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Thread: Random Thoughts on Wood buying

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Cedar Park, TX

    Random Thoughts on Wood buying

    The post on wood quantities for different projects got me to thinking about how I buy wood.

    First off, I have been known at times to buy wood that I came across with no idea what-so-ever what I was gonna make with it. Sometimes I'm at the wood store to buy wood for some project and come across some slab of some other sort of wood that I just gotta have. It might sit in the shop for a year or better before just the right project comes along. Or I might just come across some wood that is priced such that I can't pass it up. Other times I will trek to a favorite supplier to attend a social event of other woodworkers and hate to waste the chance to pick up some choice pieces. Of course, this can lead to a storage problem, but I rarely consider that until I get the stuff home and then try to figure out where to store it.

    Until I discovered SketchUp, I rarely worked with any sort of plan beyond maybe a rough sketch to get overall dimensions of a piece to look right. I would just go to the woodstore, which is only a few minutes out of my way on my drive to and from the day job, and pick through the stack of my choice of wood, pulling out pieces that I thought would work in the project. When I thought I had enough, or when I grew tired of carrying pieces along the catwalk and lowering them down to where I was stacking them, I head to the office to pay. Most times I was pretty close, generally just needing a piece or two more, and since I mostly work with common domestic lumber, it wouldn't matter that the wood came from different trees etc.

    Now, with SketchUp, I can make up detailed drawings and get an idea of how much and what widths of pieces I need, so I shop a bit more accurately. But the idea of counting up board feet and shopping to those figures still evades me. Besides, sometimes the pickins at the wood store are a little slim and I may find myself taking pieces that would be a second or third choice, while other times there are boards in excess of what I need that I can just not bear to leave behind. Since I often work with the same woods, any I have left for a project find there place in a project down the road. And it is nice to have extra wood around the shop for those times I just want to make something and don't want to go shopping.

    "If politics wasn't built on careful deception it wouldn't need its own word and techniques. It would just be called honesty, education, and leadership."
    Bob "Phydeaux" Stewart one day on Woodnet

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    "wood buying" ????

    Is that an oxymoron?

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