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Author Topic: Top Ten Things to Tell Customers what NOT to Do With the Wood They Buy  (Read 2456 times)

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Online YellowHammer

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@WDH  and I were talking about humorous things our customers did with our wood that caused them problems later, and possible ways we could explain to them, in a light hearted but educational way, how they were ruining the wood, or how they were about to make a significant mistake that would haunt them later.

So I was going to take the top ten things that people say and put them on my webpage as humorous educational material.  These are things I have told customers so many times, I'm tired of repeating them, day after them. :D :D  I am sure you all have equally or more humorous things that I can also include.

Here's a few of mine I see all the time:

Don't buy wood in the middle of summer, stick it in your black minivan, and park it in the mall parking lot where the wood can heat up to just under combustion temperature and twist and warp into Fritos then tell me the wood was like that when you bought it.

Don't mistakenly lay wood in a fire ant pile, not notice that, then call and say the wood was a full of bugs.

Don't ask if its OK to use non sterilized wood for your wife's wardrobe closet.

Don't drive your pickup truck 200 miles in the rain to get to us, passing at least a half dozen Wal Marts that sell tarps and straps, buy a thousand dollars of high grade kiln dried wood from us and then put it in the open truck bed, in the rain, and then ask "It'll be OK if it gets wet, isn't it?"

Don't stack a bunch of wood through the console of your SUV, stacking the ends against the gearshift lever and then slam on the brakes.  

Don't buy some dead flat high value boards, spend all kinds of time and care edge jointing and gluing them to form a flat table, top them lay them on a concrete floor for a week to suck up moisture.  

Don't stack a bunch of wood on your SUV roof rack and expect it not collapse.

Don't buy kiln dried wood at 7% MC and store in it your underground basement where the air is so moist there are colonies of cave crickets and clumps of black mold.

Don't use a palm sander to grind a crater in your table top trying to sand that last little scratch.

Don't apply an epoxy finish on your work of art, at night, in the summer time, in a garage illuminated by  fluorescent lights.  Next morning all the bugs in the lights will have died from the fumes and done barrel rolls in the finish.

Don't apply three coats of sanding sealer and then wonder why you can't get the stain to soak into the wood.

Don't tell a sawmill owner to cut a board to a specific length, then complain that you told him to cut it to a number that was too short.

Don't put live edge black walnut slabs in your Tesla car with snow leopard white leather seats.

Don't run boards through you planer after they have been edge joined with pocket screws.

Don't bring your dog to a sawmill and ask if its OK to let it run around not leashed when the sawmill owner has been bitten by a dog that a customer let run around.

Don't light up a cigarette in a warehouse full of dried wood and not expect the owner to tell you to go outside.













HobbyHardwoodAlabama.com

Offline Southside

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Don't ask me to produce 18' white oak for you only to ask me to cut it in half when you arrive as it's too long for your short bed, quarter pounder, mall crawler, pickup.  
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Offline moosehunter

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This past December I sawed out some red oak for a feller destined to be flooring in his master bedroom. I explained when we first talked that he would need to let it dry for a year or have it kiln dried. 
I reminded him when he madran appointment to get it cut.
I explained it again the day we sawed. 
His neighbor told me that about one month after I cut it this fellow was running it through his planner and installing it! 
 I haven't heard from him yet but it can't have come out well. 

mh
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Offline Chuck White

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Don't ask for 10" boards from an 8" log!  :o
~Chuck~
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Offline DR_Buck

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Don't ask for 10" boards from an 8" log!  :o
Had this one last week.  :D   
------------------------------------------------------------
Don't use wood for kitchen and bathroom countertops.    This is one I just don't understand ..   I'm not a fan of wood being used around water and I am always telling customers that I don't think its a good idea.   
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Offline WDH

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Don't let your kids climb the Mount Everest slab pile and stand there and be oblivious while the little angels ravage the whole rattlesnake infested property. 

Don't take a 10', 2" thick, live edge slab and put in your $80,000 SUV with the slab laying on the dash (because you don't want it hanging out the back), put a rachet stap around the back end, and ratchet it into the vehicle, shattering your windshield.

Don't take your perfectly flat, kiln dried wood, put in the garage leaving it there for 6 months and wonder why it bowed. 

Don't bring your 2 year old and spend the whole time dealing with the little angel and not even be able to speak to me in more than 2 word-cutoff sentences.  The attention span of a two year old is two seconds, and the attention span of a parent dealing with a two year old is one second.

Don't ask me for a 10' long 12" wide maple board, then after I rummaged through a 2000 bf pile looking for one, then tell me you are going to cut it into 2" wide, 24" long strips for cabinet doors, but you thought it might be cheaper to just buy one board.

Don't ask me it I can take your green 10" x 10" x 10' long red oak beam that you just had cut for a mantle and put it into my kiln and dry it because you just have to have it done and ready in two weeks.
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Online YellowHammer

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Those are good one. Some Ive not had happen to me, but Im sure its jus a matter of time.  

I had the big wide board thing a couple days ago.  So I just happened to have some 12 foot long, 8/4 red oak, heavy as lead, and when the customer saw those, he said well, maybe Ill just buy some shorter ones, Im just making jewelry boxes. 

