Picking Lumber to Build a Bookcase

Views: 9773 | Last Update: 2008-06-16
Buy lumber that suits your bookcase building project. Learn how to pick lumber to build a bookcase from a woodworker in this free home carpentry video. View Video Transcript

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Michael McGeary

Video Transcript

Okay, I've gone to my local homer store and bought some lumber to make these bookcases with. When I'm buying the lumber there are some certain things I want to look at to make sure I'm getting the correct lumber for my job. This is an eight foot board and I've determined that eight foot lengths are best for this project because the bookcase is going to be thirty-six inches high and twenty-seven inches wide. Out of an eight foot board I can get one piece thirty-six inches long and two pieces twenty-five and a half inches long, which is going to be our shelf width and I only have a little bit left over. So that's the most efficient length. After I've determined the length I want to look at the lumber itself. First of all I'm going to look for knots or imperfections and we do have a knot right down here. So I'm going to measure from the bottom to see where that knot is. Well it's at twenty-eight inches approximately and since our shelves are going to be at fourteen inches and twenty-four inches, that knot's not going to be in the way, so that's okay. Now I'm going to look at the board to see if it's straight. Put it on edge and look down to see how straight it is. You want to pick them as straight as you can. The second way is you turn the board on its side and look at it like this and see if it's twisted like that or bent that way or crazy any way on this side. This one looks good. The next thing I'm going to do is look like down, across it like this and see if the board is bent like that or like that or crazy in any way that way. This board is a good board, so now I'm going to take it over to the guy at the saw here at my home store and have him cut this to length because it's impractical for me to cut these to length at my house because I don't have the proper saw to handle an eight foot board. So we're going to ask the gentleman to cut this board thirty-six inches, twenty-five and a half inches and twenty-five and a half inches.