re: Early planning

35 posts and 1 follower

Brian, the best way to air dry lumber (to my knowledge) is to:
1. Prepare a flat, level space outdoors and put some gravel down to keep moisture out from under the stack. Orient it so the prevailing (west) wind will blow through the stack from end to end. Keep the stack reasonably narrow, maybe 3-4’ and as tall as you can reasonably reach.
2. Put some concrete blocks at 16" centers on the gravel to keep the lumber about 8-10 inches above the gravel. Ensure they are level.
3. Lay some 4×4s across the blocks and put stickers on top of the 4×4s. Stickers are about 3/4″×3/4".
4. Lay down your first layer of wood to be dried, then another course of stickers directly above the first ones. Repeat until you are out of wood to be dried.
5. Put a top on the stack to keep rain and snow off the stack. Steel siding works great. Angle the top to promote runoff.
6. Put as much weight on top of the stack as you can stand, more concrete blocks? This helps keep your stack from cupping, etc.
7. Wait a year, then you can consider a solar kiln to speed the process. In the beginning it needs to gl slowly to minimize checking, etc.

You will also want to get a moisture meter to track the drying progress. The reason I mentioned an upstate supplier is that I thought they would be less expensive that anything near the city.


-- Art