S4S question

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OK. I am 70% done with the blanket chest/toy box that I'm building from plans off of FurniturePlans.com. Its going pretty well now that I've made a couple of jigs. I decided it was a 'go' a few days ago and went to the borg to buy the lumber. I chose 6 S4S pieces of poplar and clear pine and the plywood I needed. WOW how expensive it is. Ended up spending over $60... and how cupped, warped, twisted, and blah blah it was when I started using it this morning!
So this leads me to the question. When you all land a score of rough wood, I'm assuming that you get it cheaper per relative board foot than I'd get S4S at the borg per bf. Then you mill it yourself doing the resawing, then jointing and planing it down to the sizes that you need. When you mill it do you just joint and plane it and start using it? The stuff I bought was S4S which from what I know means it should be nice and square and ready for building... but like I said it was mostly defective... and those were pieces that I searched for at least 25 minutes to get the best ones. Was it really S4S that I bought (it said so on the tag and 'looks' nice)? Are there alternatives to getting 'good' S4S somewhere other than the borg?
BTW... I dont have a bandsaw, jointer, or planer so I cant 'do-it-myself' just yet.
Thanks, Mike
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S4S is not a grade of wood, just that it's been planed or surfaced on 4 sides. I've had pretty good luck picking through the offering at Lowe's or the Borg. It depends on how many have picked through it before you.
"Mike W." wrote:

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Gerald Ross
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Yep. A *lot* cheaper.

No. I joint and plane to about 1/16 to 1/8 oversize, then stack and sticker it for at least a week.

Not really. All the S4S designation means is that it's Surfaced 4 Sides. This is usually done commercially by planing both faces, and straight-line ripsawing both edges. This results in boards with approximately parallel faces and edges, with faces and edges approximately square to each other. It does *not* guarantee that the faces are *flat*, however. When you feed a rough bowed or twisted board into a planer, a smooth bowed or twisted board comes out. Planers only make opposite sides parallel. They don't make them straight.

If it was smooth on all four sides, it was S4S. *All* that means is that it's been surfaced. It does *not* mean it was surfaced *properly*. It also does not mean that the wood was *dried* properly before being surfaced, and, given where you bought it, it seems that might not have been the case.

Look in the Yellow Pages under "Lumber" for dealers who advertise that they sell hardwood. Or try www.woodfinder.com, but know that woodfinder is unaware of approximately half to two thirds of the lumber sources listed in the Yellow Pages.

Time to get them. :-)
-- Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
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Mike W. wrote:

You will, Mike. If you have a serous interest in woodworking, you will buy some of those tools soon. The frustration of using junk wood at high prices soon leads you to the inevitable.
Some hardwood dealer will surface and joint the boards for you. Worth a few phone calls to see if they have minimum charges, etc. The place I use has a minimum of a full board, 8" long and they will plane it to the thickness you want. . Heck of a deal a pretty good prices. .
Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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You buy lumber by the following grades:
http://www.awi-wa.com/_hidden/nhla.htm
Then you surface and join as required. Gaining the capability to do so is a great benefit - your boards are all the same thickness as long as you finish them on the same pass., edges square and fresh-ready to glue, and if you want 7/8" instead of 3/4, you can usually get it.
The fact that you can be paid for this great benefit in cheaper acquisition costs is just gravy....

wood,
then
for
pieces
really
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place I get my s3s sells the rough stuff for only $.30 less per board foot.
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"Mike W." < snipped-for-privacy@spamfreeyahoo.com> wrote in message
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It won't be necessary for me to make this a long post since Doug M. pretty well covered the questions, so I'll just add a little FYI.
Occasionally I'll have a job small enough that making the trip to my closest supplier in the Titanic plus time milling the stock equals out too just getting it at Lowes, so I do track the price difference between the rough cut I get from my supplier and what Lowes has to offer.
The difference is invariably twice the cost for the wood from Lowes. Needless to say it has to be a very small , a couple or five board feet, job. Anything more and I fire up the Titanic.
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Mike G.
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On Fri, 30 Jan 2004 23:06:55 GMT, "Mike W."

==================I think the previous posts explained that lumber S4S is NOT really "square"... I think Ed's explanation was pretty clear....
My comments have to do with you spending 60 bucks...
A toy box or blanket chest is NOT the smallest things in the world and I am curious how you actually got out of the "borg" with only spending 60 bucks... 4x 8 sheet of crap plywood has to cost 30 bucks and 5 bucks a board for poplar also sounds cheap... What did you buy (size wise)...?
On your other question I do buy 95 percent of my lumber in the rough.. and honestly I sometimes think I just should buy it already S4S ... for 2 reasons.... It takes a long time (Ok I am retired so I do have the time) to process rough lumber into nice "square" S4S lumber... and the second reason is that I usually still have way too much waste.... even before I screw up a cut or two... so I am processing much more lumber then I really need....
You will notice that someone said they plained the lumber within a 1/8 of an inch then "stickered" it for a few weeks BEFORE USING it...
That statement is extremely important ... until I learned that leason I had lots of problems with keeping things square ...
Bob Griffiths...
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Here's what I bought (prices are approximate to what I remember)... granted that I had a few scaps to use beforehand:
1x4x8 Select Pine @ $6.50 x 4 $26.00 1x6x6 Select Pine @ $10.00 x 1 $10.00 1x3x6 Select Pine @ $4.50 x 1 $4.50 2x4 Birch Ply @ $12.50 x 2 $25.00
Approximate Total Being: $65.50
Now... one of the things I've touted to SWMBO about WWing is that I could build things a heck of a lot cheaper than buying them... with the cost of this wood I'm gonna have a hard time convincing her of that. After hardware I'm gonna end up spending $90 - $100 on a toy box. Granted it kept me out of her hair for 8-10 hours, but thats not much savings on one of them RubberMaid jobbies she was ready to buy before I convinced her to let me build a 'nice' one.
I've had fun building it so far... and when she saw the carcass that I have made at this point she actually exclaimed 'WOW... you did that?'. That was worth another $50 or so right there. :-)
Mike W.
wrote:

made a

borg
$60...
using
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Wrong approach. What you tell her is woodworking is cheaper than drinking....

