Fun With Shiplap

So, what in the world is “shiplap“? Of course, I’d heard of it, cause I don’t live under a rock and I watch the show “Fixer Upper“.  But what is it really??

Defined in the dictionary as “a type of wooden board used commonly as exterior siding in the construction of residences, barns, sheds, and outbuildings”, it may once have been used to construct the hull of a ship, the boards overlapping each other to form a watertight surface, making the vessel seaworthy. Possibly where the term shiplap originated – however for a different slant, see What Is Shiplap? Make Sure You Know About This Hot Decor Trend.

To read what REAL shiplap is, see what Scott Sidler of THE CRAFTSMAN BLOG says. Great article!

Today “shiplap” refers to a wooden board applied horizontally to create a decorative effect. You can buy these boards at big box stores already cut in various widths. Look up “shiplap boards” on the Home Depot site and you will find 140 results, ranging in price from $5.63 a board to about $50 a board. Wow! On my tiny budget, even the least expensive board was too much.

So what did I do with all this new knowledge about shiplap? I bought myself some new cool tools and got to work. I cut my shiplap boards from 4 by 8 quarter inch underlayment plywood purchased from Lowes.  Only $14 apiece – such a bargain!  Another nice thing about this plywood is that it is super smooth.  I sanded the cut edges and ran over the flat parts of the boards with my mouse sander ever so slightly.  That’s all they needed!

Some stores will rip (don’t I sound professional? I just learned that word) the strips for you, but none near me offered this service, so I ripped them myself. I cut the first several with my Ryobi cordless circular saw. I divided them equally into 8 strips horizontally, giving me boards approximately 6 inches wide. This worked out OK, but what a pain in my back!!

So I broke down and bought a table saw. I highly advise you to get yourself a table saw if you plan to do this project. So much easier! I didn’t feel guilty about this fairly large purchase as I knew I would be using it many times during this total basement remodel.  This is the one I bought.A picture of a Skil tablesaw

Luckily, it came with the table as well:

I have since discovered the Ryobi has come out with a table saw!  If it had been available at the time, this is the one I would have purchased as I really love Ryobi products and it is so much more budget-friendly.  This is the Ryobi model:

My basement remodel was on its way!


NEXT:  Putting up the shiplap.


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