B & Q - more rubbish than ever?

Troy

LE
They used to employ people who knew a bit about basic DIY, even giving lessons to kids during the holidays
There is a need for this sort of thing. Last time in B&Q I was picking up a replacement 6 lever Yale cylinder. Ended up answering enquiries from two other customers about locks with basic explanations because the staff couldn't answer them.
 
The service in B&Q is famously bad. Recently I was in their timber department and one of the staff came up to me and asked if I wanted decking. Unfortunately for him I anticipated his moves and got the first punch in....

© Everyone
To be fair the service at the B&Q in my area is pretty good. Sometimes it's cheaper buying from B&Q than it is from the merchants in the industrial estates.
I ripped out all the old plasterboard in my house as I wanted to fit new insulation in the walls and I wanted to rewire and change all the old pipework at the same time. 12mm Plasterboard was cheaper & so was the insulation from B&Q than it was elsewhere. I used Kingspan 100mm (1200x2400) sheets & they were only about £56 each - nearest rival was about £75, also plasterboard was about £6 a sheet (1200x2400), other places were £8.
Shopping around is best though, I mostly buy from Screwfix, Toolstation, Wickes, Ebay, B&Q and the internet. I very rarely buy from Homebase as their prices are crazy compared to other places.
 
We use B&Q for wallpaper and paint because they have a good selection.
 

Polyester

Old-Salt
There is a need for this sort of thing. Last time in B&Q I was picking up a replacement 6 lever Yale cylinder. Ended up answering enquiries from two other customers about locks with basic explanations because the staff couldn't answer them.
Happens to me all the time. Almost every trip in. I actually quite like it because on more than one occasion I have saved some poor sod money.
 
Wickes is good for some stuff in my experience, but as someone has already mentioned, beware the bendy wood...

All the box stores sell bendy to a degree wood.
Its cheap and comes straight off the boat - but they will let you bring the propellor wood back..
Go to a proper timber yard where it will at least be properly seasoned timber, but they generally suffer fools gladly, don't know what you want and a huffy response if you are lucky.
 

Polyester

Old-Salt
@filthycontract


If you look at the image I’ve uploaded, you’ll see a very poor drawing representing the ends of two pieces of timber. The lines you can see represent the growth rings on the log the timber was cut from. The plank on the left is called ”milled through and through” and is the most economical cut for the timber company (in that you harvest the most from the log). It’s also the timber type that will move and twist the most (particularly with the incorrect type and length of seasoning).

The plank on the right is called “rift cut” where the growth rings are basically perpendicular to the face of the wood, straight up and down if you will. This is an expensive way to mill logs as it’s quite wasteful but produces very dimensionally stable timber.

Basically, when buying timber from anywhere, pick it and examine the end. Always look for the stuff that looks like the right hand plank. Look down the length for how straight it currently is and that’s the beginning of “how to choose timber“.

I’ll upload the next piece of advice and images shortly.
 

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Polyester

Old-Salt
All the box stores sell bendy to a degree wood.
Its cheap and comes straight off the boat - but they will let you bring the propellor wood back..
Go to a proper timber yard where it will at least be properly seasoned timber, but they generally suffer fools gladly, don't know what you want and a huffy response if you are lucky.
Well, I’m about to put that right. So listen in...
 
We use B&Q for wallpaper and paint because they have a good selection.
We used to use their 'Colours' range - which was good - but they dropped it last year and to match the colours, you have to have paint mixed in-shop, often with dubious results. Additionally they have massively reduced the stock lines in many of their outlets and now direct you to their website.
 
All the box stores sell bendy to a degree wood.
Its cheap and comes straight off the boat - but they will let you bring the propellor wood back..
Go to a proper timber yard where it will at least be properly seasoned timber, but they generally suffer fools gladly, don't know what you want and a huffy response if you are lucky.

I used to go to Goodwillies when I lived down the road from them, my wife used to get exasperated with me saying 'goodwillies, they've got wood' followed my much childish sniggering every time we drove past
 
@filthycontract


If you look at the image I’ve uploaded, you’ll see a very poor drawing representing the ends of two pieces of timber. The lines you can see represent the growth rings on the log the timber was cut from. The plank on the left is called ”milled through and through” and is the most economical cut for the timber company (in that you harvest the most from the log). It’s also the timber type that will move and twist the most (particularly with the incorrect type and length of seasoning).

The plank on the right is called “rift cut” where the growth rings are basically perpendicular to the face of the wood, straight up and down if you will. This is an expensive way to mill logs as it’s quite wasteful but produces very dimensionally stable timber.

Basically, when buying timber from anywhere, pick it and examine the end. Always look for the stuff that looks like the right hand plank. Look down the length for how straight it currently is and that’s the beginning of “how to choose timber“.

I’ll upload the next piece of advice and images shortly.
Thanks - basic stuff....I now have memories of Mr Coup in Standard 5 Woodwork class telling us that there are no 'Putting on Chisels'. It took me about 40 years to work that out!
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer

Polyester

Old-Salt
Ha!Ha! Yep. Further to what I have written above: B and Q and all the other sheds do sell poorly seasoned, badly milled, expensive timber. As PhotEx has rightly pointed out, going to a proper dedicated timber merchant such as rembrand, MKM, Yandles will pay dividends. You won’t pay as much, you’ll get much better advice and crucially the timber will be much superior. They also allow you to have a rummage through and pick the best stuff. I understand not everyone may feel confident about visiting a mill or merchant but they are much better set up for your average DIYer these days.
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
@Polyester, with your handle and avatar are you trying to say you were a Crab ?

Woodworking just doesn't fit their image, although woodclanging obviously does.
 
I used to go to Goodwillies when I lived down the road from them, my wife used to get exasperated with me saying 'goodwillies, they've got wood' followed my much childish sniggering every time we drove past
still one Of the best places to buy timber.
their pressure treated stuff is actually pressure treated, not dipped like B&Q crap
 

Polyester

Old-Salt
@Polyester, with your handle and avatar are you trying to say you were a Crab ?

Woodworking just doesn't fit their image, although woodclanging obviously does.
I love a bit of both. A day without a woody length is like a day without sunshine.
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer

Polyester

Old-Salt
Ok, next bit:

So in this image you can see two lengths of very badly drawn timber. On the left is what you want to be looking for. It has relatively straight grain which means the timber has had very little stress applied to the tree whilst it was growing ie from prevailing wind. also the lack of knots makes for easier finishing.

The right hand side has unpredictable and wilder grain which means it’s very likely to move and twist when take into a warm dry environment. So avoid this type and keep knots to an absolute minimum.
 

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