This is not a Murphy’s Law story. Still, sometimes you just have to curse that guy anyway.
For a project earlier this week I needed a piece of 1x10 Western red cedar. I looked over my lumber rack – five shelves high, fully loaded, occupying one wall of my shop – and didn’t see any. Some 1x8 and plenty of 1x6, but no 1x10.
But then I noticed that right between two pieces of wide cherry was something a bit grainier, and a quick thumbnail test proved it to be a lot softer than the cherry it was sandwiched between. On closer inspection, sure enough it was the cedar. I slipped the blade of a tape measure into the stack at the end and the cedar was just the width I needed. Perfect, except that board was next to the bottom.
Atop it was some wide cherry, some less-wide cherry, and a bunch of other stuff that grew increasingly random the higher it was on that shelf. Standing back, it was clear that to get that cedar out I’d need to completely empty that shelf and do a lot of shuffling of the entire rack, a chore that would take the better part of the afternoon.
As it happens I’ve been looking for an unavoidable reason to redo my lumber rack. If you’re like me, you try to fill and keep your stock storage as efficient as possible. But after a while you get to the point where your lumber inevitably gets so mixed and jumbled that pulling something out of the rack gets harder and harder. Yeah, you know that point. Well, I was way, way past it.
So I did the right thing and rolled up my sleeves, gritted my teeth and went out and bought a fresh piece of 1x10 cedar.