If you can purchase #1 com for 25-35% less than select grade, for a given
it normally more cost effective to do so, once the waste factor is
I would be needing pieces for relatively smaller projects such as garbage
bins, potatoe bins,
deacon benches and the like. However, these items would still require
gluing up larger panels,
up to 18" wide.
What other factors should I consider?
One big difference is knots. The lower the grade, the more of them. Is
that a problem? If not, save the money. Making smaller pieces you can
often work around them and still get the lenghts you need of clear wood.
If you are making a curio cabinet, you probably want a nice long clear
piece. If you need 2" wide, you can probably find a #2 board to cut it from.
If you need a piece 5" wide, chances are you need #1. I've used a lot of #2
with very good results.
IIRC Select has to be a minimum width and length with out defects. If you
can work with #1 and get you pieces from that, you are $ a head.
Normally, discounting knots that have holes or are loose, there is no
quality difference between the two.
Small stuff is what the lower grades are best at, since they provide
narrower, shorter clear stock.
Remember, though it's not just the knots, but the squirreliness around them
that limits you. Tends to produce boards with a lot of twists which
sometimes refuse to get into line, even with a jointer flattening one face,
or refuse to give a smooth surface because of grain reversals. There's also
sapwood in abundance, which can make a board virtually useless unless only
one face is visible.
I don't feel anything below #1 common is worth the space it takes in my
rack. The difference in price versus the ability to match color and figure,
not just clear length, isn't worth it to me.
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