How Rough Cut Lumber Can Be Used

Using Rough Cut Lumber Can Save You Money

Woodworkers love rough cut lumber for a number of reasons. It is usually sold at a fraction of the cost of finished lumber, and it is available much thicker than finished cuts. Although rough cut lumber does not look as good as finished lumber, it does give the skilled woodworker more of a margin for error while saving money at the same time. Many do it yourselfers and woodworkers are turning to rough cut lumber, then, as a way to stretch their project dollars and ensure they work with quality materials.

How Rough Cut Lumber Comes To Market

rough-cut-lumber-at-a-yardRough cut lumber is, simply put, lumber which skips a step or two of the finishing process when it is milled at a saw mill. Instead of being smoothed and then dried like commercial lumber, rough cut lumber is simply cut from green wood and then shipped to retailers. Because it has not been finished, it is left with a very rough surface. It is also cut a little thicker than commercial lumber, so that it can dry and be surfaced.

Why Rough Lumber Is Cheaper

Because the mill does not have to smooth or dry the lumber, it is delivered to the consumer at a more reasonable price than commercial lumber. These savings come with their own price: rough lumber must be dried and jointed or planed before it can be used. By jointing the wood yourself, however, you can often achieve a smoother surface and get exactly the dimensions as you need for your project. Additionally nowdays many woodworkers find that "finished" lumber often needs to be jointed to achieve a perfect surface and edges.

Preparing Rough Sawn Lumber

You can prepare rough sawn lumber for use in your own wood shop. The first step is to dry the rough sawn lumber outside. The general rule of thumb for air drying rough sawn lumber is that each board will require one-year of drying time for each inch of board thickness.  Once the wood is dry enough to work with, you should joint one face of each board. Then you can check the ends of each board to make sure that there is not too much splitting. With just a little care and attention, you will soon have a good stock of project wood, all made from rough cut lumber.

Filed under Lumber, Old and Antique

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