Home>Discussions>INTERIORS>Molding & Carpentry>Am I an idiot for assuming 1x8 s would all be the same size?
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Seth
Am I an idiot for assuming 1x8 s would all be the same size?
Seth

I spent a long time picking through knotty, barky and damaged "select" pine at Home Depot before finding enough clear boards for baseboards in my master bedroom. I cut and installed two before I discovered every single board is a different width. The first one was close to 7 3/8, the second one is 7" even (they don't line up very well), the next 7 1/8, the next 7 1/16, the next 7 1/4, etc. Obviously they can't be used unless I pull down the one I installed and rip every board to 7". HD is already closed so I can't exchange them, not that they would let me return cut boards. I seem to have flushed $200 and a Sunday afternoon down the drain.

dj1
Re: Am I an idiot for assuming 1x8 s would all be the same size?
dj1

Lost $200 on a Sunday afternoon? consider yourself lucky. Others lose more than that.

Have you ever heard the saying: "Measure twice, cut once?" - well, now you know what it means.

At this point, you've got to do what it takes to mitigate your losses. Ripping the boards will work, if you have your tools and steady hands.

Send pics.

A. Spruce
Re: Am I an idiot for assuming 1x8 s would all be the same size?
A. Spruce

If you are someone who shops at Home Depot and thinks they're either getting quality materials OR a good deal, then yes, you may be an idiot. You will NEVER get either thing from Evil Orange, it is literally the Walmart of the building industry, and no, this is not a compliment. You would have been better off finding a specialty lumber supplier to purchase your materials from. Look for someplace that caters to cabinet shops and woodworkers, it is here that you will find top quality lumber at the best prices.

Here's the thing about price and quality when it comes to lumber, the specialty shop is going to have a far superior product to anything that Evil Orange has, it's all going to be dimensionally accurate and sound, it's all going to be properly graded. There will be no need to sort through half a rack of twisted, defective, substandard lumber to get 4 moderately decent pieces. Oh, and the price difference, this depends on what your buying, but for something like pine, you're looking at pennies difference.

As to your project, you'll want to make sure that you nail across the width of the board on every wall stud (approximately every 16" ) to keep it laying flat, boards 7" wide won't stay flat on their own. Good luck with your project, let us know how it goes. :cool:

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Am I an idiot for assuming 1x8 s would all be the same size?
HoustonRemodeler

Wait until they finish shrinking in a few months then measure again.

ordjen
Re: Am I an idiot for assuming 1x8 s would all be the same size?
ordjen

I'm not quite as cynical as Spruce about big box stores, but I have to admit that when I am doing serious trim or carpentry work, I go to the real, "old fashioned" lumber yard or fine woods store. Better lumber and more knowledgeable people serving you. You shouldn't have to wait for lumber to finish schrinking. It should be reasonably dry, if not kiln dried, from the start.

MLB Construction
Re: Am I an idiot for assuming 1x8 s would all be the same size?
MLB Construction

if you don't have one, rent a table saw for the day and rip them all to 7". it will only take 10-20 minutes.

Seth
Re: Am I an idiot for assuming 1x8 s would all be the same size?
Seth

I'm not making furniture, I'm just slapping some pine boards on a wall and painting them white. I even briefly considered MDF. It never occurred to me I'd have to go to a specialty wood store for this...

Anyway, I sorted them into 2 groups: boards that were roughly 7 1/4 and roughly 7 1/16. Since none of the floors are level and none of the walls square I have to plane them a little to fit anyway, so I used up the 7 1/4 boards (after a good bit of planing and a few 91 degree cuts) and will try to exchange the others tomorrow. Then I will hit the specialty trim mill to buy base cap as the only one that HD sold was short and and fat and didn't look at all what was in my home.

dj1
Re: Am I an idiot for assuming 1x8 s would all be the same size?
dj1

Good enough plan.

Send pics.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Am I an idiot for assuming 1x8 s would all be the same size?
Mastercarpentry

It's not just the 'big box' stores here; lumber from any lumberyard will exhibit this same characteristic and the wider the board the more the variance. It's so bad that you can't install joist hangers until after you've flushed the top of the joists. I've seen as much as 3/8" variance with 12" nominal lumber from the same lot and storage conditions, worse with the treated versions which are always shipped wet. In the past, lumber was well-sawn rough-cut, air-dried, then re-cut after drying to final dimension. Now it's finish-cut and kiln-dried with no consideration given to differing grain structure which correlates with the amount of shrinkage incurred with drying. Even adding air-drying time won't fix this but it will give you more stable lumber sizing to choose from.

Time is money, but these days that is the only consideration given to anything by the corporate bean-counters who run the shows. If you want better then you'll have to pay through the nose to get it and you'll have to get someone to do it who no longer understands what wood is really all about and how to best cut it for use, not cost-efficiency in getting as much lumber as possible from every tree. If you want the best you have to cause it to happen yourself- nobody else will. If you want exactly matching lumber of any kind you have to re-saw it after you've air-dried it adequately yourself. There was a time back when I started building where you could count on wood dimensions being very close to right but not anymore. I haven't seen a square sheet of plywood in 20 years; it used to be cut darn-near perfect. What we once culled for framing purposes is now sent out cut for trim lumber and is often so bad that you've got to joint-match every piece if you want it to match it's companion. It's a statement of the sorry state of affairs you get when quality takes a back seat to money and it prevails with everything now.

Welcome to the future which can only get worse until we put the bean-counters back in their place counting beans made to a higher standard as they should be.

Phil

Seth
Re: Am I an idiot for assuming 1x8 s would all be the same size?
Seth

Well I tried to attach a photo and instead it deleted everything I wrote. Long story short, I went to a second HD and everything was the same. I returned the bad ones, searched through dozens to find clear 7.25" boards, but even then they taper at one or both ends to 7 1/16" or so, and the squarest board was heavier and I suspect still wet.

ed21
Re: Am I an idiot for assuming 1x8 s would all be the same size?
ed21

I wouldn't call you an idiot, perhaps a little naive to think anything is the same size without checking if it important to a project. Wood is often variable depending on the mill or even different runs on a different shift. For precision rough lumber is best to be sized, planed or trimmed, before use if needed.

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