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Forum topic by MikeDVB posted 03-02-2015 05:58 PM 927 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MikeDVB

115 posts in 649 days


03-02-2015 05:58 PM

Hello!

I’ve got some equipment on the way – jointer, planer, router, table saw, jigsaw among a few others and I am going to start building simple furniture and work my way up.

The problem I’m having right now is understanding this:
http://www.wooleylumber.com/inventory.html

This is a local yard for me [about 5 minutes up the road] and I’m looking at getting some white oak to work with. I am just not familiar with all of the information provided beyond the foot on each line.

PLAIN WHITE OAK
12,000’ 4/4 Sels & Btr 1,000’ 4/4 Selects 6-7’ 5,000’ 4/4 #2 C & Btr ** 500’ 5/4 Selects 6-7’ 550’ 5/4 #1 Com 1,800’ 6/4 #2 Com

I’m not sure what the ‘btr’ and ’#1’ ’#2’ reference. I think I understand the 4/4, 5/4, 6/4.

-- Mike


16 replies so far

View OhioMike's profile

OhioMike

73 posts in 1629 days


#1 posted 03-02-2015 06:08 PM

The best lumber is FAS (firsts and seconds)

The next best lumber is Sel & Btr (Select and Better)

The lower grade lumber is #1 com (Number one common)

The lowest grade is #2 com (Number two common) The #2 stuff is really REALLY rustic. Big knots, splits, edges with some bark …... all these are allowed in #2 grade lumber.

Mike

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ChrisK

1809 posts in 2548 days


#2 posted 03-02-2015 06:09 PM

Sels – Select Com – Common
Btr – Better

Look up what wood grades are used in the US. Too many to get into or remember.

-- Chris K

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7179 posts in 2044 days


#3 posted 03-02-2015 06:18 PM

View SirIrb's profile

SirIrb

1239 posts in 697 days


#4 posted 03-02-2015 06:29 PM

Check out the wood whisperer video on this topic. He covers some of your questions.
http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/articles/s2s-and-s4s-what-gives/?as=lumber&mode=posts&ap=1
Video link on the bottom.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

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HornedWoodwork

222 posts in 681 days


#5 posted 03-02-2015 07:47 PM

Lumber is graded by “yield” that is how much good clean wood you can take out of the board. A board with checks, splits and knots, has less yield and is graded lower. (Other defects could include discoloration, mold, insect damage, water damage, twist, and holes.)

There is a standard that says in order to be graded FAS you need to be able to get at least 83% yield out of the board. Some grades tell you that the boards must be clear and at least a certain size (Selects) #1 common requires yields of 66%, No. 2 common requires yields of 50% or better.

Ohio Mike gave you the common grades of boards, (there is a different scale for sheet goods that basically rates how good a side is based on the same factors.) Boards are always sold in nominal dimensions (like a 1×6) in a 1×6 you don’t actually get a board that is 1 inch thick, nor do you get a board that is 6 inches wide if you buy a finished board. (Finished boards are either S4S -surfaced 4 sides, or S2S – surfaced 2 sides) when the lumber yard surfaces a board they reduce it in some dimension. So a board rough cut to 1” x 6” is thinner and narrower after it is finished.

Lumber yards steer you around “nominal” dimensions by using a fourths scale. Hence 4:4 (if it is not S2S or S4S) should be about 1” 6:4 (spoken as “six quarter”) would be 1.5 inches thick and 8:4 is 2” thick. The scale goes up from there predictably.

-- Talent, brilliance, and humility are my virtues.

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MikeDVB

115 posts in 649 days


#6 posted 03-02-2015 08:20 PM

I appreciate all of the help and links. I’ve never been to a real lumber yard [just those home centers] so I’m not sure how much I get to ‘pick’ the wood I’m getting or if I just tell them how much/what I want and they get it.

Is Select ok for making furniture and it just results in more waste or should I strive for a higher grade? This is just for stuff around the house/for the wife. It needs to look good but it doesn’t have to be a show piece by any means.

It will be an experience :).

-- Mike

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SirIrb

1239 posts in 697 days


#7 posted 03-02-2015 08:25 PM

If its for the wife then F&S. No prom date for you if you use the cheap stuff.

It really depends on what you want to make, how you cut it and if it is a learning piece. You could build your confidence on cheaper grades, learn how to see the stock around the defects, spend a bit less and then when you feel a bit more sure of your skill knock one out of the park with some nice mahogany.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View MikeDVB's profile

MikeDVB

115 posts in 649 days


#8 posted 03-02-2015 08:47 PM

I was thinking pine would be a good starter just from the standpoint that it’s readily available and cheap. I am not quite comfortable enough with all of this yet to go with the expensive hard woods just yet.

Now I’m trying to find some hand planers I can use to flatten my workbench top. I glued together numerous 2×4s on their wide side and while I lined them up good it’s not perfect… It’s too big for the jointer.

-- Mike

View Arthouse's profile

Arthouse

250 posts in 2117 days


#9 posted 03-02-2015 10:09 PM

My first response is for you to understand what jointer your using. It will tell you what, how long and how wide you can work the wood before you you buy. My jointer is 18’’ wide and 8’ long so any lumber will flatten out for the planner. If you have a eight inch jointer you can not joint a long board unless you make a out feed table to support the length . The jointer is the key to good wood working because all the other machines don’t like crooked lumber. They are made to run straight pieces thru. All this and Heaven too.

-- "The hand is the cutting edge of the mind but the wind and sun are the healing factors of the heart

View MikeDVB's profile

MikeDVB

115 posts in 649 days


#10 posted 03-02-2015 10:42 PM

I plan on building an out feed table for my table saw as well as the jointer. It’s only 6×48 but it is a floor standing model.

-- Mike

View HornedWoodwork's profile

HornedWoodwork

222 posts in 681 days


#11 posted 03-04-2015 01:22 AM

Instead of trying to handplane your bench, you might want to build a router sled. It’s basically like turning your router into a milling machine. You can make a gnarly bench top totally flat in a fraction of the time it would take you to do it by handplane. Purists might balk, I grant you, but no one is digging a 6 foot pit to buck logs into boards by two man saw anymore so I think technology can be employed here and there when it makes sense. Here's a youtube video of a router sled in action

-- Talent, brilliance, and humility are my virtues.

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MikeDVB

115 posts in 649 days


#12 posted 03-04-2015 05:40 AM

Nice… Seems easy enough I just need the space ;-)

-- Mike

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2198 posts in 947 days


#13 posted 03-04-2015 01:11 PM

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Also, be aware that lumber priced by the board foot is what comes off the saw green.

For example, an 8/4 board may actually measure 1 3/4 thick.
What they are calculating as 6” wide may actually only be 5 1/4” after drying.
Basically you’re paying for the BF that came off the saw and the wood has shrunk.

You gave White Oak as an example. Are you planning on using that?
If so, be aware it can be a very difficult wood to work with because of chip out.
Even if its quarter sawn, it can be a bear to work with. (How do I know this … ;-)
Make sure of your grain direction when planing.

Good Luck with your new endeavor!

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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firefighterontheside

13520 posts in 1323 days


#14 posted 03-04-2015 01:50 PM

At every hardwood supplier I’ve ever been to you go around and pick the boards you want and then bring it to them. They will calculate the board feet and charge you accordingly. If you weren’t able to pick, they wouldn’t have many happy customers. It’s better for them to have you pick, even if they may have to straighten up after you.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7179 posts in 2044 days


#15 posted 03-04-2015 02:25 PM

Poplar is a nice and inexpensive wood to work with and is good

to start out with. Pine tends to be a pain when finishing, unless you’re

painting your furniture.

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