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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok guys, I really don't know how this works, but someone please tell me that the wood that places like Lowes/HD buys for resale, is actually cheap, low quality wood that they choose to stock so they can resell at a low price. What I'm getting at is, I've reached my breaking point with them as far as buying wood, most of their wood stock is absolutely horrible in quality, more warps than the Starship Enterprise...jezzzz.

I know it does come in different grades an so forth of course, "Select", "Premium" ect., but I'm convinced that the 2x4's stated as "Premium" grade at Lowes has GOT to come in better condition at actual lumber yards.

Before now, it never dawned on me that Professionals must NOT be using places like HD/Lowes as their primary suppliers for wood sometimes, now I can't imagine them using the stuff I see at these warehouses to build a house or using it for large jobs, the stuff has more warps twist, and bends than a Chinese contortionist. So, educate me please, am I correct in my new realization that a true lumber yard must actually sell consistently high quality wood, albeit at a higher price of course? I cringe at the thought of even a professional building MY house using the 2x4s ect. that are sold at Lowes/HD.

Once in a while a thread is started asking people to list a couple of things they learned or one or two major points of advice, well mine would be to use TOP quality wood for framing projects and stay clear of the warehouses for purchasing it IF you can, it'll save you some frustration and time. Thnx.


Jim
 

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Jim,

I own a development and construction company and sad to say there isn't much difference between wood at Lows or Home Depot. That being said, the biggest difference will be the speed at which the inventory is turned over or if the wood gets pawed through and left in a jumble it will twist and warp quickly. If you hand pick through a new bundle you should find straight wood. Better yet find a yard that carries finger jointed studs as they will in general have a higher percentage of straight boards and over the long run should be less prone to twisting after being installed. I have never heard it discussed, but if you wanted a really straight walls a person could use structural insulated panels they are prefabed out of 2 pieces of OSB laminated on both sides of foam insulation. I had never thought of that option before writing this reply, but if budget was not a huge concern these panels would be interesting to make a fairly soundproof room. Except the top and bottom plate there is no connection between each side of the panel except the insulation.
 

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I buy wood for projects from a local rare woods supplier called Riverside Lumber. Even when I am not buying exotic woods, the quality is much much better than you can find a Home Depot. They sell furniture grade wood that is almost flawless. Some of my friends are into wood working and they don't buy any wood from Home Depot. Of course, these places cost more. Try Paxton Woods, they are a big chain and may have one in your area.
 

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Bulldogger is speaking of lumber for building furniture and cabinetry. You don't need that kind of quality for wall studs.


Jim, almost every board will warp to some degree, depending on atmospheric conditions. I've noticed that the new stacks of wood are usually moist when HD/Lowe's receives them. I think they come that way from the mill. The boards remain straight as long as they are strapped together, but as they begin to dry out they warp. You just need to pick through the pile for the straightest ones.


When picking through the pile, I recommend picking the dryest ones, which are the lightest. If the board feels heavy compared to the others, then it probably contains a lot of moisture, which I've found increases the likelihood of warping as it dries. If a board has dried out and is still straight, it usually stays straight.
 

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There are five grades that I'm aware of in the 'Common' category:


#1 - #5 Common


Alternate board grade names include: (Best to Worst)


Select Merchantable

Construction

Standard

Utility

Economy


The Select and Finish grades are usually 'appearance' grades used for interior and exterior trim work, moldings, cabinets and interior walls.


Select = Best face

Finish = Best face & 2 edges


Select B&BTR (better) 1 & 2 clear

C select

D select


Superior finish

Prime finish

E finish


How about metal studs?


Bruce
 

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"Wood is for carving. Lumber is for building. Anyway your best bet is to simply use the lumber as soo as you can. Left sitting around it will generally start moving on you. This happens as it dries, as it absorbs moisture, or after the restraints of the unit banding are removed. Most any change in the lumber's environment will start it moving.


This is more of a problem now than 20 years ago. The fast farm grown trees aren't as stable. The growth rings are too fat and soft.


Ted
 

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Here's a tip on selecting boards for your project.


Sometimes, it is easier said than done. I've attached a sketch showing how various boards are cut out of a log.


