These Tips Will Help You Properly Store Your Lumber at Home

If you're interested in getting into the world of woodworking and are in the process of setting up a small wood shop in your basement or garage, one of your first priorities will be to fill it with wood. While you might not want to run out and buy a truckload worth of lumber, it's advantageous to keep several pieces of commonly sold lumber—for example, 2x4s, 1x8s, 1x6s, and 2x2s— in your shop for various projects. It's important to give some consideration to how you store your lumber. Here are some useful tips to keep in mind.

Control the Humidity

It's worthwhile to invest in a hygrometer to leave in the room in which you plan to store your wood so you can monitor the humidity. Generally, keeping the wood in an environment with 35 percent humidity is best. If the room's humidity is too low, the wood can split; if the humidity is too high, expansion and warping are likely to occur. The hygrometer will reveal the humidity to you, but you'll need to use a humidifer or a dehumidifer to add humidity to the air or suck humidity away.

Build Some Horizontal Storage Racks

Storing your wood horizontally is far superior to keeping it vertical by doing something such as leaning individual pieces against the wall. This manner of storage can cause the wood to warp over time, which will leave you with products that cannot be used for projects. There are many different ways that you can store the wood horizontally; a simple way is to mount heavy pieces of lumber, such as 2x4s, perpendicular to the wall studs, and then lay your assortment of lumber across these makeshift shelves. To allow the wood to adequately breathe, place smaller pieces of wood between the layers in the racks. For example, place some 2x4s at the bottom layer of each shelf, and then set some thin wooden shims directly on top of the 2x4s before adding your next layer of lumber. This is especially important if the wood you buy isn't fully dry.

Have a Plan for Smaller Pieces

As you begin to use the wood, you'll end up with smaller pieces that aren't conducive to storing in your homemade rack. There are many ways to store such pieces, but a simple method is to stack them vertically in a five-gallon pail. Unlike large pieces of lumber, you don't have to worry about storing small scraps vertically because they don't have enough weight to warp over time. If you're short on floor space, mount a bracket to a wall stud to hang the pail.

For more information on getting lumbar or taking care of it, contact companies such as Henning Building Supply Co Inc