Welcome to another FREE Woodworking Resource sponsored by your fellow
woodworkers at Shopsmith
10 Tips for Good Wood Storage
Once kiln dried lumber has reached it's equilibrium moisture content, it's as dry as it will ever be (unless you live in Phoenix AZ or other arid desert location). If kiln dried wood sits in a damp environment (I.E. summer in the midwest), 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 Philadelphia 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.