Q. We ordered some stacking stickers for stacking and they are supposed to be from a plantation in Central America. They arrived wet, so we dried them and they warped like crazy. Did we do something wrong? They came in a full 1-inch in thickness, so we have to plane them too.

A. I suspect that you got these stickers because the price was right. What they are is likely offal from a lumber operation and represent lower grade that has crossgrain; crossgrain from knots nearby and from the juvenile core which is the first 15 years of growth...a common event, especially with plantation hardwoods.

In the future, I suggest you only buy kiln-dried stickers, as they will be straight and the correct thickness. Many people today also get a profiled sticker that has grooves on the faces to help drying where the sticker contact the lumber.

Gene Wengert, “The Wood Doctor” has been training people in efficient use of wood for 35 years. He is extension specialist emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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