Loveland lies in Larimer county, which is one of the 55 counties in Colorado. Overall, the Fort Collins-Loveland area has 128,650 total employed workers according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, with a 2% unemployment rate, $21/hr average worker wage, and a $43,210 average annual salary. Thus, about 6 out of every 1000 jobs in Loveland are held by carpenters, and 6/1000 are held by construction laborers.
Rough lumber is sold and measured in ¼" increments; when a board is referred to as 4/4, it means it is four quarters of an inch thick, or one inch. The most common sizes you are likely to encounter at the lumber yard are 4/4 (1"), 6/4 (1½"), 8/4 (2") and 12/4 (3"). Generally, larger dimension lumber is priced per board foot. Price is also dependant upon the wood quality. Boards without blemishes, and of even colour, command higher prices. On most projects it isn't necessary to purchase the best grade material for the entire project. Purchasing a lower grade will allow you to bring home more lumber, and give you the freedom to lay out parts based on appearance rather than waste.
Advanced residential carpenter classes focus on teaching students techniques in planning, measuring, installing fixtures and reading blueprints. Students learn about distance measurement and leveling and also review the equipment and tools used in site layout. Other advanced topics covered are exterior wall components and systems, insulation and applied building codes. Students in advanced carpentry classes also review how to read the symbols and abbreviations used on residential blueprints and practice job estimating, sustainable building practices and energy efficiency techniques.
Aside from pallets, lots of other things can also be repurposed into components for a DIY coffee table. For example, this one has a tile top. The frame is made of wood and can be crafted in no time. In fact, you can use some leftover wood pieces and if you also have an extra tile from previous renovations this can prove to be a cheap coffee table which you can build with things you already own.
In the sixty years of woodworking I have found two tools of increasing necessity. One is a band saw. I can do most of my work with a band saw and hand plane. The second tool is a bow saw, or actually several bow saws. They will replace the band saw if required, though they are slow. One I made about twenty years ago has a one and a half inch wide rip blade and is about thirty inches long. I think the blade is from an old industrial band saw blade I picked up and sharpened into a rip saw blade. It works very well on ripping lumber, logs, etc. Though it tires me out to much to use it now.
The sequence in which boards are cut from a log will determine how stable the boards will be once they dry. As a board loses moisture it will shrink in three dimensions. The change in length is so small as to be considered insignificant and the change in radial movement is always less than the tangential movement. This is most significant as the wood dries between the time it's cut (i.e. green wood), and the point where it is kiln dried or air dried and ready for use. Wood that shrinks excessively, or that has been dried improperly, will often develop checks at the ends. When shopping for lumber, carefully inspect the ends for any checking, or for excessively long checks. It is best to allow for some scrap at the end of each board, just in case. As you trim the end, hit the off-cut across the edge of your bench, and if it breaks in two, you'll have to cut off a little more.
The final building step is to lay each plank in place. These will be cut to 20” long each. Attach each piece using wood glue and brad nails. Just make sure the length the nails isn’t longer than the width of the planks and plywood combined. Once you have finished that, you can paint or stain and add your hardware! Because I was using pre-finished white barn wood from Porter Barn Wood, I painted the table before adding the planks. Check out these planks….