Size, Spacing, and Shape of Stickers

Advice on stickers for drying lumber. June 18, 2012

I am making stickers out of red and white oak, to sticker both oaks. Is it better to make a groove on both sides of the sticker, or let them flat?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor M:
In order to prevent/minimize sticker marks on the lumber, it is best to have the smallest footprint from the sticker while maintaining strength. Grooves on both sides work. Also check out "breeze dried" sticker configuration. (Not easy to run yourself.)

From Professor Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
I also vote for grooves, but with oak lumber, the grooves are not too critical. Also groove 4x4s with several 1/2" to 3/4" wide grooves. Breeze dried sticks may be covered by a patent; the grooves run at an angle and not lengthwise.

From the original questioner:
Thanks for your help. Another question is about sticker spacing. I met a few sawmills that sticker every 12" on center. Is that necessary for 1'' oak, or should I go with 18'' on center? I need to sticker 70mbf in the next 2 months.

From Professor Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
Most people use 24" spacing on oak and that is fine, provided your sticker alignment is excellent. Use 12" only to pick up the end of odd length lumber - e.g. 10, 11 and 12' in the same stack. Stickers should be dry and uniform in thickness.