Ordering Lumber

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Forum topic by riverb posted 01-31-2011 08:37 AM 967 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View riverb's profile


45 posts in 2642 days

01-31-2011 08:37 AM

I am in the planing stagings of my second major project (crib for my daughter) and I am trying to figure out how much wood to buy. I ran the numbers through CutList in SketchUp so I have an actual. I know I will not be ordering the actual amount because I am bound to have miscalculated something or something will be warped after I break it down. I guess my question is how much extra do you guys normally order? I am thinking the number is around 10-15%. The last project I did ( dresser/changing table )I had to drive back to the lumber yard 2-3 times which is an hour away. I wasn’t so worried about the fuel bill but every time I went I just had to stop by Woodcraft and they were taking all my lunch money.

5 replies so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3790 days

#1 posted 01-31-2011 01:42 PM

Riverb, I can well understand your problem with having to go past Woodcraft. The last time I was in my local store I commented to the owner that I always end up a lot poorer when I walk out of the store compared to my financial status when I came in. :)

As far as ordering lumber goes, when I make a buy I generally will get a minimum of 100 bf. I have to drive about an hour to get to my supplier. I hate to be in the middle of a project and run out so I make sure I am going to have plenty of lumber to get started. This builds an inventory to start the next project with.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2952 days

#2 posted 01-31-2011 05:11 PM

Rule of thumb that I use is 20-30% over what is called for to allow for waste. The left overs don’t hurt either as you can use it for another project.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3043 days

#3 posted 01-31-2011 08:05 PM

I usually add about 20 – 25%. If you are like me, you will always have a use (eventually) for any left over lumber so it is not like you are wasting money if you overbuy.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View dbray45's profile


3320 posts in 2745 days

#4 posted 01-31-2011 09:00 PM

I actually buy 50% more. This is why – as you mill the lumber, what you bought changes – a lot. After the wood aclimates and finishes warping, checking, etc… you run it through the jointer and planer, the wood that you wanted for this panel or piece may not give you the desired result or yield. I have on occasion found that I now have a board that I really don’t want to use on this project. You have fall back positions. Until I get an inventory of wood that I can pull what I want and need and then replace it afterward, I get extra. Saves you the trouble of needing more and finding out that the mill doesn’t have what you want when you need it.

Just a thought.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10371 posts in 3397 days

#5 posted 01-31-2011 09:25 PM

With a savings of 20% on orders of 100bf or more, I always get the 100bf.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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