Choosing and buying cabinet quality lumber - Estimating Your Needs


Long-time woodworkers have learned through experience the importance of choosing their cabinet quality lumber carefully. They know which species perform well in certain situations, which thicknesse are needed for various projects, and dozens of other important things about choosing and using this most intriguing material.cabinet quality lumber

The series of articles "Choosing and buying cabinet quality lumber" started today attempts to share some of that hard won knowledge with you.

The first thing to realize about cabinet quality lumber is that the rules you probably know about ordering dimension lumber (the type you use for carpentry work) don't apply. Sizing, grading, ordering - they're all different.

Also keep in mind that except for a few white pines, such as Sugar and Idaho, redwood, and aromatic cedar, most of the time you'll be working with hardwoods (see Wood for Woodworking section).

Estimating Your Needs

Before you purchase any cabinet quality lumber for a project, draw a cutting diagram, and figure the board footage needed. And, if at all possible, buy from a dealer who will allow you to hand-select your boards.

Hand-selecting gives you two distinct advantages. First, you can choose the grain, color, and texture you'd like to have for your cabinet quality lumber. Second, you'll be able to select your cabinet quality lumber in sizes that accommodate your cutting list and thus reduce waste.

If you cannot choose your own cabinet quality lumber, allow about 20 percent for waste and add it to your needed board footage.