 
HobbyHardwoodAlabama.com

Offline Andries

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So, a client calls for a log to be moved and milled.
The tree service had left a very nice 28" burr oak log in the back part of a near impossible to get to yard. Fences, garden, pool and statues = an obstacle course.
She used her not-to-be-trifled-with-tone and said: " I want you to build me a dining room table out of this log".
I was tempted to tell her what she could NOT do with the log. 
She had the wrong guy - she needed to talk to MagicMan.
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Offline hopm

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Those are good one. Some Ive not had happen to me, but Im sure its jus a matter of time.  

I had the big wide board thing a couple days ago.  So I just happened to have some 12 foot long, 8/4 red oak, heavy as lead, and when the customer saw those, he said well, maybe Ill just buy some shorter ones, Im just making jewelry boxes.

 
Had a guy buy a 2"x17"x9' spalted maple live edge slab. I always like to ask what they are going to use the wood for......this was going to make knife handles.

Offline hopm

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short bed, quarter pounder, mall crawler, pickup.  
:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D Awesome!!!!

Offline stanmillnc

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Had a call from a lady asking for a price on a wood slab, preferably black walnut. She tells me she wants a light colored wood. I tell her that "black" walnut is not light in color. She responds, "Well that's okay, I'm probably going to paint it." ::)

Online btulloh

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Ebony and rosewood take paint better than walnut.

Offline SawyerTed

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Don't bring a 14' trailer pulled by a 2x4 half ton truck to haul a load of 6x6x16 and 2x8x16 and expect the rear axle of the truck to stay on the ground.  

Don't build a dining room table with the top attached to the the apron all the way around and expect the top not to split.  BTW the table top laid on the concrete floor for 10 days....duh

Don't tell me you have "equipment" to move 28" plus red oak logs when you are well equipped with a beautifully restored 8n Ford tractor.

Don't pile your newly acquired framing lumber in a cattle trailer and expect it to be straight when you build your lean-to shelter.

Don't call me when you had me provide stickers, but you decided to dead stack your red oak lumber anyway.  

Don't sell me white oak yard trees with metal in them and expect me to buy more.

Don't "help" me change blades......

Don't give me a lecture on economics and business when you think my price is too high.  I'm a busy man and every minute I listen to you drone out a repeat of your Econ 101 notes, I'm losing money.
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Offline Don P

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I'm probably too old but there was a song that comes back to me now and again. "
Don't leave your records in the su-U-un
or they just won't play
 just wont play
  just won't play
no more
A laborer works with his hands
A craftsman uses his brain and his hands
An artist uses his brain, his hands, and his heart

Offline scsmith42

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Don't call me from Washington State, get a price quote for lumber and tell me you offer free shipping, right?

Dont ask for a 16 wide quartersawn oak board and then tell me that youre cutting it into 2 wide strips.

Dont buy a 26 wide solid slab for your bathroom vanity from me, neglect to apply finish to the bottom side of the slab after I advised you to, and then blame me for improper drying when the slab cups up.

Dont ask me to quartersaw your 12 diameter log.

Dont ask me to kiln dry your green 12/4 oak slabs

Dont ask me for a 4 thick, 5 wide, 10 long slab for your dining room table (unless you can maneuver a forklift into your dining room)

Dont ask me what I think about your plan to put a black stain on your quartersawn oak tabletop.

Dont return lumber to me - ever - because you changed your mind.

Dont stop by to visit with my employees for an hour when they are supposed to be working.

Dont call me for 24 long 12 wide quartersawn white oak 8/4 lumber for your boat.  You boat guys want perfection and then bitch about the price.

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Offline Cartwright

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Don't call about tomato stakes advertised for $1.50 each for 6' then tell me you need some 5' and another guy said he'd cut some for $.03 each!!  :-X
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Offline WDH

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Dont ask me for a 4 thick, 5 wide, 10 long slab for your dining room table (unless you can maneuver a forklift into your dining room).
:D :D :D :D
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline scsmith42

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Dont ask me for a 4 thick, 5 wide, 10 long slab for your dining room table (unless you can maneuver a forklift into your dining room).
:D :D :D :D
I field 4 thick slab requests at least once a month.  The last person really argued with me until asked them how they were going to move a dining room table that weighed over 1000 lbs (it was over a crawl space too!)
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Offline Cedarman

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Doing a preemptive strike can eliminate a lot of problems.  I make it a habit to ask the customer what they will be doing with the lumber they are thinking of buying.  I can usually save them some money if they can use shorts and narrows instead of wide and long.  I let them know that.
Many wood customers are ignorant of wood and how it behaves.  
A nice brochure with all the things in this thread given to new customers might be well received.
It puts the monkey on their back if they mistreat wood. 
I am in the pink when sawing cedar.

Offline Old Greenhorn

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I'm probably too old but there was a song that comes back to me now and again. "
Don't leave your records in the su-U-un
or they just won't play
 just wont play
  just won't play
no more
John Hartford. Great little tune. Sticks in my head too.
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I ain't the woodcutter, but I can cut wood 'til the woodcutter gets here.


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