I’m doing a huge shop overhaul and considering all my organization options. So the question arose: Should hardwood be stored horizontally or vertically?

Advertisement
101603163.jpg
Position stickers directly above one another to evenly distribute the weight of the stack and prevent warping.

Q:

I'm doing a huge shop overhaul and considering all my organization options. So the question arose: Should hardwood be stored horizontally or vertically?
—James Litten, Goldsboro, N.C.

A:

Good news, James. Either way is okay as long as you keep a few things in mind.

Wood newly arrived in your shop should acclimate even if it's kiln-dried. So if you're stacking it horizontally, sticker the lumber for the first few weeks. Stickers—strips of 34 ×34 " wood stacked crossways between layers of lumber, as shown above—allow air to circulate evenly around all sides of every piece of wood.

Don't stack the wood directly on the concrete floor. Concrete is porous and—even when it looks dry—wicks moisture from the ground below into the wood. This compounds problems caused by the lack of airflow that direct-floor contact creates.

Standing boards on end introduces a bowing risk in the long-term, but it's a good solution for wood you'll use soon after acclimation. Lean the boards against a wall as vertically as possible, as shown and described below.

10160316478.jpg
Prop the vertical wood as straight up-and-down as possible while leaving gaps at the bottom for air circulation.