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Inspecting, choosing and buying your Timber / Wood / Lumber at the merchants

You’ve chosen your timber merchants and written your list, now it’s time to get down there and pick your wood.

Bare in mind you might have to make some compromises, but make sure they suit you. Take your time, it can be less pressure if you’re left to it. Don’t forget your own tape measure.

What you need to look for when inspecting the timber.

1. The ends for :

a) It’s the right size – Use your tape
b) Splits – If it has split see how long it is, you can always ask for a discount.
c) The direction of the growth rings - Your design should be putting requirements on this. ( More about growth rings, shrinkage, distortion here)
b) Cupping – Are the flats of the rectangle still flat.

2. If all's well on the end start pulling it out of the pile checking as you go for:

a) Knots, size, number, position and condition - Bad knots might end up in your off-cuts so have think about it.
b) Is it straight, check by looking down the length from the end – Is it twisted or bowed.

3. If all well down half of it pull it all out and put it on top of the pile check it both sides for:

a) Knots on both sides
b) Straightness along the length
c) Grain changes that might affect the finished job

4. If alls well so far, compromises are comfortable and it’s the best piece you can be bothered to find, put it to one side.

5. Carry on untillyou're happy with full list.

6. Grab a member staff of who can make up a list of timber you’ve picked. He’ll take it to the office where you finalise / negotiate the price, discount and pay.

Depending on the merchant you’ll have to get the load to the vehicle or drive it in for you to load.

Of course you came prepared with rope, straps and a rag to put on the end of a long load so you can drive safely home.


Next- Preparing the timber for acclimatising




Timber / wood for DIY, Wood working, Joinery, Carpentry

Examples of joinery jobs, softwood types and timber grades

Carpentry and joinery softwood types

Timber Grades, Unsorted ? Vth's ? Sawfallen ?

Timber rough sawn ? PSE ? PAR?

Commonly available rough sawn and PSE / PAR timber sizes

How to choose a Timber merchant / Supplier

Work out what timber you need for the job

Inspecting wood at the Timber merchants

Preparing the timber for acclimatising

Planing timber / wood flat, square and true

How to plane up the good pieces of wood

How to plane "diamond" pieces

How to plane Winding or Twisted timber

How to plane bowing on a timber board

How to plane cupped or cupping timber