Thinner Sticks in the Lumber Drying Pile

Reducing the thickness of spacer sticks in the lumber stack could reduce the drying effectiveness of the system and create quality issues. October 19, 2014

Question (WOODWEB Member) :
For years we have used 3/4"T x 1"W x 48"L flat sticks to dry our lumber. Over time, the sticks have deteriorated to the point to where there is now a variance in thickness that is causing problems. We are thinking of surfacing the sticks to a uniform thickness of 5/8". Does anyone have any experience using 5/8" thick sticks?

Forum Responses
(Commercial Kiln Drying Forum)
From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
Thinner sticks with a four foot pile will be ok if you are drying air dried lumber. If green, the lower air flow will slow drying and potentially cause stain, mold, etc. Thinner sticks will also result in the potential for more lumber in the kiln, which may be too much extra load on the heating or venting equipment. All in all, it is not a very good idea, based on experience with people who have tried it and also on theory.

From Contributor J:
We use fluted stickers 11/16 by 1 1/4 in the solar kiln. In my opinion is the thinnest one should use. To increase or make a larger amount of air flow is the purpose of flute's to both sides of these thin stickers.