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How to Store Wood Outside

Been working with hardwood? If you bought a lot, completed your project, and you have wood leftover, how are you going to store it? Ideally you would put it in your woodshed. But let’s face it, not all of us are fortunate enough to have a woodshed, let alone any dedicated indoors space to store our lumber. Your only option may be to store the wood outside. Right now, you’re probably wondering about how to store wood outdoors?

How to store wood outdoors and keep it in its best condition

Let’s start off by saying it is best if you don’t store your wood outside, with the exception of firewood and unseasoned wood. This is because the outdoor elements, such as moisture, cold, and heat can have the effect of causing your boards and planks to warp or bow. You can plane this warped wood to make it flat, but that is wasteful. And often the outdoor elements can render quality hardwood unusable. But sometimes storing wood outside is unavoidable. Because of that, we decided to write this article about how to store wood outside to minimise the effects of the outdoor elements.

Unseasoned wood goes outside

There is a bit of good news about how to store wood outdoors. If you’re dealing with unseasoned wood then it is best to keep it outdoors. That is because unseasoned wood is full of moisture which will be slowly released into the air. This moisture can be absorbed by other dry wood kept indoors with the unseasoned wood. The point to remember here is to keep the wet unseasoned wood outside and the seasoned wood dry and inside, if possible. If you are storing unseasoned wood outside, the rest of the tips in this article apply.

Use lumber racks

Lumber racks look like long L-brackets for shelving, but without the shelves. The L-brackets should be spaced 40 to 45 centimetres apart. This means you will need to use multiple L-brackets for longer pieces of wood. These lumber racks will keep the wood off the ground and will keep the boards horizontal. You want to store wood horizontally because wood that is stored upright has a higher tendency of warping.

Give the wood breathing room

When it comes to how to store wood outdoors, don’t go stacking the wood directly on top of other pieces of wood. Think of lumber as a living breathing thing, so it needs room for the air to circulate around it. The best way to do that when using lumber racks is by placing small strips of dry wood, called stickers, between the pieces of wood about 40 to 45 centimetres apart. This will keep the pieces of wood from touching and giving them room to breathe.

Cover wood that’s outside

Once you’ve got your wood racked and stacked in a way that allows it to breathe, you want to make the outdoor conditions as close to indoors as you can. A simple way to do this is by thoroughly covering the wood with a tarp or some other kind of heavy plastic covering. We also recommend that you go one step further by using some industrial insulating blankets to protect the wood from extreme temperatures. Keeping the wood dry and protected from temperature swings will go a long way in keeping your wood in good condition.

Your timber supplier

There you have it. Keep your quality wood indoors, or keep it dry and protected if outside. At Versace timbers, we are the timber supplier Brisbane residents have depended on since 1956. If you’d like to get in touch to discuss lumber storage or to talk about purchasing lumber, you can get in touch online, or by calling 07 3266 9000. You can also visit the Versace Timbers timber yard in Virginia at 33 Vauxhall St Virginia QLD 4014.

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