I’m Hot !!!!!!!!!!!

Well I am hot, its supposed to be 102 today, no heat index, actually 102 , that’s warm, chickens laying scrambled eggs and all that, I am glad I have a couple of AC’s in the front shop , when its this hot nothing does well, glue set s too fast, finished dont level out, not to mention the discomfort, and leaking all over your wood, and fans, while they help , they can play murder on wood, lay a piece out, let a fan blow across it, and it will cup, because you just caused one surface to dry more than the other, so go easy with those fans,

Yesterday I went to one of the box stores, something I rarely do, but I wanted to get some “pine” for our basics show, figured I would start at the beginning, and pine ( used loosely), is a good place to start, we have the contest up on the little 5 board bench which is pine ( hemlock), and in our subscription show we are doing a couple of hanging cabinets out of pine, and now the free basics show, I just want to get the pine thing covered and done, so I go to the box store, It was hot, real hot, then I started looking at the pine boards, they had to offer and the prices, and I got even hotter , are they NUTS, geez… but I bit the bullet for the sake of showing folks, and got some, I got some clear ponderosa pine ( I think),  then I got as clear a piece of white pine, and then come the real winners… I got a piece of “paint grade” pine, it is all these little pieces glued up, and its full of filled knots, now some one , or some machine has to cut all the knots out, save them and it all has to be glued together , OK, if you say so, then I got a piece of “stain grade”, again its ponderosa pine, but it’s glued up pieces, but its clear, this should look good, geez… now comes the fun part, I averaged paying approx 1.50 a BF for the knots and 3.80 for the clear and everything else was in between, but the clear stuff was triple what I can buy poplar for, as well as triple , what I can buy pine for at the mill, and I can often find cherry/ maple in the  3.50 to 4.00 range , if I have to have   it shipped it averages about 1.00 a bf , so I can buy poplar for 1.50 and have it shipped for 1.00 , that’s 2.50 a BF, and a lot better than pine… Then  I cruise thru the finishes…water base attempts everywhere, and im looking at the prices , as I get a lot of comments on how expensive good quality finish products are, I bought  1/2 pint of Minwax polyacrylic , water base finish, a 1/2 pint was 8.57 … geez… I compared it to some of the products I use , it was MORE , now I realize Gallon prices would be better, and so forth, as well there was no shipping, but is it just me or , are the box store’s not the deal I am being told they are, or is it just the convenience  of being able to just go get it when you want,… I have to order everything,  so it’s a part of life, but I get what I want , or what works is a better way to put it.,

  So my basic conclusion, is that the new woodworker, who doesn’t know any better or has no other choice than the box store, I can fully understand their frustration , and reluctance to get into woodworking… If I had to deal with this stuff,. I would be flipping hamburgers or some other  highly skilled job… I guess I got a reality check… but it wasnt the one I was expecting.. Oh yea , I had to dig to find the best stuff I could, and as far as the wood goes, it was planed and sized well, and some was wrapped in plastic… that was smart .. can’t say I blame them there.. oh well… now what do I do with this stuff , well at least one thing, contrary to popular belief, I can finish it nicely.. ( really)

later y’all

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9 Responses to I’m Hot !!!!!!!!!!!

  1. Randy says:

    I’ll tell ya..I dang near passed out when I saw the big box store prices and basically gave up on them for wood.. I will confess that I do go to the speciality paint store for my lacquers and some stains, but my stains that are custom made..I pay 75.00 a gallon for them.. but they are match to be dead on since I haven’t learned to make nor match my own yet.. gonna hint to Charles to teach me that skill..heh heh, but anyways..I hear ya Charles, it’s frustrating alright..

  2. Ken Weinert says:

    If they were wrapped in plastic, it’s most likely that it was because the person stocking the store was too lazy to undo it 🙂

    At least at the box store I end up at the only stuff wrapped in plastic are multiple boards or the short panels that have information wrapped up with them.

    I may need to head down to Paxton’s to pick up some wood. From what you just said it might be worth the trouble to do so.

  3. Monte West says:

    I also dislike going to the big box stores. To start there is nobody to help you. You have to walk a mile or more for what you want. You think it is in one place and guess what, it’s somewhere else.
    Wood, if you are trying to build something and want to use southern yellow pine, you have to buy 2×10 or 2×12 to get away from knots and then plane it down.
    By the way, I also wanted a water base exterior Poly. Only had quarts $16. plus with tax. The woodcraft store is 25 miles away.
    I hope this makes you feel better.

  4. Scribe says:

    Going to an actual lumber yard was intimidating for me. You gotta learn all that “board feet”, “2s”, “4s”, “straight line rip” kinda talk. Then some guy scribbles on a piece of paper and quotes you a price. You gotta wonder if he quotes the same price to everybody. I’m not saying that they take adantage of a new guy, but it takes some practice before you learn how to even correctly ask for what it is you want. Charles or Bob should do an article on this subject: “How to buy wood from at a lumberyard (when you don’t own a planer or jointer).”

  5. Ken Weinert says:

    For me, Woodcraft is about 30 miles, Rockler about 25. Paxton’s is about 20. Not too many hardwood places out here.

    Woodcraft doesn’t have that much wood, more for thin exotics or for turning, but they do carry the GF finishes. They tend to carry exotics more than anything else.

    Rockler has some useful stuff and the staff is very helpful there. Again, they carry more in the exotics/turners categories for wood.

    Paxton’s has great wood, a wide variety. I should go there more often, but it’s a trip without a lot of payback yet, at least with the puzzles. For furniture it’ll definitely be more useful.

  6. ben says:

    In another life, I went up against the box stores. They spend a lot of effort cultivating the APPEARANCE of being cheaper. All it takes is a few loss leaders on key items and periodic screamin’ deals on a few things, and the public jumps to the conclusion that they are cheaper on everything. After that, folks just get in the habit and don’t look elsewhere. Some folks don’t understand you can’t sell everything at cost and still make money.

  7. I believe the box-store sells lumber by the lineal foot, (the HD by us does) meaning a lineal foot is 12 inches (straight line) and will cost you x amount of dollars per lineal foot or 12 inches.

    Its helpful to know, since they do sell by the foot, you can ask them to cut a 10 foot board in half, to say 5 foot and only pay for the better portion of that board, or however many feet of a board you want. Often times I will find the better boards are the longer ones…just have them cut down.

    Remember, because they sell 8 footers and you need only need 4 feet, ya don’t have to buy all 8 feet.


  8. jmcdwyer says:

    This is an eye opener for for a new guy getting into wood working .
    I agree with scribe walking into a mill for the first time and not knowing how to talk the talk is intiminating .I also belive they got you right then and there. You know you are paying for not knowing the lingo.
    I have been very lucky with having a sorce for wood and getting schooled very early on.
    Neil this would not be a bad idea for a show in its self
    Wood lingo .

  9. Yep, Ignorance is not always”Bliss”? We have a local area “box store” that is competitive w/The bigger boys. The problem is going back to get a replacement for what I’ve purchased two years ago! In the MN winter it can be a good time to buy as they offer deals, to get stock moving. Yesterday I noticed it is 2x what BLO use to cost? But that maybe universal? The stuff wrapped in plastic, or the plywood from where ever…is not great quality. But even the local little guy Lumber yard has gone to lower grade products to “compete”. The things Charles teaches about wood and it’s quality are great lessons to apply, especially when spending uor money…which is scarce these days?

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