nwhomesteader

Is it wasteful to mill down 6/4 to 3/4"?

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1 hour ago, AceHoleInOne said:

No....it's not the size of the ship, it's the motion of the ocean! :D 

I should ask for two tickets to the ride if that's the currency! 

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There have been a couple times when I wanted 1/2" stock, and will buy 5/4 or 6/4 and resaw rather than 4/4 and do a lot of planing.  So perhaps your face frames don't have to be 3/4"...maybe you could eek out 2 5/8" thick boards from your 6/4 and double your yield.

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Just an update, the guy did have some 4/4 for the same $/bd ft but only ash. I picked up 4 boards to start on face frames. Everything else he had in maple was either 6/4 and figured or thicker slabs. I suppose I'll wait till I get a band saw to get into any of that.

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Why don't you find another source for lumber?  Unless you live in the middle of the desert, I bet there's somewhere else you can buy.  Start by telling us where you live...and maybe try google?  You act like this guy with no selection whatsoever is your only option.

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Let's see . . . 100 board feet of walnut at $6.80 per board foot.  Throw away a third; that's over $200 toward a bandsaw.

The wonderfulness of this declines as your price per board foot lowers ;-)

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Why don't you find another source for lumber?  Unless you live in the middle of the desert, I bet there's somewhere else you can buy.  Start by telling us where you live...and maybe try google?  You act like this guy with no selection whatsoever is your only option.

Oakville washington, you can google that. I've done a fair bit of searching on Google and there's one place that sells hardwood in olympia 45 minutes away at 3x the price. There's a hardwood mill in chehalis, 45 minutes the other way who only sells by the semi truckload. Then there seattle or port Townsend which are about 1.5 to 2 hours away, also 3x the price and way farther.

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The guys who live in BFE like that are the reason there are hardwoods dealers online.  Bell forrest, hardwood to go.. check them out

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Oh you live sorta near the abandoned nuclear power plant out there...I found it super creepy to be out driving through a forest and then see those huge towers appear out of nowhere...

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You know.. if you can get wood at a fraction of a cost and your only choice is to mill it down, do it. It's your life, your projects, your wood. So you take 16/4 down to 1/4, if it cost you $20 instead of $80, then good for you. But if your question is - "is it wasteful" well of course it is. I just don't care, cause it's not my wood you are wasting!

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I want to go visit that area of the US, always have. That nuclear plant looks cool unfortunate that it got started and never finished though.

I think you should invest in a bandsaw. You'll probably find it useful for more than just the odd resaw.

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9 hours ago, nwhomesteader said:

Oakville washington, you can google that. I've done a fair bit of searching on Google and there's one place that sells hardwood in olympia 45 minutes away at 3x the price. There's a hardwood mill in chehalis, 45 minutes the other way who only sells by the semi truckload. Then there seattle or port Townsend which are about 1.5 to 2 hours away, also 3x the price and way farther.

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You keep saying "3x the price" but you're probably comparing apples to oranges.  The stuff that you're getting from Unkle Cletus's Bakyard Wood Stoar is not the same quality material that you'll get from a reputable dealer.  But being cheap is not against any law, so suit yourself.

However, it may be worth your time and effort to take a road trip a couple times a year and load up on real wood from a real source, despite the cost.  Woodworking is more fun with material that isn't a PITA from start to finish.  Garbage lumber means more milling, more waste, and more boards that won't stay flat.

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Is it wasteful? For me and many of the others, "YES." But that's because we have sources of lumber nearby with a good supply of material that is close to the needed size, which cuts down on the labor of milling and wasted material. 

For you, the parameters of your operational situation is different. You do not have the ease of access and choices that I or the others have. So we are certainly going to weigh out the situation differently. 

I say get some of the material and try it out. You will find out if it is worth your time or not and you will also determine if the material is acceptable. 

Even though you do not currently have a bandsaw, face frames are not very wide and you can mill them at a 10" table saw with no problem. 

Getting some input from the community is helpful, but I think the best answer for you will come only if you get a bit of material and see if it works out for you. 

It's all just part of the journey. Good Luck!

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, nwhomesteader said:

Oakville washington, you can google that. I've done a fair bit of searching on Google and there's one place that sells hardwood in olympia 45 minutes away at 3x the price. There's a hardwood mill in chehalis, 45 minutes the other way who only sells by the semi truckload. Then there seattle or port Townsend which are about 1.5 to 2 hours away, also 3x the price and way farther.

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I live up North of Bellingham.  Technically, there are 2 dealers in Bellingham but, in reality, there is only one.  So, I buy some material there but, I also use a couple local saw mills as well.  Plus, I do make a trip when it's convenient and stock up on some stuff at a slightly lower cost than my local dealer but, still way more expensive than the mill.

The issue with the local mills that I use is that I'm only going to get native lumber.  So, as long as it's maple, walnut, or poplar I can get it there.  They'll ask you to put down your crack pipe if you ask for bubinga or wenge.

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Just now, TIODS said:

  They'll ask you to put down your crack pipe if you ask for bubinga or wenge.

Funny thing.. I know 3 other woodworkers in my real life and they all would say the same thing. They just don't get why you'd use anything but domestic.

Cause it's cool looking. Duh.

 

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Oakville washington, you can google that. I've done a fair bit of searching on Google and there's one place that sells hardwood in olympia 45 minutes away at 3x the price. There's a hardwood mill in chehalis, 45 minutes the other way who only sells by the semi truckload. Then there seattle or port Townsend which are about 1.5 to 2 hours away, also 3x the price and way farther.

