How to Save Money
Woodworking Supplies helps you maximize your dollars. Where can you save the most money? What
works best for your projects? We'll discuss the supplies that you need in your workshop.
Wood & Lumber
Wood dimensions are deceiving. When is 1" not really one inch?
Everyone knows a 2 x 4 (2 by 4). The actual dimensions of a 2 x 4 are about 1 1/2" x 3 1/2". Even 3/4
plywood is no longer 3/4". They are making plywood with thinner material on the outside. This saves the
manufacturer money. Also, it makes plywood less stable.
Hardwood dimensions are different. Normally, hardwood is stated in quarters, i.e. 4/4 = 1" (pronounced
four quarter, 5/4 = 5 quarter). If you buy rough saw hardwood, a 4/4 board may be 1/16" 1/8" thicker to
allow for planing. (At least, where I buy hardwood.) Normally, you buy in Board-Feet. A board foot is
144 cubic inches. A piece 1" x 12" x 12" is one board-foot. A piece 1 1/2" x 6" x 96" is six board-feet.
If you buy hardwood in Big Box stores, a 1 by 6 is actually 3/4" thick by 5 1/2" wide. The length is not
affected. You really lose a lot of wood when purchasing already planed wood.
You get more detail on the Woodworking supplies lumber dimensions and definition page.
In addition, I have a Woodworking supplies page on a Shop-made Way for Storing Lumber.
A Woodworking Supplies Extra!
Sandpaper - a woodworking supplies necessity!
Sandpaper is Sandpaper, Right?
Not exactly. There are two grades of sandpaper - Commercial and Industrial. The commercial
grade is sold at hardware stores and home centers. Industrial supply stores sell the industrial
grade. Industrial grade uses higher quality materials and it last longer. Production lines use this
If you could buy Industrial Grade at prices comparable to the lower grade, would you have an
interest? See my Sandpaper Tips page for better pricing on Industrial grade sandpaper.
Glue - a woodworking supplies must!
You need two items for furniture/project making Wood and Wood Glue.
Everyone knows yellow, or carpenters glue. Some started with Elmer's white glue. This is good
only on a very porous surface. The yellow glue is better for woodworking.
Are all Yellow glues alike?
Most yellow glues are not water-resistant. Some of the newer TiteBonds are better. The best one
I have found is Klingspor's Klingbond. It is water resistant and has a long shelf life. Yellow glue
normally takes 30 minutes to 2 hours to dry. I just leave the clamps on during the 2 hours. I don't
want to mess up the joint.
Some experts suggest wiping off any drips with a damp cloth. I disagree! That tends to
spread the glue on your wood surface, and prevents stain penetration. You will find this out after
you apply the stain. I suggest that you wait until it hardens, then use a chisel or scraper to remove
excess glue. You won't mess up your finish this way!
Polyurethane glue is newer to the market. They claim to be 100% waterproof. So, they are good
for exterior applications. One of the more popular polyurethane glues is Gorilla Glue. It is more
trouble than Klingbond. But Gorilla Glue bonds materials other adhesives simply can't - metal, stone, wood, ceramics, foam, glass and much more!
In addition, there is the New Gorilla Wood Glue that bonds stronger and faster for wood-to-wood applications. You can find a good buy on the Woodworking Supplies Auction page.
You make Epoxy glue by mixing two agents in exact proportions. It is messy and hard to use.
Epoxy is good for extreme water resistance. Epoxies are toxic and require precaution wear
gloves and respirator for chemical exposure.
Hide glue is one of the older glues and some people still use it today. It is made from animal products and is susceptible to heat and humidity. For this reason, you can disassembly projects to make repairs. Its most frequent use is for musical instruments. It is a relatively simple matter to separate pieces without damaging them.
Hide glue cures slowly. Don't use it if you can't wait. It requires heating and mixing to get the right
consistency and tackiness for the job.
Most good furniture requires resistant to heat and humidity. Hide glue would not be a good choice. The
water-resistant yellow glue or Gorilla Wood Glue are better choices. Plus, they are easier to use.
See my Woodworking supplies glue tips page
for more information and techniques.
Hardware - a Woodworking supplies project helper!
Everyone needs some nice knobs and pulls. The style depends on what you are making.
You need to realize that most knobs and pulls are not solid metal. They just have a coating, which may
rub-off in the future.
In the Best Place to Buy
Woodworking Supplies Section is a reputable place that has quality.
Drawer Slides - a woodworking supplies problem area!
Are Drawer slides created equal?
The Accuride are good, but expensive. Less expensive normally means lower quality. They do NOT slide easily. You should get excellent quality at a fair price.
Let me help. The best ones are in the Woodworking Supplies Section of the Best Place to Buy Page.
Threaded Inserts, T-Nuts & T-Bolts
I use Threaded Inserts for knockdown furniture, such as Transitional Baby Crib, Workbench, a top to a
desk. If you need to move a large piece to a new home, it is easier if it comes apart easily. I like Threaded Inserts since you get a tight, secure grip, and you can take apart multiple times.
The difference between Threaded Inserts and T-Nuts is how they are used. The pictures show how to use
You use Threaded inserts either way. You have to use T-nuts as shown in the picture on the right. You can see that it mounts on the opposite face. You pound these into the wood rather than screw them in.
The T-bolts fit into the threaded inserts or T-nuts. A T-Bolt has a larger surface. That gives more pressure and it doesn't mar the wood.
Branding Iron - a woodworking supplies trademark!
Everyone should have a Branding Iron. If you put time into making quality projects, then put your stamp on it. I tried an intricate (detailed) branding iron, but it was hard to see on wood.
In addition, it is paramount that you have adequate heat and depth of characters. After my experiences, I recommend a branding iron with no less than 125 watts of heat, and close to 1/16" depth of characters. Anything less will NOT give a good brand.
Here is my current branding iron, which provides a quality mark!
Branding is the easiest & most economical way to permanently mark wood. Show your pride in craftsmanship by branding your signature or logo into your custom built furniture or hand made gifts.
Choose your favorite style at Branding Iron
For Money Saving Prices on Your Woodworking Supplies, go to the Money Saving Page