There many gifted woodworkers in central and eastern Massachusetts, from the finest educators to well known pros and a myriad of hobbyists. There is but one lumber yard in this area that specializes in hard woods and it's almost an hour away from me. Downes and Reader is well known to all the woodworkers in the area and fans of Rough Cut with Tommy Mack may recognize them as the show's hard wood supplier. I made the pilgrimage today.
Prior to going I had emailed them a few questions and they were nice enough to reply and answer my newbish queries. The same can't be said for a popular online lumber yard who on their front webpage encourage people to email one of the owners. That email went unanswered. I'm big on customer service and communication since that's been a large part of my career, and not to toot my own horn, but I excel in these areas. A reasonable of amount of effort to help a customer will go along way with me. D&R and the other guys made my decision on where to buy easy.
Eight boards later I was one my way back towards the office to find someone to examine what I had picked out. Seven of the board were between four and half and six inches wide and one was nine inches wide. Turns out the nine inch wide one was more expensive per board foot, but worth it to me to get the entire table top from the same piece. Before the final tally was done I remembered I wanted a couple pieces of maple just to have on hand. I grabbed a couple of shorts and threw them on my pile. My cut list totaled just over nineteen board feet, but I ended up with thirty one board feet, not including the maple. I was a bit shocked to find out just how much more I had to buy. I knew it would be more and had factored in an additional twenty percent to my budget, but even that wasn't enough. Oh well, it is what it is. Hopefully I have enough extra to makes some mistakes without having to make another trip back.
With the car seats removed, back seat folded down and some borrowed space on top of the center console, it all fit in my car. I got home and unloaded them in to my garage. Everyone fell asleep early tonight so I had some extra time to do some work (and write this blog entry). I went through the layout of each board again, this time with one of my kids' blue crayons. The notes I wrote on the boards the and crude pictures I drew on the back of the cut list came in very handy. This time I included extra length in the layouts and still ended up with some good chunks left over. At this point I am feeling pretty good about the amount of lumber I have.
Next up is rough cutting with the circular saw and just enough planing to see the grain and flatten the boards. Then I'll let it all sit for a couple/three days before final dimensioning. That will be the next post on this project. Can't wait to start making some sawdust.
Until then, thanks for reading.
Link to the entire "Kid's Table and Chairs series"