Lumber Storage Area Advice

Warm and dry are the desired characteristics. Here are some tips. May 21, 2009

I have a small sawmill operation and need to build a lumber storage area. What would be a good design to build that would be user friendly? How tall, long, and wide? Should the sides be enclosed or left open? These are some of the questions that I'm asking myself.

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor J:
Build it at least 3threetimes as big as you think you need. I have added a kiln to my operation and Iím looking at ways to store kiln dried lumber without it gaining moisture until it sells. My plan is a shed style building with sliding doors on the front and "cubicles" to store each species and size in. I plan to cover building with black metal roofing and siding, un-insulated, and in the sun with no shade. I hope the heat will keep the wood dry. Does that sound like it will work? I was going to leave dirt floor but I could put down a vapor barrier if that would help.

From contributor S:
A lot of your choices revolve around how you are going to stack and move the wood in the future. I try to keep all of my lumber storage forklift friendly. If you are going to sell retail you'll want plenty of extra space to stack and display the wood. Your retail customers will want to pick out the boards they want.

From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
You do not mention if you have a kiln. If not, storing green lumber is not a good idea. Otherwise, storage of kiln dried lumber is best done in a closed shed that is heated about 25 F above the morning's low temperature.

From the original questioner:
I have a small kiln that holds about 550 bf (working on a larger one). I have a lots of air dried lumber outside covered with tin. I have converted an old barn 20'x30' for lumber storage/air drying. I would like to use a forklift to move lumber from kiln to storage. Should I leave the stickers or remove them the after lumber is dry?

From contributor J:
I do have a kiln and interested in storing dried lumber. I thought I remember reading that lumber stored in a black building that catches the sun from the south would stay dry indefinitely. If not are you saying it's best to build an insulated structure and heat it? Does that go for the summer when itís in the 80's at night and high humidity? I live in central WV.

From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
If the building is tight, it is great. Perhaps you may need a fan to stir the air so the heat is all not up by the ceiling. The key is to get the correct RH no matter what type of building you have.

To the original questioner: off stickers is best for more than a week or two of storage.

From contributor U:
I was driving by the local salvage yard and saw a big pile of Home Depot storage racks discarded by some Home Depot remodeler and I picked up enough to do a 16' run for scrap metal price/lb. It works wonderful - I wish I had another 24' run of it

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