When picking through the pile of 'lumber' if you inspect the endgrain of the boards you can distinguish which part of the log the board came from (via the growth rings). The closer to quartersawn looking the more stable the board will be (generally speaking). The more flat sawn looking the less stable and more likely it will 'cup' and twist. The cupping will occur opposite of the arc of the growth rings. Try to avoid boards that come from the center of the log and contain the 'Pith'. Cracking, splitting, cheacking starts at the pith and works it's way radially outward.


Flat sawn face grain has the 'cathedral' look to it.


Quartersawn face grain has more straight paralell grain lines.


Unfortunately many of the trees used for this lumber are pretty small, thereby limiting the nicer cuts from the log.


Hope this helps,


Bruce
 

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That's a great picture Brucer has done, and he's exactly right.


Ted
 

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Thanks Ted-


It won't be easy pickins' - Hell I have a hard enough time finding a few without the Pith.


Just so people are not confused with my 'terminolgy' here is a sketch of what 'True Quartersawn' looks like. And this is why, with hardwoods, it is more expensive (lots of waste).


Regards, Bruce
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow, thnx for all the info guys, I appreciate it. I must admit, I was just a tad frustrated when first posting the vent session yesterday, I had just come home from my 1000th (or nearly so it seems) trip from Lowes and had just had a pretty hard time finding decent 2x2 and 2x3's (this coupled with all the previous trips in which I've had to expend great lengths of time finding large numbers of 2x4's in good shape). I truly was wondering if maybe I was just being a bit over critical with my choices as I inspected each piece and accepted perhaps 1 2x4 for every 3 or 4 inspected (compound that by needing about 100 2x4’s over the course of the project and wheeeew, lot of work). Thnx again for the insightful knowledge.


Jim
 

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I'm going to start building a wall in my garage this week so that I can convert it into a home theater. This was very useful information to come across today. THANKS!
 

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Quote:
trip from Lowes and had just had a pretty hard time finding decent 2x2 and 2x3's
Well, no defense of Lowe's but 2x2 & 2x3's are basically considered furring strips and regardless of where you go the quality is gonna be lacking. But I am beginning to think that Lumber is like everything else; If you look around, you can get better pricing. I found a lumber yard that was 1.50 PER STUD cheaper than Lowe's. They had better stuff to boot. Overall, in my area Lowe's is considerably higher than lumber yards for wood, cheaper for insulation than drywall.....go figure.....here is another finding:


During on visit to Lowe's

2x4x10's were 50 cents a stud cheaper than 2x4x8's.

10 foot sheets of 1/2 drywall were cheaper than 8 footers


again, go figure....At this point, calling around for pricing is an inexpensive way to save a few bucks in your project....
 

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D_Olds,


Yep, it definitely pays to look at the labels...It's all about marketing and convienence. That's why sometimes a 32oz jar of Peanut Butter costs more than two 16oz jars. :mad:
 

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Quote:
Yep, it definitely pays to look at the labels...It's all about marketing and convienence. That's why sometimes a 32oz jar of Peanut Butter costs more than two 16oz jars :mad: .
I hear ya about the peanut butter thing. I'm :mad: as well. The nerve of the peanut processing muckity-mucks.


To clarify, the "Great Peanut Butter Conspiracy" referred to above is a clever way to force us into buying 2 16 oz jars instead of 1 32 oz jar. The reasoning is two-fold:


1. The "peanuty-deliciousness-residue" on 2 jars is 32% higher than on 1. That is, the amount of P.B. you are unable to scrape from the jar is significantly higher when there are 2 16 oz jars, than when there is just one 32 oz. Thus, despite there being 32 oz of peanut butter, you actually only eat 25 or so and you are forced to buy p.b. more often.


2. Jiffy and Skippy are both in cahoots with the manufacturers of plastic jars. The extra profits created from this collusion is used to fund a secret group of militants whose job is to sabotage jelly manufacturers and purveyors of other competing sandwich spreads (except mayonaise which, of course, everyone loves).


Don't even get me started on the cookie industry.


pc
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Patrick C
Don't even get me started on the cookie industry.

pc
Not to mention the hot dog / bun conspiracy. 10 Hot Dogs to a package and 8 buns. Commies :mad:
 
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