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Selecting Rough Lumber

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  • Selecting Rough Lumber

    Hi All,

    Again I ask for the advice and assistance of all the great woodworkers from this forum. I have been buying alot of rough hard maple from a yard (400 bf in the last 6 weeks) and am dismayed by the variability of grain, color, and quality in general. For instance, are there any characteristics of the rough material that would at least allow me to marginally match grain? How about dark streaks? Is there a way to tell whether it's curly or not?

    Are there any resources for gauging the quality of rough lumber? I have had to put aside quite a bit of material after planing because of this and am getting frustrated.

    Can I tell anything from the end-grain? How about weight? I don’t know....just brainstorming....
    Last edited by zenophus; 01-29-2007, 06:51 PM.
    “Make yourself an honest man, and then you may be sure that there is one less scoundrel in the world.” —Thomas Carlyle

  • #2
    Re: Selecting Rough Lumber

    If you just want the grain to match, what you would have to do is resaw the lumber on a bandsaw. As far as I know the most you can resaw on a bandsaw is 6 inchs, I have seen on sears website that their bandsaws can resaw up to 8 inchs.

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    • #3
      Re: Selecting Rough Lumber

      In a curly maple rough-cut board, you should be able to see some ray lines even in the rough stage. It'll depend on the amount of curl in the grain, though. I've found that the rays are difficult to see, but if you look you'll eventually start to be able to pick them out in the rough stage. It all depends on how rough the rough is, I suppose. A lumber mill sawn board should still show enough of the graining for you to tell basically the color and banding. Try taking a rag w/u and wipe the board. It's possible there's dust obscuring the very obscure marks.
      I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

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      • #4
        Re: Selecting Rough Lumber

        For what it's worth here in the Mid Atlantic area and most likely really anywhere there are different kinds of maple trees. If you can do so, try to be sure most of the lumber came from the same tree or group of maple trees. Watch how it's being cut too. If they rotate the trunk 1/4 turn you'll have different grain. I'm sure you already knew all of the above.
        Last edited by Woussko; 01-30-2007, 07:31 PM. Reason: spelling

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        • #5
          Re: Selecting Rough Lumber

          Thanks for the advice ppl.....I suppose I will get better with experience. I also intend to approach a shop worker there and try to get some more insight from him.

          Thanks Again...

          Zeno
          “Make yourself an honest man, and then you may be sure that there is one less scoundrel in the world.” —Thomas Carlyle

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          • #6
            Re: Selecting Rough Lumber

            Check out this site. It has some good info on hardwoods.

            Dave

            www.hearnehardwoods.com

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            • #7
              Re: Selecting Rough Lumber

              The March 2007 issue of Wood Magazine has a story on picking rough lumber at the lumber yard. Good luck.

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