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Thread: Air drying... Portable Carport?

  1. #1

    Air drying... Portable Carport?

    All,

    Anyone ever used one of the portable carports to cover/air dry lumber? I have some lumber now that needs a better home (currently covered with a tarp, but only on the top so air can still flow, but it still has some leaks), and have a chance to get a bunch of maple at a great price. I am considering setting up one of these portable carports to stack the lumber under. Seems like you'd get a lot of coverage for a small price, when compared to anything permanent or tin roofing? We are looking to move in the next year or two, so I don't want to invest a ton into a permanent storage solution, either.

    Something like this: https://www.lowes.com/pd/ShelterLogi...ter/1000085203


    Thanks for the thoughts!
    Last edited by Michael Stein; 07-10-2017 at 4:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Have a neighbor who sells those carports, was going to get one, but decided to get a shipping container instead. The shipping container closes up tight, so should be like storing lumber inside,have been having trouble getting PPB in my elm and ash lumber dried outside. Should be ok, as I can put fans and a dehumidifier inside the container. May try adding some heat as well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Michael, Any rain/sun cover is good for air drying wood, even old pieces of plywood work well, separated by stickers and weighted with concrete blocks.

    Several problems with those portable covers you show. The canopy will degrade over time but this may not be an issue for short-term use, and they are so cheap the whole thing can be replaced. Another issue with cloth it can collapse from snow load if you live in such an area. A more serious problem is a single strong gust of wind will destroy it in a heartbeat by getting underneath and lifting. You can minimize this problem by anchoring it to the ground with strong tie downs along each side. Some people tie them to weights like concrete blocks. I installed one for a friend like this by tying to 2' lengths of 3/4" rebar driven into the ground at an angle - I welded something on the top of each to tie the ropes. This still won't stop a strong gust from a storm, rare, but can even be a problem on open-sided structures with roofs made with wood trusses fastened to posts. Here at the farm I use hurricane ties at every rafter/truss on lean-to and an animal shelter with an open side or two.

    If you think you might continue to dry wood in years to come one of those steel carports well anchored to the ground, footers, or concrete slab might hold up better and last for years. I hope to put one up near my sawmill. You could disassemble and take it with you when you move.

    Jim, I agree with the shipping container idea for storage! I use two here, but not for wood drying. I wanted plenty of ventilation through the one I use for hay storage (8x8x40') so I cut six rectangular holes near the bottom for crawlspace vents and protected them from blowing rain with hoods made from galvanized roofing. On the top I mounted two large rotating attic roof vents. This gives good airflow through the container. Forced airflow or more vents might be better for drying wood. (Since it gets the sun the thing is self-heating much of the year!) I use a smaller, unvented trailer for storing dry wood.

    One thing to be aware of when buying a shipping container. Those made from steel are notorious for rusting through the roof since people often don't climb up and clear off leaves and things which hold moisture. I've seen a couple ruined like this and the dealer I bought one from warned me about this so both of mine are aluminum. (one is actually a big-rig trailer with the wheels removed, a lot cheaper and larger - 8x9x45) Note that these containers are great for farm and rural use but may not be permitted in most residential locations.

    PPBs are certainly a problem, more for some woods. There are treatments that can be applied to the outside of the lumber to discourage them. I would certainly do that for maple.

    JKJ

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Michael,

    Carports make GREAT shelters for drying lumber due to their unrestricted airflow and wide overhang for the lumber.

    Rather than the portable one that you posted, you might consider a metal one. They normally sell for around $500 and you can usually resell them pretty easily when you're done with them.

    standard-carport-kits.jpg

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott T Smith View Post
    Michael,

    Carports make GREAT shelters for drying lumber due to their unrestricted airflow and wide overhang for the lumber.

    Rather than the portable one that you posted, you might consider a metal one. They normally sell for around $500 and you can usually resell them pretty easily when you're done with them.

    standard-carport-kits.jpg

    Scott,

    Just out of curiosity, do you have a source for these around that price? I looked previously and everything I could find was $1000+ which is out of my price range for a temporary storage solution. If we were planning to stay in this home, I wouldn't have a problem making the more long-term investment.

    Also, this isn't necessarily just for drying, but for lumber storage as well.

  6. #6
    Something as simple as a couple 2x4's with roofing tin on top can work just as well.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Engel View Post
    Something as simple as a couple 2x4's with roofing tin on top can work just as well.

    Robert, yes, I looked at this route as well, but was thinking for ~100 bucks I would get much more storage space than I would buying a few pieces of tin roof. May still go the tin roof way. We will see.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Stein View Post
    Robert, yes, I looked at this route as well, but was thinking for ~100 bucks I would get much more storage space than I would buying a few pieces of tin roof. May still go the tin roof way. We will see.
    If you build with screws instead of nails you can easily disassemble and take it with you when you move. I like to use deck screws.

    JKJ

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    New Hill, NC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Stein View Post
    Scott,

    Just out of curiosity, do you have a source for these around that price? I looked previously and everything I could find was $1000+ which is out of my price range for a temporary storage solution. If we were planning to stay in this home, I wouldn't have a problem making the more long-term investment.

    Also, this isn't necessarily just for drying, but for lumber storage as well.
    Here in NC all you have to do is drive 20 miles or so down a country road and you will find someone selling $495.00 metal carport kits along the side of the road.

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