While nominal dimensions are widely used for selling softwoods, some retailers have extended the practice to hardwood boards as well. Your local home center probably stocks a few species of hardwoods, like oak, maple and cherry. These boards generally are planed to ^A in. thick, jointed flat on the edges and cut to standard widths and lengths. Within the lumber industry, lumber of this sort is categorized as "S4S", which stands for Surfaced Four Sides. All of tliis surface preparation at the mill translates to higher prices for you, but it may make the most sense to buy S4S lumber if you don't own a tliickness planer or jointer to prepare board surfaces yourself
To find specialty or thicker ha rd woods, you'll need to shop at a traditional lumberyard. A good lumberyard will ofier a wide selection of hardwoods ill random widths and in an assortment of thicknesses and grades (See Hardwood Lumber Grades, below), in addition to S4S> you'll find S2S lumber (planed smooth on two faces but the edges are
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