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Hi, I just got back to woodworking and was really hoping to use Suwanee lumber but had a horrible experience. Is this typical experience and I have to live with this or should I just seek another yard?

Here is the brief summary:

Poplar board was 21BF but the guy in the lumber yard calculated as 26 and insisted: "this is how they told me to calculate". He even tried to tell me that the difference was because he was using inches for the length and I was using feet (the board was 7 foot even). The office recalculated and agreed that it was 21BF and upon calling the other guy, confirmed that the other guy was "rounding it up". I do not know what that meant but they did not seem to care to figure out and told me that there would be 12% waste surcharge because wood shrinks during the kiln-drying process and when they bought it, it was a larger board (this was a rough cut, so, edging waste was no factor here). The edge also had a large defect (more than 2”) that should have knocked down at least 1BF but I was told this was already “factored in” even though other boards without a defect had the same price. So, I do not know what “factored in” means since I paid the full BF plus 12% “shrinkage fee”. The overall attitude was also very unpleasant. Asked the first guy to help with the loading and he disappeared only to show back up once I loaded it myself.

I was also concerned about the pricing. the Poplar was under $2 BF that is reasonable but 16/4 was $3.95. I know that thicker stock has higher price per BF but usually not twice as high and this was rough cut as opposed to the $2BF variety. I had no way to see the pricing and figure out if they were just making it up or it was the actual pricing.

Any guidance about what to expect during the lumber purchase would be appreciated.
i have been wood working 50 or so yrs, now when i buy from my guy this is how it should be, say the board is 6" wide and 8' foot long that is 4 board feet. or if you want to figure inches it is 6 time's 96 inches diveded by 144 is 4 board feet, now i don't know but i bet he was selling it by the running inch which ?? here another

The answer is in board feet. Lumber is often priced in board feet. However, most building material retailers and lumberyards also price lumber by the running foot for easier calculation. That is, a 2 X 4 X 8 is priced at eight times the running foot cost rather than as 5.333 board feet.
 
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