buying wood

See: "Useful Information and Suppliers" for a list of lumber and plywood suppliers. Also see: "Wood & Plywood Information". Both located in the left-hand column of the Home page.

Moderator: Bill Edmundson

cjm

buying wood

Post by cjm » Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:48 pm

I live in Northern California and have been calling around for wood prices. In the Building with plywood book it states that its cheaper to buy 4/4 wood in random sizes. I told the lumber guy that and he said its cheaper to buy in certain sizes.....1X6 ect. Somebody help me with this wood buyin thing. Whats the most economical way to purchase wood. Thanks for the help.

User avatar
kens
Posts: 4708
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 5:25 pm
Location: Coastal Georgia

Post by kens » Thu Feb 03, 2005 7:43 pm

You certainly presented the classic 64,000 dollar question.
I have always found that 1x's are quite expensive for the amount of board feet lumber in it. It does take more milling to make TWO 1x6 than ONE 2x6. however I still believe there is more there than the milling, I think the 1x's are a bigger seller for the lumberyards, therefore getting higher prices. Custom milling is too high also.
If you can resaw your own lumber, then I think you might get ahead.
BUT,!! I think the most economical means to get lumber is by achieving the LEAST amount of scraps. All the stuff in your scrap bin cost as much as the parts you make. So, minimize the scrap and you get the best deal.
After studying my project, I think I could have saved money by buying higher quality, in better sizes, to reduce scrap.
Usually the higher quality the lumber, the more usage you get from it. I did a lot of laying out patterns around defects, and thus, I got a lot of scrap. I ended up with a lot of Mahogany tomatoe stakes.

Guest

Post by Guest » Mon Feb 07, 2005 11:35 am

The trouble with buying wood in precut dimensional lumber is you will still have waste because you have to buy it in odd sizes, sort out the pieces that are not straight, work around knots and so on. You don't just find a board and cut it into the size pieces you want.

I bought dimensional lumber and went to three different places to buy hardwood. I was mostly buying white oak and found that the selection was not all that great, maybe ten various sized pieces in a specific dimension and that was a good selection. Of those there would be knots, curved pieces, different lengths, splits and so on. Bottom line is you need to really have your list together when you go shopping because you will have to calculate how to combine, saw and use the lumber to account for all the problems you need to work around.

It might have been easier to buy 4 by 4 's or something and saw them down, but I never found a source for dried lumber that size. People told me it was problematic to dry large pieces because they tended to split more when drying. So unless you have a kiln or a year to store and wait you may end up with the cut lumber.

Robert A
Posts: 73
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2004 2:45 pm
Location: Seneca, SC

buying wood

Post by Robert A » Mon Feb 07, 2005 8:03 pm

cjm/ken I'm not sure we are using the same nomenclature for wood dimensions. My experience is as follows. When I buy a finished 1" board it is actually 3/4" thick. Rough sawed 4/4 (four quarters) is about 1" thick and milled 4/4 is about 13/16" thick. I am building a Thunderbolt and used milled (or finished) 4/4 for the frames. I will surface plane milled 4/4 lumber to 3/4" for battens and other members calling for 1" finished stock. There are some members, the motor stringers as an example, that are listed in the plans as 1" net. In this case I buy 5/4 (five quarters) rough sawed stock and either have it milled to 1" thickness or surface plane it myself. Clearly, the 4/4 rough sawed and 5/4 rough sawed are much cheaper than buying finished lumber.

When I go to buy lumber for a boat I take a detailed list of all members and the required dimensions. If I am looking for 3" battens, I can consider widths from slightly over 3" (for one batten) and up to 9" + (for three battens) taking into consideration saw kerf width and all that good stuff. I also have a roll of masking tape and magic marker. When I find a board of acceptable grain, width and length I will label it with the masking tape and note with the marker the specific member or members to be cut from that board. It is a long tedious process. I have made two trips to three different suppliers in the Atlanta, Georgia, area and have probably spent four plus hours going through their stock of Hondurous mahogany. On my first trip I found an excellent selection at one supplier. On my second trip, I gave up and came home with about half of what I wanted. The supplier's stock turns over monthly and I will try again in two or three months.

I save almost all scrap wood and use a lot for blocking, supports, etc. Then there are other uses besides boats such as jewlery boxes and small pieces of furniture. A friend of mine recently asked if I would make him a funeral urn - - I told him not to die until the Thunderbolt is finished. Hondurous mahogany with a stain of 3parts Chris Craft mahogany and 1part Chris Craft walnut should look pretty nice for a funeral urn.

