Cut to size timber can help you speed up your project time, avoid having to use serious tools if you’re more of a hand-tool user, and generally helps minimize your chances of generating waste.
However, it’s not all made the same, and some services might not do a great job. For your project’s sake, you need to invest in high-quality cut to size timber you can trust.
Here are a few key points to consider when you’re browsing cut to size timber services and their products.
1: Accuracy of the Cut
This is absolutely key. You’re paying extra to get wood that is cut exactly to your specifications. If it’s cut too long or too short, what’s the point?
Luckily, the majority of high-quality suppliers know what they’re doing, and even if there’s a mistake, they’ll be willing to correct it.
The best way to handle this is to only work with reputable companies.
This goes along with our first point. Mistakes do happen, and even the best suppliers can get a cut wrong from time to time. Before committing to a purchase, check out the company’s guarantee policy. They should be willing to correct mistakes in their products. If they don’t, you can be left on the hook paying for wood that might not work for your project, or you might have to do more work to properly size the wood yourself; again, that defeats the purpose of buying cut to size timber.
Of course, you need to be reasonable. If the cut is off by a few millimeters, that’s nothing a little sandpaper can’t handle, and it’s not worth claiming a guarantee. If the wood’s size is just entirely wrong, you have a reason to be upset.
3: Wood Quality and Structural Integrity
This is something you need to check first if you’re purchasing your wood in person. If you have the luxury of sifting through planks before they’re sized up, getting low-quality wood is on you.
Look at the wood to determine its grain structure and whether that will work for your project. Then, check the end grain to see if there are any concerning splits forming from improper drying or processing, and of course, make sure there are no signs of wood degradation from improper storage.
If any of those things are present, opt for another piece. You’re not getting any discounts for taking junk. So, you might as well get the best quality you can find.
4: Species Selection
As a woodworker, you know how important it is to have a wide variety of species to choose from. Whether you’re looking for different appearances for highly visual products, need wood with certain characteristics to ensure good performance in your finished piece, or just want something that is cheap and easy to work with as a beginner, you’ll want plenty of options.
This isn’t a problem if you go with a good wood supplier, but keep in mind that small local mills will likely only have wood found in your region, and companies aimed at construction crews and various other niche audiences might only offer wood species good for those applications.