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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 16, 2003
    Posts
    1,190

    Default Quick Help: Board size for building stalls

    We are building a couple of stalls in our barn (currently a very large run-in) and we're having a big debate about what size boards are appropriate. My boyfriend is convinced that 2" thick boards are the only way to go. The people at the lumber yards that say they have sold to lots of barns say all stalls are built out of 1" thick boards. Specifically we're debating the difference in 1x8 vs 2x8. Obviously there is a huge price difference between these two. I don't care except that I want SAFE stalls!!! However, I hate to think of paying for 2x8s when we could safely build for half of the price out of 1x8s.


    So what are your stalls built out of???

    Also if you know and don't mind including what kind of wood you are using I would be interested to know. I know Oak is incredibly strong and always a safe bet. I have some lumber distributors pushing pine on me and I'm getting mixed reviews on that.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
    Posts
    16,387

    Default

    We have 2x8s in the barn where I board, and horses do still manage to kick and break the boards to pieces. I would not even think about 1x8s.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 16, 2003
    Posts
    1,190

    Default

    Thank you Simkie! I have been shopping for 2x8 this whole time and just in the last 30 min I feel like everyone is telling me I'm insane for not using 1x8s. I know it will make the bf happier to go with 2xs.



    Now I guess my only question is about Pine. Good or bad??? I'm getting equally mixed reviews. About 50/50 saying it's either the best or the worst.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2008
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    2,194

    Default

    2 X 8s definitely. The lumber yard probably has a better markup on 1 X 8s-LOL. My stalls are tongue and groove pine. It's really nice but you're SOL if you have to replace any boards below the top board. My gelding has managed to really do some damage where he's kicked the boards and I haven't had to replace them yet and I'm not sure if I could anyway. I would consider putting a solid divider between the stalls by the grain buckets- I have grillwork between the stalls(which I love) but still ended up doing a solid divider so they don't get all worked up at feeding time.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
    Posts
    16,387

    Default

    I'm pretty sure our boards are oak. Pine seems like it would be awfully soft?



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2000
    Location
    Aiken, SC
    Posts
    2,370

    Default

    2" x 8" tounge-n-groove pine makes very strong and nice looking stall walls.

    Here is a picture of how mine turned out. http://www.clipshack.com/Clip.aspx?key=0E2EBB569736AB99

    Replacing a tounge-n-groove board can be done without too much trouble.

    Oak boards are def. a harder wood than pine but, everything I looked at around here was "rough cut" and none was tounge-n-groove.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2005
    Posts
    3,788

    Default

    With the wacky way things are done nowdays, a "1x8" is planed down so it's REALLY only about .75 inches thick. Not fit for anything but decoration in a barn (or maybe some lightweight shelving), IMO.

    ETA: and planed "2x8"s are really only about an 1.75 inches thick.

    If money and labor were no object, I'd want locally milled 2x6 or 2x8 rough-cut red oak, which is an honest-to-god 2+ inches thick. Doesn't rot, hard for horses to chew on, and Will Not Break.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 16, 2003
    Posts
    1,190

    Default

    we were actually hoping to use rough cut boards. Easy to find around here and I know lots of ppl that have used it in the past for stalls. They are about 1/3 of the price of boards at Lowes too. haha! So is there such a difference btw rough cut pine and finished pine?



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec. 14, 2008
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    829

    Default

    We had the mill right in our yard so we milled our own 2 x 8s and 2 x 10s. Looks were not important, so not all boards are the same width but that was fine by me. Some red pine, some white pine. The red is a lot stronger, but I anticipate at some point someone will kick through something. Afterall... they are beasts



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
    Posts
    36,321

    Default

    I would never use "one by" lumber to build a stall unless there was another layer of something sturdy behind it. My barn is all 2x8.
    Click here before you buy.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2005
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    4,352

    Default

    A 2" board from the lumberyard is actually 1 1/2" thick. A 1" board is 3/4" thick. *I* can kick through a 3/4" pine board.

    In my opinion, rough cut oak at least 1 1/2" thick is one of the best materials for stall boards. It's strong and horses tend not to chew on it. If you have to buy from a lumberyard, get SYP (Southern Yellow Pine). SYP is just as strong as hardwoods. I believe all pressure treated lumber is SYP as well. Be sure to use PT for your bottom boards. Horses will chew through common pine lumber like beavers- avoid it like the plague.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Location
    Lucama, NC
    Posts
    5,868

    Default

    Rough cut 1" is quite thick and sutiable but finished lumber NEVER use 1"! Our barn boards are ROUGH CUT 1 x 6, which is more like 1 1/2" by 7"! It is treated oak which is very good for barns.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2000
    Location
    Concord, NH
    Posts
    4,925

    Default

    I agree with ShawneeAcres about rough boards 1" should be OK. When we redid our old barn, we used rough lumber - 2x8 for the floor in green hemlock, and 1x8 pine for the walls. They have 2x4 studs between, so each horse does have 2" of wood (plus a few inches of air) between.

