The first time you go to the lumberyard can be a little overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re doing. Even if you think you know what you’re doing, all the different species of lumber, the different dimensions of the lumber, different locations within the lumberyard, etc. can seem daunting for finding the perfect piece for your project. With just a little bit of simple math, one area where you can be totally confident is calculating the cost of your chosen board.
Most home centers sell lumber by the linear foot, which means that the price of the board is determined by the length of the board. You pay a little extra for the convenience of a home center and you likely aren’t getting the best piece of lumber. The lumberyard, on the other hand, sells their lumber by the board foot. A board foot takes into consideration the thickness, width and length of a board. There are several apps board foot calculator apps to help you figure out how many board feet are in your chosen piece, but all you need to remember is one simple formula and you can calculate board feet anywhere.
From every project I’ve ever made, I always have a small amount of left over lumber or scrap wood from cuts that needed to be make. I have a feeling that I’m not alone in that category. Many times, those small pieces or scraps sit in the bottom of my wood pile for months or even years until I find a need for them. Eventually, I'll working on a project that needs a small piece of walnut, oak, pine, etc. and that’s when I am thankful I kept those small pieces of lumber. But! Those scraps don’t always need to sit on the shelf until you need them for the next big build.
There are also masculine, scrap, and easy projects that make great use of your scrap lumber. Here are ten of our favorites:
I'm in the midst of an apartment decoration overhaul (look forward to some fun posts on that soon) so trips to the lumberyard are becoming a more regular part of my day (and I'm loving it). Whether you're a regular woodworker or a just a casual remodel-er, here are some good tips on how to find the best boards in the lot...
A while back, John of I Build It had a big ol' thunderstorm knock out a bunch of trees and branches in his yard and he figured he might as well try and get some lumber out of the mishap. What he needed was a "quick and dirty" band saw mill that he could easily set up and then dismantle for storage. One 5-part DIY YouTube video series later, and the project was fully operational and made out of entirely out of basic shop supplies.
Using dimensional lumber (2x4 and the like) from the home center or lumber yard is a great way to save money on a project. Provided, of course, that you get the right stuff. Anyone who has walked down the aisles of the home improvement store and pick through the piles can attest: some of this stuff is downright funky. And we often pick the best of the bunch, only to find it twisted, warped, or curved once we get the wood home and it's had time to acclimate to our workspaces.