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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Alexandria, Virginia
    Posts
    97

    Default What woods are the best for making your own woodenware?

    I was just wondering what kind of wood gives you DIY's the least problem during manufacturing at home?

    Perhaps I am using the wrong grade wood and not getting precise results?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,165

    Default Re: What woods are the best for making your own woodenware?

    The best wood available here is ponderosa pine or Douglas fir. I have heard southern white pine or cypress are good woods in the south.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Alexandria, Virginia
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: What woods are the best for making your own woodenware?

    HA!!!!! We were just om Missoula 3 days ago!!! thanks
    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    The best wood available here is ponderosa pine or Douglas fir. I have heard southern white pine or cypress are good woods in the south.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Pleasant Shade, TN
    Posts
    524

    Default Re: What woods are the best for making your own woodenware?

    For frames, a soft pine works great. For boxes and the like, I use cypress or sassafras. There should be plenty of sassafras where you are at.....
    I also use cedar for boxes.
    Don't buy at the store unless you want to pay a premium. I recommend sawmill cut lumber that can be planed and shaped to your liking.
    A man is worth just as much as the things about which he busies himself- Marcus Aurelius

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Gloucester, Virginia
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: What woods are the best for making your own woodenware?

    quatersawn_vs_plain.jpg

    For making very precise wooden ware that resists bowing, cupping, twisting, or any other wood maladies it's not so much about the species of wood but the selection. I buy excellent pieces from big box stores all the time but the key to it is you have to be willing to go through the stack of lumber to find what you are looking for.

    Here is the thing. What you really want is a quarter sawn board. But nobody quarter saws lumber out of timber for a reasonable cost anymore. To reduce waste and increase profits most lumber mills plain saw the boards.

    Here is the difference in a quarter sawn lumber all the cuts pass through the center of the tree. What this means is the growth rings on the end grain will be perpendicular to the board. With the grain oriented this way the board is much more dimensionally stable and will usually resist cupping or bowing. They still might twist if the lumber wasn't stacked correctly so be sure to look down the board from end to end to verify relative straightness.

    In plain sawn lumber they just cut a slab out of the tree then move the saw down and cut another slab and then move the saw down and cut another slab. This means that MOST of the boards have the grain running kind of in an arc that is more or less parallel to the board (when looking at the end grain).

    But here is the good news, and the point of my lesson. Even in inexpensive plain sawn lumber the saw will pass through the center of the tree at least once. So one board in the stack will have the very center of the tree visible on the end grain with growth rings radiating outward perpendicular to the board. So in essence one board in every plain sawn tree is actually quarter sawn!

    The box stores charge the same for the good board as they do the crap ones, so take your time in selection and become educated on how to identify the good one.

    As for species, I dabbled with cedar early on and ultimately decided that it wasn't worth the cost. The best bang for the buck is to find that one magical quarter sawn board in white-wood. That's what the box stores call it anyway. In reality the mill has labeled it S-P-F. Which means it's either spruce, pine, or Fir. Any of these are suitable. Spruce is light and strong, pine is middle of the road, and fir is usually heavier but also has tighter grain and thus is stronger.

    I do spring for cypress for the bottom boards because they last much longer and it's good economy.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Lakeland, Florida
    Posts
    634

    Default Re: What woods are the best for making your own woodenware?

    Pine for just about everything. Boxes, Frames, tops, bottoms...all from pine.
    It's the cheapest and if treated or painted (anything exposed to the outside elements) should last for a good long while.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    2,082

    Default Re: What woods are the best for making your own woodenware?

    Best for me is "free".

    Before I left Maine, I had a steady supply of free Windsor 1 wide trim board cutoffs and built a lot of my woodenware from that. Finger-jointed 3/4", finished with 4 coats of acrylic primer, I believe.

    Now I have a bandsaw to resaw free SPF framing cutoffs to 3/4" thick boards so that is what I'll be doing this winter when I get back into making boxes, bottoms, covers and frames for next year.

    Wayne

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    SW Missouri
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: What woods are the best for making your own woodenware?

    I use #4 white pine 1x12 decking. $.58 B.F. by the unit.
    Tops and bottoms from Advantech.
    Jason Wolthuis '13, z5b, ~20 hives. KTBH's and Langs. TF
    Circumstances don't determine who we are, they only reveal it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Greene County, MO
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: What woods are the best for making your own woodenware?

    plcnut, where are you getting 1X12s for $.58 per BF?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    SW Missouri
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: What woods are the best for making your own woodenware?

    Quote Originally Posted by jray View Post
    plcnut, where are you getting 1X12s for $.58 per BF?
    My local lumber store (Mountain Grove Building Supply).
    That's delivered to my door too

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    550

    Default Re: What woods are the best for making your own woodenware?

    I have used clear pine from Queen City Lumber w/o hand picking. Works great. Hand picked clear pine from "the depot" and it warped before I got the boxes put together. I soaked them in a bucket of water overnight and stacked them in the sun with a couple of concrete blocks on them. They straightened out and I put the boxes together fast before they had time to warp again. My wood will come from a quality lumber co. from now on.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Gloucester, Virginia
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: What woods are the best for making your own woodenware?

    I am currently building a wood airplane. You think finding good lumber for beehives is hard...LOL try finding aircraft grade lumber that doesn't break the bank.

    I've started frequenting the lumberyard. I find that if I go to the various lumberyards in the area regularly and pick through the piles of lumber I can occasionally pick up some real gem's.

    I've read every available reference regarding aircraft grade lumber AND I've been working with Aircraft lumber that was either bought from TEAM or Aircraft Spruce and Specialty company, for almost 60 hours now. I feel confident that I can find aircraft quality wood even locally. Of course I'll have to rip suitable material out of much larger stock and then discard anything that isn't.

    On Monday I spent an hour at the local box store going through 1" x 12" x 6' Nominal (3/4" in reality) S-P-F (Spruce, Pine, or Fir). I would estimate they had 30 or 40 boards there. Of those, perhaps 2% were sawn through the heart of the tree. While these boards are plain sawn a single rip in my shop yields two quarter sawn planks which are dimensionally stable. Of the 2% I found about three boards that were relatively clear and knot free. My main concern was grain runout. I compared those three boards to each other and then selected the best of the three. I ended up with a straight grained 12" board that has a few tight little knots on one side but the other side is very nearly clear of knots from end to end. Comparing it to the Aircraft Spruce sample I carry in my pocket reveals that this wood is in fact Spruce. I'll rip the good side off and toss the bad side on the scrap pile. We'll probably use the scrap for shelves or something because even the bad side of that board is still higher quality than every other board in that stack! The nice thing is that the folks at the lumberyard charge the same price for the good boards as the bad ones! Thus I can rip a $50 worth (plus shipping and handling) of aircraft grade lumber out of an $11 board.

    Yesterday I spent some time in the wood studs. I found a 2x6x8 piece of hemlock that was absolutely straight grained from end to end with one or two tiny tight little knot's on one side. The board is flat and true with no hint of warp or twist. It has at least 6 growth rings per inch and they very clearly radiate out from the center of the tree which conveniently is in the center of my board. Cost? Just $3.00, I couldn't believe it. Of course it took me about 45 minutes of moving around junk boards to find it. I brought my prize to the checkout counter with pride and the lady at the register rechecked the price because I think she thought the price tag was mislabeled or something. I even had enough left in my pocket for Swedish fish candy, yum! Still, I need to learn not to look so darn pleased with the wood when I bring it up or they'll find a way to charge more for it.
    Last edited by Beeophyte; 07-31-2014 at 06:42 AM. Reason: 6-8 Growth Rings, not 4.. duh

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