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A handy reference guide and inside tips from 30 years of buying carving wood
Buying wood—be it pine, basswood, or something exotic like rosewood—can leave you scratching your head wondering about the mathematics and vocabulary. When I first started purchasing wood, I fell in love with a piece of mahogany, ideal for an exotic fish I had in mind. The owner of the lumber yard told me the best deal was to purchase several board feet of 8/4 “undressed” and plain-sawn stock. I’m sure he recognized my confusion, but he simply wrote up the bill and took my money without explanation. At that point, I decided to demystify the process that leads to owning a great piece of wood.
Having a basic knowledge of the terminology used, and methods of wood preparation, will enable you to purchase the stock best suited for your project. Many lumber yards have a price list, which can save you a lot of time otherwise spent looking for a favorite wood that isn’t in stock.
Source: Woodcarving Illustrated