One challenge with woodworking projects is figuring how to make the best use of the wood you have available. If you’re working with expensive wood, your decisions can have a dramatic impact on the total cost of your project. I did some quick searching around and found a few solutions, but my favorite (free) one so far is the Free Online Panel Cut Optimizer.
For the Adirondack chair project, I thought it took two 2″x6″x8′ boards and four 2″x8″x8′ boards. Using this tool, I got it down to three 2″x6″x8′ and two 2″x8″x8′. That drops the price by about 20-25%!
The downside is that the cuts aren’t as simple to make. The way I had it originally drawn, I cross cut the wood and then ripped it to the right width. This more efficient use of the wood requires more strategic cuts, but if it saves enough money, it’s worth the effort.