I am a furniture designer in New Zealand. I am shortly going to be in the process of converting some of my designs to use timber that is readily available in the United States. I can not seem to find a definitive list of what sizes of timber is commonly available.
My current designs use dressed pine (I think in the States it is called dimensional) and in metric sizes. I wish to find the nearest US equivalent for them. I would wish to find a close substitute as I don't want the users of my plans to have to rip the timber to the correct size.
If anybody could give me some pointers to a definitive list it would be most appreciated.
The term "readily available" is fairly vague as some species are readily available in one region but not available in another. Most dealers can get almost any width up to 10 inches (25cm) for a price but anything wider gets real pricy as most old growth forests are protected and only reclaimed wide boards are available (but not readily).
Pine would be available in all 'big box' stores. Standard sizes - ???.
Usually wood is generally expressed in 1/4" increments (thickness), such as: 4/4, 5/4, 3/4, 8/4, etc. Let's see, 1/4" is about 6mm. The quality of wood in a 'big box' store here is more construction grade, and generally not furniture grade.
If 'FrankC' sees this thread, he might be able to shed more light on this as he is a pro woodworker - I am not.
Generally the 5/4, 6/4 etc. are dimensions of rough lumber so if you have a planer you could get your 1" thick material by milling 5/4 thick rough material to size. This is actually the method preferred by most woodworkers as S4S material may vary in thickness slightly from board to board.
S4S is always in multiples of 3/4" in thickness so a finished 4X4 from a lumberyard would actually be 3 1/2" X 3 1/2".
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