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    Useful Terminology to Aid Your Lumber Purchase

    Last updated 2 years ago

    You can enhance your lumber-purchasing experience by learning the terminology used to describe different cuts and measurements of lumber beforehand. Rough lumber, hardwood, and defects are among the important terms you should know. Continue reading to learn more.

    Rough Lumber

    Rough lumber is any cut of lumber that has not be planed smooth. Some people prefer rough lumber for aesthetic reasons or because they want to smooth the lumber themselves. Conversely, surfaced lumber refers to cuts of lumber that have already been planed.

    A Board Foot

    You may scratch your head in confusion when hearing references to a unit of measurement known as a board foot. This is a typical unit for lumber that represents one square foot by one inch—a measurement equal to 144 cubic inches.

    Hardwood and Softwood

    You may think that you can knock on a piece of lumber to determine whether it’s hardwood or softwood. However, the two designations actually have no bearing on the relative hardness or softness of a particular piece of lumber. The terms refer to the deciduous or coniferous species of the lumber itself. Hardwoods are deciduous flowering broadleaved trees, and softwoods come from coniferous needle-leaved trees. As it turns out, some hardwoods are actually softer than some softwoods.


    Defects aren’t necessarily a bad thing in terms of lumber purchasing. Defects are the naturally occurring features found in certain wood species and are appreciated by many woodworkers because they contribute unique character to the wood.


    Grain is an easily recognizable characteristic of a cut of lumber. It refers to the orientation of the wood-cell fibers on the wood—in other words, the pattern of small lines found throughout a piece of lumber.

    Now that you know some of the most common lumber-buying terms, use your new lingo when shopping at J & W Lumber. We’ve been specializing in providing lumber decking, fencing, and more to the Southern California area since 1957. Call us at (760) 741-8776 to find out more.


    Cascade Redwood Decking Closeout!

    Last updated 2 years ago

    Empower Your Woodworking and Construction Capabilities with this Great Woodshop App

    Last updated 2 years ago

    There’s a new tool you absolutely need in your woodshop, and the great thing is that you can download it straight to your smart phone. It’s the Woodshop Widget app, and it offers all of the wood-related information you need in the palm of your hand.

    The Woodshop Widget app for the iPhone and iPad was featured in This Old House as one of the Best New Home Products of 2011. It’s not hard to see why, considering the app’s board volume calculation, shellac mixing aid, and squareness testing capabilities. Use this app to make estimates, compare wood species, and convert measurements.

    Contact J & W Lumber at (760) 741-8776 for all of your lumber needs in Southern California. Since 1957, we’ve helped woodworkers, handymen, and builders get the materials they need to build decks, fences, patio covers, garden boxes, and more.

    5 Plants that Will Flourish in Your Garden Box

    Last updated 2 years ago

    Having a garden box in your backyard is a great way to relax and enjoy the outdoors—but one of the greatest rewards is the variety of plants you can successfully grow in a garden box. These plants will not only look great, but will taste great too. Here are five plants that will do well in your garden box:

    1. Strawberries are a popular fruit to grow in your garden box. While they are certainly not too difficult to tend, you’ll have to take particular care to grow strawberries correctly. Typically, your garden box will have to be elevated. You’ll also have to make sure that you plant the bulb correctly in order for it to successfully germinate.
    2. Eggplants are nutritious and delicious vegetables that are easy to grow in your redwood garden box. With a supply of naturally-grown eggplants, you’ll be able to make delicious dishes like babaghanoush or eggplant parmesan.
    3. Home-grown lettuce is extremely convenient because you can grow large amounts for very little money. Buttercrunch, salad bowl, and bibb lettuce are popular garden box choices for home gardeners.
    4. Tomatoes are very easy to grow in your garden box. If you are feeling particularly enthusiastic about lumber working, you could build your garden box near fencing to allow the tomato vines a place to grow.
    5. For fresh-cut herbs everyday, consider starting an herb garden in your garden box. Herbs do very well in garden boxes when planted in rich soil and allowed proper drainage.

    If you’re ready to start planting in your redwood garden box, then come to J & W Lumber. We carry a wide variety of outdoor building material, including garden box kits, decking, fencing, or patio cover kits. Visit J & W Lumber online or call (760) 270-9761 to learn more about our inventory.

    If you've liked our recent blog topics from J & W Lumber check out these other great resources below!

    Last updated 2 years ago

    What is pressure-treated wood, and what are its chief advantages? Do you know what factors can affect the durability of your wood furnishings, and how you can keep them safe from weathering and pests? Visit the pages below for more information, or contact J & W Lumber at (760) 741-8776 if you have any questions about wood.

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