# Newbie question Woodworking

• posted on February 11, 2004, 10:28 pm
I am kinda new to WW I have a little education in it but I would like to know what the numbers mean
IE 4/4 Walnut if I remember correctly is has something to do with straightness???
Be forewarned, other "dumb" questions may follow!!!!
Rich
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• posted on February 11, 2004, 10:36 pm
quarters of and inch.
ie 4\4 is one inch thick
8\4 is two inches thick

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• posted on February 11, 2004, 11:56 pm
Thanks I now may understand the talk around here
Rich
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• posted on February 12, 2004, 12:45 am
wrote:

Maybe, but not just based on that last response. 4/4 could actually mean say 13/16ths depending on how it's milled.
JP
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• posted on February 12, 2004, 2:01 am
geeze now I'm gonna get confused!!!
You all here must really bear with me for a time, I took woodworking WAY back in high school. I now have a home shop with a good bit of power tools, I am starting out by making bird houses and feeders as well as cutting boards. I would like to make a table saw table next. So look out for me for questions
Thanks in advance' Rich
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• posted on February 12, 2004, 2:15 pm
If you go down to your neighborhood hard wood dealer and asked them to pull you 50 Bd Ft of say, 5/4 rough cut oak, you will find that it is sold in random widths and lengths and will be somewhere around 1 1/4" thick (5, 1/4's of an inch). This is the nominal size or, the size before the wood has been S2S (surfaced two sides).
If you buy the wood S2S it will be thinner since the work of surfacing has been done. Just how much thinner depends on it's nominal size. There are charts for that. S2S costs more then in the rough and less then what it would cost you at Lowes, Home Depot, etc.. In most cases rough cut stock is half the cost of stock bought at a home store.
If you do buy stock from a hardwood dealer pick it out yourself. If the dealer does it, unless you are a very very good customer, you will get a wide variety of widths and lengths with no regard to matched grain, end checks, twists, warps, cupping, etc. After sorting through and picking out you stock, DO leave the stacks in nice shape if you intend on doing more business with the dealer.
S2S means surfaced two sides NOT sanded and ready to have a finish applied. It will almost certainly need further work. Some hardwood dealers may, for a price, do all the milling work, to your spec's, for you though I have never found one. But, then again, I don't look all that hard for one that does.
Buying stock, rough cut or S2S is cheaper then buying your stock from a home store where it is sold by the linier foot and all the milling work is pretty much done for you. However the initial investment in the tools necessary to accurately mill your own stock from rough cut lumber (jointer and planer or a lot of skill with a hand plane, something you should learn in any case) is usually out of the reach for the budget of a newbie woodworker and the extra cost of buying from a home store or having the milling done for you is usually a better way to go when first starting out.
Further, while milling the stock so it is true (the stock is the same thickness and width along it's entire length and all sides are at 90 degrees to each other) is essential in avoiding frustrations when building something, the process is a time consuming and boring.
In short, if stretching the budget too include the tools and or time available to build things is in short supply pre milled stock is probably not a good way to start out.
Construction lumber, 2 X, 1X, stock from the home store is usually has too high a moisture content for building furniture type pieces. There are charts that explains the grading of stock and you will find furniture grade pine at a home store but it is more expensive then the construction stuff.
Final note, whatever stock you buy for building something the various rules for acclimation should be followed to avoid or at least mitigate extreme wood movement.
Good luck
--
Mike G.
snipped-for-privacy@heirloom-woods.net
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• posted on February 12, 2004, 4:06 pm

OK - 4/4 is the nominal thickness of a rough-cut, dried piece of lumber: 4 quarters of an inch, or 1" total (incidently, it's pronounced "4 quarter" not "4 fourths").
Because lumber doesn't dry consistantly, a piece of 4/4 rough can be anywhere from slightly under 1" to about 1.25" thick. Usually it will be between 1" and 1.125".
To use the lumber, it has to be planed flat and jointed so the edges are straight. This is called surfacing. Wood which is planed on both sides & jointed on both edges is called S4S or "surfaced 4 sides". If the faces are surfaced, but the edges aren't jointed, it's S2S, surfaced 2 sides. Occasionally both sides & 1 edge are done, S3S.
After surfacing, the lumber is, obviously, thinner. It's usual to continue referring to it by the original thickness, tho. As a rule, 4/4 lumber is 13/16ths thick after surfacing, so if you buy 4/4 S4S lumber you should expect it to be 13/16ths. Sometimes it's surfaced all the way down to 3/4 (which is a bit of a pain, since you can't clean up any surface markings without making it thinner yet).
John
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• posted on February 12, 2004, 2:02 am
Wait a few weeks before you confuse him. LOL

