- 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.
- Always try to hand pick your own timber. Try not to leave it to the yard staff.
- 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%.
- 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.
- 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.
- Check the wood has been stored well at the yard. Sometimes poor stacking, insufficient cover and bad handling can cause all sorts of problems.
- 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.
- Always check the full thickness of sawn boards. A 1" thick board should always measure at least this throughout its length.
- 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.
- 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.
Tuesday, 12 April 2016
Here are a few tips if you find yourself at the timber yard or lumber yard choosing your wood