Picking straight boards/buying boards

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kristen's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-06 18:59
Picking straight boards/buying boards
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I've only completed one project, and I'm curious if it was just a bad day at orange or if I should expect this every time I purchase boards.  I had to go through A LOT of 1x6 boards in order to find 3 that even resembled straight.  And using furring strips for 1x2s??!!! Impossible!!  Couldn't find even one that was remotely straight.  I even opened a new bundle thinking that might help.  Nope.

 

Is it better to go to an actual lumber yard?   Or maybe this is just part of the building process?

 

Just wondering about other's experience in this area.  If I know that this is just normal, it makes it less frustrating!

Tsu Dho Nimh's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-05 20:30

When you are buying framing lumber for furniture construciton, it's unfortunately part of the process.  Some buying days are better or worse than others.

kristen's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-06 18:59

Thanks for the response--having realistic expectations will make it easier next time!

pinktoesandpowertools.com

amanda.leonard's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-23 18:46

HA!  One time I visited three different Home Depots, a Lowes, and a McClendons (local hardware) stores to get straight boards.  I am lucky that there are that many around me.  I am sorry for those who don't have many options.

kristen's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-06 18:59

Wow!!  I guess I was lucky and didn't even know it!!  After awhile (and feeling really conspicuous for the amount of time I had been in that aisle), I thought I was being too particular.  I won't make that mistake again after your replies.  I am fortunate to have a lot of options around me as well, so I won't compromise on board quality in the future, I'll just move on to the next store.

pinktoesandpowertools.com

no1hustler's picture
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Joined: 2011-03-09 08:16
Going to an actual lumber

Going to an actual lumber yard will help too. The wood at the two big box stores is junk from my experience. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to make something with bad wood. 

claydowling's picture
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Joined: 2011-01-26 17:28
Seconding that

The lumber yard is a much happier place to buy lumber.  They're also much more helpful.

HiAna's picture
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Joined: 2011-04-25 22:57
Furring Strips

Furring strips (1x2, 1x3, 2x2) are low quality. Look for the next higher quality called "select".

The cost around here @ Menards: 1"x2"x8' pine furring strips are $0.74 and 1"x2"x8' select pine strip is $3.78.

A 1"x3"x8' furring strip is $1.25 - I didn't buy a select of this size so I don't remember that price.

dabsabre's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-01 18:43
I struggle as well to find

I struggle as well to find straight boards at blue or orange in the cheaper whitewood stuff. I've pinged some local lumber yards but they don't stock the whitewood stuff and their price on select pine is about the same as blue/orange. Am I going to have a hard time finding 'whitewood' at a lumber yard? If anyone in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area has a lumber yard source for whitewood I'm all ears..

claydowling's picture
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Joined: 2011-01-26 17:28
Whitewood

The reason you're having trouble finding generic "whitewood" at a lumber yard is that a respectable lumber yard won't carry it. Buy the pine from the lumber yard. The slightly higher cost will be well repaid with a more stable wood and a much easier build.

The worst wood at a respectable lumber yard looks like the best wood at a big box store. Add to that the fact that you'll have somebody personally helping you select and load the wood, rather than being left to your own devices, and there's no good reason to buy project materials at a big box store.

Yes, Home Depot has products like Purebond. If you go to the lumber yard and ask for a formaldahyde free (or low formaldahyde) plywood, they will either have it or can order it. Lumber yards are selling a commodity, which means that their actual business is customer service. Take advantage of that.

haus3755's picture
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Joined: 2012-02-23 19:21
At blue a couple days ago, I

At blue a couple days ago, I easily found (lots) of 1x2's that were straight and quality, maybe a few on the rack were bad, but for the most part we just grabbed the number we needed and went. Those 1x2's were about $2.55 each. As I continued with my shopping list, I found the furring strips and couldn't resist the $.75 price tag. To find 8, we must have checked 50 boards and cut open four bundles. In the end it was successful and I am confident with the quality, but the bottom line is if you want to go cheap, you have to work for it a little.