I helped my dad make plenty of things as a kid. Now that I've got some space and tools, I've been getting back into woodworking. I never had to choose or buy materials as a kid, though, so I have no experience picking or ordering for furniture!
I am going to build a desk. I have worked up a drawing in SketchUp and while it is not a perfect drawing of my idea, you get the idea. Pretty simple desk with a "doghouse" at the back for computer and phone cords, etc. and a slot for the cords to go through.
Anyway I will need to make a 7' W x 42" D desk top and some 30" H x 34" D side pieces. I don't really know how to go to the lumber yard and buy boards to make these.
Seems like I would order 4/4 or 5/4 in whatever width is reasonably priced. I am guessing I will need to order 8 foot lengths for the 7' top and if I get more 8 foot lengths for the side pieces, I will be able to cut three 30" parts from each board. Is 8 foot a common length in furniture-making materials that will be economical?
I would prefer the boards are already dry and planed and finished on two sides so all I need to do is run them across the table saw and then assemble them. Is this a good way or will I end up with a bad result if I don't plane it myself? I do not own a planer but I could get one.
I really can use any kind of wood I want, this desk is for myself. I was thinking about using red oak.
Thanks! EDIT: here is the drawing