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    Lumber thinner than expected.

    I just bought a good bit of 12/4 kiln-dried ash at the lumberyard, rough, flatsawn. I had the 12' pieces cut to 6' at the yard to fit on top of my car.

    I got home and started taking some detailed measurements of the wood, and I found that one of the boards is actually only about 2-5/8" thick, though the board was explicitly labeled 12/4.

    What is a normal amount of shrinkage to expect for KD lumber of this thickness? Is this within what could be expected or am I short some wood?

    Is it my bad that I didn't measure the thickness at the yard (esp. before getting it cut) or should I complain?

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    Re: Lumber thinner than expected.

    Was this surfaced? Actually, even S2S should be 2 3/4.
    Last edited by FlyingRon; 06-12-2018 at 02:02 PM.
    No job is worth doing unless you can get a new tool out of it.

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    Re: Lumber thinner than expected.

    If it's non planed rough cut 12/4 it should be pretty close to 3"-3 1/8" thick. You should have another 6' section at 2 5/8" t too. Is the rest of your stash also 2 5/8" or closer to 3"?

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    Re: Lumber thinner than expected.

    Quote Originally Posted by marinosr View Post
    I just bought a good bit of 12/4 kiln-dried ash at the lumberyard, rough, flatsawn. I had the 12' pieces cut to 6' at the yard to fit on top of my car.

    I got home and started taking some detailed measurements of the wood, and I found that one of the boards is actually only about 2-5/8" thick, though the board was explicitly labeled 12/4.

    What is a normal amount of shrinkage to expect for KD lumber of this thickness? Is this within what could be expected or am I short some wood?

    Is it my bad that I didn't measure the thickness at the yard (esp. before getting it cut) or should I complain?
    Rough sawn lumber is sold by one of two measuring methods - green versus dry. Green is based upon the dimensions right off of the sawmill, wherein a 12/4 board measures 3" thick exactly. Dry measure, on the other hand, is based upon the thickness after the wood has dried and shrunk. A 12/4 ash board would need to be milled around 3-3/8" to 3-1/2" green in order to measure 3" dry.

    Your 12/4 ash was sold as green measure, because 3/8" is about the amount that ash shrinks during the drying process.

    It pays to ask which measuring system that the wood is being sold by. To me, unless they specifically inform you that they are using green measure resellers that use green measure are trying to make their prices look better than their competition that sells on dry measure.
    Last edited by scsmith42; 06-13-2018 at 06:19 PM. Reason: fix typo

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    Re: Lumber thinner than expected.

    Yeah the weird/annoying thing is that the other lumber is true 3". I'm going to call them tomorrow and see if it was a mix-up and if they'll replace it.

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    Re: Lumber thinner than expected.

    Yeah, I've had them go both ways. Scott is right when you get a price quote it pays to ask. One local distributor charges by the green (IOW a 7+" wide board is charged as 8", etc.)

    But I sure I love that dry measure method ;-)

    Bought a bunch of rough cherry from a distributor last year after I picked out the boards, he laid them out on a forklift, measured the total width X total length. And it was $4.30. I asked him and he said they measure all their lumber like that (most of it is S3S).

    Shoulda bought the whole lift...................
    Last edited by Rwe2156; 06-13-2018 at 11:36 AM.

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    Re: Lumber thinner than expected.

    I called them up, and they weren't too happy (understandably) that the board had been cut, but they said I could bring it back and swap it out for another board. Accomodating, honest folks at Bauman Sawmill... can recommend if you ever need lumber in western Ontario.

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  10. #8
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    Re: Lumber thinner than expected.

    Quote Originally Posted by marinosr View Post
    I called them up, and they weren't too happy (understandably) that the board had been cut, but they said I could bring it back and swap it out for another board. Accomodating, honest folks at Bauman Sawmill... can recommend if you ever need lumber in western Ontario.
    Baumann is a huge commercial timber/lumber company, not a mom & pop backyard operation so they won't mourn the loss of a few undersized 12' pieces of 12/4.

    Did they offer any explanation for why your single 12/4 board was much less than 3"? So they're selling their rough sawn wood on the kiln dried basis that Scott Smith mentioned?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-O7fr6_FXTw
    Last edited by Jeff; 06-14-2018 at 09:40 AM.

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    Re: Lumber thinner than expected.

    Went back to the lumberyard today. They swapped out the board and threw in 12 free bf. of lumber to make my drive out worthwhile. Good guys.

    I asked about the green/dry issue that Scott mentioned. They said that they sell by dry dimension and that's how they mill it (as Jeff mentioned, they're a huge lumbermill. I'm surprised they sell retail actually.) But they said that the will get boards from outside suppliers when they have a huge production run, and sometimes those come in undersized and might have gotten mixed in with their own stock.

    Thanks for the info all! I will definitely adopt a trust but verify approach to lumber thickness in the future with respect to the green/dry issue.

    I got all this 12/4 ash milled up today to build a workbench top!

    Attached Images Attached Images

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  13. #10
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    Re: Lumber thinner than expected.

    Richard, I take it that this is for your IKEA workbench?

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  15. #11
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    Re: Lumber thinner than expected.

    I abandoned that idea. I ordered them and took delivery, but the IKEA tops had a bunch of grooves routed in inconvenient places to attach legs and a bunch of metal hardware attached. These were no described anywhere on the he IKEA website. Expensive mistake. Anyway, this is plan b for the top. Will be more work, but I think I'll be happier in the end. Thicker top, not too wide, can build in a wagon vise. I got that ash for the top and white pine for the legs and stretchers.

    Just joined a woodworking club up here for a song ($200/yr) that has a 7000 sq ft shop including a 12" jointer, 20" planer, and 24" drum sander, so those are making the top assembly go much faster.

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