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  1. #1
    Returning Member Mad Scientist's Avatar
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    Lumber at Lowe's and Home Depot

    Has anyone else noticed the wood and plywood and Lowe's and Home Depot, looks more like seconds or third quantity, instead of first?

    I had to run to Lowe's to pickup a sheet of " oak plywood for a project I'm working on and the wood was pitiful. I wasn't going to pay top $$$ for that, so I headed for Home Depot and theirs was worse than Lowe's. What's going on?

    When chunks are missing from the backside and there are cracks on the face, something is screwed up! Is this crap coming from China?

    Anyone know?

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    Re: Lumber at Lowe's and Home Depot

    I can’t speak to its origin, but I can confirm that you arenot just imagining things. It’s become a rare occurrence to find decent sheet goodsat a big box store. They seem comfortable in their decisions to offer decidedlylower quality goods in this area and other product categories such as commonhardware. But… while the quality is low, at least it’s over-priced! Unfortunately,the majority of their customers doesn’t know the difference and/or they don’t care. However, on the off chance that it might makea difference over time, I make it a point to mention things like that to storemanagers.

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    Re: Lumber at Lowe's and Home Depot

    the purebond ply they sell at home depot I think is made in NC and is good quality

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    Re: Lumber at Lowe's and Home Depot

    Stick with our advertisers and you'll be OK.
    Always be yourself because the people that matter don't mind, and the ones who mind, don't matter.

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    Re: Lumber at Lowe's and Home Depot

    +1 to overpriced and lower overall quality at the BORGs. Our weakened economy is dictating most of this mess and the corporate folks want to maintain their margins so that the stockholders don't squawk about lower dividends.

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    Re: Lumber at Lowe's and Home Depot

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Scharle View Post
    Stick with our advertisers and you'll be OK.
    +1.

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    Returning Member Mad Scientist's Avatar
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    Re: Lumber at Lowe's and Home Depot

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Scharle View Post
    Stick with our advertisers and you'll be OK.
    Agreed 1000%. But when you run short, need it 10 minutes ago, and it's past noon on Saturday, a person doesn't have much of a choice.

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    Re: Lumber at Lowe's and Home Depot

    Lumber at those big box retailers should be treated like drugs; "just say no".
    "Anything worth doing is worth overdoing" -Mick Jagger

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    Re: Lumber at Lowe's and Home Depot

    The plywood (3/4") at HD is from Columbia Forest Products, made in Old Fort NC. But it's C-3 grade, usually referred to as "shop grade." With careful picking, you can usually get some "decent" stuff. Whenever one of their employees says I'm picky, I remind them that their company policy is also picky. They want my check to be 100% good. So I expect my purchases to be also. If you are expecting A-2, then go to a supplier other than the BORGS. Often when I need 1/4" birch, I will pick through the 1/4" underlayment, as most often the back is birch, and often times looks better than the 1/4" birch.

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    Re: Lumber at Lowe's and Home Depot

    i've generally had good luck with the 1/2" and 3/4" oak/birch provided the stack is big enough to sort through. that said, i picked up an 8x4' sheet last week of 3/4" birch and as i sawed it up the internal plies from about a third of the sheet delaminated in the middle. looks like it had gotten pretty wet? bad glue-up? dunno? was none too happy and doubt i'll be back for more.
    You can't milk a cow with your hands in your pants.

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    Re: Lumber at Lowe's and Home Depot

    The primary point is that home centers do not stock and sell furniture grade plywood or solid wood. Their primary customer is the DIY and remodeling contractor. In most cases the lumber will be painted not stained and/or clear coated. Therefore the home center sells material for that trade. For example the best plywood is face rated as "AA" or "AB" having the best appearance and considered furniture grade. Home centers sell "BC" face rated plywood. A "C" face can have splits, voids, patches and other defects. "BC" is generally considered "paint grade". Their solid wood is generally rated as "Common" lumber. The better grades are rated "Selects". Common lumber can have knots and other defects and will not be dried to the same low moisture content as Select lumber.

    The Home Depot in my area sells Columbia plywood which is made in the US and Canada. It's good stuff structurally but the grade that Home Depot sells is face graded "BC". Columbia makes "AA" and "AB" faced plywood too but the home centers do not sell it. It would be too costly for DIY'ers and contractors.

    If you want the better better lumber, go to a real lumber yard or go to a lumber dealer.

    Also, to buy lumber knowledgeably you must know what you are talking about. I suggest you buy a copy of Hoadley's Understanding Wood. It will give you lots of excellent info about buying and using wood.

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    Re: Lumber at Lowe's and Home Depot

    Quote Originally Posted by tryingtokeepmyfingers View Post
    the purebond ply they sell at home depot I think is made in NC and is good quality
    Agreed. No voids, and it's pretty flat. For $45/ sheet (3/4"), that's not bad at all. Granted, I had to move the top 5 sheets before I got to one that had two nice faces, but it was Saturday evening which means you're picking through the remnants everyone picked over during the week.
    For fine woodworking projects, I'll go to a specialty store and get the good stuff. But it's nice when you need something to make a simple bench and it's a 30 minute round trip.

    Lowe's has not impressed me lately with their plywood. The shop grade stuff isn't too bad, but their "hardwood plywood" is pitiful. If you cut a sheet in half and put the edges together, it looks like a segmented turning.
    Bas.
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    Re: Lumber at Lowe's and Home Depot

    I only buy plywood from BORGs for shop shelves and cabinets. They are not for show. But I do agree that plywood has been getting worst. I buy it alot for not pretty things, but lately have noticed alot of knots and missing spots in the ply. Also noticed alot of variation in widths, as much as 1/16. Have notices so variations in the edges as far as straightness. I actually been sending pieces through the table saw to get them straight.
    -Zach

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    Re: Lumber at Lowe's and Home Depot

    Made in Marion, NC between Asheville and Morganton just off of I 40

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    Re: Lumber at Lowe's and Home Depot

    For all the construction projects around here (tiered vegetable garden and workshop) we have been buying QUITE a bit of dimensional lumber from HD and Lowe's, and I pick the wood myself.

    I reject 1/3 of what I go through.

    We just placed an order for more vegetable garden stuff AND a privacy fence for the entire property, all to be delivered after this weekend's classes. I told the Customer Service woman that it would be very wise for them to call us the day before so I could pick the fence panels prior to loading for the delivery. She looked a bit askance until I told her I was gonna pick one way or the other, and better at the store the day before than in the driveway and sending 1/3 of it back...

    I have another Q. Why were 2x4x8s I bought the other day NOT 8' long?

    I understand that we long ago got ripped off on their not being 2x4s, but these things were 7'9".

    We worked around it, but then we don't do anything right that way (we truly are NOT carpenters or cabinet builders or joiners!).

    How on earth do contractors work with this length???
    Milissa Ellison Dewey
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