Any ideas on outside rough-wood storage? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Default Any ideas on outside rough-wood storage?

I have a covered deck/screened-in porch 6 feet off the ground next to the house approx 20 x 10 feet. Southern exposure, but wouldn't get direct sun under the deck except for a couple of months a year and then due to landscaping for only a few hours per day at most.
I have good air exposure and usually a breeze.

Any ideas on good ways to store small-logs, rough-cut green lumber, etc, to let it age and dry?

I can build racks to keep it off the ground.

I'm sure someone else has done this so any ideas appreciated.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 12:20 PM
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I've stored quite a bit of green rough lumber. You have to be careful with the sun shining on it. That can cause uneven drying and that causes cracking. Rough green lumber has to be well stripped with air space both between layers and between boards in the individual layers. I leave about a 1" gap between boards. If your lumber has some bad defects in spots like large or too many knots or too much sweep then you can cut those into usable sections and use those boards for sticker strips. You can put a tarp or black plastic over them to keep the sun off but the ends of the pile have to stay open at least for the first year so that the wood can dry.

I lost a pile of green logs I stored to sawyer beetles a few years ago. I didn't have time to get the pieces sawed after I cut down the tree and I didn't debark them either. I put them in a pile on top of a couple of 2x4s in my shop in fairly dark conditions under a roof and they didn't dry fast enough. Wet wood is prime food for some boring beetles and possibly wood ants too. Had I stored them under an overhang more out in the open they might have fared better? Debarking can cause them to dry too fast and crack the log but painting the ends helps that and risking cracking is better than losing them to bugs.

All of this is relative to my location which has generally low humidity so your results could vary.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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I have typical Tennessee humidity; rather humid in the summer into mid-October. This year we've had unprecedented rain. Yet my firewood, covered only on top and placed under large Leland Cypress trees, has remained fairly dry.

Sun exposure would be very minimal. Nothing grows under the deck except a little moss and plantains at the fringe-line where the ground meets the deck edge.

I could have room for at two racks leaving air space at bottom, top, and sides. I have access to oak, hickory, poplar, and the occasional dogwood, holly, hackberry, elm, and sugar and red maple. I can use pressure treated posts and lumber for the racks.

Makes sense to take advantage of the space under the deck. I prefer to not bring such wood into my climate-controlled shop (60-70 degrees) until a couple of months before processing.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 02:08 PM
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y'all are lucky to live where there are some hardwoods. Out here in the desert there are no hardwood trees to speak of.

You might also consider shielding the area from sun using shade cloth. You can get it in various colors and density, and it lets air through nicely, and it would probably help keep insects out. You can wax or paint the ends.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 05:49 PM
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y'all are lucky to live where there are some hardwoods. Out here in the desert there are no hardwood trees to speak of.

I agree! I live in the desert Southwest (Far west Texas) and there are no hard wood trees to speak of!
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 05:34 PM
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Start with a SOLID FLAT BASE.... tamped sand and cider blocks will work. Check occasionally to make sure its still flat. Rotate you wood every 3 or 4 months while drying. God time to make adjustments to your platform if necessary. Keep the wood out of the weather, use a plastic cover if needed but allow for air flow. Weigh down the wood evenly, again cinder blocks will work. Make sure to use lots of even sized stickers between boards. Then test your patience!!! waiting for wood to dry is worse than waiting for water to boil
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 07:00 PM
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I forgot to mention on the stickering that the overhang on the ends I keep to 6" or less and every 2 feet between the ends. That was on 2" stock. If you are piling 1" you might consider going closer than 2' centers.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 09:23 AM
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This is my storage shed, house wall one side, metal fence rear and other side with a fabricated front/door. It does get some sun but haven't had any problems.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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This is my storage shed, house wall one side, metal fence rear and other side with a fabricated front/door. It does get some sun but haven't had any problems.
Is it open to the elements from above or is it covered? What's your typical relative humidity?

I'm guessing that your climate is similar to the southwest US in a very modest amount of rainfall and low RH.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 05:13 PM
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y'all are lucky to live where there are some hardwoods. Out here in the desert there are no hardwood trees to speak of.

You might also consider shielding the area from sun using shade cloth. You can get it in various colors and density, and it lets air through nicely, and it would probably help keep insects out. You can wax or paint the ends.
I think saying there are no hardwoods in your area is a gross understatement, Tom. All I remember from the Mojave were Joshua trees.
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