FAQs & Terminology

What is a flitch?


A flitch is a stack of wood slabs cut from the same log, stacked in the sequence in which they were cut. Also see: "bookmatch".




What is a bookmatch?


Two consecutive wood slabs from the same flitch opened adjacent to one another, like pages in a book. This creates a mirror image pattern. This "Phoenix Rising" table was made by jointing two bookmatched slabs. The joint line is in the center of the table. The unusual black stain seen in the wood was natural, created by a fungus in the log. We happened to get lucky by imagining how the natural pattern could be jointed to create this stunning visual!




Do you carry wood with a "live edge", or "natural edge"?


Yes! The vast majority of our local lumber boasts at least one live edge.




Do you carry dimensional lumber (2x4, 1x6, etc.)?


Typically not. Most of our inventory is "as the tree comes", in whatever length the log came to us, with one or both live edges. We are able to cut and plane our existing stock down to whatever size you'd like.




Do you carry exotic woods?


Typically not. Because all of our lumber is from local 'urban' trees, we have a great variety of species; if it grows here, we may carry it as lumber! This also means that if it doesn't grow here, we don't carry it. Some examples of wood species we do not have in stock include mahogany, redwood, ebony, padauk, purple heart, and bamboo.




From where is your wood sourced?


Nearly all of our lumber comes from trees that lived out their lives in the streets and fields of the Denver-Metro area and were cut down due to development, age, or disease. We work with local arborists, homeowners, and municipalities to ensure that these trees see their highest possible use as lumber and home furnishings. Returning this valuable resource back into our community is what we're all about.




What methods of payment do you accept?


We're happy to accept cash, card (Visa, MC, AMEX, Discover), or check (with ID).




I want to build a (table, desk, bench, etc.). What will the lumber for it cost?


Lumber cost depends on the size of the slabs you'll need and the wood species you choose. Please determine the dimensions of your desired finished product (length x width x thickness) prior to contacting us for a quote. We're happy to provide a rough estimate of cost - including species options - via email or phone, but we need to know what you're looking for! Character, figure, and defects in the wood you choose will also affect pricing.




What is a board foot?


A board foot (bf) is a unit of volume for lumber, equal to 144 cubic inches. A 1” thick board that measures 12”x12” is an example of one bf.




How is your lumber priced?


Our lumber is priced by the board foot (see above). Price per board foot is dependent on species & size. Character, figure, and defects also adjust prices. When you visit us, you'll see that each piece of wood has written on it the pertinent details, including species, number of board feet, price per board foot, and total price (without tax). For more specifics on pricing, visit the "Lumber" page of our website.




What does it mean for a board to be "roughsawn"?


"Roughsawn" describes the stage the lumber is in. Roughsawn boards are straight from the sawmill. The sawmill has a heavy-duty blade with rugged teeth; this leaves the surface of the resulting cut board looking rough and inconsistent. Because boards are dried *after* being milled, roughsawn boards may show some natural warping from the drying process: cupping, twisting, or cracking. They may also show some greying and/or staining from weather exposure. Unless a very rustic aesthetic is desired, roughsawn boards are typically surface planed prior to finishing in order to make them flat and smooth. Both misshapen and stained/greyed boards can be easily corrected by surface planing. Roughsawn boards at TC Woods are priced lower than their planed counterparts. We can surface plane any roughsawn board (under 20" width) for a small shop fee.




What does it mean for a board to be "planed"?


"Planed", "surface planed", or "S2S" describes the stage the lumber is in. Roughsawn boards are carefully hand-planed and then run through a machine planer in order to get them flat and smooth. It's important to note that planing a board does require removing material, resulting in a thinner board. We ensure our planed boards have at least one completely smooth surface (the top). At times we may choose to leave an area or two on the back rough in order to preserve the thickness of the board. Usually an imperfect bottom surface does not interfere with finishing the piece and is not visible on the finished piece (e.g. the bottom surface of a table top). Surface planed boards will usually still require sanding before the piece is ready to accept a finish.




5/4, 6/4, 8/4? What are these fractions?


These fractions refer to the approximate thickness of hardwood lumber, measured in quarters of an inch and expresed as fractions. For example, wood measuring 1.25" thick would be referred to as being 5/4, read aloud, "five quarter". Given that some thickness is lost when roughsawn lumber is surfaced planed, if we're wanting to yield a 6/4 ("six quarter") finished tabletop, we'll mill the lumber 8/4 ("eight quarter".




We chopped down a tree on my property. Can you mill it into slabs for me?


Yes! We'd be happy to help you turn that once-prized source of shade and beauty into lumber or furnishings. You can pay for milling and have all the lumber returned to you, or we can work out a trade wherein we keep some of the lumber in lieu of mill fees. Unfortunately we aren't able to pick up logs. If you're working with an arborist to fell the tree, ask them if they're willing to transport. Renting a truck is another option. For size limits, mill fees, and more info, please visit the "Sawmill" page of our website.




We've got logs we want milled. Can you pick them up?


Afraid not. If you're working with an arborist to fell the tree, ask them if they're willing to transport. Renting a truck is another option. Upon delivery, we do have the means to remove logs from the vehicle or trailer.




If I buy lumber from you, can you help me finish it?


Yes, absolutely! We have a fully-equipped wood shop on site and are happy to do as little or as much of the finishing work as you'd like. If you just need something cut to fit in your vehicle, no problem. Or, if you don't have the means to build but desire to apply finish yourself, we can build a "raw blank" - all cut, joined, sanded, and ready to accept a finish. We'll also tackle your entire project, start to finish. Learn more about our custom woodworking services on our furniture page.




I want a thick slab sliced in half to make two thinner, bookmatched slabs. Can you re-saw this for me?


We are able to re-saw cants and slabs that are at least 5" thick with our bandsaw mill. Unfortunately, we are not equipped to re-saw thinner slabs, nor to saw veneers.









Open Tuesday-Saturday, 10-4pm

10% Fall Sale Ongoing

20% off Sale Oct. 1-10th*

(some exclusions)

Masks and social distancing required.

(303) 666-8989

contact@tcwoods.com