Woodworking Projects

Rough Cut Lumber

Rough cut lumber

Date Purchased:

April 2003 (from a local private lumber mill)

Lumber:

Black Cherry

Dimensions:

Various widths from 5" to 15".

Various lengths from 8' to 10'.

All boards 1-1/16" thick.

Cost:

320 bd. ft. @ $1.50/bd. ft. = $480.

What I Learned:

Savings! At this price, I can afford to get serious about woodworking, using my favorite kind of lumber! Okay, let's do a little math exercise. Let's say that, at $1.50/bd. ft., I'm saving $4.50/bd. ft. when compared to what the local specialty lumber retailer charges for surfaced cherry. Let's also say that a typical street price for a good 12" planer is $350, and for a good 6" jointer is $450, for a total tool cost of $800 (you can probably do better if you shop around; I did). The way I see it, my planer and jointer will pay for themselves after I've surfaced my first 178 bd. ft. of lumber! So by the time I get to the bottom of that 320 bd. ft. pile you see pictured above, my jointer and planer will have paid for themselves almost twice over!

TIP - I have my lumber stored on skids, with stickers in between for ventilation. Before bringing the lumber into my basement, I snapped a line across the skids to make sure they were co-planar with each other (that is, both skids are level and in line with each other). By storing the lumber on a flat surface, you won't introduce warp to your boards.

ANOTHER TIP - Rough-cut boards, after they've been drying at the lumber mill for a while, look pretty nasty. Don't worry. Before showing my stack of boards to my wife, I planed a couple of them, revealing their inner beauty. It's not until you surface a board that you can really tell what you've got!