online lumber order dissapointment / question

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Forum topic by hamburglar posted 09-03-2012 06:31 PM 1950 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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42 posts in 2061 days

09-03-2012 06:31 PM

Hey folks, new to the forum as well as woodworking. (I’m a carpenter / handmade log home builder by trade though. Just never dabbled in the finer sawdust making until recently)

So… I ordered a 10 board foot hard white maple lumber pack from an online retailer. It was 4/4 S2S and SLR one edge. It was shipped quickly and arrived nicely packaged. I think I might have had my hopes too high for what I was receiving though?

I understand that being select or better that there is a higher percentage that will be clear but not all of it, and the lumber fell within that. My disappointment came in the S2S and SLR portion of this product. I was figuring that with both of those processes happening to the lumber that I would just be able to rip and crosscut to the dimensions I needed and get started on my project. Unfortunately though all of the pieces I received had a bow or even multiple ‘waves’ to them. I went ahead and cut them to the dimensions needed figuring maybe the shorter length would take away enough of the bow that it wouldn’t be a problem. I was wrong though and now have many pieces with a minor bow in them.

So what I am asking is if this is normal? Even though this lumber is milled do I still need to process it further, or just a bad batch? I was hoping this would be ready to go seeing as I don’t have a jointer or planer yet.

22 replies so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2818 days

#1 posted 09-03-2012 06:47 PM

Every cut releases stresses in the

timber. That is why you rough dimension

the timber first and let it settle.

The timber also passes through many

different environments from leaving the mill

t arriving with you.

So unless it is plywood, if it is wood it will move.


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View NiteWalker's profile


2736 posts in 2539 days

#2 posted 09-03-2012 06:50 PM

Hey there. :)

Where did you get your lumber from?
I order most of mine from bell forest, some from the borgs and a bit from ebay.

I find that I will usually need to edge joint the pieces because of the same findings as you. I don’t have a jointer so I use my router table as a jointer. I have a simple fence I made specifically for this purpose; it’s nothing more than a 4” wide piece of plywood with a notch cut for the bit and a piece of plastic laminate glued to the outfeed side. I set the fence so the bit is even with the outfeed side and it trues up the edge nicely. Then it’s off to the table saw for the rest of the cuts.

It works for now, but I’ll probably get myself a planer and jointer for christmas.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View rance's profile


4255 posts in 3122 days

#3 posted 09-03-2012 07:11 PM

Most S2S never sees a jointer. They just plane both sides so it looks pretty and is close to the thickness you want. So even when it is in THEIR hands, it can still be wavy. Next time order it ROUGH, let it sit in your shop for a couple of weeks, then get it milled(S2S) properly, starting with jointing the first face.

Google “Squaring lumber” if you want more info. on getting it square.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Scsmith42's profile


125 posts in 2639 days

#4 posted 09-03-2012 08:51 PM

RE: “Most S2S never sees a jointer”, actually it depends upon the retailer. Wall Lumber, as well as others, use an Oliver Jointer – Planer to S2S lumber, and this provides a true jointed surface.

-- Scott, North Carolina,

View hamburglar's profile


42 posts in 2061 days

#5 posted 09-03-2012 08:54 PM

Thanks for the quick replies.

So it seems that my expectations were set a little high… Wasn’t something I had researched beforehand so I didn’t know exactly what to expect. My only other hardwood buying was some 4/4 poplar that I picked up from a local distributor and it was smooth on one edge and one face.

@NiteWalker Here is the package I bought I am also going to be setting up my router table for edge jointing as soon as I rebuild it. The MDF one I had before isn’t standing the test of time. For the case I built for my son I was doing all of the cuts on the TS too. For the thickness I ripped them to 3/4” wide, and then sanded the saw blade marks out. For width I just ripped them normally, and for length I used a TS sled I made seeing my 12” SCMS isn’t good for anything but rough framing after years on the jobsite…

@rance Next time I am definitely ordering it rough. By then I should have acquired the tools to deal with such lumber as well. I get paid tomorrow and there is a hole forming in my pocket for the DW734.

