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The Woodworker's Dilemma

Striving to meet your needs!

Planing for a  woodworking project involves some sort of material list including a cutting list which sets forth the dimensions and quality of the lumber pieces needed to complete the project.  The woodworker needs lumber to satisfy the requirements of the cutting list.  The problem is that lumber is sold based upon what it is - not what you need.  

Do you need 48" length?  The highest Walnut Lumber Grade of FAS does not assure that!  You get to buy multiple boards till you happen to get one that meets your needs.  How Many???

Do you need Clear Heartwood on both faces?  The highest Walnut Lumber Grade of FAS covers that but Select & Better or lower does not!  Now try to find a source for Walnut FAS!  How many boards will you need to buy???  (P.S. if you know of an online source for Walnut FAS please email us - we can't find any.)


What if....

Your supplier did everything they could to meet your needs.  That's what we strive to do!  That's what makes us different!

So What's the Solution....

Custom Dimensioned Lumber - get exactly what you need!  Custom Dimensioned Lumber


But it's expensive...


Yes  - If you have a use for waste lumber (see below).  Or, don't mind paying for (lumber and shipping) and storing for later use the excess lumber you bought to satisfy cutting list requirements.  Or, have minimal requirements such as small or low quality cuttings.  If that's the case our lumber boards are right for you.

Maybe not...

If any or all of the above is a concern we offer alternatives to the conventional purchase of lumber by the board.  Our Walnut Lumber Cuttings and Custom Dimension offerings give you - the woodworker - more flexibility to control quality and cost than just about anyone else on the www.  It's not economical for everyone or every situation but it's available.

About Waste....

Waste - the removal of defects from lumber boards - adds cost to every woodworker's project. By NHLA grading rules our About #1 Common grade implies 33% waste (66 -2/3% Yield). That means that 33% of the lumber and its shipping costs ends up on your shop floor. But that's only the beginning! Waste factors increase with each project requirement for: clear face cuttings, cutting length, and clear heartwood - no sapwood - on the better face or both faces, etc.. It's very possible that 10 bf of your 20 bf lumber order could end up on the shop floor.

A solution is to remove the defects from the boards and ship only the remaining cuttings.  This adds a waste factor and the cost of labor to the cost of the lumber but saves on lumber waste and shipping costs.  This won't be an economical solution for everyone.  The higher your lumber quality requirement or UPS Zone, the greater your potential savings.

About Grade...

Some online suppliers who sell Select & Better (S&B) Walnut Lumber disparage the value of #1 Common.  They tout S&B's higher yield of 83 -1/3% as being a better value.  But, is that true?  The minimum clear face cutting size is the same 144 square inches.  S&B requires a longer minimum cutting of 36" vs. 24" for #1C  - but Selects admit sapwood in the cutting while #1C does not.  The math on yields is: #1C sold @ $3.00/bf =  $4.50/usable bf.  One supplier who was really beating up #1C was selling 10 bf bundles of S&B @ $5.35/bf = $6.42 / usable bf.  Some Value!  A more reasonable $4.75/bf for S&B = $5.70 / usable bf.

From an NHLA Guide...

"Because the grading rules are based on the yield of clear wood, many of the beautiful, natural characteristics which appear in a board are not included in the calculation of the yield.  Often, the natural beauty and real bargains are not found in the most expensive grade of lumber.  The keen buyer who will examine the #1 and #2A grades can discover that they may "yield" the prize pieces.  ....  The lower grades of #1 and #2 of Walnut lumber tend to be generously figured with numerous knots, tight burls, and wavy grain which enhances the beauty of the wood, setting Walnut apart form all other hardwoods.


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