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What if you could consistently determine the most efficient way to cut your wood stock down into project-ready pieces?
First off you’d save yourself money – quite a big chunk over time depending on how much wood you buy. Some other repercussions? You’d have no need for articles like: 11 Ideas for Wood Cut Offs, and you could strike the cut off storage plans off your list of wood storage plans.
So if you’re willing to save money and give up your future cut off supply (you have probably saved more than you can ever use anyways ;) then you should give these two free programs a try. I found these two programs in the Woodnet thread: one of the best tools I have found in a while
1) Cutlist Generator
“This program creates a diagram showing the stock pieces and how the required parts may be cut from them. Data may created, deleted, modified and saved to a file for later use. Users can specify the width of material lost during cutting (saw blade kerf width), and the minimum dimension of waste material to report. Solution searches give priority to crosscuts (vertical on the screen) or rip-cuts (horizontal) first or will try a Combination approach using all possible mixes of both types of cuts.”
This particular application – which you will have to download to your computer and run from there – has mentions from many many woodworking forums. It’s often compared to Cutlist Plus, a more polished program that costs between $90 and $500. Most say it’s not as good looking or quite as easy to use, but it’s free and “works well for my usage” according to most everyone. Pages linking to this program (might prove useful if you have any specific questions or problems…)
2) Solving “the Cutting Stock Problem”
“The Cutting Stock problem requires that we find the best (cheapest) way to cut one-dimensional stock pieces (pipe, dimensional lumber, wire, rolls of paper or other sheet material to be slit, etc.) in such a way that a given number of pieces of specified lengths or widths are created.”
Like sheet stock, linear stock can pose thorny mathematical problems when trying to minimize waste. This program will do the thinking for you! For free. What’s not to love?