Wood Storage: Vertical or horizontal?

      Truly dry wood stored under the proper conditions will not warp, no matter how you position it. September 26, 2000

What is the correct way to store wood stock? My boss has the shop store it vertically, but when you get to the last of it, it's warped. All the guys think it should be stored horizontally. Who's right?

If it is dry, it cannot be bent and warped; if you have wet stock, or if dry stock gets wet, it will warp.

If we assume that you have dry lumber but a damp floor, then the problem is the damp floor and not how you stack the lumber. For the sake of discussion, however, if you were to stack it vertically in this instance, only the ends would get rewetted, so the warp that might occur would not be noticeable to most people.
Gene Wengert, forum moderator

Please forgive me when I ask you to repeat yourself, Gene. You say that the wood cannot be bent or warped when it is dry? Most vertically stacked wood is not really vertical, i.e. it is on a slight angle. It seems to me that the larger the angle, the more prone the lumber will be to bowing. For example, I would bet leaving a board at a 45-degree angle would bow it after a short time -- two weeks, perhaps.

Please correct me if I have made any false assumptions (i.e., that bow is not the same as warp, etc.).

Bow is one form of warp.

You can take a dry piece and lay it flat, support it at the ends and let it sag in the middle (no other load). After a year, you can look at it and when you put it on edge, any apparent warp will be gone (or will be so slight that it is not important).

Properly dried wood is just too stiff and too strong to bend easily without adding a considerable amount of weight. Book shelves stay flat for years unless they're loaded with lots of books.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Lumber & Plywood: Storage

  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2020 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article