hardware
have
was
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How did you store it?
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p_j wrote:

What's the proper way to store it? Is there a rec.w faq for beginners?
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The proper way to store it is "stacked and stickered". Do a Google Groups search for that phrase, or for "stickers" alone, in this group; I believe there was an excellent discussion sometime last summer or fall on just that subject.
Or find yourself a copy of "Fine Woodworking on Wood and How to Dry It".
-- Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
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There was no storing... I bought it at the borg one evening and then started making sawdust out of it the next morning. I have to guess there was some 'storing' done by the mfr.
Thanks, Mike W.
wrote:

$60...
using
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Well, I'm far from an expert, but how you kept it overnight will make a difference. Perhaps not with properly kiln dried hardwoods and what not, but with pine from a borg, you lean it against a wall and it'll move.
The flip side of that is, depending on the plans, you might be able to "persuade" the pieces into place and they'll likely stay with proper gluing and screwing so to speak.
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I think the other 'bout covered it. My advice is that until you get all the other equipment that you find a lumber dealer who really caters to woodworkers and will take care of your joining and planing needs. My lumber supplier charges an extra $0.30bft for S2S and $0.80bft for S4S which is still a hell of a lot cheaper and Lowes or Home Depot and his stuff can be joined w/ no probs.
Joey in Chesapeake

a
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wood,
then
for
pieces
really
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I think you are shopping the wrong place. I only used pine once for my son's Eagle project, but two lumberyards donated about $300 worth of lumber and it was all straight and flat. (I suppose I should give a plug to Lowes and Matthews & Fields at this point in gratitude)
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On Sat, 31 Jan 2004 15:51:40 +0000, Toller wrote:

Just out of curiosity, since the closest lumberyard is almost 30 miles away - I just picked out some decent oak at HD to finish a bed, paid pretty much $6.00 bf for 2x4 s4s. How much do you guys pay for 8/4 red oak? Is it really worth the hassle? Can't belive it is THAT much cheaper, especially near Boston.
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Especially near Boston is exactly where I do my buying and if you could find 8/4 oak at HD or Lowes, which you can't) it would still be twice the price of rough cut oak from a supplier.
I can sympathize though, if it is a small job I have to do I always try to rationalize the cost of getting the stock at Lowes rather then head out on the highway. Most of the time it has to be a really small job before I can justify it.
I'm in the process of pricing just such a job right now and I really really don't want to get out in the cold.
Take care
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Mike G.
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Mike - If you can stand another reply -
I'm still a beginner/newbie, but I learned really quickly that the Borg or Lowes ISN'T the place to buy good quality wood, especially hardwood. As you discovered, the quality is usually poor, and it's very expensive.
I don't know where you live, but try to find a hardwood lumber supplier, or better yet, a small mill that has a kiln. You can get rough cut, KD wood in my area (Pennsylvania) for 1/3 to 1/2 the price of what you'd pay at the Borg. I found a small mill (it's a bout a two hr drive each way, but I think it's worth it) that has 4/4 red & white oak for $1.80/bf (the last time I bought from him). It's KD, and very good quality. I also got some 6/4 ash for $1.50/bf. Yeah, I had to haul it, and because I don't have a pick-up, I had to stuff it into my car (actually a "company" owned car- so I don't pay for gas), but he'll cut it into 9' lengths for me, no charge, so it would fit. He also has maple, cherry, and other stuff. There's a couple of hardwood lumber suppliers about 45 min away, and their 4/4 rough cut red & white oak is about $2.50/bf. One of these guys sells cutoffs by the pound, so you can get some good smaller stuff relatively cheaply. Anyway, it's still way cheaper than HD or Lowes. Besides I like to go to the mill or the hardwood supplier and enjoy them turning on their DC systems and really cool laser guided saws. When they turn the DC on, you can almost see the metal walls bow inward!!
I use my 6" jointer to finish it - if I'm careful and my technique is right, I can finish all four sides true and square. There's some waste, but again, if my technique is right, I'm able to limit that. Still, it's cheaper than the Borg, and better quality. I'm looking for a planer now, trying to decide the Dewalt 735, or a 15" floor model by Yorkcraft or Bridgewood. I'm trying to figure out how much I'd use the 15", and would it be worth the extra $250 - $400 to have it over the table top.
Bottom line, you need to at least get a jointer if you're going to do much ww (get the largest and best one you can afford - an 8" with a 72" bed would be better, but I got a good deal on a 6" Jet at an estate auction). By using your TS correctly, along with the jointer, you can also square up your boards, so a planer isn't critical, but it will sure help.
Just my $.02.....
Nick B

lumber
point
cheaper, especially near Boston.

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