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Which lumber do you prefer for stall walls?

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  • Which lumber do you prefer for stall walls?

    Just putting together the contracts for building a new 6-stall barn, and thinking about which lumber to use for the stall walls.

    The wall boards will be 2xsomething, probably 2x10 or 2x12, 12' long. They'll sit in a metal channel so we can pop them out to double the size of the stalls if necessary.

    Previously we used green hemlock, but as it dried it bent slightly - no biggie - but it also splintered, so there were jaggy bits sticking out in the stalls - BIG biggie.

    So - what other woods suit? We can get spruce, ash, oak, hemlock, pines, poplar, milled locally to any dimension we want.

    I'd love to know the pros and cons, and what people's experiences have been.

    We also have a MOUNTAIN of 100yo barn board, having just had to demolish the old barns which is probably pine, and there are enough boards in good enough condition to use - thoughts?


  • #2
    I use pine tongue-in-groove for stall walls. The TIG helps keep the walls 'square' and minimizes warping. And down here, about all you CAN get is pine.
    Donerail Farm


    • Original Poster

      Originally posted by cyndi View Post
      I use pine tongue-in-groove for stall walls. The TIG helps keep the walls 'square' and minimizes warping. And down here, about all you CAN get is pine.
      Interesting. I wanted a 1-2" gap between each board for ventilation (helps with the light, too), but I can see what an advantage t/g would be for keeping the boards both aligned and straight.

      The boards will lie horizontally, not vertically - should have explained that.

      Does you pine have a rough or a smooth finish, and how wide/deep and thick are the boards?

      There are enough barn boards from the big barn that were used for strapping the monster roof that I could have them t/g'd for us, I think.

      Food for thought - thanks!


      • #4
        I'm in CT and sounds like I have similar stalls to yours. Metal channels where 2x12s slide into the channels length wise horizontally.

        I put in white pine. Seems to work well, it does warp a tiny bit but not enough to really notice or stress the channels. It's a smooth pine, not rough. Relatively inexpensive. Simple to pop out between stalls as long as you don't put the grills on top. But it does warp like hell if you hang floor mats from them on a stall kicker's walls. I wouldn't recommend that. (don't ask how I know that, LOL)

        It also takes a decent amount of abuse if two stalled next to each other decide to kick a bit or run their teeth up and down it. I would've gone with the hard-as-hell oak but boy howdy was that expensive around here.

        FWIW if you haven't built the stalls yet...I'd recomment looking at the Priefert stall systems instead of the "do-it-yourself" type of channel stall systems. That was my first choice when building and last minute I swapped it to the stalls I have now and have kicked myself since then. I swapped them solely because I was ordering so much other stuff from one company that they were bringing it on a flat bed and if I added stalls from there too they voided the shipping charges. Dumb. The Prieferts are welded complete walls that you just measure and slide the wood into and then stand up and bolt/drop pin together. MUCH easier to build and get them perfectly square but also easy as pie to swap out a broken board and even easier to remove a center wall to double a stall size. Just remove end pins and slide the wall out. And they're around the same price. (and better looking)
        You jump in the saddle,
        Hold onto the bridle!
        Jump in the line!


        • #5


          • #6
            Well dried Oak is probably the best...it is also very expensive. I used 2x12 treated pine and did exactly as you describe with the channels. The barn has been up for over eight years and there has been some warped boards. They don't all lay flat BUT I like the ventilation. Being in the south we build for ventilation not weather proofing. I used treated pine so I don't have to worry about termites and dry rot destroying my barn.
            "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."


            • #7

              Any time I've seen pine used, even TIG, the horses always manage to gnaw it up. Worse if you're planning to leave space between the boards, but even for a smooth wall they love to chew it up. Even my pair of beavers don't touch the oak


              • #8
                We used mostly rough sawn oak in our stalls. Our newer barn does have some pressure treated pine down low to the ground. If you want to keep your walls straight, I highly recommend stall stiffeners http://www.woodstarproducts.com/Stal...87c71ab47f1598. They came with our stall kits for our newer barn and we liked them so much, we bought more for our older barn.
                Susan N.

                Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.


                • #9
                  Rough oak straight from the saw mill, and as bludejavu said, treated pine for the two boards closest to the ground. For a stall stiffener (hadn't see this product), we used a piece of decking board on each side of the wall with a lag bolts (3, I believe) holding them together. We recessed the bolt heads/nuts/washers into the wood, so there wasn't a protrusion.


                  • #10
                    I have rough cut oak and hickory in the run-in shed, and I'm planning to use the same for stall walls. Boards will probably have to run vertically since I don't have enough 12' tree sections to make what I'd need.

                    (Seriously leaning towards those Priefert components, though having metal on the ground edge doesn't seem like a good idea. Or is it up off the ground a bit? I can't tell from the pictures.)
                    ... and Patrick


                    • #11
                      Oak ~ put through a "finisher" to protect blankets ~

                      Oak boards and have them put through a "finisher" to prevent blanket snags ~
                      Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                      • #12
                        We used a channel system (had a local fabricator make the u-shaped channels, and it was WAY cheaper than the stall kits) and a mix of lumber types. Treated lumber for the boards closest to the ground, to protect from moisture, then pine, since that was the most cost-effective, then rough-sawn oak for the tops and any high wear/stress areas.

                        The oak is really sturdy, but it was pricier, heavier, and definitely needed to be pre-drilled when we were building the doors.

                        The pine was cheaper, softer, lighter, and oh-so tasty and chewable.

                        I'm pleased with our results, functional and cost-effective, but I do have at least one friend who is disgusted by the "patchwork" appearance of my stalls. Too bad, my barn, I don't take boarders, so it's just me and my horses that have to like it
                        "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
                        -Edward Hoagland


                        • #13
                          Ours are 2 x 8 pine. I did keep the boards weighted on a flat surface until they were bone dry, so minimal warping. Tongue-in-groove is nice, but wasn't in my budget and I've had NO problems with my boards warping or shrinking.

                          Every surface within reach of a horse's teeth is sheathed in lightweight galvanized metal, so no chew-marks anywhere.

                          2 x 10 or 2 x 12 are nice, but HEAVY. Take that into consideration if it's a DIY project!
                          Click here before you buy.


                          • #14
                            I'm an oak fan too.


                            • #15
                              Previous barn had one stall with a removable wall (u-channels and boards) and yes, the 2"X12"s are really heavy.
                              If you think you'll be removing them yourself, go for the 2"x10"'s, it does make a big difference.
                              You're entitled to your own opinion, not your own facts!


                              • #16
                                PT lumber. I also have bars across the front of stalls. Horses haven't really chewed it. I have 2 12x12 stalls and the wall that divides them was put on sliding stalldoor hardware. The entire wall just pushes back against one wall to create a foaling stall. Wall is pinned into which ever position you are using. Really awesome design, super easy. No taking out heavy boards and than having to store them somewhere. I will try to post a picture later.


                                • #17
                                  We have smooth southern yellow pine T&G boards on all 4 sides of the stalls. We have not had any problems with horses getting a hold of them with their teeth, and there is no warping. We can remove the divider walls from a channel to double the stall size.
                                  Cherry Blossom Farm - Show & Field Hunters, Side Saddles


                                  • #18
                                    If cost is not a concern, then I think oak is your best choice. I used a combination of T&G pine and spruce. The stalls are about 10 years old and I haven't had any trouble with warping or chewing. With bars on the top 1/2 of the stalls, there's really nothing for them to get their teeth on. However, they have chewed the casings on the exterior door openings (which are easily replaced) and around the window casings.


                                    • #19
                                      Here is a picture of the Sliding wall hardware (I hope)
                                      Attached Files


                                      • #20
                                        Pics of pin which holds wall in place. These are on both sides of wall, top and bottom. Please excuse the cobwebs
                                        Attached Files