Sticker specs and spacing

Basic info on the size and proper spacing of stickers when drying lumber. June 21, 2000

When drying lumber, how wide and how thick should the stickers be, and how far apart?

I like 1 x 1 but most people use 3/4-inch thick. I make mine square so it does not matter what edge you set them on.

If you are stickering 1 inch or thinner boards, go 12 to 16 inches apart; closer for real thin boards. If you're stickering framing lumber you can spread them out to 16 to 18 inches, and even a little more if you're doing beams. I never go wider than 20 to 24 inches.

If you will be air-drying or shed drying (better than air drying), then a thicker sticker helps. In the kiln, thicker stickers cut down the capacity and do not help drying.

Although 16 to 18 inches is very good for expensive hardwoods, just about every commercial operation uses 24-inch spacing. I wish it were closer.

Also, very few operations add weights to the top of the pile -- 10 inches of concrete over the entire top would make for very flat lumber. Any weight is better than none!
Gene Wengert, forum moderator

From the original questioner:
Wouldn't weight increase the chance of sticker stain, and wouldn't 10 inches of concrete cause indentations on the wood under the stickers?

The weight would not increase sticker stain; other factors are much more critical.

The weight does indent slightly, but that is why most people use 3/4 x 1-1/4 (or even 1-1/2) wide sitckers -- to help disperse the weight.