This past week we ventured up to one of our favorite local lumber dealers (Muterspaw Lumber or CRLumber.com, online) to pick up a few things. While there I noticed what I can only call an advancement to lumber drying. I’m not the most knowledgeable woodworker when it comes to these things. This was, however, the first time I’d seen specially cut stickers used to stack lumber while it goes through its various stages to become usable material in the wood shop.
In the past – and when I sticker freshly milled material and let it acclimate – stickers were just pieces of wood that were cut to a matching thickness and width, typically cut 1″ x 1″. It is recommended that stickers be made from dry wood, or rot- and stain-free material to reduce sticker stain, which can color and damage wood’s appearance, especially in white woods and pine.
One of the ways to lessen sticker stain is to use kiln-dried stickers that have diagonal grooves cut into the top and bottom flat faces, which allows for better air circulation.
The next time you’re rummaging around a lumber mill, look for groovy stickers being used.