Storing kiln-dried lumber

      Controlling the humidity in the atmosphere around stored lumber. January 16, 2002

Will wood that is kiln-dried absorb moisture and/or give up moisture quicker than wood that is only air-dried? We would like to provide a humidity-controlled storage building for our kiln-dried lumber, but can't afford it now. What is the best way to keep moisture content of milled and un-milled lumber in check? It seems that wood inside a "dead piled" pack of lumber has an okay moisture content compared to that on the outside.

Forum Responses
The US Department of Agriculture has a nice book on lumber storage. See the list of publications at WOODWEB's Bookstore:

Do you know that heating a storage area about 25 F above the outside low temperature will give you suitably dry conditions?

If you have a tight pile so that only 1% of the lumber is on the outside, plus the ends of all pieces (which pick up a little MC), maybe when you use this lumber the 1% or so of the pieces and ends will end up in 10% of the pieces that you are making and give you or your customer trouble. Storage is important.

Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor

Assuming the air-dried wood is as dry as it will get in your area - equal to the equilibrium moisture content (EMC) - about 12%. Assuming the kiln-dried wood is about 7%. The air-dried wood will not change because it is already equal to the EMC. The kiln-dried wood will approach 12%, gaining moisture. Both will end up at 12%.

If you can heat storage space, run the heat on a humidistat instead of a thermostat. You will find the temperature will run all over the place but it will keep the lumber dry. You can set some temperature limits for comfort, but this should not be workspace, just storage space. We get asked all the time about dehumidifying space to keep lumber dry. That can be done but is difficult and expensive. Heating is more practical.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Lumber & Plywood: Storage

  • KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing

  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2016 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article