What is a Cutting List

A cutting list, which can also be known as a material list, bill of materials, or schedule of materials is simply a listing of all the parts that will be required to construct a project.

This information can be derived from multiple sources: a measured or scaled drawing, a mocked-up project or an existing piece of furniture. Most cutting lists follow the convention of listing the:-

Thickness first (T), the

width second (W) and the

length (L) third.

For example – T x W x L

= 18 X 70 X 1200

At a minimum, a cutting list describes every part in terms of its thickness, width and length. Those measurements include the length or width of a part’s tenons.

The list provides exact measurements of the completed pieces. No additional material is included as a “safety net” or “just in case.”

The list indicates how many of each part is required sometimes referred to as the quantity.

Cutting lists regularly name the parts as a means to describe their function (e.g. Upper Shelf, Drawer Front, Cleat, Apron, etc.).

Cutting lists can also include information about the joinery to be done to the pieces noted, and what type of wood or material they are to be made from. Without an accurate cutting list, you will lose efficiency and accuracy and be more likely to waste timber.