Suitable Wood Species for Stickers

Any type of wood works, but it's best if you dry stickers before use. May 20, 2011

I have a small mill that uses logs rescued from construction sites that would otherwise be headed for the grinder or burn pile. I generally have to take all or none when I get called by the clearing contractors so in addition to pecan, ash, elm and red oak I have a lot of box elder and hackberry. Are these suitable for milling into stickers for my air drying stacks?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor A:
Just about any wood is suitable for stickers. The best is dry stickers. But even green wet stickers are better than nothing. Now I have found that green walnut and green osage orange will leave stains on white woods but dry are fine. Most of my stickers are made from the logs I have sawn and I have them made from just about everything.

From contributor P:
Since most stacks are only 4' or narrower I make stickers out of my edgings. I just make sure the bark is all off of them. Itís kind of like a byproduct that most folks would just throw away.

From contributor P:
I also use my edgings. If you only saw even width boards, then you always wind up with a bunch of 1x1's.

From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
As Contributor A stated, for white woods like ash and maple and even hickory, it is important that the stickers be dry in order to avoid sticker stain or sticker shadow. Any species can be used, but the stronger species provide the opportunity for multiple uses as they will not break. However, if the stickers are used only for air drying, it is likely that they will harbor insects which will transfer to the lumber. It is best to use stickers that have been heated after every use to avoid insect risks.