Making Stickers

Advice on sawing stickers for stacking lumber. April 18, 2010

What is the best way to cut stickers for drying hardwood - on a bandsaw or a table saw? What is the best size to cut and the best spacing on wood for stickers? The wood is set on a blacktopped area, and we have a large bandsaw and a large forklift to lift stacks. Also, for air drying outside, will plastic keep too much dampness in, or slow down the drying outside?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor B:
Bandsaw; 3/4" X 5/4"; 16" - 24"; yes; yes.

From contributor T:
Tarps will promote mold/mildew/stain for lack of airflow. Lifts that are in the open sun need to be covered with weighted tin, etc. with some overhang. I like to orient my outside lifts north to south lengthwise to minimize the exposure of the sun on the outer boards. They still get plenty of airflow that way in my region.

Most sawyers probably use contributor B's method, but I prefer stickers with equal sides all around, and I prefer 4/4 over 3/4. No right or wrong on this topic (within reason of course) - just what a fella likes for his own reasons.

From contributor A:
I make stickers from my fletchings. Most are 1x1x42 inches. I have thousands and thousands of them. Most are cut off on the mill while others are done with a chop saw and table saw. If I have a lid it is old metal roofing. Most are just old boards for the top two layers.

From Professor Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
The best sticker for hardwoods is made from a strong species, is straight, is dry and is (when dry) 3/4" thick, 1-1/4" wide and of whatever length that the pile is wide, plus 2". The extra length is to allow the sticker to protrude a small amount so alignment can be confirmed. For softwoods, 7/8" thickness and even 1" is sometimes used; with a thicker sticker, the width must also be increased so that it is obvious to the stacker which is the width and which is the height... 1" x 1-1/4" is too close. Pile width can be 4' to 8', but 5' and 6' are common.

From contributor W:
I just finished sawing over 8000 bf for a customer. I sawed the stickers 3/4" X 3/4" square from his logs and charged him for the sawing. We stack the lumber on pallets and it is up to the customer to cover them. For myself I do the same and put a row of stickers on the top of the lumber pile and cover it with used roofing tin. We have not had any problems with this method and realize it may not be suited for all applications.

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