I went to the lumberyard today to check out the wood for my bench. For those who didn’t read my previous post(s), this is lumber that has been rejected by the timber export company for reasons unknown. Well today I learned that part of the reason the lumber is rejected is because it needs to be straight, knot-free, etc. the entire length of the board. When it’s not, the whole board is rejected (even though some of it might still be beautiful wood!).

The manager of the yard had apparently been looking here and there for the boards I needed (I told him the dimensions of everything, but said that I would be happy to cut it to length myself). Some of it has been cut to approximate length (with a little extra), while others are still long, ready to be cut into two or three boards. All the boards were well-marked, and the guy told me it’s all been kiln-dried. So I suppose that means it’s all ready to go once I get it home, huh?

I was worried that the wood would be garbage. I knew that if it was, I would probably still accept it because to not do so would be quite rude to my church friend (who arranged for it all to be given to me for free) and to the manager who went through the trouble to get it for me.

As it turned out, though, the wood in general looks quite nice, as far as I was able to tell. I could see a little cracking here and there, and a rough spot or two on some of the boards. But overall, the boards appear to be in good shape and I think will work well for my bench. The manager even gave me several extra boards of various lengths, so even if some of the boards are unusable, I may be okay with the extras. Worst case scenario I have to go to a different lumberyard to buy a board or two as replacements.

Next step: Early next week the manager and I will take the lumber to a different place for planing (apparently he doesn’t prep the wood at all – merely sells it). What do you think – I’d only need to have the faces planed, right? Or should I get it S4S? I’ll have to pay for the planing, but what a small price to pay. Click on the pic for a larger view; that’s my soon-to-be benchtop there in the foreground!