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Hi

We need to store some slabs so they can dry out, and we know they are best stacked with inch square stakes between each slab, and then bound with straps to stop them cupping and twisting. We are planning to buy a tensioner and crimper so we can use zinc coated metal straps to tie the slabs together, but are wondering what the differences are? Prices seem to vary significantly, and we're just wondering what we will need? Obviously we don't want to spend more than we need to, but on the other hand want the right tool for the job. Any recommendations and advice greatly appreciated.

Thanks
 

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I would't allow the banding strap to be in contact with the wood any more than you can help. I would put a board above and below the stack of slabs to apply the strap on. It would make it easier banding too if you would run a dado in the boards for the strap to fit in. A 2x4 ripped in two would be sufficient. If the strap wasn't in contact with the wood it wouldn't matter what kind of strap you used. The only thing else I would suggest is to coat the ends of the slabs with anchorseal so they didn't dry too fast.
 

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I've heard of using banding, but I don't believe it's very common, or even effective. First of all, the banding will get loose as the wood shrinks, and second, whatever stresses will develop in the drying wood will be there whether the wood is restrained or not. When the banding is removed, the wood will react to the stresses.

I'd be interested in some science behind using banding if anyone has a citation.
 
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