Typical Width and Length for milled lumber

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Forum topic by AKSteve posted 09-17-2014 12:24 AM 993 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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475 posts in 2297 days

09-17-2014 12:24 AM

Topic tags/keywords: measurements

I am going to be starting a big project (for Me) and I want to price out the amount of lumber I will need for my project and I would like to put together a Cutting diagram so I can determine the amount and sizes for the wood. as an example I have several pieces that are under 5 and 1/2 inches in width, I figure I could combine pieces into one generic width and maximum Length is 42 and 1/2, so theoretically I could get lengths up to 90 inches. If I knew what a typical measurement was for W x L I could draw up a good cutting pattern, does anyone know if such a thing exists? thanks in advance!

-- Steve - Wasilla, Alaska

6 replies so far

View Minorhero's profile


373 posts in 2599 days

#1 posted 09-17-2014 12:31 AM

I am not sure exactly what you are looking for…. but I think the answer is… no, such a thing does not exist.

Several things,

1) What widths, lengths, and thickness you need depends entirely on your design. If you have not drawn out your design yet you definitely should. If you lumber is already milled dead flat and smooth then you won’t loose any width. If your lumber is rough cut and not overly bowed then expect to lose 1/4 inch off the width and thickness.

2) Do not glue wood end grain to end grain without supporting it through some other joint. End grain is always a bad glueup becuase the wood fibers suck in the glue deep into the wood leaving the joint itself starved of glue.

View AKSteve's profile


475 posts in 2297 days

#2 posted 09-17-2014 12:40 AM

thanks for the info. I have a plan drawn up, but not a cutting pattern yet. and I definitely do not want to glue end grain to end grain that would be a recipe for disaster ! :)

-- Steve - Wasilla, Alaska

View MT_Stringer's profile


3168 posts in 3225 days

#3 posted 09-17-2014 12:48 AM

At the lumber yard where I buy 4/4 rough lumber, it is sold by the board foot in random widths and lengths.

With that said, it can be hard to determine exactly what you need to buy because it night not be available in that particular width or length. that might not be what you want to hear, but it is what it is. It happens to me every time I go to make a purchase.

Of course, you can pay more to get the lumber already milled surfaced on two sides and one edge. That might be a good route to take.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View AandCstyle's profile


3050 posts in 2251 days

#4 posted 09-17-2014 01:13 AM

You should also know that it is routine to allow 25-50% excess required for waste when buying rough lumber depending of the project and the species you intend to use. Therefore, if I think I will need 20 bdft for a project, I will buy 25-30 bdft. Walnut might require even more depending on the grade (select, FAS, etc.) you are able to find.

-- Art

View bowedcurly's profile


519 posts in 1723 days

#5 posted 09-17-2014 01:20 AM

5/4 thickness jointer size 8” it should clean upgreat

-- Staining killed the wood<<<<<>>>>>Dyeing gave it life

View AKSteve's profile


475 posts in 2297 days

#6 posted 09-17-2014 05:13 AM

yeah 50% for me, LOL I need that extra for my work. thanks for the help guys. I have an idea for the cutting pattern, I go to a place in Anchorage that sells different sizes and widths I will just have to take my time picking out the wood, although I really like doing that. I think one of the more important aspects of creating the project is the appearance of the wood, visually it should flow nicely. I am going for Cherry. Walnut is so expensive

-- Steve - Wasilla, Alaska

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