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Forum topic by Gramps2109 posted 03-08-2015 07:29 AM 1077 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6 posts in 1175 days

03-08-2015 07:29 AM

I am trying to make the transition from buying wood from the big box store to the lumber yard… I have grasped the concept of board feet and the x/4 dimension system, however at the risk of sounding less than bright… how do I tell how wide a board is at the lumber yard? A 1×6 is 6 inches minus x amount for dressing but this is the information that I get on the lumber yards website….. MAPLE 10/4” – 10’ 1 COM 9’- 10’ LENGTHS @ $2.58/BF…..

How do I know how wide these boards are? is there are standard width?

4 replies so far

View bobasaurus's profile


3450 posts in 3183 days

#1 posted 03-08-2015 07:37 AM

Probably random widths, and you pay by the board foot (length x width x thickness (all in inches) / 144 = board feet). You might be able to request widths on an order, but it’s better to go pick out what you want in person.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View AlaskaGuy's profile


4136 posts in 2308 days

#2 posted 03-08-2015 08:34 AM

Hardwood is sold random length and random width. It’s also sold ruff cut, S1S, S2S, S3S, and S4S. The only time you’re going to find 1×4s 1×6s 1×8s is if it been surface all 4 sides (S4S)

#1 common has a lot of defects that would need to be cut out if you using it for cabinets and furniture.

There’s a lot to know about buy hardwoods, to much to put into a forum post.

Do some Google search on how to buy hardwood lumber, how is hardwood graded etc.

This will help you get started. ”":

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View HornedWoodwork's profile


222 posts in 1213 days

#3 posted 03-08-2015 01:14 PM

Yes to random widths. Furniture grade lumber is cut from the log to yield the best wood, not always the most wood or to standard dimensions. A good buying tip is to go into the yard with the longest dimension and the widest dimension you’ll need from any one stick. I like my drawer fronts to be one single board, but usually carcass pieces are too wide for that so I know I’m doing a glue up. When considering width I’ll buy enough boards to do the job (+10%) and get at least enough stock wide enough to do the largest drawer. If drawer width isn’t a concern, I’ll buy width so that I need no more than 2 glue joints in any carcass piece.

After that it’s all just jazz, buy boards that match each other and give you the yield you need.

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

View Gramps2109's profile


6 posts in 1175 days

#4 posted 03-09-2015 08:54 PM

Thanks all…..

I am off to the lumber yard…..

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