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Forum topic by Randy_ATX posted 08-07-2014 05:41 PM 777 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Randy_ATX

676 posts in 1094 days


08-07-2014 05:41 PM

I’m thinking about constructing a harvest style dining room table. Does anyone have any feedback with regard to using premium kiln dried lumber from one of the big box stores for this type of project? I am assuming this type of lumber must have lower moisture content than the regular lumber at these stores, but I don’t know what % range it would be at. Thanks.

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH


13 replies so far

View RogerM's profile

RogerM

445 posts in 1051 days


#1 posted 08-07-2014 06:24 PM

Randy – The lumber you are considering is indeed premium kiln dried lumber (usually restricted to poplar, oak and #1 Pine) and will perform well in a table – - - At A Premium Price! In addition, it is usually blemish free and some may say boring, lacking in character. One of the nice features of a table is that it can often be made with minimal attention to expansion and contraction. That is, the top and most of the parts can expand and contract with temperature and humidity with little impact to the piece. Bottom line – It would be my advice that you do not need this premium stuff for the purpose of minimizing expansion and contraction.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1376 posts in 835 days


#2 posted 08-07-2014 06:35 PM

I’m sure Austin has a hardwood dealer somewhere that will be both cheaper and higher quality than the big-box stores. If nothing else, you’ll have more variety to choose from. Find a hardwood dealer.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

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freddy1962

751 posts in 201 days


#3 posted 08-07-2014 06:42 PM

Ouch, that would be pricy. I believe it’s s4s or s3s too. Milling your own wood would be much more enjoyable. Go to the hardwood dealer like Ian and Roger said.

-- JEFF Illinois (Banks of the Mississippi)

View Randy_ATX's profile

Randy_ATX

676 posts in 1094 days


#4 posted 08-08-2014 12:28 AM

Roger, Ian and Jeff – thank you for your input. I wrongly assumed the specialty lumber dealers around here didn’t stock pine, fir, etc.. my bad.

This is the type of table I would like to build for someone. It is obviously stained pine and this is the look they would like. I want to keep the materials cost low. If it were for me I would select a different wood.

(image courtesy of http://tableplanpdf.com/farmhouse-table-plans-free/ )

This is a lumber list from a place in Austin. http://www.finelumber.com/documents/hardwoods%20for%20website.pdf From the list – would poplar, douglas fir, and radiata white pine (not sure what radaita is) be 3 species that should be similar in price to each other and also be able to be stained to achive similar results, comparable to what is displayed in the image? Disclosure – i’ve never worked with poplar.

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

View camps764's profile

camps764

794 posts in 1012 days


#5 posted 08-08-2014 01:11 AM

You can definitely get that look with Doug fir and pine both. I’ve heard that poplar takes stain a little better than pine or doug fir, but have never actually stained it myself. Poplar is always paint grade in my shop.

I don’t think you would get the same grain patterns out of poplar as you would doug fir or pine – like the table pictured above.

I built a table similar to that out of old barn wood pine, it’s in my project section, and was one of my first real projects.

-- Steve. Visit my website http://www.campbellwoodworking.com

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oldnovice

3759 posts in 2020 days


#6 posted 08-08-2014 05:09 AM

When I lived in Illinois the lumber yard there, now long gone, had glued up pine (not clear by any means) in various sizes from 2’x2’, all the way up to 4’x8”. The larger pieces were NOT cheap but they were beautiful.

I bought a 4’x4’ piece, and cut it down, for a table I built for a close friend of mine who now lives in Norway.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View TheWoodenOyster's profile

TheWoodenOyster

856 posts in 587 days


#7 posted 08-08-2014 11:44 AM

I agree with Steve. You’ll need to use pin or fir to match that grain pattern. Poplar probably won’t give you what you want.

I am up in Fort Worth, and I use a lumber supplier called Brazos Forest Products. They have a place in Austin too, and they would be a good lumber supplier for you to use.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View Randy_ATX's profile

Randy_ATX

676 posts in 1094 days


#8 posted 08-08-2014 10:02 PM

Thanks all for the feedback and examples of tables. I called 2 lumber stores today in Austin. Fine lumber offers doug fir 2×6 kiln dried for $3.15 LF (not BF). Brazos didn’t have pine or fir but suggested alder. They have alder at $3.50 BF. So a 2×6x8’ of fir from fine lumber is $25.20 and a 2×6x8’ of alder from Brazos would be $28.00.
I haven’t had a chance to check home depot’s price on premium kiln dried 2×6 pine but I will before I make a descision. I’ve never worked with alder – is this a much better wood to use for a harvest table in your opinion?

Thanks all!

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1376 posts in 835 days


#9 posted 08-08-2014 10:26 PM

Alder is very nice to work with, and can have some nice grain, but it won’t be as pronounced as pine or doug fir. It will stain more evenly. Alder is between pine and doug fir in hardness. Any would make a nice table. The pine or doug fir would look a little more rustic, with the alder a little more elegant.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

2830 posts in 1895 days


#10 posted 08-09-2014 04:23 PM

I don’t think any wood sold by a big box store would be “premium kiln dried”. The way their employees manhandle wood leaves me with much doubt. The hardwood dealer would be the way to go, even if it costs more. Big box stores don’t cater to the serious woodworker. They deal in construction grade materials.

View RogerM's profile

RogerM

445 posts in 1051 days


#11 posted 08-09-2014 11:53 PM

Randy – Since you want to keep the lumber price low another option that you might consider is to use the technique of burning the wood with a torch followed by medium to fine wire brushing. After wire brushing apply natural or walnut (minwax stain) then polyurethane. I did an entire wall like this in California and helped a friend build a table with this finish. They both turned out really well. When selecting the wood try and get the stuff with the most knots in it as it will have the most character. Also take note that if the wood has a high resin content in it, like some pine, the burning basically cures the resin and it will not be sticky. Give this a try on some scrap and see what you think. Let me know if you would like to pursue this as I think I have a piece out in the shop that I might be able to send you a photo. Contact me if you would like more info.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

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Blackie_

3391 posts in 1164 days


#12 posted 08-10-2014 10:30 PM

Dakota Lumber Randy, I’ve spoke with Bob there and they only purchase from known kilns, I’ve tested lumber that I’ve purchased from there and it’s ripe for the taking.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View Randy_ATX's profile

Randy_ATX

676 posts in 1094 days


#13 posted 08-13-2014 05:47 PM

Thanks Randy, Roger, Ian, all… Roger, I may play with the burning on some test wood and see how it turns out – good idea and always looking for an excuse to play with fire. ;-)

I’m going to purchase this from one of the hardwood stores. I need to decide if it will be alder or not. I will follow-up hopefully with a project posted.

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

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