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Cheap Wood

Posted on Monday, January 27th, 2020
Dave!Ideally, you will be working with high-quality wood that isn't warped, twisted and coved. But I didn't have the budget for that kind of wood on this project... so I ended up using common boards of dubious quality. I picked out the best lumber I could find, but it still wasn't flat or smooth or even pretty.

The key to using cheap lumber is to own a planer to grind it into shape.

Except I don't have a planer, so instead I assembled my project with small screws, dampened it a little bit. Then let it set for a couple days to see how it all comes together.

It wasn't too bad... only minor adjustments and some sanding to whip it into shape. It sits level and looks like a million bucks... even though it only cost me $25 to make. Time to remove the little screws and move up to the big screws so it will be solid as a rock...

My wooden display rack.
Shot with a wide-angle lens in my tiny garage wood shop... it's square, I swear!

My favorite trick when needing thin pieces of wood? Paint stir sticks! They cost 98ยข for ten of them! And they always look fantastic! I edged the little booklet displays I made with them...

Wooden display stands for small booklets.

Unfortunately, Home Depot didn't have an 1/8" router bit in stock (even thought their website says they did)... so I had to pay $5 for some 1/4" hemlock to make the dividers...

Close up of the shelf dividers glued into grooves I cut with a 1/4-inch router bit.

The contrast between the light pine and the darker hemlock is actually pretty cool! So I meant to do that!

All that's left is to sand it, varnish it, then haul it to its new home!

I would do woodworking every waking minute of every day if I had the time.

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Comments

  1. Dad says:

    Nice job Son. I love this kind of work also. I am not understanding the purpose though.

  2. Michelle Carole Phillips says:

    I used the paint sticks (two taped together) as spacers when I laid my laminate floor. As you have to leave space for the flooring to expand. I also get all the different thickness of wood strips as they come in handy as spacers and shims and other various jobs. My house is 100 years old and nothing is level or square which makes for some interesting dilemmas sometimes.

    Very nice job. What is the rack/case for? I know wood will swell and the grain will raise if dampened. But I’ve never heard of using it like you described. What purpose does it serve? Just trying to learn as I occasionally do minor woodworking.

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