Air Drying Your Wood
Stickers can be made while cutting the lumber usually stickers are cut 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Dry stickers are recommended to reduce the chance of sticker marks on the wood. Green stickers can be used on some woods .
Place the stickers about 16 to 24 inches apart to support the wood evenly. Place each row of stickers over the row below so the stickers are supported by the row below and not by the lumber. The lumber stacks should be at least 8 inches off the ground to reduce moisture from the ground getting in the lumber causing the wood to mildew. Make the stacks 4 to 5 feet wide in a place were plenty of air flow is available. Cover only the top of the lumber pile to protect it from the sun and rain leave the sides open so the air can flow threw the pile . You may want to place weight on you stack to help hold the lumber strait.
A framing lumber: Pine lumber can be stacked in this manner by placing a 2/6 about 8 feet off the ground and leaning your lumber on it. Pine drys very fast this way and should be taken out of the stack as soon as it is dry. Do not try drying hardwood in this manner.
Air dry your wood down to the right moisture content for where and how you are going to use it, I say, "yes, it is every bit as good as kiln dried." Some say that air-dried wood retains more of its natural coloring, and I do believe this is true. You also will have less defects, or loss of wood, in lumber that is air dried. That's why so many big companies pre-dry (air dry) before kiln drying. It cuts back on defects, letting much of the stress leave the wood at a slower pace. Of course, it also cuts back on the kiln drying time and saves them money. Air drying means you might have to bring your wood inside or at least check moisture content to make sure you are getting it low enough. Another thing to remember - wood that was kiln dried to 6 percent does not stay there unless it is put in an airtight
container until it is used