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Forum topic by Oosik posted 11-04-2013 06:11 PM 744 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Oosik

62 posts in 335 days


11-04-2013 06:11 PM

Anyone have a good source to learn some tips and tricks or general purpose of the different soft/hardwoods?

I’ve been practicing with Pine but would like to try other woods eventually. The forum mentions poplar is a good wood to try out.

Also I’ve noticed hardwoods come in different sizes than what I’m use to seeing the typical pine dimensions.

Thanks for any help/advice!


14 replies so far

View FaTToaD's profile

FaTToaD

381 posts in 1793 days


#1 posted 11-04-2013 07:09 PM

I started the same as you, experimenting with pine then a little poplar. If you can, try picking up some oak(red oak is available at most home centers but very expensive). That was my first real hardwood and though I don’t use a lot of oak I do enjoy working with it. It’s hard and cuts easy. I’m in the process of doing a large cedar box and I forget how frustrating softwoods can be at times. I also really like working with walnut. Both walnut and oak have a smell that I love.

As far as sizes, once you start getting away form big box stores you’ll need to learn to think in 4/4, 5/5, 8/4, etc. Basically that reads how many quarter inches. So 4/4 is an inch think, 8/4 is two inches thick. Do some research on Google and you’ll get the hang of it. Also learn how to calculate board feet. Or you can be lazy like am and use an app on my phone. Keeps you from having any surprises at check out at the lumber yard! Good luck!

-- David

View Skippy906's profile

Skippy906

100 posts in 639 days


#2 posted 11-05-2013 12:30 AM

A good way to try several different types of wood, possibly for free, check with a local cabinet shop. They always have scrape they throw out. I made plenty of projects and Christmas gifts from scraps they were throwing out. I was able to get my hands on maple, oak, hickory and poplar to name a few.

-- Making progress

View ColonelTravis's profile

ColonelTravis

571 posts in 546 days


#3 posted 11-05-2013 12:56 AM

Try alder, not terribly expensive, easy to work, good grain.
There’s a book called Understanding Wood by R. Bruce Hoadley. I think it would help you out, it’s helped me, a great reference.

View FaTToaD's profile

FaTToaD

381 posts in 1793 days


#4 posted 11-05-2013 01:51 AM

I second Understanding Wood, it’s a good book. Also, Skippy makes a good point about local cabinet shops. I would suggest asking first, I’ve never known one to care buy I’ve heard stories about people getting harassed for dumpster diving without permission.

-- David

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Oosik

62 posts in 335 days


#5 posted 11-05-2013 03:58 PM

Any general guidelines on what the hardwoods price at?

View ColonelTravis's profile

ColonelTravis

571 posts in 546 days


#6 posted 11-05-2013 04:10 PM

Here’s a very, very general idea about prices for some woods:
http://www.woodweb.com/Resources/RSLumberBuyingGuide.html

Depends on where you live, what grade it is, etc. I’ve got an uncle with a giant barn filled with old wood I could get for free but he lives 1,200 miles away, which stinks. If you know anyone with a giant barn, take advantage of it. If you don’t know anyone with a giant barn, start looking to make friends with someone who has.

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pintodeluxe

3359 posts in 1465 days


#7 posted 11-05-2013 04:36 PM

I would start with a wood you really like, preferably a hardwood. Although poplar is technically a hardwood, as is any deciduous tree, it is on the extreme soft side of the spectrum. It dents easily, and doesn’t stain as consistently as oak. It seems about as dense as hemlock.
I like quartersawn white oak, and quartersawn red oak best. They have excellent dimensional stability because they are quartersawn, so are less likely to cup or warp. They take oil based stains consistently, with no need for a pre-stain conditioner.
Cherry is a little trickier to work. I like it now that I have figured out the quirks. Use a thin kerf blade when cutting cherry to avoid burn marks. Use a pre-stain conditioner such as a 3:2 washcoat of denatured alcohol to shellac Seal Coat. This washcoat will prevent blotching when the stain is applied. Nothing looks worse than a dark oil based stain rubbed on raw cherry. Learn the tricks, and cherry can be a good one.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View schuft's profile

schuft

122 posts in 1259 days


#8 posted 11-05-2013 05:10 PM

You should find a local lumber yard that sells to hobbyists. Easiest way to find them is to ask other woodworkers in your area. Absent that, you’ll have to do some searching online and make some calls. Look for a yard that sells raw, S2S, or S4S lumber by the board. Often they’ll store lumber in a showroom where you can browse different species and their prices. And they’ll usually have a scrap bin where you can buy cutoffs and blems very cheaply.

Good luck!

View FaTToaD's profile

FaTToaD

381 posts in 1793 days


#9 posted 11-05-2013 06:36 PM

Hey Oosik, where are you located? Maybe there some LJ’s in your area that can point you a good lumber yard.

-- David

View Oosik's profile

Oosik

62 posts in 335 days


#10 posted 11-05-2013 06:58 PM

FaTToad,

I’m in San Antonio, I believe I’ve seen some post from people in Austin and around San Antonio. I was debating putting up a topic asking if anyone is in San Antonio I can learn from.

schuft,

what does the S2S and S4S stand for?

View nailbanger2's profile

nailbanger2

960 posts in 1796 days


#11 posted 11-05-2013 07:16 PM

Square 2 Sides, Square 4 Sides

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

View FaTToaD's profile

FaTToaD

381 posts in 1793 days


#12 posted 11-05-2013 07:28 PM

Basically that means either two sides or four sides (both edges, top, and bottom) have been surfaced. S2S is usually going to have a rough edge. To be honest, a day at lumber store browsing around and asking questions you’ll learn a ton!

Also, I’m sure there are some LJ’s in that area that can help you out. Only thing I remember from San Antonio is the river walk, the Almo, and the Sam Ash music store next to my hotel a few years ago, so no help here!

A few links for reading:
http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/articles/s2s-and-s4s-what-gives/

http://www.woodworkerssource.com/blog/?p=1876

-- David

View TerryDowning's profile

TerryDowning

1004 posts in 770 days


#13 posted 11-05-2013 08:26 PM

Surfaced 2 sides
Surfaced 4 Sides

Surfaced meaning it has been run through a planer (Not necessarily square)

-- - Terry

View Oosik's profile

Oosik

62 posts in 335 days


#14 posted 11-06-2013 02:25 PM

S2S cheaper than S4S, so if I have a planer, it’s best to go with S2S?

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