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Over easy

Although I know better, I would have been a lot happier with a recent lumber purchase if I had looked a little closer at both sides of the issue.

It doesn’t matter what the reason was – you were in a hurry, there was no other selection, or you just didn’t think of it – but any time you don’t look everything over, you’ll undoubtedly end up unhappy. This applies when not completely checking out that used car before you buy it, for example, or not giving a refurbished machine a trial run before moving it into your shop.

It especially applies when buying lumber. Oh, maybe not when getting an entire pallet-load, but certainly when picking and choosing single boards. That’s exactly what happened when I didn’t bother to turn this board over and look at the other side before getting out my wallet.

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From the front, this piece of 6/4 walnut was not only good looking, but it was an exact book-match to the piece on top of it, as where the two on top of those. Clearly, they were cut and stacked in the order they were sawn. Thrilled to have found not one, but two fantastic pairs of book-matched boards I wasted no time at all in forking over cash and loading up my new treasures.

It wasn’t until pulling the boards out of the car that I realized that, although the top three boards were fine, that one on the bottom was a heck of a lot closer to the outside of the tree than I’d thought. Oh, I’ll still find a use for it – at 6/4 it’s a lot thicker than I need and planing will give me more workable stock – but if I had to tell the truth, if I’d have taken a few seconds to flip that board over, I probably wouldn’t have bought it.

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