate control than my garage or shed, and have a decent amount of room to work with. My thinking was that storing horizontally would be best and that the easiest solution would be to get a heavy duly steel frame shelf with wire shelving. Another option would be to stack it on the floor with stickers, although this makes it less convenient to find what you are looking for. Vertical storage opens up other options but I would assume it would invite more warping etc.
    Brandon

    Horizontal is best if you have the space. Assuming it is in your basement with a concrete floor, here is what I would recommend, assuming you plan to rest the lumber on the floor, not shelves. If you do use shelves, you still need plastic sheeting on the concrete/block wall, and the shelves must be level and planar. No. 3 is not applicable, but all else applies.

    1. Choose an area that is dry. If against the wall, that too must be dry;
    2. Lay down 2 layers of plastic sheeting on the slab. If close to the wall, run the plastic up the wall as well. Water vapor migrates through concrete even if it is not cracked. Seriously. It might look fine now, but things change;
    3. Lay down stickers, 3.5" high, spaced 2~3 feet apart, on top of the plastic sheeting. The end ones should be located 1ft from each board's ends. Level these with shims, and make their top surfaces planar (in the same plane). This is not always easy to do, but it is important if you intend to use the boards in longer lengths, and don't want them to develop wind. A level, two framing squares, and a helper are needed;
    4. Allow space between each board for air to circulate;
    5. Place stickers on top of the bottom layer of boards, and between subsequent layers of boards. They can be thinner than the stickers on the slab, but should all be the same thickness. These stickers should be located directly above the stickers resting on the slab. You don't want the weight of the upper layers of boards to apply a bending moment on lower layers.
    6. Place a few sheets of cardboard (not plastic) or plywood over the stacked boards to keep off dust and grit, but not enough to stop air circulation. Dust and grit are both bad for your blades.

    I also suggest you sweep the boards with a broom, and check them for signs of termites and bug eggs before taking them downstairs. You don't want to import spider, cockroach, or other creepy crawly eggs if it can be avoided. It happened to me. Your wife will blowtorch your butt if the bugs get upstairs.

    Stan
    Last edited by Stanley Covington; 03-18-2018 at 11:14 AM.

  4. #4
    The transport is in general the most significant part of the cost of wood, getting it from the forest to mill, mill to lumberyard - if those are separate - and then, as in your case to your workshop, so reducing the times you shift wood is in and of itself smart but when you have the wood on hand you also have greater insight into its condition. Like Stanley says it, dirt and grime don't mix well with any kind of woodworking and stacked up at the lumberyard, who knows what exposures it is subjected to, also once you have lived with your wood for a time you soon come to know with certainty how dry it is, all these benefits and more for sure with the only drawback being you have got to have the space for the wood you want to use and more, which as we know, is the attitude Krenov has advocated - when getting your wood from the lumberyard get as much of it as you can afford... and then a little bit more.
    Storing it vertically is the ideal but hardly ever practical, unfortunately. Storing that way won't cause warping necessarily and makes it many times easier to inspect individual planks. If possible this is your best option. Your basement storage space is fine if that wood has previously had the time and chance to get quite dry. Why not make use of this garage and shed where the climate control is not so regulated for initial drying, (so long as there is decent ventilation), and only then moving the wood you anticipate getting at down into the available basement space? then some set-up like Gochnour's is really fine - and I should know it because Chris and I worked half a year together in that shop space, Thanks so much Chris I learned much form you in that time. Whether you sticker or not at that point is a matter of specific moisture content and is not always per se a necessity. Lucky for you if you can forgo it because this really does require much more space and care.
    Last edited by ernest dubois; 03-18-2018 at 12:06 PM.

  5. #5
    Your solution will depend on headroom somewhat. I stole the top 24" of one wall for horizontal:

    Lumber Storage Reorg (1).jpg

    The downside of mounting to a wall is that the wall is never true and a lot of shimming is involved if you want your wood supported evenly. However, once done, its yours forever.

