NB I am in the UK. The situation could be significantly different in other countries.
I currently want to build some simple bookcases. I loathe MDF and want to make these from solid wood.
Many years ago I tried to do that: I bought some Parana Pine. This appears to have been about the worst choice I could have made! Yes, it warped horribly and the shelving was a piece of cxxp. So depressed was I by this experience, and apprehensive about warping and twisting of any wood I might buy from timber merchants, that on the two or so occasions since then that I have put up shelves I instead ordered some "shelving assembly system".
So just now I've started looking around to see what the situation is currently (NB I am in South London). But I find it very difficult to know how realistic it is to expect solid wood to have been properly dried and then sawn/milled, making it fit for purpose. And yet there must be 000s of skilled carpenters in the UK who do manage to obtain properly prepared wood.
One site with branches local to me is championtimber.com. The following are examples of prices:
- Softwood: 21 x 215 mm (finished) £21.30 per metre inc. VAT
- Meranti/Seraya 20 x 220 mm (finished) £36.95 per metre inc. VAT
- American White Oak: 20 x 220 mm (finished) £55.44 per metre inc. VAT
What are the chances that I won't find these boards twisting horribly in the days and weeks following delivery? At those sorts of prices I don't want to make mistakes!
Cheaper: at buildingmaterials.co.uk I am slightly shocked to see that they are selling 25 mm x 225 mm (nominal) pine for ... £7.14 per metre! Is cheaper likely to mean more twisty/warpy? I have no idea whatsoever.
How can I increase the chances of ordering non-warping, non-twisting wood for my little project?