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I know, I know – why would anyone write a blog post about getting wood cut at The Home Depot? Well, for years I was to nervous to ask The Home Depot to cut my wood for me, thinking they would treat me weird or something. I was so insecure about my building skills that I felt I couldn’t risk the embarrassment because I didn’t know what I was doing anyway. After hearing the Shanty Sisters talk about “ripping” plywood and how easy it was, I thought I would give it a try. Problem was I didn’t even know what “ripping” wood meant.
So, first of all, lets discuss ripping wood. Wikipedia explain it like this:
In woodworking, a rip-cut is to sever or divide a piece of wood parallel to the grain. The other typical type of cut is a cross-cut, a cut perpendicular to the grain. Unlike cross-cutting, which shears the wood fibers, a rip saw works more like a series of chisels, lifting off small splinters of wood. The nature of the wood grain requires the shape of the saw teeth to be different thus the need for both rip saws and crosscut saws; however some circular saw blades are combination blades and can make both types of cuts. A rip cut is the fundamental type of cut made at a sawmill.
Does this makes sense? You can get more details here from The Spruce Blog – they offer a lot of wood working tips that are so helpful.
So, finally I grabbed my keys and I forced myself into The Home Depot to try this wood cutting thing out. (P.S. If you do not have The Home Depot close to you, you can order online, but with no cutting options. We use affiliate links with The Home Depot and are compensated for any purchase you make through these links. This post is of our own opinions and not of The Home Depot. We do not recommend any products that we do not use ourselves, and know you will be pleased with any The Home Depot purchase that you make!)
Man! It was so easy, so smooth, and they were SO nice about it. I can’t believe it took me so long to use this service. Now, even though I can cut my own wood, I ask the help of The Home Depot. It helps me load things into my car easier, and gets my DIY’s going a bit faster.
Are you nervous to ask for the help? Let me show you how easy it is! Read along to see how it’s done. I also made a quick 60 second video tutorial to help you see how easy it is to ask for some help.
Here we go – it is very tricky so pay close attention to the instructions! (Insert wink wink here)
Before you get to The Home Depot you will want to have your measurements and plans ready. It is helpful to have a calculator and pen & pencil (or use your phone) with you. I usually need a few minutes alone with my brain to figure out all the math measurements to make sure I am getting it right. I never claim to be the sharpest tool in the shed if you know what I mean!
Funny right? But it really is the next step in this process! Because if you don’t park your car it will roll away and then you will have no place to put your cut wood once you are finished! So better safe than sorry is the motto here.
There are so many options here. Spend your time walking the isles and getting used to all the wood they offer. If you are following a tutorial it will have the type of wood you need. Ask any associate for help and they are super great about it.
I was shopping here for birch plywood to make shiplap. More on that DIY coming soon. This is what the associate helped me find:
I calculated how much I would need. (My wall was 80 square feet and each board was 4 feet by 8 feet = 32 feet. So I grabbed 3 boards to be safe.)
They have two different kinds of carts at The Home Depot. Normal shopping carts and metal ones with bars that allow you to prop your wood on without it falling out. Grab either one. The cutting center is in the back of the store and has a huge sign above it. You will also see large saws like the one in the following photo:
Usually the employee in charge of cutting or ripping wood is back there. Sometimes there is even a line. If there is, just wait patiently – they are quick. If you do not see anyone, just wonder the isles to find an employee and ask them to call for someone to come to the cutting center.
So you don’t really have to smile (but it’s a nice gesture), but you do need to stand back. Tell them the measurements you need and they will start cutting it for you! Some stores have different rules on cutting. Most will do 12 cuts for free and then charge you a super small fee for additional cuts (.25 cents usually). Some stores will not make cuts under 6 inches for safety reasons. If you have any questions just ask them.
The plywood I was cutting was very thin, so the employee was able to cut all three boards at once for me. This limited my cuts and I was able to get them all done for no cost. The following machine is for super large cuts. They have an additional machine for cutting 2×4’s, 4×4’s, 2×10’s, etc and other sizes similar to that.
They can help you load it back into your cart and you are ready for check out! Isn’t that worth the biggest smile you got?
Here is what my wood looked like:
Each board of wood has a scanner code sticker on the back. Since your wood is all cut up they will need to see the pieces that have the sticker on them. Let them know you had the wood cut and they will know what to look for. You can do the shelf check out if you wish, you will just need to find the scanner code yourself. Once your rung up, just pay your bill and you did it!
Now all you have to do is load your wood into your car, and you are ready to get home and start DIYing! If you need help loading your wood, you leave it near the exit and drive your car back through the loading station. Someone will come help you. I am telling you, for customer service – this place has it down!
I was so excited to load my car (thanks to the darling older gentleman who walked by and helped me!) and get home to start working on my project. Now off to get my shiplap painted – yahoo!
If you have any questions or comments about The Home Depot Cutting Center, message us! If we don’t know the answer we can find it out. Let us know what you build!