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Thread: Buying Rough Lumber

  1. #1
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    Buying Rough Lumber

    Good Morning.

    Tell me, when lumber is described as "select tight knot", just how tight are those knots? When it goes through the planer is it coming to come out full of holes?

    And what does it mean if the lumber is described as "shorts"? How short are "shorts"?

    What does "4/4 X rdm width" mean?

    Thanks all,
    Last edited by Cynthia White; 02-05-2011 at 04:25 PM. Reason: added a question
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cynthia White View Post
    Tell me, when lumber is described as "select tight knot", just how tight are those knots? When it goes through the planer is it coming to come out full of holes?
    Generally, no.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cynthia White View Post
    And what does it mean if the lumber is described as "shorts"? How short are "shorts"?
    It depends on who is selling the lumber as I do not believe it is a standard, but it is normally anything under 8 feet in length.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cynthia White View Post
    What does "4/4 X rdm width" mean?
    Means the boards are all 4 quarters in thickness (1") and they vary in width from board to board.
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  3. #3
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    Tight knots usually are safe to run thru the planer, but you might give them a shot of CA just to be safe. Shorts in my area are usually under 6' lengths. And 4/4 is a thickness measure meaning 1" 5/4 would be 1 1/4" 6/4- 1 1/2" etc. Random width is self explained. Have fun.

    And Bill beat me by 2 minutes.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cynthia White View Post
    Good Morning.

    Tell me, when lumber is described as "select tight knot", just how tight are those knots? When it goes through the planer is it coming to come out full of holes?
    around here, that means very few knots and those that are, are actually tight, as in not rotten or falling out...no planer yet so no help there

    And what does it mean if the lumber is described as "shorts"? How short are "shorts"?
    Varies here by distributor

    What does "4/4 X rdm width" mean?
    4/4 'by' 'random' width
    Thanks all,
    hope it helps

    edit- I type way to slow, Roger beat me to it{lol}
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  5. #5
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    can't answer all your questions, but maybe you can get some infor from this site...

    I do know that 4/4 is a measurement in 1/4 inch increments hence 4/4 is 1 inch thick
    RNDM widths means the widths aren't uniform.. random...

    http://sawdustmaking.com/Lumber%20di...s_and_term.htm


    guess I was slower on the uptake than these other guys...
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  6. #6
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    thanks guys. I knew what the 4/4 was, it was the RWD I didn't know. I didn't realize it meant random width. But it's all random width anyway.....
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  7. #7
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    At our BORGs 'shorts' means the actual board foot cost gets ridiculously expensive. Better to buy long and save the excess for future projects.
    "Folks is funny critters."

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    At our BORGs 'shorts' means the actual board foot cost gets ridiculously expensive. Better to buy long and save the excess for future projects.
    At the BORG yes Frank but other wise you can usually save buying shots. I was told by my lumber supplier that per Hardwood grading regulations that anything under 8' length is considered a short and is to be sold as not making grade. If that makes since to ya
    A Turn N Time
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  9. #9
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    cynthia, pay close attention to lumber yards and their deals on short stock.
    If they dont advertise, and you can use alot of shorts, go over to the owner and ask him how much cheaper he'll go if you purchase alot of shorts.
    When youre building furniture, alot of the pieces you might need may not be more than lets say 36 inches long, and some places give you nice discounts on 36 or 40 inch lumber pieces.
    when I used to build adirondack chairs out of hardwoods, only 2 parts were longer than 30 inches, so I purchased alot of shorts and the lumber yard near me was 1/3 less price for short pieces.
    When youre talking hardwoods over 5 or 6 dollars a bf, thats a substantial savings.
    for an example of this, take a look at lakeshorehardwoods.com

    This dealer is known for cherry, and look at the difference in prices he charges for shorter pieces.
    Last edited by allen levine; 02-06-2011 at 12:42 AM.

  10. #10
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    Good advice Allen. I used to buy pallets of pine shorts that were 24" long and all clear lumber it was great for making stuff for the Tole painter at the time. I would buy 5 to 8 pallets at a time, 1000bf/pallet.

    Also would ask my lumber supplier for 7' and shorter and save a bundle. It was always the best stock and most often clear as a bell no knots.
    A Turn N Time
    Components for John Smith Organs and the Hobby Organ Builder

    Frog Pond Guitars


    Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

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