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post #1 of 9 Old 12-07-2019, 02:32 AM Thread Starter
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Hello !

Hi guys my name I'm sley and I've been wanting to get into woodworking for a while but always felt intimidated. I have a nice 12x20 shed that is full of junk from large house remodel (really rebuild not a remodel). So I finally spent a couple late nights and weekends cleaning up everything and now I've been building good storage and setting up my tools. When I'm done and happy with the space I got I want to be able to find a good source of lumber to start with. Nothing expensive just basic for trials and errors. A few weeks before all this I drove to lumber yard fairly close to my house without a clue on what and how to buy they were not helpful at all there. I thought I could ask a couple questions and they would help me figure out what I need and how to order. Lady at desk was very rude when I asked what is a decent wood that I can get that's not expensive or how does it come, how do i order??? I had no idea. She pretty much said wwe have all sorts of wood I dont know what you want you have to tell me. As I did not want to sit there and look like a dummy I said I'll research and get back to her. As I walk out I saw a guy stacking wood outside and figure why not talk to him I'm already here anyways and he was even worse it's like he almost got offended I asked a question. Maybe they're just not used to amateurs coming in and asking maybe lily questions??? AnywYs I didnt make big deal I said thanks and left. Very disappointed as I still dont have a clue on how the boards come, what's the pricing, what's the wood kind. I would really like to buy from there as its 5 mins from my house but I dont wanna deal with people like that so I wanna just go in and know how to order get my stuff and get out. Anyways sorry for the rant. I never participated in a forum so I have no clue how this works or if I'm posting on right spot!!! Thanks for your help really looking forward to a dive from experienced folks
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Last edited by John Smith_inFL; 12-07-2019 at 09:47 AM. Reason: remove gruff language
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post #2 of 9 Old 12-07-2019, 05:37 AM
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Hi Sley, and welcome to WoodworkingTalk!

Don't get discouraged. I get similar attitude at some lumberyards. Usually they are courteous and friendly, but expect you to know what you want. They are there to sell wood, not give advice.

It would help a lot if we knew where you live. In the meantime, here are a few suggestions that have helped me:

* Find a local woodworking group or club. These are people who love woodworking and want to share with others. They can give you advice, and a member might be willing to go along when you go to a lumberyard (or recommend a better one!). A lot of wood gets shared among members, and the word gets out when trees are coming down. Many of the members are aging out and selling their tools and wood and more, and they want to see them go to people who will use them.

* Check out your local public library. Our library system has a huge number of books on woodworking and wood. I have read at least 60 books from our library system in the last few years, no kidding. Old books are almost as good - woodworking evolves slowly, but basic concepts have not changed much. I just looked at a 1923 book on joinery and woodworking joints that could have been written yesterday.

* YouTube "university" is another popular resource for learning about woodworking. There are so many great videos to learn from. Keep in mind that anyone can post a YouTube video, including people who make rookie safety mistakes on camera. Not everyone who posts a YouTube video is an expert, even if they claim otherwise. Most videos are very helpful.

* Subscribe to a woodworking magazine. There are several good ones. I subscribe to Woodsmith and I think it is good for beginners, but our club passes around a lot of other woodworking magazines, and I think any of them would be helpful.

* Don't fall for "Ted's Plans" or "Thousands of Plans" or "65000 plans!" - it is a scam to steal your money.

* Post photos of your shop in progress and some of your woodworking projects as you go. Don't be afraid to ask questions here.

Best wishes and good luck with your shop!
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post #3 of 9 Old 12-07-2019, 09:52 AM
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welcome aboard. please complete your profile with your location
so we know what part of the world you live in.
please tell us what you like to build - or would like to start doing.
Admin has a page on how to post photos: https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f33/...r-posts-63933/
people using cell phones for photos have a pretty hard time getting it
figured out but "regular" computers are a little more photo-friendly.



