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What is the best way to store walnut boards for a while until I'm ready to use it?

This is a common point of discussion (often arguments) among woodworkers and the people whose job it is to handle and store wood. It shouldn't make a difference "how" you orient the wood in storage. What does matter is keeping it dry. If it is dry, it won't warp. If you have wet stock, or if dry stock gets wet, it will warp.

The matter of "dry" is a little more scientific. If you are a real stickler, you need to get a moisture meter and read up on proper lumber drying procedures.

Bottom line: If you store in a dry place in whatever manner is best for that "space" and "insulate" the wood from concrete or another material that could conduct (or expose it to) moisture to the walnut(e.g. using scrap 4x4s spaced every 12-16") you should be fine. You are gonna want to run the stuff through a planer and a jointer when it comes time to build and that will take care of any minor (natural) distortion.

BTW – You should be aware that walnut is a "sensitizer" of both skin and eyes from handling the wood and from the dust. Use dust mask when sawing, routing, sanding, etc.

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