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Wood Frame Question - Options at Large Home Centers

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GregGleason

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I need to build a simple wood frame. The frame will be indoors but in a humid environment from time to time (not wet). The wood will likely be treated with a polyurethane coat after fabrication. The rough dimensions are H 4.5' x W 4 3.5' for the outside. The width of the wood will be about 2" x 1/2" thick.

I need the wood to be fairly straight. That said, are there woods other than plywood that would work for this project that could be purchased at a large home center?

Greg
 

tmacklin

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I need to build a simple wood frame. The frame will be indoors but in a humid environment from time to time (not wet). The wood will likely be treated with a polyurethane coat after fabrication. The rough dimensions are H 4.5' x W 4 3.5' for the outside. The width of the wood will be about 2" x 1/2" thick.

I need the wood to be fairly straight. That said, are there woods other than plywood that would work for this project that could be purchased at a large home center?

Greg
It would be helpful if you can provide a sketch. Kiln dried redwood or western red cedar is dimensionally stable but I doubt you can find these at the "big box stores". Good luck on finding straight lumber!
 

Peter Olivola

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If you can use 1 x 2 (1.5" x 0.75") there is an interesting option available through dedicated lumber stores. The piece is tongue and groove assembled from sections of dimensional lumber and glued together. It is generally much more consistently straight than anything you'll find at a Home Depot or Lowes. Dimensional lumber isn't nearly as subject to humidity expansion as things like Homasote. Multiple coats of polyurethane should significantly reduce any remaining humidity expansion.
 

tomsteve

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poplar would be a good choice. its a very stable wood and easy to work with.usually available at menards, home depot, or lowes.

being in texas, they may have aspen and/or maple,too that wood be good choices
 
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mkadams001

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poplar would be a good choice. its a very stable wood and easy to work with.usually available at menards, home depot, or lowes.

being in texas, they may have aspen and/or maple,too that wood be good choices
Yes, poplar is a good choice.
 

Woody's Workshop

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What is this going to be used for? How deep is it going to be? Is it a planter box? Window type frame?
As for Polyurethane, MinWax has and exterior grade that I would recommend for high humidity.
See "HERE", it's available at Big Box Stores.
 

GregGleason

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Thanks for all of the comments. I went with cedar because it was cheaper than the poplar (which was nice but a bit pricey).

Woody, it's a frame that will sit in the inside of a window frame in the house interior.

It's an 1/8" too thick, so I need to figure out a way to reduce the thickness.

Greg
 

mkadams001

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Thanks for all of the comments. I went with cedar because it was cheaper than the poplar (which was nice but a bit pricey).

Woody, it's a frame that will sit in the inside of a window frame in the house interior.

It's an 1/8" too thick, so I need to figure out a way to reduce the thickness.

Greg
if you have a table saw or thickness planer or jointer no problem, even a router, then a belt sander.
 

Woody's Workshop

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If you have a local Rockler or Woodcraft store, they may be able to plane it down for you for a small fee Greg.
Don't cut it length before hand, this will reduce the possible Snip and the ends of the pieces.
 

GregGleason

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If you have a local Rockler or Woodcraft store, they may be able to plane it down for you for a small fee Greg.
Don't cut it length before hand, this will reduce the possible Snip and the ends of the pieces.
Thanks Woody. I'll give them a call.

Greg
 

tomsteve

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and if they cant,ask if they know of a cabinet shop woodworker that can. theres also quite a few rough sawn lumber companies in the houston area and they usually have the equipement to mill lumber
 

GregGleason

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I tried to trim the boards on my own and it was an exercise in futility, mostly due to my own lack of experience.

The good news is that I can call the professionals tomorrow and see how they can fix me up.

Greg
 

r12ski

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if you have a table saw or thickness planer or jointer no problem, even a router, then a belt sander.
If only they made a small, portable device that could reduce a board in thickness in small increments that didn't require electricity or a small fortune.

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD HASN'T ANYONE EVER HEARD OF A BENCH PLANE?!?

 

rharshberger

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If only they made a small, portable device that could reduce a board in thickness in small increments that didn't require electricity or a small fortune.

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD HASN'T ANYONE EVER HEARD OF A BENCH PLANE?!?

People dont know how to use such archaic devices anymore. I love my old school planes, they are quick and easy to use, and many hand tools are quicker and easier to work with on small jobs than the power versions of the same tool.
 

mkadams001

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People dont know how to use such archaic devices anymore. I love my old school planes, they are quick and easy to use, and many hand tools are quicker and easier to work with on small jobs than the power versions of the same tool.
I just held a meeting with my production crew the other day about this topic. What inspired the meeting was a project that required rounding the corners of a sheet of plywood. Seems simple enough to me to draw the radius, cut the curve with the jig saw sand a bit to smooth things out. What my guys did was create a file in Corel Draw and cut a router template out of acrylic on the laser, glue little fences on the template, use the template to draw the curve, rough cut the curve, use the router with a flush cutting bit and the template to cut to the finish size. The good news it that I have a router template for a one off radius that will never be used again.
 

rharshberger

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I just held a meeting with my production crew the other day about this topic. What inspired the meeting was a project that required rounding the corners of a sheet of plywood. Seems simple enough to me to draw the radius, cut the curve with the jig saw sand a bit to smooth things out. What my guys did was create a file in Corel Draw and cut a router template out of acrylic on the laser, glue little fences on the template, use the template to draw the curve, rough cut the curve, use the router with a flush cutting bit and the template to cut to the finish size. The good news it that I have a router template for a one off radius that will never be used again.
Ouch, and that whole process must have cost more than simply the time to draw the radius, cut with the jigsaw and sand to final shape, to be exact it probably cost less to buy the jigsaw and sander than it did via the route they went.
 

r12ski

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It still amazes me how pervasive the mindset is that a hand tool is automatically slower and less accurate, or they are even forgotten completely. When I work in the shop, I use the power tools to get within 1/32" and then finish with a hand plane. Even the $5,000 Powermatic planer leaves chatter marks – albeit very small ones.

Fortunately there is a renaissance of hand tool making going on. Companies like Lee Valley/Veritas and Lie-Nielsen have been so successful that even Stanley was forced to go back and start making better planes by bringing their Sweetheart line back with at least some concept of quality. They are nothing like the old Stanley, but that's where Lie-Nielsen fills a much needed gap. The nice thing is that they now have 80 employees making hand tools in the US again.
 

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