Robert A

User avatar
Raftermike
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 8:46 am
Location: Tobyhanna , PA

Post by Raftermike » Tue Feb 08, 2005 10:33 am

The truth of the matter is that what you can get depends on what your lumber yard is willing to get. I was exchanging emails with my local supplier for over two months before deciding what to get. Here in north-East Pennsyltucky apparently the demand for S2S material was so low that no one even wants to deal with custom ordering that stuff.

Here's what I did - maybe it will help you:

1. I have emailed the list of acceptable types of wood (species, quality etc) to the local supplier asking what can they get and rough price estimate per ft. I have also eplained to them in detail what was it for since they might have prvious expirience with such a thing.

2. When I got the pricing and avaliability my chices were down to two.
White oak and SYP. Pine I could get in long lengts without extra charge and oak would come "as is" or custom order long lengts and PAY.
Price on pine was also about 20% that of oak so take a wild guess as what I'm using on my boat.

Under Wood & Plywood information on this site you will find a list of what can be used. I would suggest you start there. BTW. I found out that email works a lot better for this than phone. Don't ask why it's just one of these things... . One more thing . If you dealing with a company that owns more than one yard and I don't mean something like Home Depot more like a local chain of lumber yards contact corporate HQ rather than local salsemen. Once you have all info in hand than go ahead and order localy.

Hope this helps.

User avatar
leakcheck
Posts: 2950
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2003 3:01 pm
Location: Lander Wyoming

Post by leakcheck » Tue Feb 08, 2005 7:39 pm

Robert A, would you mind telling me which place in atlanta you had the best results from? I am in the Atlanta area and would appreciate it for when that day comes that I start stocking up on the building materials.

Thanks
Steve

Robert A
Posts: 73
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2004 2:45 pm
Location: Seneca, SC

buying wood

Post by Robert A » Tue Feb 08, 2005 9:02 pm

Steve: The best luck I have had with Hondourus mahogany is Atlanta Wood Products Center located just off of I-285 at the junction of South Cobb Drive (northwest). Address is 5400 Riverview Road. Website www.hardwoodweb.com. Their white oak was not good. The rough sawed 5/4 white oak came from Suwanee Lumber Company located on Old Buford Highway. (Take exit 111 off of I-85 and head west a couple of miles to Old Buford Highway - - take a left. It is about a half mile on the left. Very easy to miss.) Suwanee Lumber is primarily a custom saw and milling operation for large orders. Small orders of a couple of boards are a pain in the neck for them. However, if you use a little southern charm they are very accomodating - - but not in a hurry. They will surface plane both sides to your desired thickhess and run the planed boards through a laser guided saw to give a very true edge on one side. They carry African mahogany - - grain was wild and I had no interest. I've also looked at Georgia Hardwoods which is also on Old Buford Highway just north of Buford in a small industrial park, but did not find anything of interest. I understand Kennesaw Lumber Company, north off of I-75, has a fair selection of wood, but I have not been to their facilities. I will check them out in a month or two. Good luck. Robert A.

User avatar
leakcheck
Posts: 2950
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2003 3:01 pm
Location: Lander Wyoming

wood sourse

Post by leakcheck » Wed Feb 09, 2005 3:33 pm

Thanks for the Atlanta info. There is also PeachState lumber in Kennesaw which is just up the road. They are all fairly close by, sometime I will check them out. Thanks again
Steve

basilkies
Posts: 496
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 9:19 pm
Location: Marin California

Post by basilkies » Fri Feb 11, 2005 2:01 pm

Mount Storm Forest Products in Windsor is a good source for hardwood. They have good prices and a decent selection of hardwoods. 707 838-3177 is the phone. It is a bit hard to find but convenient off of 101. They don't have OKume plywood that is waterproof. I don't think they have Marine ply either, but they might order it.

If you want some nice marine Okume go to Handloggers in Richmond.

http://www.handloggers.com/

That's their website and they have a good selection of hardwood also. Their prices are a bit higher too, but you purchase over 600 dollars they give 10 percent discounts. They are real easy to get to right off of I-580 just after you cross from San Rafael to Richmond. You can see their sign from the freeway. There is a West Marine a mile down Cuttings Wharf also.

I am nearly finished with 23 ' boat and I got all my wood from those two places. I used white oak and okume plywood. I did buy some doug fir, but found that at my local lumber yard which had some nice dried tight grain wood that I found with a little pile picking.

User avatar
Dave Grason
Posts: 3762
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2003 5:19 am
Location: Lake Barkley, KY

Post by Dave Grason » Sat Feb 12, 2005 11:10 pm

Raftermike wrote:Price on pine was also about 20% that of oak so take a wild guess as what I'm using on my boat.
Please tell me that you're NOT building a boat using pine...... except for maybe the build form.