    It's pretty sturdy, although they do like to chew on it. We don't have any kickers.

    The floors will last another 150 years - green hemlock hardens unbelievably.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2007
    Posts
    3,572

    Default

    Personally, I would not consider anything but 2". I suppose if you have great support behind a 1x, you could consider it.

    I have one barn that is made of all oak, rough cut. Horses cannot chew oak. Its also difficult for me to screw/nail anything into it as well.

    My other barn is all softwood. It is rough cut hemlock for the sides and back. I also have KD tongue and groove for stall fronts. I had to put quarter iron on that, as the horses really enjoyed that to chew.

    I am not sure the up expense would be, but I would go for the 2x to have a stronger wall, and less risk of injury if a horse was to kick through a 1x.

    I also recommend instead of nails, to use the screws that are now readily available that are self driving. They have an unusual head to them, but will go through anything, including the oak. Also,very easy to remove them if needed as well. I just love those screws. Initially, I purchased them at the lumber mill, but you can get them at lowes or home depot.

    Also, be aware, there is a difference in width between rough cut and kiln dry(kd).
    good luck



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2008
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    3,750

    Default

    I have 2x8 or 2x10 rough sawn poplar from the local amish mill. The benefit of rough sawn is that is actually IS 2" thick, sometimes more, as the extra thickness hasn't been planed off yet.

    DH is an engineer, and he's pretty sure our barn will still be standing even after the house is dust.
    Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
    Witherun Farm
    http://witherun-farm.blogspot.com/



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec. 2, 2004
    Location
    Eastern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,470

    Default

    2 x 6 spruce, and I have vertical iron strapping screwed into the boards at the 1/3 and 2/3 point of each stall wall. This adds strength, and doesn't allow the boards to warp out of allignment.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan. 23, 2007
    Location
    Hampshire, IL
    Posts
    779

    Default

    2" thick oak raw boards plus same for kickboards added to the back of stalls which would otherwise just be the barn siding plywood.

    need steel side stiffeners for any run > 4 feet.

    lumberyard is the cheapest way to go these.

    hint: draw it all out on paper in a design before purchase. I used every piece I purchased and had little left over.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov. 14, 2002
    Location
    Sorta near the Devon Horse Show grounds...
    Posts
    4,056

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by shakeytails View Post
    A 2" board from the lumberyard is actually 1 1/2" thick. A 1" board is 3/4" thick. *I* can kick through a 3/4" pine board.

    In my opinion, rough cut oak at least 1 1/2" thick is one of the best materials for stall boards. It's strong and horses tend not to chew on it. If you have to buy from a lumberyard, get SYP (Southern Yellow Pine). SYP is just as strong as hardwoods. I believe all pressure treated lumber is SYP as well. Be sure to use PT for your bottom boards. Horses will chew through common pine lumber like beavers- avoid it like the plague.
    These meaurements are correct for pine, and similarly commerically milled lumber. If you buy oak from one of the mills, you can actually get "real" 2" or better boards. My fencing boards are actually 1 1/8" thick.
    When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them- Maya Angelou
    www.americansaddlebredsporthorse.net
    http://www.asbsporthorse.blogspot.com/



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 2006
    Location
    South of the Mason-Dixon Line
    Posts
    2,321

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by greysandbays View Post
    With the wacky way things are done nowdays, a "1x8" is planed down so it's REALLY only about .75 inches thick. Not fit for anything but decoration in a barn (or maybe some lightweight shelving), IMO.

    ETA: and planed "2x8"s are really only about an 1.75 inches thick.

    If money and labor were no object, I'd want locally milled 2x6 or 2x8 rough-cut red oak, which is an honest-to-god 2+ inches thick. Doesn't rot, hard for horses to chew on, and Will Not Break.
    We had our wood milled to a true 2". Haven't had a horse break one yet and I have some habitual stall kickers here (even a stall bucker)!
    Ridge Farm Inc.-full care retirement
    http://www.horseretirementfarm.com



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2008
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    185

    Default

    I just built stalls in my barn and we used 2 x 8 rough cut oak. The price was great.

    I have to say that when my farrier came this morning, he said wow those are some heavy duty stalls you could hold buffalo in them, LOL.

    I actually built the stalls so the wood only comes up half way and I did put small spacer in between each board, about an inch. We are going to be putting cattle panels along the top, but we haven't gotten that far yet.

    There was one person that noted horses wont chew on the oak, well my mare has started on one board and it has split a bit on top. So I guess I better get that paneling up along the top to stop her from chewing on it.

    But I agree Pine is just too soft that will break and be chewed on quite quickly.



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