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Wood Storage -  Take care of your wood and it will be ready when you need it.

Once kiln dried lumber has reached it's equilibrium moisture content, it's as dry as it will ever be. If kiln dried wood sits in a damp environment, the wood will start to pick up moisture as it sits around. Shortly, the outside of the board will have a higher moisture content than the inside of the board. This will cause sawing problems. The wood will probably pinch the blade as it's cut and warp after the cut is complete. After a few months the wood will stabilize and again be usable.

So, the wood you plan to use “someday” that has been in the loft of your garage in your basement for several years, is still wonderful, it just is no longer at 6% moisture content, but has reached its own equilibrium at more like 12% - 15%. This is still plenty dry for cabinet or furniture making The early master craftsmen didn't have kilns, you just have to remember and plan for the fact that all wood will expand and contract every year through the seasons.

Tip Number 1
Kiln dried lumber . . . should be stored indoors, stacked flat and in even layers.

Tip Number 2
Green wood . . . must be well-supported if it is to dry evenly. When stacking, lay wood in a criss-cross fashion. Lay thinner wood every 18-24 inches with spacers.

Tip Number 3
Under the bench . . . is the ideal place for storing short lengths of wood.  A small rack like the one shown here helps you organize sizes and give the lumber room to breathe.

Tip Number 4
Wall brackets . . . are perfect for storing long lengths of wood because they're open-ended.  Make them from common 2 x 4’s and fasten them securely to wall studs, as shown here.

Tip Number 5
In the rafters . . . of your garage, you'll find plenty of space for lumber storage.

Tip Number 6
Between the overhead joists . . . nail U-shaped brackets or attach ropes to the joists every 3-4 feet. This approach is typically better for lumber that's shorter than 6-foot', since space is limited for maneuvering longer boards in a basement area.

Tip Number 7
Vertical storage racks . . . are OK if you can't find a spot to store your lumber flat.  Just be sure to store the wood as close to vertical as possible and secure it so it can't fall over.

Tip Number 8
PVC pipe . . . makes another great storage rack for “shorts”, dowels and similar pieces. Just glue a number of PVC pipes together using ordinary PVC cement and store them between joists.

Tip Number 9
Movable storage . . . can be created by mounting casters on 24-inches lengths of 2 x 6’s, as shown here.  This approach allows you to move lumber from location-to-location in your shop, space permitting.

Tip Number 10
Sheet storage . . . should be designed so the lumber can lie flat, with heavier sheets on the bottom. If this isn't possible, sheets can be stored on edge . . . but should not be stored on end.

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