Transporting your Timber and Board
Transporting your timber and boards is a problem for many home woodworkers and DIY enthusiasts, but we've got some tips from the experts at Kreg and Vermont Sales to help you.
When it comes to buying timber and board for your projects, one of the biggest challenges can be figuring out how to get it home. “SupaWood, Plywood and Particleboard are cumbersome in size and heavy. Thankfully, there are some methods you can use to make it easier to get your materials home,” said expert Greg de Villiers of Vermont Sales.
Have it cut to size at the store
When you know exactly what you need to buy but you're not sure how you are going to get it home, ask if they cut and deliver. Many stores, such as the Builders stores, offer an in-house service where they will cut the timber and board down to the required sizes you need from your projects.
Many building suppliers and timber merchants do offer commonly used boards in shorter lengths that are easy to handle and to haul in just about any vehicle. You’ll pay more per meter for these boards, but you’ll be able to get them home.
Alternatively, some stores have materials in smaller sizes, such as half and quarter sheets - or they may cut larger sheets down for you to transport easily. However, most timber suppliers commonly sell boards in 2.7 metre-long, or longer, and if you have a pickup or large SUV, hauling these boards may not be a problem. But that isn't always the case when you have a smaller vehicle.
Buy smaller at a price
Plywood can be an even bigger challenge to take home - literally. Standard 12.x2.4m sheets are heavy and just plain huge. Once again, though, you can buy plywood most places in smaller sizes. 600x600mm, 0.6x1.2m, and 1.2x1.2m are common. But do keep in mind that the convenience of smaller sheets does come at a higher price.
Another great way to get shorter boards and smaller sheets is to have them cut in the store. Almost all hardware stores and the big box stores such as Builders stores, offer cutting services for boards and plywood. They may charge a small fee per cut, but it is well worth the hassle of trying to transport unwieldy large boards.
You’re also not restricted to getting materials cut to standard sizes. You can have them cut to any size your project requires. Just know that stores don’t guarantee 100% accuracy.
If you’re going to have your materials cut in the store, make sure you go in organized to get the best results. Take a copy of the materials list for your project. This should list the size and quantity of every part. And don't forget to take along a tape measure to check that boards are cut to the sizes requested!
Take along your cutting list
As you pick out your materials, organize them before you head to the cutting area, so that you’ll be able to hand them off to the person cutting. You’ll have an easier time keeping track, and they’ll appreciate your organization. If your project plan came with a cutting diagram, take it along. A cutting diagram shows which parts get cut from which boards and sheets. Also take a tape measure with you so you can double-check cuts, and a pencil to mark the boards.
If you’ll be hauling the materials home, take along a pair of gloves, as well as ratcheting tie down straps to secure your materials. Another option with in-store cutting is to get pieces cut just into sizes that you can haul easily, or to have them cut oversize. That way, you can get them home, and then cut them to exact size more carefully as you build your project.
Having timber and board delivered
Some suppliers may offer a delivery service which is another option if you just don’t have any good way to haul materials, or you’d rather get your materials full-size. This you can ask the suppliers. To do this, you’ll need to know how many of each size board and sheet you’ll need, if you’re not exactly sure, order a little extra. Truck delivery always has a minimum fee. So, it doesn’t make sense for just a couple boards, but it may when you get to a couple sheets of plywood or more. The delivery fee is often the same for a large order, though, so you’ll get better value when you get more material delivered.
If you have a big project, delivery makes great sense. Or, if you have multiple upcoming projects and a place to store materials, consider having materials for all those projects delivered at one time.
A disadvantage to having your boards delivered is that you’re not the one selecting your materials. You’ll have to depend on the store to select straight, flat, clean boards and sheets.
If you’re hauling your own materials, you’ll want to know how to secure them properly. This is important to protect your materials, and it’s critical for safety, to ensure that nothing works loose or falls. Today, most trucks have beds that are 1.8m long or less. That means materials will hang over. So, you need to tie them down. If you have an SUV or van with a roof rack, you can use it to haul long boards - though hauling plywood on a roof rack is tricky.
Kreg is an international brand from Vermont Sales and is available at leading outlets countrywide for more information visit www.vermontsales.co.za