It’s important to know your options for where to shop for wood. Chain home improvement stores generally offer a basic variety of framing lumber and nominal softwood but very little hardwood. (which I talked about in my last 2 emails)
What they do carry is often priced lower than specialty yard stock, but the grades and dimensions are limited. Here are a couple of other options to consider:
Large Retail Lumber Outlets and Home Centers: these places make shopping for lumber easy. Most of the lumber you’ll find is fully surfaced and ready for building. Some larger home centers even stock lumber inside where it’s kept warm and dry. The downside to all of this convenience is that species options are limited, especially for hardwoods.
Contractor Yards: where framing and finish carpenters buy their materials, usually offer a wider array of lumber options, including an assortment of millwork products and custom moldings.
Often they can special-order materials that the chain stores simply can’t supply. The quality of the stock here is better, and the prices reflect the quality you’ll find.
Specialty Yards: Most metropolitan areas have specialty yards that sell only hardwoods and veneered sheet goods. Their primary customers are commercial cabinetmakers, architectural millwork shops and professional furniture builders. While the salespeople here are used to dealing with pros, they are usually willing to take a few minutes to explain the finer points to an interested amateur.
However, time is money for these folks, so they won’t appreciated spending too much time on what they by necessity must consider a minor sale. The stock sold here is normally S2S or roughsawn, so you’ll need a jointer or planer to prepare the lumber further. Be aware that, when buying roughsawn lumber, you can’t tell much about the color, grain or quality of the board until after you expose it to the planer knives.
It’s quite acceptable to rummage through the stock at a specialty yard, but make sure you rebuild the stacks as you found them. Longer, wider boards belong at the back of the rack. Don’t mix the boards from different bins. Boards in two bins may look the same at first glance, but they may be different grades. Check the board ends to see if the yard has painted different colors there. The colors represent grades.
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Buying Wood from the Lumber Yard: Money Saving Hacks for Woodworking
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How to save money buying wood from the lumber yard can take a variety of shapes for selectively searching for wood you need, and picking only wood that you know will fit your project … not to mention specials and off-cuts that might be offered by the lumber store.
Tips for Buying Lumber – Woodworking for Beginners
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Every woodworker is interested in getting the best value they can for the wood they are purchasing. This helps them reduce wood waste, which saves money and reduce time in dealing with less than wood grades. In this video we visit West Wind Hardwood Inc. who freely gave us their time to help provide tips on what to look for when purchasing lumber.
Where To Buy Wood / Timber / Lumber
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In this video I talk about where I buy wood / timber / lumber. I prefer to work with salvaged / reclaimed timber as much as possible. And as I moved out away to a more rural area, materials are more difficult to come by – however there are still places to look – both online via the internet and by using timber merchants, builders merchants, recycling centers and even DIY stores (but only as a last resort!).
Top 3 Places To Buy Lumber/Woodworkers Source
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COLAB with Brent Gentling of #BYOTools (bring your own tools) Seejanedrill and Brent visit 3 very distinctively different lumber suppliers. Every beginner woodworker can benefit from the information shared in this video regarding Live Edge Slabs, Dimensional Hardwoods and Reclaimed lumber. Brent of BYOTools walks you through each location and explains the benefits of each.