Stacking & Drying your Lumber:
- One of the most critical parts of producing quality lumber is the "Stacking" and "Air-Drying" process.
- When the boards are sawed, you will remove the lumber from the sawmill and start "Stacking". Simply stacking boards on top of each other won't work. The boards won't dry, the won't dry flat, and mold will eat em' up!. You will need "Stickers" to use in between each layer of boards. Typically a 1" x 1" piece of the same species placed every 16" - 24" on each row of lumber. (Remember, you need to start on a SOLID, LEVEL surface - an uneven base will result in crooked boards).
- We can cut the stickers from the logs, as is common (but that can eat into the lumber yield). Some folks will make their own stickers by ripping store bought 2x4's or buying furring strips or even lathes/stakes from the a lumber yard. It's up to you. Ideally, stickers need to be Dry, Straight, Flat, Clean and must be completely consistent in size....about 4' long and 1" x 1". Or if you're ripping a 2x4 up, the end size would be 1" tall x 1.5" wide x 4' long.
- I also highly recommend that you take steps to eliminate and/or prevent bugs from eating up the wood. I use, and I encourage you to use, a product such as Timbor or Bora-Care.....google it and buy it. You will mix this in a sprayer, and spray each board "As You Stack"! This is a critical step.
- Your fresh cut lumber will be very WET. Your lumber will need to Air-Dry to get the Moisture Content (MC) down to a workable level. This process will take weeks to months to years based on the species of wood, the thickness of the lumber, time of year, and weather. About the lowest you will be able to get the MC down to will be roughly 13% +/- here in East Texas. That will be sufficient for any outdoor projects. However, if you need lumber dry for inside use / furniture, etc.... you will need to have the lumber "Kiln-Dried" down to 6-8% MC. For more info google "Moisture Content in Wood" or "Air-Drying fresh cut lumber".....there will be plenty of helpful information.
- For more info on drying and "Stickering", go up top and click on "THE PROCESS", scroll down the page and click on a couple of the links listed for Drying / Stacking / Stickering.
LDE Company, LLC dba: L2 Sawmill
Portable Sawmill Service
in East Texas