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Newbie Question - lumber grades

1534 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  NickThoR
Hey everyone, I'm new to this forum (though i've read alot of info from here) and woodworking. I have some experience but nothing intense. My wife is due in about 5 months and i decided i want to build the crib. i found a lumberyard close enough to home with good prices, and they currently have a special of 100 b.f. bundle for $150 for #2 and #3 common walnut or cherry ( ill probably use cherry ). It looks like it should work fine from the pic, but i dont know. What do y'all think about using that grade of lumber?
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I would want to look at it. There will be knots. Some yards have pretty good material and others…well it leaves a little to be desired. Have your worked with cherry before? It can be a nightmare to finish is you are not familiar with it. Congratulations on the upcoming family member and good luck with your project at hand.
If the lumber is not kiln dried, it won't air dry by the time the baby is here. I use lower grade lumber a lot, but it takes a lot of picking and choicing and a lot of it ends up in the stove. I am not sure I end up saving that much money, but it feels like it and I am doing this for the fun of it not trying to make any money at it. The rules would be different if time was an issue, which I suspect is the case with you. My youngest is now 25 and life is a little easier and slower now. Congratulations and your life from now on will be much more interesting.
Plan for about 30% waste from splits, rot, and knots that are unsuitable for the project. I tell people that given all the time and sweat equity that they will be putting into a project, get the best wood you can. The cost of wood in a furniture project is quite low when compared to the cost of the effort.

That said, you can make some real nice stuff from #2 walnut and cherry. But, you can make some nicer stuff out of #1 and better grade. Congratulations and good luck with your project!
Yeah, even if it does have knots, that's not a bad deal, 100 board feet in either of those woods would normally run me over 500$, and I buy from a wholesaler. I've got 20 board feet of cherry, and that cost me 100$ lol, but it's #1
Some of the best looking things I've built were made with lumber so full of character that it is actually off grade! #2 common walnut will have sapwood, knots, some bark edges, etc. Sapwood in cherry isn't considered a defect, so expect lots of it in a cheep wood selection. Also cherry from different trees will, with time, darken at different rates. When I'm building anything from cherry, I do my best to use only wood from one tree to lessen the chance of a very big color difference in some of the boards. Looking at the webpage you referenced, the lumber is surfaced and bundled, so I'm assuming it's kiln dried. Otherwise you won't have time to dry the lumber and build the crib before the baby gets here. Good luck with your project, and the new baby!
Nick, you won't go wrong buying from Steve Wall at Wall lumber, and a buck fifty a board foot is a great price, even if it is lower grade wood.

You'll have more waste with #2 and 3 than you will with FAS or Select. Steve stocks the higher grades of lumber as well, you might want to select a few nice boards for your longer crib pieces and then use the lower grade bundle for the slats and shorter pieces.

I recall that all of Steve's wood is kiln dried, so no concerns there.

Good luck with your project.

$1.50 a board foot sounds way too reasonable, even for #2 or #3. Can you pull some boards to check for warp and/or twist? The waste that comes from a lower grade is not what I would worry about at that price. But if you have to salvage straight boards out of twisted or warped lumber the price may not be quite as attractive.
thank you guys for all this info!
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