Cheap Woodworking Secrets

How to Get Cheap or Free Hardwood Lumber

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Most dimension lumber is used for house framing — joists, rafters, and studs. But when you choose dimension lumber for a furniture project, it pays to sort the boards more closely than a building contractor might.

When sorting, I'm looking for the same things I look for in hardwood. Clear boards with few knots and minimal warpage. Ill pick out the best boards I can find and then, as for other furni-

j ects, buy a couple more than called for in the plans. (To allow for waste when cutting around knots and cracks.)

After getting the wood backto the shop, there's the matter of moisture content Here in Iowa, dimension lumber is dried to a moisture content of about 20%.

This is a higher moisture content than I want when building furniture (12% or less). So what I like to do is to take the time and let the wood dry a bit morebe-fore making any cuts.

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