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• posted on February 12, 2004, 7:01 am
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JP is certainly correct. IMHO, I think Rich needs more than that. IMHO = In My Humble Opinion.
Dressed lumber from BORG = Home Depot, et al, meaning planed four sides = dressed all sides, both faces and both edges. A tuba is less than 4X2, etc.
Play nice here and you will learn a heck a lot of good info from these wood-working veterans. Trust me. I am a newbe also and not an original card carrying original Rec. I hope to be admitted one day into their inner sanctum. At 70 years old, and a retired NASA engineer who designed and developed the 10-foot Lunar Drill, I tip my dusty hat to each and all of them. I screwed royally up with a highly inappropriate slam against Lee Valley a while back. That will never happen again from me. Each of these veterans have there own significant histories. Listen to them and learn. You can do far worse. Hoyt
"Bill

<br>> <br>> >Thanks I now may understand the talk around here <br>> <br>> Maybe, but not just based on that last response.&nbsp; 4/4 could actually <br>> mean say 13/16ths depending on how it's milled. <br>> <br>> JP</blockquote> </html>
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• posted on February 12, 2004, 11:29 am
Amen! Brother Hoyt! Very True ! Someday I will get my very own membership card also.

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• posted on February 12, 2004, 5:13 pm

the 10-foot Lunar Drill, I tip my
What kind of chuck? Did they use brad-points or Forstners?
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• posted on February 12, 2004, 8:02 pm
mtt, neither (of course).
The design of the Lunar Drill featured segments of hollow core of some exotic metal which I have now forgotten the name. It may have been a titanium alloy. The drill bit was the annular rim of the first joint. The rim had tiny hand-set diamonds set a very particular way for increased toughness. The drill stem segments were fitted together by the astronaut. The cores were about 15 inches long. Of interest to woodworkers will be that the drill motor was made by Black and Decker. The motor was powered by NiCad batteries. This was the very first use of NiCads. Our present-day cordless WW tools, et al, owe a debt of gratitude to the US tax payers and NASA for paying for that invention.
The drill went to the Moon three times. It landed two times and worked perfectly. The first launch of the drill was on Apollo 13. You may recall that all unnecessary items had to be jettisoned to get the astronauts back home. That drill is still "lost in space."
The drill had no chuck. Each stem segment, except the diamond tipped end, was fitted with a twist snap-lock thingahmajig. As the drill motor neared the Lunar surface as the bit went deeper, the motor was removed and another stem segments were attached, and the motor was then repositioned about chest height.
I apologize for such a long reply which is not directly on wood working.
Hoyt
mttt wrote:

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• posted on February 13, 2004, 1:51 pm

What apology, Hoyt! Finally a tax dollar that really did something. In case no one has mentioned it in a while, a BIG THANK YOU for your service to our great country.
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• posted on February 12, 2004, 5:38 pm
Hi Rich, Sorry about all the partly correct answers. A lot of helpful and good intentioned, but sometimes misinformed people here. Not attempting to slam them, just beware of incorrect advice.
1. 4/4 is the milling size. When a tree goes to a mill for processing, the wood is cut to thickness in 1/4 inch increments. 4/4 therefore is one inch thick. The wood is then sold rough cut, or is then milled. Usually it is milled to 13/16". This is because after sanding, the wood should then allow the case, mill, or trim carpenter to make his measurements based on 3/4" thickness. 2. Straightness (lack of cup, twist, bow, etc.) is an attribute of proper drying, wood thickness (thin sliced Walnut for example has a high rate of degrade due to "potato chipping"), grain of the wood, and the type of wood.
Hope this helps a little.
-Rick

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• posted on February 12, 2004, 7:42 pm
Looks like I got some great answers here. I look forward to learning much more from all the veterans here. Thanks again for the help
Rich
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• posted on February 13, 2004, 1:53 pm

Rich, you and me, home-grown. Thanks to you guys for the patient explanation .
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• posted on February 13, 2004, 12:47 pm
Now I'm really impressed! A NASA engineer reading the wreck. I sure agree that the information is astounding here. Also the entertainment isn't to bad either.
wrote:

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• posted on February 13, 2004, 1:32 pm
Would these be the same engineers that smacked a Mars probe into the planet because they "forgot" to convert MPH to KPH?
Now that was impressive and entertaining not to mention expensive.
--
Mike G.
snipped-for-privacy@heirloom-woods.net
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