Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Essential advice for your visit to the timber yard

Here are a few tips if you find yourself at the timber yard or lumber yard choosing your wood

  1. It's difficult to see the grain on sawn timber so take a block plane or scrub plane to check the true colour before buying. Good yards will let you plane a small section.
  2. Always try to hand pick your own timber. Try not to leave it to the yard staff.
  3. Take a moisture meter. When buying hardwoods always use a moisture meter to work out the moisture content of boards. Moisture of kiln dried boards for furniture making should be about 8% to 10%.
  4. Examine the boards for knots, shakes, splitting and other defects. A cut list can help you to work around these if necessary. Try negotiating a discount for substantially disfigured boards though.
  5. If using a car make sure your roof rack is strong enough. Remember most saloon cars are only rated for 100KG maximum on a roof rack. Also check you have enough ropes or straps to tie the boards on.
  6. Check the wood has been stored well at the yard. Sometimes poor stacking, insufficient cover and bad handling can cause all sorts of problems.
  7. A badly bowed board might not be a problem if the pieces you want from it are very short. If you need longer sections discard the board.
  8. Always check the full thickness of sawn boards. A 1" thick board should always measure at least this throughout its length.
  9. Examine species that are often cut from small trees such as American cherry or walnut, to make sure that not too much unusable sap wood is included.
  10. Don't go to the yard on a wet day unless you have covered transport. By the time you arrive back at your shop everything will require drying out again.

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