|Forum topic by Jeremymcon||posted 08-05-2016 05:29 PM||803 views||0 times favorited||21 replies|
08-05-2016 05:29 PM
I am a relatively new woodworker, and have recently completed my first major furniture project – a red oak bathroom cabinet. I posted it here if anyone is interested. Having finished this project and seeing it come out so well, I’m now developing quite a list of projects that I would like to do in the future. I’m currently working on a couple of tables for some family members, but after that I want to make a cherry bookshelf, some outdoor furniture, a fishing net, a jewelry box, maybe eventually a rocking chair, a mobile kitchen island… the list goes on and on. Anyway, I like to buy lumber from local sawyers that I find on craigslist, since their prices are so much better than the nearest large scale mill.
For example, the other week I bought some very air dried cherry lumber for $2/bf! For cherry! I paid $3 for red oak for my most recent project. I didn’t have any plane written up exactly, but I knew I wanted to work with cherry, and I also knew that I didn’t want to pay $6/bf for it when that time came. I even picked up a couple of 8/4 boards from the guy for a bit more per bf.
Then I was thinking about the outdoor furniture I wanted to make, and was looking at this article that lists woods by their decay resistance. I saw a guy on craigslist that had milled and air dried some 8/4 sasafrass which he was selling for $2/bf. He also indicated that he had some beautiful chestnut oak (a type of white oak – pricey at the lumber yard!) in 5/4 and 6/4 for the same price! So my instinct, of course, was to go buy some lumber from him with some outdoor projects in mind, but no actual specific ideas planned.
I ended up just going to each place and purchasing $150 in lumber, because I wasn’t really sure how much I would need, since I wasn’t buying for a specific plan. To my eye, each pile of lumber from each species was easily enough to complete at least one of the projects I thought maybe I’d be using it for, and possibly with a little left over. Now I have a pile of lumber in my basement that is probably about as much as I can comfortably fit in there with all of my personal belongings that are also stored down there, so I’m probably done buying lumber for a while.
What I’m getting at here is, how do most hobbyist woodworkers here buy lumber? Do you only buy exactly what you need when you need it? Or do you buy what you know you’ll be able to use eventually when you find it for a good price? How do you decide how much to buy if you don’t have plans drawn up yet? I’m afraid I may get burned with buying the way I have been, and end up either not using some of the stuff I bought, or needing more of it and kicking myself for not buying more at the time.