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You keep saying "3x the price" but you're probably comparing apples to oranges.  The stuff that you're getting from Unkle Cletus's Bakyard Wood Stoar is not the same quality material that you'll get from a reputable dealer.  But being cheap is not against any law, so suit yourself.

However, it may be worth your time and effort to take a road trip a couple times a year and load up on real wood from a real source, despite the cost.  Woodworking is more fun with material that isn't a PITA from start to finish.  Garbage lumber means more milling, more waste, and more boards that won't stay flat.

I'm not sure why you are being condescending here. "Uncle cletus..."? Nice. If it makes me cheap to want a good deal on lumber and not spending a day driving around then I guess I'm cheap. I drive for a living, id rather spend time at home. Did I say something that you took personal? Or is it just the anonymity of the Internet that makes people want to be rude?

I also don't understand why just because a guy mills his own lumber and doesn't have a retail store with s4s lumber, that it's an inferior product. I have a jointer and planer for a reason, so I can surface rough lumber. I wouldn't buy "garbage lumber".

Seems to me that a retail store would have more overhead to cover and hence charge more. I'm just getting back into wood working and I'm not looking for exotic hard woods where I'll spend a paycheck for one project.

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There's nothing wrong with buying lumber from a mill.  I buy from them all the time as well as the local hardwood dealer.  It all depends on what I want/need at the time.

A "larger reputable" dealer is actually able to provide lower prices due to buying in quantity.  Now, if they're still too far away then that is what it is.  Eric's suggestion of making a couple trips a year to stock up isn't a bad suggestion.  I do that as well from time to time purely because the pricing is less and it pays for the trip.

A hardwood dealer will never compete with your mill on pricing.  What you didn't mention is if your mill has a kiln to dry it or what that situation is for you?  If it's green, then the pricing will be significantly lower.

The other part of the internet is that posts don't convey inflection.  What you assume is condescending and rude, I don't but, I've also known him a lot longer than you have.  Send a pm if something seems off rather than carrying it out for all to see.  

 

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I'm not being condescending, I'm just pointing out the fact that you're not comparing apples to apples so "3x more" doesn't really mean anything. "A guy" who has nothing to offer but 6/4 material most likely does not have the same quality material as a reputable hardwood dealer.  "A guy" has a Woodmizer and a solar kiln (at best) or box fans at comedy.  A reputable hardwood dealer has distributors who understand the nuances of milling, pre-kiln propriety and kiln science, and post-kiln handling and treatments.  "A guy" cuts logs and stacks them up until you load them in your truck.  "What's the moisture content?" you may ask..."They've been drying for three months" is the typical answer.

Wood is not wood, despite the almost universal desire to believe so.  What happens during the milling and drying process actually does matter.  It's like saying, "Why would I buy a Porsche when it's 3x more expensive than a Ford Focus?"

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"Why would I buy a Porsche when it's 3x more expensive than a Ford Focus?"

Because the Focus gets you where you need to go.

Not to disagree with Eric, he is absolutely correct. Sometime we just have to deal with what we have. Eric has a nice hardwood yard nearby, so he deals with that. I have exactly squat nearby, so I deal with that. OP deals with his situation as best he can.

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At the risk of sounding profoundly stupid, @Eric - isn't 6-8% (ideally) the same whether it was air dried or kiln dried? Or no? 

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If it was improperly kiln dried, it could be a lot of problems..

Air dried is pretty safe, just super slow.

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18 minutes ago, Cliff said:

At the risk of sounding profoundly stupid, @Eric - isn't 6-8% (ideally) the same whether it was air dried or kiln dried? Or no? 

The percentage of water weight obviously  doesn't change.  What can change is the way the wood reacts due to the way it was dried. 

Another thing is creepy crawlies. 30 hours at 133° in a kiln will kill all of the common  borers and termites.

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27 minutes ago, Cliff said:

At the risk of sounding profoundly stupid, @Eric - isn't 6-8% (ideally) the same whether it was air dried or kiln dried? Or no? 

Read up on case hardening. There is a down side to poor kiln management. 

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Unless you live in a desert wood will never air dry all the way down to 6% @Cliff.  Our warm season is very humid.  My guess is you would end up somewhere around 12% (at best) if you tried to air dry here in the midwest.    

There are good small time mills out there with proper kilns and skilled operators (I buy from two different mills) but there are also lots of Uncle Cletus types out there too.   

 

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2 minutes ago, Mike. said:

Unless you live in a desert wood will never air dry all the way down to 6% @Cliff.  Our warm season is very humid.  My guess is you would end up somewhere around 12% (at best) if you tried to air dry here in the midwest.    

There are good small time mills out there with proper kilns and skilled operators (I buy from two different mills) but there are also lots of Uncle Cletus types out there too.   

 

Ahh I didn't know you couldn't hit that low.

Yeah here in the midwest .. life is stupid :) I need to get a moisture meter soon. The walnut I'm using right now is air dried. But I bet it's been dry for 10 years or more. I need to find out what the MC of my shop is for kiln and air dried. 

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38 minutes ago, Cliff said:

Ahh I didn't know you couldn't hit that low.

Yeah here in the midwest .. life is stupid :) I need to get a moisture meter soon. The walnut I'm using right now is air dried. But I bet it's been dry for 10 years or more. I need to find out what the MC of my shop is for kiln and air dried. 

Take a look at this EMC table.   We rarely have the combination of temperature and RH that will bring wood below 10% MC   Kilns help get lumber ready for a life indoors, where (especially in the winter) 70 degrees F / 25% humidity is common and ~6% MC is equilibrium  

 

http://www.csgnetwork.com/emctablecalc.html

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