. ORDERING LUMBER
Carrying lumber by car
Transport lumber on your car safely and securely with just a few pieces of rope. Tie one rope to a solid structure in the trunk —a trunk hinge, for example—and make a loop at the other end. Secure a second rope under the hood and form another loop. At the lumberyard, slip the wood through one loop and then hitch the other one in position. To keep the lumber from lurching back and forth, tie a third rope around the lumber and secure it to the window post. Use foam or towels to protect the side of your car.
• Seasoning: Lumber is sold either kiln-dried (KD) or air-dried (AD). The practical difference between the two is that KD wood has a lower moisture content—about 8 percent, while air-dried, high-density hardwoods generally have a moisture content range of 20 to 25 percent. Softwoods and lower-density hardwoods are air-dried to 15 to 20 percent moisture content. KD lumber is therefore preferable for making indoor furniture, because the wood is unlikely to dry out any further; as well, the kiln’s heat allows the wood’s cells to reposition, reducing the likelihood of warping and checking. This does not mean you need to restrict yourself to buying only KD lumber, however; in fact, many carvers prefer moister wood, making AD wood a better choice for them. You can bring air-dried wood to the appropriate moisture level for cabinetmaking, as shown in the Drying and Storing Wood chapter (page 78).
• Surfacing: Also known as dressing, surfacing refers to how lumber has been prepared at the mill before it is sent to the lumberyard. Lumber that is surfaced is usually surfaced on both sides: S2S lumber has been planed smooth on both faces, while S4S wood has had both faces planed and both edges jointed. Rough, or unsurfaced, lumber (Rgh) is less expensive than either S2S or S4S wood, and if you own a planer and a jointer, you can save money by surfacing rough lumber in your shop (page 53).
A sample order for wood at a lumberyard might be as follows: 100 bd. ft. % FAS red oak, S2S. This would amount to 100 board feet of nominally 2-inch - thick FAS (Firsts and Seconds) grade red oak with both faces planed smooth.
Once you receive your lumber, check it carefully to make sure you are getting what you want. If the order does not meet your specifications, do not feel obliged to buy it.