Reply by huff

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Posted on Beginner

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2828 posts in 3307 days

#1 posted 01-06-2013 02:11 PM

Paul has a good idea. If you have a table saw or a friend with one, why not buy 1×12 pine and rip to the exact width you need. It may seem more expensive at first, but unless your project is designed with everything being 2 1/2” and 3 1/2” wide, then you will be ripping the 1×3’s and 1×4”s down anyway.

Shannon, I’m not going to try to change your way of thinking, because I know you feel the same way as most woodworkers do when they first start building projects, but I love to share a short story with you. I had a friend that wanted to learn woodworking and would hang out at my shop, in fact I would let him use my shop because he didn’t have any tools to start with. He started out wanting to build things with cheap lumber because he didn’t want to ruin good wood while learning.

His wife had seen a mantle clock I had built and told Jim that she would love to have him make a clock like that for their fire place mantle….... so he showed up one day at my shop with a couple pine boards and asked if he could copy my clock because he wanted to build one for his wife. So just to set the record straight,the one she saw and liked, I built with figured walnut!.

I told Jim the only way I would let him copy my design was he had to make it out of a beautiful hardwood (I was really just picking on him, because we had this conversation before about using cheap lumber). Well he took me seriously and broke down and bought some beautiful Curly Cherry. Talk about a nervous puppy!!!!!

He would measure and remeasure and then measure again!. He would ask me for help, but I told him he was on his own and that if he screwed it up, he would just have to go buy more Curly Cherry.

Bottom line; he finished the clock. It was absolutely stunning and his wife was totally blown away. He was so proud of that clock and they still have it displayed on their mantle some 15 years later. And we still laugh about it today.

I’m one of those “odd balls” that I felt from the very beginning; if I was going to build something out of cheap lumber then it must be I didn’t expect it to turn out very well.

Anyway; like I said, not trying to change your way of thinking, just food for thought. As long as we’re enjoying what we do, then it’s all good.

Good luck on your project and keep us posted.

-- John @

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