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Thread: How do you keep track of the wood you have?

  1. #1
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    How do you keep track of the wood you have?

    I am just a hobbiest and make almost entirely very small (18" long) Car models and ,lately ,intarsia. I was running low on walnut and went and bought a 3/4" x 5.5" x 8' piece that was (In my opinion) outrageously expensive at $89. But it will probably last me for several years. I went to put it away and I saw buried on the bottom of the pile, you guessed it, a 1" x 8" x 8' piece of walnut. Now I probably have a lifetime supply (I'm 78). I have to admit I have wood stashed in 5-6 different places in my 2 car garage shop.
    How do you keep track of what wood you have?
    Thanks
    Dennis

  2. #2
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    I use two methods for the bulk of my material. Longer stuff is on racks and I try to separate it by type. I tag the ends that face out enough so that I can identify the group . . . h-maple, s-maple, cherry, mahog, walnut, etc. I have a couple of levels in the rack that are just for figured stuff. I label each of these on the end. Anything generally figured gets something like fig-pecan, fig-walnut, fig-cherry while specifics get things like BE-maple and Tig-maple.

    Inkedwood labels_LI.jpg

    Shorter stuff is more challenging and I sort by length first.

    Shorts Tower McLaren (8).jpg

    You can see this thing was made out of whatever scrap plywood I came across and grew over time. Based on the room you have or the amount of material a stair-stepped concept could be modified to suit. Within that fixture I try to group by type but that gets pretty hopeless. "Special" stuff in the cubbies may get a china marker or chalk mark to let me find it quickly a couple weeks or months from now

    P.s. I am paying about $10 /bf for walnut on the left coast.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 12-21-2021 at 11:04 AM.
    Take me to the hotel - Baggage gone, oh well . . .

  3. #3
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    I use wood racks. You can organize by species and thickness. You do not want to see how much walnut I have. (Gloat) 4/4 to 9/4. I am 75 so I am constantly reminding my wife and son about the value of this wood after I kick the bucket! lumber.jpg
    Ask a woodworker to "make your bed" and he/she makes a bed.

  4. #4
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    What you actually make stuff with it! I just have to get past the Honey do list. I have a lot of stock, along with my Dumpster diving, so I qualify as a wood Hoarder I think. My wife keeps trying to give it all away. So I need to get it organized as well. Dan

  5. #5
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    If you are asking me, I make musical instrument stands. www.heritagemusicproducts.com I only use walnut.

    Cheers
    Ask a woodworker to "make your bed" and he/she makes a bed.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the suggestions, I need to figure out how to put up more shelving in my crowded shop.

    Glenn- I paid $89 for a board that was 3/4” x 5.5” x 96”. I think that works out to 2.75 bd ft or over $30 per bd ft. I asked the price per bd ft before I bought it and he said $10.50, I don’t think he understands bd ft, his quote was per lineal foot, I guess I could have said I don’t want it but I bought it anyway ( obviously the last time I buy from them) but ,as I said, given what I make, I probably have a lifetime supply of walnut.

    Gordon
    It looks like your wood stash is worth more than my IRA 😊
    Dennis

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dennis thompson View Post
    ..... I probably have a lifetime supply of walnut. ....
    I didn't think it was even possible to ever have a lifetime supply of lumber...

    I started out storing and sorting by species in piles. Then one day I realized that I was going to run out of basement floor space as more and more piles just magically appeared. So I built this rack. I loaded the rack initially by species and then realized that lifting 8/4 boards out of the bottom bunk was taking the risk of wiping my back out. So, I now load 8/4 of all species in the 2nd bunk, and then group by species as best I can. But as I've used the rack, there are exceptions that are muddling the scheme. The top bunk has become a "miscellaneous" board landing spot.

    20200613_165005.jpg
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  8. #8
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    I buy it and use til its mostly gone and take a trip to Hearne with $2,000 and that will be my pile to play with. Usually start the year with larger projects and then move to cutting boards, then coasters to clear out the small stuff.

  9. #9
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    Why not simply label then photograph or video the wood
    You can then look at the video or the pictures on your phone whenever you want

  10. #10
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    I really don't keep track. I kinda know what I have in general and recently refreshed my memory by moving it twice...first to a storage rental and then to on-site storage here at our new property. I have good recall, in general, so for me, there's no need for a formal record. What I do when a project looms is physically check "inventory" and if I believe I need more of something than I have or different something than I have, then I go shopping. (That also means I don't necessarily use something just because I have it, because some boards are waiting for the "right" project and I'll not use them just because they are the species needed for something else)
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  11. #11
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    I keep all the smaller stuff at table-top level so I can see it all at a glance. So no bins or boxes or stuff on shelves.
    Hobbyist

  12. #12
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    Dennis,

    I organize wood roughly by size and then by type (species, etc). Boards, most 8/4 and thicker, are in one of three areas, on long racks where I can see the edges or if under ceiling height, standing vertically against walls, shorter pieces in front so I can find things.

    Dec_2020_005.jpg

    Smaller turning squares and blanks from 1x1" and up are stored on nine or ten 4'x6'x18" wire shelf units, blocks standing on end longer pieces (up to 24") laying flat. I write the length on the ends so I don't have to pull out and measure several when I want a certain length.

    Dec_2020_007.jpg

    BTW, I have enough wood for five lifetimes (72 this year), stored in the shop and five other places around the shop. If I find myself going downhill I'll let you know and you can drive down and get what you can use so my poor wife won't have to deal with it.

    JKJ

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