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Author Topic: Air Drying on Pallet Racks  (Read 280 times)

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Online Tom the Sawyer

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Air Drying on Pallet Racks
« on: May 28, 2017, 10:57:10 pm »
Your thoughts are appreciated...

To conserve space around my mill area, I am planning to use pallet racking for air/pre-drying before going in the kiln.  12' tall pallet rack uprights on concrete post piers would let me store 3 or 4 lifts of lumber for each section.  I intend to put a metal shed type roof with a 2' overhang over the racks.  To prevent degrade from moisture or sunlight, I plan to hang shade cloth from the overhangs.  If anyone has done something similar, what level of shade cloth gives adequate sunlight protection and yet permits sufficient air flow?
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Offline scsmith42

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Re: Air Drying on Pallet Racks
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2017, 08:50:24 am »
Tom, I store lumber in my shop on 14' lengths of pallet racking and I had to add 1/4" plate to the sides of all of the horizontal supports to kerf them from bowing under the weight.

You might be ok with shorter widths but check them for sag.
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Online Tom the Sawyer

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Re: Air Drying on Pallet Racks
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2017, 11:16:44 am »
Scott,

I considered that possibility when I was figuring this out, and I'll be watching for it.  My current pallet racking beams are 9' long and 4" tall.  My kiln is designed for lengths up to 12'6".  The widest portions of the drying racks, the beams will be 13' long and 6" tall.  Each lift should have 5-700 bf, 3-4000 lbs., (my forklift is not as beefy as yours  ;)).

I build my own stacking pallets, they are 2x6s on 16" centers, 8' and 12' long.  Each pallet would sit on its own pair of beams.  The 13' beams are only $35 each, the 9' are $20.  A drying shed isn't currently in the plans so I am hoping that the shade cloth will make for a suitable environment.
07 Timberking B-20, Custom-made log arch, 20' trailer w/ log loading arch, F350 SD flatbed dump.  Princeton piggy-back forklift.  Stihl 025C 16" and a Husqvarna 372XP 24/30" bars.
If you call and my wife says "He's sawin logs", I ain't snorin'.

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Air Drying on Pallet Racks
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2017, 05:53:35 pm »
When I air dry, I like to keep as much weight as possible on the stacks, generally 2 to 3 units of stickered wood on top of each other, providing significant weight and noticeably helping the lower stacks to stay straight, flat and compressed. 

My concern with stacking individual pallets on shelves for air drying is that you will not have any weight on top of them and will see more degrade than if you stacked them one on top of the other in the same space.

As far as shadecloth, I've never used it, but some species will need extra airflow such as fans, while others may benefit from reduced air flow, like white oak.  Each species has a different drying behavior and forgiveness, so stack placement, wind and other environmental factors should be a consideration for different species. 
 
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