Before I started on the Zip project, I was looking for white oak for the motor stringers for my Mist Miss. The plans called for 2 pieces of 2"x6" x 13ft QUARTERSAWN wood, either mahogany or oak. As plentiful as white oak is in this area, there doesn't seem to be any such thing as any piece of white oak being 13 feet long much less it being quartersawn. But I saw no reason why I couldn't laminate flat sawn oak into 13ft plus size and then cut it to size.

Anything wrong with that?

I was going to do that with the stem as well - steam bending the oak to shape and then trimming it to size. I thought that that would just be a whole lot neater than a plywood stem.
Isn't it amazing!! The person that never has the fortitude to pursue his own dreams, will be the first to try and discourage you from pursuing yours.

User avatar
Graham Knight
Posts: 2031
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2003 6:37 am
Location: Shepperton, England

Post by Graham Knight » Sun Feb 13, 2005 1:32 am

Ah the problem with common names again! There's Pine and there's Pine, some suitable, some totally unsuitable, Southern Pine Pinus palustris also called Longleaf Pine is suitable, so is Pitch Pine Pinus rigida. The ordinary soft pale white stuff sold in most timber yards for general joinery is totally unsuitable though, except may be for some internal (non-structural) work, or as Dave suggests for making the building form. It's relatively weak and has poor rot resistance, a boat made from this timber will at best have a very short lifespan, depending on where and how you use it so might you!
Graham in Shepperton, England

Good, Quick, Cheap, pick any two.

User avatar
Dave Grason
Posts: 3762
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2003 5:19 am
Location: Lake Barkley, KY

Post by Dave Grason » Sun Feb 13, 2005 3:27 am

And I would think that encapsulating pine with epoxy would be somewhat akin to encapsulating a marshmellow. Anywhere the boat took a sharp hit, the wood beneath the epoxy would dent in leaving the the epoxy standing on it's own if not cracked. The epoxy itself would also fail quickly.
Isn't it amazing!! The person that never has the fortitude to pursue his own dreams, will be the first to try and discourage you from pursuing yours.

Guest

Post by Guest » Sun Feb 13, 2005 3:33 pm

I don't get it, your willing to go to all the extra work to steam bend a solid oak stem but you don't seem to want to scarf the the oak to make longer pieces. I would scarf the oak into a longer piece that was half the thickness I need, then laminate them together, off setting the scarffed joints.

Before I started on the Zip project, I was looking for white oak for the motor stringers for my Mist Miss. The plans called for 2 pieces of 2"x6" x 13ft QUARTERSAWN wood, either mahogany or oak. As plentiful as white oak is in this area, there doesn't seem to be any such thing as any piece of white oak being 13 feet long much less it being quartersawn. But I saw no reason why I couldn't laminate flat sawn oak into 13ft plus size and then cut it to size.

Anything wrong with that?

I was going to do that with the stem as well - steam bending the oak to shape and then trimming it to size. I thought that that would just be a whole lot neater than a plywood stem.[/quote]

User avatar
Dave Grason
Posts: 3762
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2003 5:19 am
Location: Lake Barkley, KY

Post by Dave Grason » Sun Feb 13, 2005 7:39 pm

Anonymous wrote:I would scarf the oak into a longer piece that was half the thickness I need, then laminate them together, off setting the scarffed joints.
That would be one way to do it. Here's what I was thinking.

The stringers need to be quartersawn according to the plans. But quartersawn is difficult to comeby even in shorter lengths. In order to get the most from the trees these days, the mills are flat sawing everything. But if I pick up a enough random length boards of say 1 inch thick and various widths of anywhere from 3 - 10 inches wide, I can rip them in 2 and a half inch strips. Then I can turn them up on their sides and glue them together to build up to the 6 inches that I need and any length I want. Individual strips of wood will be scarfed. I'm thinking that if I turn flat sawn wood up on its side and glue it up, it would then be the equivalent of quartersawn.
Isn't it amazing!! The person that never has the fortitude to pursue his own dreams, will be the first to try and discourage you from pursuing yours.

User avatar
Raftermike
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 8:46 am
Location: Tobyhanna , PA

Post by Raftermike » Sat Feb 19, 2005 1:19 pm

Graham is right there is pine and there is pine. I have orderdered Southern Yellow Pine fro the yard. It came as clear and kiln dried. Judging by how deep the splinters go in your skin it's almost as hard as oak. The so called white pine avaliable everywhere ... I might use it for some interior furniture... not on the boat.

Post Reply

Return to “Wood and Plywood”