Stacked Pine Timbers and Bluestain

It's better to saw the woods into board and sticker and stack it as soon as possible. December 6, 2009

I am squaring up 3000' of white pine logs into timbers up to 12"x12"x20'. Stacked and stickered outside. Logs were cut this past February. Ends are coated. I will be resawing clear cants someday and I am wondering, now that it is getting warm, is blue stain going to do me in?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor B:
By leaving the wood in cants you are taking more of a chance the wood will blue stain. You also will experience more problems with degrade as the outside of the cants will dry more than the inside, making for more wood movement when re-sawing. The cants that large will also crack down at least one side. Is there a reason you are not sawing the wood into boards right away?

From contributor T:
That is correct - you should resaw them now. You're going to have a good bit of unnecessary loss by leaving them in the cant. Will also slow the drying time dramatically. You need to get them resawn and in the kiln pronto if you're worried about stain.

From contributor K:
Wait a minute... Look at the facts and don't create a crisis: blue stain affects the sapwood, not heartwood. Blue stain is a factor in material with a moisture content above 15 percent. These are milled timbers now, stickered and drying. A degree of the sapwood has been cut away. The material has been drying now for months. I think, in regards to blue stain, you will not have a problem.

You will get better recovery of your cants if you process the material to a final dimension the first time.

Now, all you are going to have is some oxidation (weather grey) on the outside of the timbers. That can be removed to reveal the bright wood under the surface. Pass it through a planer and things will clean right up.

From the few details you offered, I think you'll be fine just letting them dry. You will lose material in the end, due to more checks. Resawing the dry timbers, dry logs is nice because you are not handling all that water weight.

From contributor B:
It would take years for a 12"x12" cant to completely air dry. I have never seen a timber that large dry without cracks along at least one side. These cracks will cause loss of wood. If the cants are sawn when the outside is significantly dryer than the inside, there will be movement of the cant as the dryer wood is removed. Even turning the cant for every cut will only help so much. The amount of sapwood left on the cant will depend upon the tree. If blue stain is not acceptable, there will still be a significant loss of wood if the sapwood cannot be used.

From the original questioner:
Sapwood was sawn into 4/4 boards. I have noticed that all that blues is the sapwood. Since last message I decided to save myself a lot of problems, and I went ahead and lumbered those 12'x12' .Thanks for jumping in and making me do this the right way.