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

665 posts in 3229 days

#6 posted 09-03-2012 09:36 PM

for what that place charges i think it should have been flat when you got it. i would have called them up and bitched. they want nearly $6 a BF for S2S maple

View NiteWalker's profile


2736 posts in 2539 days

#7 posted 09-03-2012 09:43 PM

What kind of plans do you have for a router table? My current table is a sheet of 3/4” mdf with formica on one side and it’s held up ok, but I’ll be replacing it very soon with a new one I’m in the planning stages of building.
It will use this stand (a good deal with the casters included and free shipping), a single sheet of 3/4” baltic birch plywood laminated on both sides with formica and with a hardwood support frame underneath to prevent sagging, and this plate (a killer deal at $30!). The fence will be a simple L shaped affair with formica on the face and a t-track slot for featherboards and with a dust port.

Wall lumber is good too; probably the cheapest for the 20bf packs.
Bell forest is cheaper than woodworker’s source by a bit too, but not as cheap as wall lumber.

The 734 has been on my wish list for a long time too. Try to get a mover’s coupon from the post office to bring the price down a bit.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10340 posts in 3390 days

#8 posted 09-03-2012 09:45 PM

Your package likely came from the Phoenix store and, would be really dry. No telling what climates or weather conditions it passed through getting to you.
I live in AZ, so my experience with your supplier has been quite satisfactory as I buy it directly from their stock and take it home.
You might get some satisfaction by contacting them by phone or email and describing your situation. They’ve always been quite fair in their dealings.

-- 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

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

28893 posts in 2300 days

#9 posted 09-04-2012 02:08 AM

Never trust cuts from any mill. even ones you trust. Big ones are trying to turn out too much to be perfect and smaller ones sometimes simply aren’t equipped to be perfect.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View rance's profile


4255 posts in 3122 days

#10 posted 09-04-2012 02:46 AM

Scott - Its good to know that some places to it right. :)

Hamburgler - That is soooooooome expensive Maple. I can get it for less than $3 most often. Yeah, at least call them back and tell them your story. I wouldn’t expect much, but you might be surprised.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View hamburglar's profile


42 posts in 2061 days

#11 posted 09-04-2012 03:05 AM

@NiteWalker I have been looking at the plans for the Woodsmith router table and might give that a go. I might pick up one of those plates like you’re getting. I need the blank one though seeing I bought a Craftsman router. Thanks for the suggestions on the lumber… Lesson learned, especially when I could’ve had 2x the lumber at $10 more..

@Gene It did come from the Phoenix store.

@Rance ROFL, this is something I am going to have to chalk up as a loss / mistake. I should have just taken the initiative to drive 60 miles south to the ‘local’ hardwood supplier. I probably could’ve asked away on milling it, received a better price, and felt better in the end.

View Mark Stephens's profile

Mark Stephens

19 posts in 3339 days

#12 posted 09-19-2012 10:44 PM

Just so you know, whenever you’re not happy with what you receive from us we want to know about it and fix it. I just caught this thread now, some 2 weeks after the fact, but I figured this is still worth saying. Our crew is always ready to help and discuss. 800-423-2450, or

-- Woodworkers Source: Marketing Manager

View Woodmaster1's profile


918 posts in 2549 days

#13 posted 09-19-2012 11:04 PM

I pick up my boards from LL Johnson. I let them surface both sides cannot beat 10.00 for 100 bdft, saves on my planer. They do a great job and the prices are good. I see your from Idaho so picking it up in Michigan would be a bit of a drive.

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 2163 days

#14 posted 09-19-2012 11:09 PM

Wood is like a box full of chocolates, ya never know what your going to get.

I Have taken many times rough lumber and SLR and see it do weird things. Looks like Mark has the right approach into dealing with this type of issue. A company’s worth in my book is not if they have had issues but how they take care of them.

Even getting dimensioned lumber exactly ordered how you want it, you may still have issues by the time it arrives to your door step. If it came to you perfect and you did not let it acculimate in your shop for a week or two you would be asking for disaster in my opinion. Wood is like a good Lady, treat it right it will love you forever treat it bad and it will have it’s vengence on you. Good Luck…...

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View waho6o9's profile (online now)


8159 posts in 2539 days

#15 posted 09-20-2012 12:45 AM

I’m glad I received my lumber from fellow LJer Bob,, fair prices and
shipping costs are reasonable as well.

Major kudos for Woodworkers Source to step up to the plate. Let us know
how it turns out Hamburglar.

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