    I have an area under the peak of the roof line that I use for vertical:

    Vertical Lumber Storage add-on (1).jpg

    For vertical you can see I've built a platform with room for air-flow between the concrete and the material. It has a couple of degrees of backward lean to make stuff stay put. There are dividers coming out from the wall but, I won't go into that as you are after horizontal ;-)

    I divide wood into different categories than when I was younger. There are now two groups; heavy and not-so-heavy. Heavy and long stuff primarily gets stored vertically so I don't have to schlep it down off the wall racks. I imagine I would do the same for a floor standing rack leaving heavier items at a comfortable height for grabbing and not putting them on the bottom so I have to stoop for them.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 03-18-2018 at 12:11 PM.
    She said “How many woodworking tools do you need?”
    I said “Why? Do you know someone who is selling some?”


  6. #6
    My wood is stored vertically.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Forest Lake MN
    Posts
    238
    For some reason I thought vertical was a bad idea, if I am wrong on that it makes everything much easier.

    For either method I do plan to keep them away from walls. Essentially half my basement is shop and the other half storage area, either rack solution will be a partial divider between the two.

  8. #8
    My elm wood stood here for years from the time we milled it until the old willow blew over in a storm, (crushing my sheep shed beneath it) and I moved the wood indoors.
    20101103-190952.jpg

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    1,482
    I have wood stored both ways. As you know, horizontal can be a real pain to sort through. With vertical storage, some sort of spacers or dividers as Glenn has in order to keep longer, medium and shorts separated mades this the most convenient in my opinion. I haven’t noticed any difference in the wood stored vertical vs horizontal once dry/acclimated.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    181
    Contrary view here. Rethink the plan to build up a supply of wood. It can easily overwhelm you and it can cause you to compromise your design to accommodate your stock. Can you buy just one project ahead?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Forest Lake MN
    Posts
    238
    I am not planning to build a huge stock, just enough to have around when I need something basic. For any larger project I would likely buy closer to when I need it.

    For example I recently needed some 8/4 stock, nothing super specific, but in that size. I ended up waiting a month before I could get it. If I want something like that, or decent hard wood in a hurry I have limited options. The only thing quickly available to me is standard construction lumber and the limited and over priced hardwood boards I can get at Menards and Home Depot. So I dont plan on storing thousands of board feet, or even hundreds, but having basic stuff on hand seems very practical.

  12. #12
    I didn't expect vertical to be an option. I should share this:

    The bracket on the wall acts as a support and provides the lip for the dividers to slide on.

    Vertical Lumber Storage 002.jpg . Vertical Lumber Storage 003.jpg

    With the bottom kicked out and tilted a 12' board touches the wall bracket on the way up and touches to wall at the 12' plus mark.

    Vertical Lumber Storage 001.jpg . Vertical Lumber Storage add-on (3).jpg
    She said “How many woodworking tools do you need?”
    I said “Why? Do you know someone who is selling some?”


  13. #13
    Hi Brandon,

    You might be in Youngblood Lumber's metro delivery radius. If you are, delivery is something around $25, regardless of order size, and usually you can get next day delivery. If you join the MN woodworker's guild ($30 per year) you get wholesale pricing also (I usually save the $30 in a single purchase). If I need anything more than a few boards, I just call them up and have them deliver. The other nice thing is that they offer milling; if I need more than 100 board feet, I usually just have them mill it and put a straight line rip also. It isn't worth my time or the wear on my planer blades to do it myself.
    Last edited by Andrew Seemann; 03-19-2018 at 12:24 AM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Peoria, AZ
    Posts
    768
    This is how I've stored my lumber for six years. I attached a 4x4 to the wall with lag bolts at around shoulder high. Inserted black iron pipe into holes drilled into that, then covered them with foam pipe insulation. Works great, easy to deal with.

    dSYmf2e.jpg

    And I just built this for sheet goods and clamps. Previously the sheet goods were just leaning against the wall.

    xH3NNJr.jpg

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Elgin, TX
    Posts
    197
    I built my own wood rack using square tubing. It cost about $50 for tubing.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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