-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

Last edited by John Smith_inFL; 12-07-2019 at 02:13 PM.
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post #4 of 9 Old 12-07-2019, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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I can’t quite find where to add my location but I’m in NY-Connecticut area. Thanks door warm welcome I will send pictures soon! I have a lot of the basic power tools like table and miter saw, circular saw, sanders, drills . I’m pretty familiar with power tools but I’ve only really stuff with 2x4s and plywood. I do plan on getting jointer and planer if I get serious. So if I go to a lumber yard can I order like 1x6 boards or something like tha or is it just more intricate like they cut it for me on the spot?? I’ve read some on it but just can’t find quite what I need. Thanks for the warm welcome by the way!! I’ve been lurking around and reading posts here for a bit
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post #5 of 9 Old 12-07-2019, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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Oh almost forgot I would like to build a toddler bed, also wife has a million projects laid out for me!! Toy chest, butcher block laundry bench(when I finally finish tiling it who knows when Iíll get to it ), and a tv stand / entertainment stand. I have some ideas on how to do it and layout and stuff and I keep a large notepad while browsing projects so I can take notes and measurements and take to shop with me after. I built all the window frame or extension jambs ( sorry not sure what they are called ) at my house. Along with all the baseboard trim and the gate at top of stairs for the kids. I am pretty handy and I think I will pick up very quickly. Not scared to try new things I just donít wanna try with expensive wood as we are always on a budget here!!!! Got a 3 year old and a 1 year old which also means time is limited
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post #6 of 9 Old 12-07-2019, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Sleysley View Post
I canít quite find where to add my location but Iím in NY-Connecticut area.
Welcome to the forum, Sley! Click on User CP in the top right corner and then on Edit Your Details. Near the bottom you'll see a field for location.

Ask away on your wood questions and we'll help where we can. Just a tip - add a carriage return or two when you're posting to make the text easier to read.

And we do like photos so show us your shop, tools, projects, etc. whenever you're ready.



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post #7 of 9 Old 12-07-2019, 01:38 PM
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Hello !

When you go to big box stores the lumber is dimensioned, planed and surfaced on all four sides (known as S4S). If you can design projects around standard dimensions (1x4 or 1x6 or 1x8) you can save a lot of trouble ripping boards can get by with a relatively small selection of tools. You need to keep in mind that the listed dimensions are before surfacing on all four sides, so lumber that they say is 1 inch thick is actually 3/4 inch thick, and the width of the lumber loses 1/2 inch. A 1x4 will actually measure 3/4 x 3 1/2.

If you buy from a lumber dealer, they will most likely sell rough cut lumber that is either 4/4 thick, or 5/4, 6/4, 8/4 or 12/4 thick. The lumber has the cutting marks from the saw and comes in random widths and sometime lengths. You will need to do your own surfacing on all four sides which requires a jointer, planer and table saw. Sometimes lumber suppliers plane the surface to 13/16, especially if sending it to you, but you still have an oversized piece of lumber.

When I started out I got lucky and found a very patient lumber supplier. I had him moving stacks of lumber (with a forklift) so that I could obtain one board of each variety he had in stock. It was a wonderful introduction to all the locally available wood.

As far as buying wood, you buy it by the board foot (based on pre surfaced size). A 1x6x 8 foot board would be 4 board feet of lumber. If you are paying $3 a board foot, that 1x6x8 will cost you $12.
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post #8 of 9 Old 12-07-2019, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys . Very helpful!! Iíll get in touch soon with pics. Iíll find out where to post everything in itís correct place on my computer itís tricky on phone
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post #9 of 9 Old 12-07-2019, 03:45 PM
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Welcome Sley lots of good advice here - free for the asking. I agree with those who suggested you get as much info as you can.
Books, magazines, YouTube, google, and this site are all good resources.

Bear in mind for every question there at least 10 correct answers. Experimenting with scrap wood where ever possible especially for finishing. I am presently trying to dye maple scraps with a vinegar/steel wool solution.


THE GOOD NEWS: You create your own destiny...THE BAD NEWS: You create your own destiny
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