Transporting boards is always a problem for most home woodworkers. There are some helpful tips on how to have boards arrive on site in one piece.

There are clever ways to transport boards from the shop to a project site. Image credit: Kreg

There are clever ways to transport boards from the shop to a project site. Image credit: Kreg

When picking materials for DIY projects, one of the biggest challenges can be figuring out how to get them home. “Boards are long and can be heavy. Plywood is just plain unwieldy. Here are some techniques you can use to make it easier to get your materials home,” says expert Greg de Villiers Vermont Sales the official agents for Kreg South Africa.

De Villiers adds that materials are available in smaller sizes and that boards are commonly sold in 2.4m-long and longer sizes. “If you have a pickup or large SUV, hauling these boards may not be a problem. But that’s not the case with smaller vehicles,” he says.

For most projects, consumers will buy longer boards and cut them into shorter pieces. For this reason, it would be better to consider buying shorter boards instead. Many home centres sell commonly used boards in lengths from 60cm to 1.2m that are easy to handle and to haul in just about any vehicle. Consumers are likely to pay more per meter for these boards, however they are easy to transport.

Plywood is more complex as standard 12mx2.4m sheets are heavy and just plain huge. Plywood is also available in smaller sizes, such as 600mm x 600mm, 0.6m x 1.2m, and 1.2m x 1.2m. As with shorter boards, the convenience of smaller sheets does come at a higher price.

Another great way to get shorter boards and smaller sheets is to have them cut in the store. Almost all hardware stores and the big box stores offer cutting services for boards and plywood. They may charge a small fee per cut, but it is well worth the hassle of trying to transport unwieldy large boards. There are no restrictions for getting materials cut to standard size as the materials can be. cut to any size required for the project. Stores don’t guarantee 100% accuracy, so it is best to ensure that there is proper preparation beforehand. Consumers can take a copy of the materials list for the project which should list the size and quantity of every part.

When picking up materials, its best to organise them before head to the cutting area, that way it becomes easier to hand them to the person cutting. It is also helpful to provide a project plan as a cutting diagram in the plan will show which parts get cut from which boards and sheets. Having a tape measure and pencil on hand is useful in case if needed.

For transportation, it is important to have gloves for safety and ratcheting tiedown straps to secure your materials. An SUV or 4×4 with a roof rack is ideal for transporting long boards – though hauling plywood on a roof rack is tricky. If consumers are organising their own transport, they must ensure that they secure them properly to avoid any accidents. Some suppliers may offer a delivery service which is another transport option, although there is a fee applicable for this service.