I'm getting delivery of an exotic board (Pink Ivory) in a couple days.
Its 2 inches thick and 8 inches wide. I'm puzzling on how to treat it.
First, I'm guessing that the wood is not dry. I plan on re-sawing the
board into 1/3rd inch slices and then milling it to 1/4 inch stock.
Will a moister meter tell me if this wood is dry or not? What kind?
Should I sticker the entire plank and wait for it to dry?
Or should I cut it up and sticker the slices?
My idea on stickering just one plank is to get some kiln dried wood
maybe 8/4 maple of the same width or wider then put the pink ivory
between the maple with sickers every 6 inches then use a bunch of clamps
hold the pink ivory between the maple.
If I slice then sticker I would use the same approach with spacers
between each slice sandwiched and clamped between the 8/4 boards.
Your are mostly on the right track but just a few thoughts that may help:
First go ahead and saw it down to 1/3" slices, this will let it dry much
faster than a 2" thick plank. Are you equipped with a good bandsaw that
will handle the 8" wide plank? If you do not regularly resaw material this
wide you should practice on something other than your exotic. After it is
sawed down, stack and sticker it until it is dry. Just about any moisture
meter will give you a reading but with an exotic the reading may be somewhat
inaccurate. Store the wood in an environment similar to its final in
service location. Check the moisture reading every week or two with the
same meter and after it stops dropping it should be okay to proceed with
final machining. If it were mine I would not try to plane to final
thickness. I would take it down to final thickness with a drum or wide belt
sander to avoid the risk of surface tear out.
I've sawn things like zebra wood and figured maple even wider than the
pink ivory and now I have a new timberwolf carbide resaw blade for my
I debate two approaches to stickering. One is to use a bunch of clamps
to sandwich the slices between some kiln dried straight planks that are
say 8/4 thickness. The other might be bricks but I don't really have
the bricks and I can always use more clamps. Would the clamps be effect
to hold things flat? Or should I go with the bricks (consider that I'm
going to have to have this inside in my study or outside in a storage
area above my garage). Denver is dry enough that I was thinking I could
do this outside.
Earl Creel wrote:
When stacking roughcut lumber fresh off the mill,
you need to leave airspaces around the boards so
they'll dry. One way to do this is to take all the odd
sized offcuts left over from cutting the lumber and
cutting them into roughly 1x1 sticks, as long as
your intended pile of lumber is to be wide. Then
when you stack the lumber, the first row will go on
a set of timbers, then a layer of these 1x1 "stickers"
go just above the first layer of boards, each just
above the base timbers. Alternate layers of fresh
cut boards and stickers.
Once it's dry, the use of stickers is a lot less critical,
but a lot of people will use them anyway so that
changes of humidity in the air don't cause differences
in moisture across the stack.
one question I have is the spacing of the stickers.
I was thinking of every 6 inches. What do you think?
PS locally the cheapest I can find is aspen. I could buy 1x at the borg
but that would not be dry. would it matter if the stickers are not dry?
Yes, it will matter if the stickers are dry, you do not want the
moiture from the stickers getting into you wood as it may cause
problems with staining, or worse rot.
As for sticker material I was able to get an abundant supply by milling
mine from the offcuts left for scrap from a flooring contractor i know.
Price, equaled time to load and time to rip but material cost was 0.00
MIne came from prefinished japaneese cherry and they have worked
beautifully drying the nine western bigleaf maples i had sawn. Two
plus years of air drying and not a stain to be seen. FYI, My stock was
green and I stickered every 18", I think every 6 might be overkill.
just my .02
Thanks, how much weight on top would be needed for a stack of say 6
I've been debating the cinder blocks. Probably the cheaper solution.
I'm going to inventory my odds and ends of cut offs this weekend.
Paxtons has some cheap stock for $1 a foot that I may use
I'm still debating putting the stack above the garage instead of in my
study in the basement. Its dry enough in colorado but I bet the
temperature above the garage varies from well below freezing to 90
degrees some days. My study is so cluttered with piles of wood I'm not
sure I have a place where I can lay everything down where it will not
I've had one local woodworking club member offer to 'keep' the pink
ivory for me while it dries.
A single layer of one block after the other lengthwise, is what I would do. So
stickers under the blocks, as well.
But every sticker must aligned perfectly one above the other between the layers,
otherwise the boards will warp, if off. And they must be checked for that
every now and then, and sooner than later.
Look at figure 3 of this link, that is how wood "cups" (VERY easily):
You would lay the wood down so that the *end grain* rounds to upwards on the
edges, where with the tendency to "cup", the wood would do so going convex
upwards, not the other way like a boat. The cinder blocks will work to weight
middle downwards, then you have stability. In that picture, you would turn
that piece upside-down as it is.
Now re-read that!
Get all slices stacked the instant you're done resawing.
I really don't know what type of wood, I would say the harder the better.
Like, softer woods may absorb atmospheric moisture easier and then transfer
it to the pink ivory... ? I'm just using whatever scrap I found for my maple,
which is really hard wood, I don't know about pink ivory, but with such thin
slices, more vital. My maple is thick @8/4 (1-3/4"x2-1/4"x60" each), and
they've been stickered for a year in my bedroom, under the sawhorse work-
Up above in the garage is the way to go IMHO because you know..."heat rises"
in such a place, it's where you want it. A lumber kiln is a mild oven but you
will be air drying it using natural heat. In the winter you should maybe add
one of those basic barn heaters that have a fan, low heat setting. Tthey shut
if fallen over.
Unless your basement can be lightly heated, that would work ($$$) unless
there's a lot of moisture down there, which just goes into the air, and into the
That sounds more like a joke to ME actually... ha ha... "not a chance" I would
"Methods of reducing warp when drying (PDF)"
...may fully contradict me, I didn't read it.
...I hope this helps,
Alex - "newbie_neander" woodworker
one concern with the space above the garage is that this time of year it
can get well below freezing at night and then in a couple days be very
warm. Will wild temperature changes cause a problem?
I'll have to look at the end grain of the board and then mark it so the
grain curves up at the ends. If it warps I want the 'boat' to be upside
That is if I'm understanding the reference you sent.
One concern, can anyone comment, is the references mentions the need for
150 pounds of weight per square foot?
one thing that just occured to me
If I remember correctly the timberwolf carbide blade I got for resawing
exoctic woods is for dry wood. I'm going to either have to get another
blade or just let the pink ivory board dry for a while first.
william kossack wrote:
I called both timberwolf and lenox and considering I had a jet 18 they
recommended that I let the wood dry first.
So, I have it stickered in my study between two kiln dried 8/4 sections
of ash with 1 inch maple stickers.
I've placed 200-250 pounds of concrete blocks on top of the top ash
plank and I'm wondering if it is enough.
william kossack wrote:
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