Ok, I can see that. It just really gives me, personally, the heebeegeebees.
I'll attribute it to my own jointer issues.
Note - intelligence in the shop is greatly reduced by fatigue, hunger and
Back to the main topic - if you're shopping at one of those hardwood
boutiques, you ought to be able to carefully hand-select your boards. I
know I always do, and I've never had a problem. I carefully restack
everything, and if a questioning employee comes around, I remark how
beautfiul the board (I'm rejecting) is, but note that it's just not quite
what I'm looking for. It helps if you're loading close to every other board
on your cart, as opposed to rifling the whole stack.
Considering how much trouble I have coping with even marginal geometry
problems in a board, and considering how much more they're charging
compared to those mail order places, I make no apologies for getting out
and looking at every single piece of whatever lumber in the entire rack if
I have to. Usually takes me a couple hours to buy a few bf of lumber, but
now that I know what to avoid in the first place, I'm having much better
success making it into stuff that doesn't do bad things.
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < firstname.lastname@example.org>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
I'd like to add that the re-stacking is the important part. I bought
a bunch of 4/4 birch from MacBeath's in Berkeley once, and they gave
me a $.50/b.f. discount because I restacked the pile so neatly. That's
what he said anyways. The clerk was very appreciative & remarked how
often people rifle through the piles & just leave them.
A construction lumber yard in our area was a different story. A guy
just about ripped me to pieces when I was rejecting some 2x6 redwood
because it had gouges taken out where the shipping straps cut into
them. He was pissed! I still stacked everything nice & neat when
done, but that didn't matter to this guy.
mike email@example.com (Michael Dembroge) wrote in
He probably marked you as a noob he could unload bad stuff on when you came
in and was pissed because you weren't.
Screw him. I agree with what others say....if the quality of the
lumber/product is crap or affected by handling, we are under no obligation
whatsoever to just settle for it....
I agree with George. But I must confess that I go against the grain of
tradition. Most of my projects require widths greater than 6" and I have a
6" jointer. So I plane both surfaces in the surface planer. This works well
unless you have really twisted or warped pieces. So cut them to rough length
first. (If they are still too warped/twisted be more careful in selection or
change suppliers) You should easily get 3/4" finished dimensions from 4/4
stock. Then you can joint an edge before proceeding to the tablesaw.
I also agree, great advice. I been taught that you
need to remove the crown from boards prior to getting
a good straight edge.
Dave: place the board, edge up on your joiner. See
if it rocks, if so, you have a crown in the board, you
got to remove it. The suggestion is to drop the crown
part on the joiner, carefully!!!, and take a small pass
until it stops rocking, then take a final pass. I think
a good handplane would also help this and perhaps might
be safer, tho, I've done the joiner procedure and still
have all ten digits.
Also, Dave, check the face of your boards. Make sure
you've don't have any warp or cup in them. Again,
place the board on your joiner, face side down, and
check to see if it rocks by pressing the back. If it
does, you got to lift the back up, slightly, to take
the cup out. I've used slivers as shims in the back
to lift the back, so that the leading front edge
is flat to the table.
I'm sure there's some book somewhere that tells you
all this, but I learned in a woodworking class
taught by an excellant instructor.
What area of the country are you in?
Thanks for the tips. I seem to do ok with cupping and crowning. I
have the most trouble with a twisted board. Cannot do anything with a
joiner. I have been taking a piece of melamine, laying the twisted
board on it, shimming the gaps and running through the planer.
Tedious, and I need a hot glue gun for shims, but appears to work.
Does this sound right?
Thanks for the great advice!
I think maybe I need to eat some pride and get some instruction. I
guess I figured having the right tools would take care of everything.
While my end products have come out great, I am very slow. Probably
would enjoy it more if I knew what I was doing.
Sounds like a self realization. Ya'll should have fun with that one.
One last question, should the grade of the lumber be labeled, or will
I need to ask.
FYI. This place has a large stock of cherry and were selling at $3.60
bf. Again, end product was very nice.
You may want to consider taking a course at an Adult Ed or Community
College, or a place like Woodcraft. There are a lot of things you can
figure out or learn by watching a tape or TV show. Then there are things
that you can work on for a couple of hours and just not get it. Then someone
with experience can show you how in just a coupe of minutes.
First step is to enjoy what you are doing. My projects are no where near
the quality of the pieces I see posted by the guys here. OTOH, my audience
truly appreciates what I make for them so that is all I need to keep me
going and learning and getting better at it.
Second step is to learn how to fix your mistakes. If a piece is too short,
just cut it again and again until it is long enough.
May or may not be labeled. May or may not be properly labeled.
Check the hardwood grading criteria at
In reality, if you see more than one knot in an 8' board, or more than 10%
4" boards, you're pretty much down to #1 common, the lowest grade you can
rely on to have furniture lengths available without really searching through
your stack. Only that or higher is worth storing under controlled
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