Request for advice on buying beech


Hi,
I am planning on building a baby's cot from beech. I've been browsing around various timber merchant websites looking at prices, and noticed that most lists give prices for various sizes of `board'. Is board finished, or unfinished - will I need to plane it to get a smooth finish? If the wood is unfinished, how much should I expect to have to plane off? For example, if I want the finished wood to have a cross-section of 1"x2", what dimension of board should I get?
thanks,
dan.
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Lumber in board feet means 1" thick by 12" wide by 12" long or any combination that is equal to that like 2" thick by 6" wide by 12" long or 3" thick by 4" wide by 12" long. Since the boards aren't dimensioned yet the measurements are not exact but a formula is used to price it in "board" feet. Also, rough lumber is not called 1" but 4/4 (4 quarters), 2" is 8/4 and 3" is 12/4 and so on. The rough lumber should be at least a true 1" thick unlike linear lumber terminology that refers to a 1X4 that is actually 3/4" by 3 3/4" etc, etc... Linear feet is what you buy at the lumber yard in already milled "dimensioned" lumber that is finished on 4 sides (aka) s4s. The rough lumber that is measured in board feet can be milled per your specs for a higher price per board foot. s1s = surfaced one side, s2s, s3s and s4s surfaced on all 4 sides. s2s means 1 face is surfaced and 1 edge is surfaced so you will need to plane the 3rd side to the needed dimension and you will have a straight edge to use against a table saw fence to dimension the other edge. And to really complicate matters your yield from rough lumber can vary greatly per species because of waste. With partially surfaced millwork (jointing and planing) you "should" get a better yield but if the millwork is poor your yield may not be any better than working from scratch. That ought to be enough to confuse you further. Good Luck! Robert Smith
snipped-for-privacy@towner.org.uk wrote:

noticed
to
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...isn't found in the UK, where the OP is posting from
No-one uses "board feet" over here. It's either linear feet / metres of a defined section, or cube feet if you're buying sawn logs.
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wrote:

Are cube feet the same as 12 BF, or are some cheats already applied?
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Approximately - there's still some question over the definition of "an inch" when applied to timber thickness, and how to measure the usable area of an irregular board often depends on how well you know the sawyer. One of my local yards (which I don't use) measures the "bounding box" of a board, the one I do use often lets me measure boards myself, depending on how I plan to saw them down and then just charges for that! (so long as I'm not taking the piss).
--
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On 7 May 2005 14:30:21 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@towner.org.uk"
Good choice of timber, and should be pretty cheap.

Generally a sawn price, with planing extra if you want it. But it's sawn to size, and what they quote is what you get.
Planing typically loses 1/4" on those dimensions, but it'll still be referred to as a ' 1" board ', even if it's now more like 3/4" thick.
A real timberyard will offer two sets of prices. One is for rough sawn boards (slices of logs), the other for timber sawn square to size. The latter is much more expensive, but the wastage is less because you're only buying useful square sections of it. A rough board could be very tapered in ways you can't make use of.
My local guys (and good prices) are here: http://www.interestingtimbers.co.uk /

Up to you. If you can, you should probably buy it rough sawn - much cheaper that way. A cot doesn't usually have many wide panels, so it's feasible to hand plane this, even if you don't have a thicknesser.

Almost nothing to smooth it, a great deal if you're taking out cupping. More depends on the stability of the sawmill and seasoning work, not the surface quality. For narrow timber, 1/4" isn't a bad worst case. Wide boards from small logs could be much worse.

You don't need it to _be_ 1"x2". You're not a production workshop, so you can be flexible about exact sizing. Buy your boards and adjust the exact sizing to suit them. It's cabinetry, not car production.
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The idea is based upon the thickness of the lumber in multiple 1/4's of inches, you want wood that is 1" thick so you want 5/4 lumber at whatever width you buy it, or is available. The reason 5/4 will be 1" is because of the planing done before it gets to the lumber yard, they take of 1/8" per side of each board. The same result will be found with any other size standard, 4/4 (four quarters) will be an actual 3/4, and 8/4 will be an actual 1-3/4" thick, but very smooth faces usually.
Then the lumber is usually priced by the "board foot" which is 12"x12"x1" You will still be paying for that lost 1/4".
At any given square or rectangular thickness, width and length this is the calculation:
( ' = foot, " = inch, / = division, x = multiply and "by" )
Units of Measure & Terminology BF = Board Foot, a Board Foot is equal to: The length of the board in feet' Multiplied by the width of the board in inches" Divided by 12 Then Multiplied/ by the thickness of the board in inches" Length' x Width" / 12 x Thickness"
Example: Size: 1" x 6" x 2' would be worked this way, math: 2' x 6" / 12 x 1" = 1 BF OR You can do the calculation using all inch measurements for tallying smaller pieces of lumber: Thickness" x width" x length" / 144" Example: 1" x 6" x 2' would be worked this way: 1" x 6" x 24" / 144" = 1 bf
...hope this helps,
--
Alex - newbie_neander in woodworking
cravdraa_at-yahoo_dot-com
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The OP is in the UK. You'll never hear "5/4" used as a measure.
And we tend to saw to 1", then plane down from that, not saw to 5/4.
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Good luck man. Buying the lumber is the easiest part.
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