Buy Lumber Based on What you Actually Need
"You have to buy lumber by the board foot to get the best quality material"
"You have to buy by the board foot to be a real woodworker."
Yeah these are mantra that I was told when I got my start in woodworking and began to question how I could get better lumber for my projects than the stuff I was finding at big box stores and my local Woodcraft. You still here this today and so many of us spend time converting our parts lists into board footage so we can call or visit our local lumber yard to buy material.
Yet you still hear stories of disgruntled woodworkers who got bad material or not enough material who blame the lumber yard for giving them a raw deal. Now I won't claim that there are some people out there who will do this, in large part, the lumber yards and dealers I have spoken with and work with over the years are good people. They are not trying to rob you. They are however trying to run a business and need to make a profit. Placing a lumber order based on board footage and grade alone is just asking for trouble as neither of these really tells you much about the boards you are getting.
This is why I feel the board foot unit of measure needs to die and we need to start talking about what we actually need. Clear faces, free of sap in X by X by X dimensions, 3 pieces. Yes that simple! Now I don't recommend you show up with your project parts list in hand. Your job to prepare is do a "take off" and convert your parts list into a shopping list where your parts are nested into the fewest boards possible in order to get the best grain and color match. IF this is necessary. I'm speaking from a furniture maker's perspective. Maybe your needs are totally difference and you need to make it clear to your lumber dealer what those needs are so that they can help you get the best wood for that particular project, whatever it may be.
THANKS TO MY PATRONS
Support the Show at the "Walnut" tier and get your Species of the month sticker.
Collect them all!
Thanks for your support!