I had three white oak trees felled in my backyard last year and milled for lumber. I air-dried the stack; first outside and then in my basement where they finished drying to about 7% moisture content. As spring returns, what do I do with the dried pile of lumber? Should I leave it stacked in the basement or do I need to move it again to keep the moisture content low? I have used some of the boards and will continue to do so, but how do I properly store the dried boards that are waiting to be used?
Michael Dresdner: If you have the room, your best bet is to store the boards in the space where you do your woodworking, or in a space with the same humidity conditions. That way, they will acclimate to your ideal climate and stay there. However, if that is not possible, simply bring the boards you plan to work on inside a few weeks ahead of time, and let them stabilize. If you have a moisture meter (they are not very expensive these days) check the wood before you bring it in, and again afterward. Keep checking until it stops shedding moisture. When it is stable, it’s ready to use.
Lee Grindinger: You don’t say what sort of environment your basement becomes in summer but if it’s not too extreme just dead pile the lumber there. You must live in an arid part of the world to get your air-dried lumber down to 7% so leaving it in the basement should cause no problems. Dead piling, stacking the wood without stickers, will help preserve the low moisture content.