How to Store Lumber Correctly For Your Next Project

How to Store Lumber Correctly For Your Next Project: Storing your unused lumber well is important if you want to prevent it from warping and bending. The straighter your wood is, the less plane or trims you will have to do when it comes time to use it. Damaged wood is often unsalvageable, which means money down the drain on wood that started in good condition.

If space is not an issue, the best way to store wood is to stack it horizontally. Separate layers of boards, separated by small, dry 1 x 1-inch strips of wood called stickers. These stickers should be placed at the end of each stack and approximately every 16 inches along the length of the wood to prevent the wood from bowing.

How to Store Lumber Correctly For Your Next Project

Wall-mounted lumber storage racks help keep lumber up and off the floor but make sure you have enough support. Avoid packing so much wood on the rack that there is no room for breathing, as the wood will be in better condition when there is less weight on it and more air circulation around it.

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Most of us have limited storage space, so the best option is to store wood vertically. As long as the wood is dry, this method should not adversely affect the condition of the wood. Vertically stored wood should be raised off the ground to prevent water damage and supported at the top and bottom to prevent bending. Small pieces can be stored in a wood basket—as shown below by Steve Ramsey—which is also a convenient way to move wood around your workshop.

Whenever possible, firewood should be stored indoors in a cool, dry place. But if you must keep it outdoors, it’s best to keep it covered all the time.

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