Typically used for furniture, cabinets, building materials and other decorative wood products, dimensioned wood products include: cut-to-size blanks, edge-glued panels, solid or laminated
squares, mouldings, turnings, bendings, upholstered
frame stock, interior trim, millwork, staircase parts
and component parts for cabinets, such as cabinet
doors, face frames, and drawer sides and fronts.
Specified by thickness, width and length, dimension products are classified into three types: rough
dimension, semi-machined dimension or fully mechanized dimension. Rough dimension stock consists
of blanks cut and ripped to specific sizes, normally
rough surfaced two sides or more to a nominal size.
Semi-machined dimension components are
rough dimension parts that have been carried
further in the manufacturing process, including:
edge or face gluing, surfacing, moulding, tenoning,
turning, sanding, equalizing, trimming, mitering,
boring, embossing, shaping, routing, carving, etc.
Fully machined dimension parts need no additional machining to be done prior to assembly
except for a final polish sanding operation before
finishing or painting.
What to ask before buying
The secret to buying dimension products is communication. Tell your dimension suppliers exactly how
the part is going to be used in your finished product.
Discuss tolerances, specifications and quantities with
your dimension suppliers. Ask them for suggestions
to improve lumber yields, production efficiencies,
product quality and ways to reduce costs – especially
material costs. Since material costs account for over
half of the total cost of producing dimension, the use
of lower grade materials and optional species can result in dramatic savings. Be sure to discuss alternative solutions to meet your needs.
Dimension buyers also should specify the mini-
mum requirements possible in order to maximize the
wood utilization and minimize their costs. To arrive
at the most efficient cost, dimension buyers are en-
couraged to specify only those faces and tolerances
necessary to produce a satisfactory wood compo-
nent product suited to the end use. All too often, a
higher grade of material is specified than is actually
needed. When this happens, it means the dimension
purchaser is paying more than is necessary.
More reasons to outsource
Outsourcing wood components can oftentimes save
money. It enables you to take advantage of other’s
design and production expertise, thereby saving on
the personnel and capital expenditures that would
otherwise be required if you were to produce the
parts in-house. Other benefits include: increased
productivity, quality, consistency and efficiency;
and it allows you to expand your product offerings.
For a list of WCMA members that can produce the
parts you need, see pages 18-23 or visit
A primer on buying dimension wood products and how they can save you money.
WCMA Why buying components makes ‘cents’
2 2018-2019 WCMA Buyers Guide wcma.com
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