Choose the Right Lumber for Your Project


You have to buy the right lumber for your woodworking project if you want to ensure the project is a success. You need to know how to evaluate the lumber available for purchase in order to ensure you buy the correct lumber for the job.

This post will provide tips on how to choose the right lumber for your woodworking project and what types of lumber to avoid:


You need to bring a tape measure to the lumberyard. You want to ensure you buy the exact sizes and cuts necessary for the project.

You should also bring a piece of chalk in order to mark the pieces of lumber throughout the yard you intend to purchase in order to avoid forgetting the ones you selected or needing to carry each piece throughout the yard as you shop.

Always buy more lumber than you need. No one is perfect and there is a good chance you will have an error or two when cutting the lumber. You don’t want the error to require extra trips to the lumberyard.

If you don’t use all of the wood you purchase, simply store it in your garage or in a shed for use for a later woodworking project.


Look out for twist warp. This type of wood warp is when the board is twisted in a way that it is no longer flat or balanced across its length. This will result in poor quality during your woodworking project.

Bowing warp is a gradual curve across the length of the wood that is also bad for woodworking.

The last form of wood warp to watch out for is cupping. This looks fairly similar to bowing and is noticeable at the end of the piece of lumber.

Read more on wood warping.


Checking on a piece of lumber is a crack in the end of the lumber. You can purchase lumber that has cracking as long as you’re able to cut off the piece with the checking and still have enough wood leftover.

You also need to consider the grain finishes and types of wood. This is preference and based on the specific project you are working on. You can consult employees of the lumberyard on which wood they would recommend for a specific project.

These are some of the main wood errors to watch out for.

Also do not buy a piece of wood that is wider than you need in the hopes of being able to cut it down its length to reduce the width. You will ruin the quality of the grain and durability of the wood doing this. Purchase the necessary width for the project and work with that.

You can see there are several factors to consider when purchasing lumber for a wood working project. The wood itself is critical to the outcome of the project so take your time in selecting the lumber you intend to use.

For more questions on how to choose the right lumber for woodworking, use our online contact form.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *