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Author Topic: Lumber for sale - dimensions and defects  (Read 988 times)

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Offline bayleaf

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Lumber for sale - dimensions and defects
« on: May 30, 2018, 12:41:48 PM »
I'm just getting started in milling lumber for sale and I've got a couple of questions.  

Re dimensions, when someone orders say 10 2x6s, do they mean 2"x6", 1.75"x5.75" or 1.5"x5.5"?  I'm guessing I need to clarify that with every buyer, since it will depend on the intended use?    If it is the full dimension, can I take the saw kerfs out or do I need to cut so that the final product is exactly 2x6?

What about lengths?  Do I need to cut each piece to the specified length or can I leave say an 8' board at 8'6" (or whatever the log was cut at)?

What about wane and other defects?  Do I need to ask each buy what grade of wood he wants and then follow the industry rules for each grade, or are there some common understanding that has been established around those?  My last buyer, a lady, asked me to try to ensure there were no knots in the cedar she wanted; I told her I could only promise that any knots would be tight and she was okay with that.  But do I have to get into this discussion for every type of defect with every buyer?  

Thanks, Rick

Offline Southside logger

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Re: Lumber for sale - dimensions and defects
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2018, 12:51:31 PM »
Hi Rick,

Welcome to the Forum,  the simple answer to your question is - It depends.  When doing custom orders I always ask if folks want full or dressed dimension.  I also ask what the intended use is so that we can discuss grade, leaving trim, etc.   Not sure on building codes over your way but you will probably want to know in general terms what is allowable so that some well intended, but uninformed, customer does not buy lumber from you that turns into a quagmire mess later on when they can't use it or it won't pass some inspection.  Getting into graded / stamped lumber is a whole different world around here and best left to the commodity scale mills.  

Jim
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Lumber for sale - dimensions and defects
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2018, 06:53:09 PM »
  I am not entirely sure of your question about the kerf. Kerf has no meaning to a customer if he is buying the lumber- he just needs to know and/or specify the final size he wants. Whether it was cut on a thin kerf band mill or a 5/16" circle mill he still got a finished 2X6.

If custom cutting for a customer just ask ahead of time and cut to his specifications. If you are cutting for your stock it doesn't matter since the customer will see it before buying. I cut my stock to full widths expecting it to dry and shrink some and that the customer is going to plane it to a final thickness if not just buying for rough applications.

  If you are advertising by grade then you need to learn and comply with standard grading specifications. If ungraded just tell the customer and they can sort through it for their purposes. I normally edge my stock closer than most customer tell me to when cutting their logs. They know what works for them and may not mind.

 As long as both of you know and agree what the final sizes will be everything is golden.
Howard Green
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Offline Brucer

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Re: Lumber for sale - dimensions and defects
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2018, 01:34:29 AM »
I always check with my customers -- do they want full dimension or "store-bought" dimension. About half my customers don't even know there's a difference (I keep a couple of small samples so they can picture it).

With larger timbers I ask the customers if they are planning to plane the wood down to finished sizes (1/2" below nominal dimensions). If they are, I offer to cut them 1/4" below nominal size. That way they have half as much planing to do. And I kindly tell them there is no extra charge for sawing them slightly undersize ;D.

As for wane and so on, you can buy a copy of the "Standard Grading Rules for Canadian Lumber" and the "Canadian Lumber Grading Manual" from the National Lumber Grades Authority in Vancouver. Their website is NLGA. Prices are $14 and $12 respectively (CDN $). The first publication gives the detailed rules, while the second one gives additional information and examples (including colour photos).

Bruce    LT40HDG28 bandsaw with two 6' extensions.
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Offline bayleaf

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Re: Lumber for sale - dimensions and defects
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2018, 10:26:42 AM »
Thanks guys for the good advice.  Gives me some guidelines to work with.

Rick

Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Lumber for sale - dimensions and defects
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2018, 01:23:09 PM »
I have no intention of ever offering to sell a board that is exactly 8 long with square cut ends.  If someone wants 8 lumber, its going to be something over 8 so that they will be able to square the ends themselves and have nice 8 boards. To some extent, you have to decide what youre going to offer.
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Offline Southside logger

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Re: Lumber for sale - dimensions and defects
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2018, 02:42:30 PM »
After looking at their lumber racks, I am pretty sure most of the big box stores have the exact same sales philosophy.   :D
Franklin buncher and skidder
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Woodmizer LT35 sawmill, KD250 kiln, BMS 250 sharpener and setter
Riehl Edger
Woodmaster 725 and 4000 planner and moulder
Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.


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