Tips To Help The Novice Woodworker Buy Lumber

For the novice woodworker, it might feel a little intimidating to step foot into a lumber retailer before tackling a project. While the store will certainly carry what you need, it's easy to feel overwhelmed with the various sizes, types and quality ratings of the lumber sitting on the racks in front of you. Don't let yourself get deterred — flag down a passing employee and ask for any project-specific guidance you need, and you'll be sure to walk out of the store with the right cuts of lumber. Otherwise, here are some valuable tips to keep in mind.

Opt For A Lesser Grade Of Wood To Save Money

While you never want the grade of the wood you buy to leave you with a less-than-desirable end result, it's still possible to get favorable wood quality from wood that is less than premium. When you've found the type of wood and the length and width you need, take a look around — in many cases, you'll see wood graded "Premium" and other planks with lesser grades. These will typically contain knots. If you're prepared to work a little extra, you can successfully use lesser grades of wood. For example, covering the knots with a knot sealer before painting the wood can give you a result consistent with premium-grade lumber.

Ask An Associate To Make Cuts For You

As a novice woodworker, you might not have a selection of machinery to make cuts in the lumber you buy. For example, you probably have a saw to slice across a plank, but you might not have a table saw for "ripping" along the length of a plank. Don't get discouraged. Instead, simply ask an associate to make these cuts for you. This will make your life easier and safer than coming up with a less-than-ideal method of making these difficult cuts. Depending on the retailer, you might pay a minimal fee for this work or the retailer might offer a deal such as one cut per piece of lumber bought.

Buy Thicker Planks If They're Rough Cut

It's a valuable technique to buy planks of wood that are slightly thicker than you need. Even if you don't plan to plane them, you'll often do a considerable amount of sanding — especially if the surface of the wood is rough. Buying thicker than you need will ensure that your finished product isn't thinner that you were hoping for after you're done sanding.

Talk with a retailer, like Wilson's Forest Products Ltd, for more help.