Lumber Sizes & Prices, Etc.

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Lumber Sizes & Prices, Etc.

Postby Kamikaze » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:22 am

I have a couple questions related to construction in Cambodia. I'd like to build a small house there someday in the near future. I hope some can help.

1. Is the size of lumber sold metric or imperial measurements?
For example, in Japan lumber is sold in meters not feet like in Canada or the U.S. A so-called 2x4 is actually 45mm x 90mm and 4 meters long.

2. Do lumber yards even exist in Cambodia? I'm sure there aren't any Home Depots. Where do people buy house construction materials? How much is a 4 meter (12ft) long 2x4? (The cheapest kind used for framing.) How much is a 4x8 sheet of 1/2" plywood?

3. Are there places that sell high quality tools or should I have mine shipped there?

When building, I prefer metric measurements because they are more precise. So, when drawing up plans it's necessary to know beforehand, the exact dimensions of the wood. Any info would be just great.
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Re: Lumber Sizes & Prices, Etc.

Postby sohi » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:29 am

wood is priced by the cubic meter, and cut to metric sizes.The lumber yards can cut whatever dimensions you want (within reason)
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Re: Lumber Sizes & Prices, Etc.

Postby sohi » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:31 am

ps one cubic meter is about $200 in snooky, obviously it depends on quaility so can be found cheaper and more expensive, the lumber yards tend to have a range
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Re: Lumber Sizes & Prices, Etc.

Postby Kamikaze » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:39 am

Thanks sohi, for answering the metric question.
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Re: Lumber Sizes & Prices, Etc.

Postby sohi » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:43 am

no worries, and you can get decent tools, dont know about pp but sihanoukville has em so i assume pp must! my local sells "wynn's made in america" tools which are a bit pricy but worth it
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Re: Lumber Sizes & Prices, Etc.

Postby ken svay » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:02 am

Timber size are metric,in centimetres.
Usually priced by the cubic metre.
Many types of timber,the most popular seems to be koki.
I think it is resistant to termites.
Cost last year in PP about $600 a cubic metre.
Lots of timber yards.
A big one owned by a military family on mao tse tung,south side a few blocks from monivong.
Just across the monivong bridge in chbar ampou there are many yards on the road that skirts the river heading north on the banks of the bassac river.
Tools are plentiful,makita,hitachi etc.
Cheaper than australia.
Timber is generally pretty cheap,but much cheaper to build khmer style with beams,columns and masonry.
Big problem with timber here is that it is all green,unseasoned and prone to warp,twist and cup.
Good plywood,supposedly marine grade is about $18 a sheet as I remember.The cheaper stuff always delaminates as you cut it.
When you come to town PM me and we can go and price timber.
I am a jeeung cher(carpenter)and I know about kdaa(timber)
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Re: Lumber Sizes & Prices, Etc.

Postby long in the tooth » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:09 am

hello everyone.
my first posting here so i hope it's not highjacking.
i am a designer/woodworker living in cambodia and i am looking to get back in the game.
any suggestions for me.
and as far as lumber goes.... my limited visits to the local yards has shown that getting anything milled other then the standard stock sizes is next to impossable.
i would at least bring a surface planner along as they are hard to find here. a table saw can be made with available materials but anything other than
hand planners i have yet to find.
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Lumber Sizes & Prices, Etc.

Postby jm » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:39 am

I've a friend looking to make speaker boxes here. Anyone with the skills and equipment lemme know. Experience with a local guy was less than stellar.
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Re: Lumber Sizes & Prices, Etc.

Postby long in the tooth » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:46 am

i have the skills and depending on the construction specs... the equipment.
do you know what he is looking for? plywood/mdf construction with a veneer/paint finish or higher end solid stock materials?
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Lumber Sizes & Prices, Etc.

Postby jm » Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:00 pm

Mdf with veneer to start with. Quite simple stuff.
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Re: Lumber Sizes & Prices, Etc.

Postby long in the tooth » Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:24 pm

would require some trial and error with available adhesives first. making a vacume press is not a problem though i would have to scout around for the veneers.
does your friend have a line on materials and is looking for someone to do the assembly? do you know what his production numbers and costs are?
am i asking too many questions?
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Lumber Sizes & Prices, Etc.

Postby jm » Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:35 pm

He's still testing designs. Single 4-6" drivers, simple bookshelf design. Small numbers for local market would not be worth tooling up for. Another friend had custom cabs made in Vietnam which turned out very well
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Re: Lumber Sizes & Prices, Etc.

Postby Kamikaze » Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:41 pm

ken svay wrote:I am a jeeung cher(carpenter)and I know about kdaa(timber)


Thanks Ken, I'll PM you next month.
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Re: Lumber Sizes & Prices, Etc.

Postby hanky » Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:55 pm

Do lumber yards even exist in Cambodia? I'm sure there aren't any Home Depots. Where do people buy house construction materials? How much is a 4 meter (12ft) long 2x4? (The cheapest kind used for framing.) How much is a 4x8 sheet of 1/2" plywood?


There are loads of big shops selling construction materials, as Ken Svay said, Mao Tse Tung has loads. There are plenty of lumber yards too, mostly around the outskirts of the city. Wood has gotten very expensive over the last decade, its cheaper to build in concrete now.
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Re: Lumber Sizes & Prices, Etc.

Postby ken svay » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:54 pm

Timber is actually still very cheap compared to australia.
In australia dry,dressed local hardwood is up to $10,000 a cube.
Here green hardwoods less than $1000.
Khmers really dont understand about timber or veneers or anything much really.
I remember looking at million dollar houses on koh pich and the standard of finishes was really terrible.
Door frames,skirtings,architraves as ugly as can be.
How anyone could finish a house so poorly is beyond belief.
Just shows that rich khmers are really jumped up country bumpkins with no taste.
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