I’ve done a little complaining recently about how I was treated at a big box store, so I wanted to balance the karma out and tell everyone who might not know about a great place to buy wood on the south side of Atlanta.
Atlanta north side people have it made- Woodcraft, Rockler, Peachtree Woodworking are all up there. For us on the south side, its an hour drive just go get there and we have to fight Atlanta traffic both ways to boot. Hardwoods Inc. in Atlanta is even worse- it’s way out on the west side and we have to drive 3/4 the way around Atlanta to get there.
I love woodworking, but there is nothing I hate more than driving an hour through Atlanta traffic to get tools or materials. My only other option used to be buying pine, oak, or poplar at the local big box stores.
Not anymore. A couple weeks ago my neighbor (who is not even a woodworker, I don’t know how he found out) sent me a text that was pretty much “Hey, check out thewoodyard.com it looks right up your alley.” I went and discovered that there is a hardwoods dealer right in Griffin on the south side, not 10 miles away! Browsing around the website I noticed three things right off the bat:
- This was a small, local operation (and thats not a bad thing)
- Even though they are not nearly as large as someone like Atlanta Hardwoods, they had “the most popular” domestic and imported hardwood species in stock
- The prices were better than Atlanta Hardwoods or mail order, in some cases by 15-30%.
I was pretty damn excited- A local hardwood dealer! Holy crap! I checked the hours out next to find out when I could swing by and check out what he had in stock:
“We open up at 7:30 A.M. Monday to Friday. Our staff consist of me and some part time help. I have to leave from time to time to pick up lumber and run errands. If you’ll let me know when you’re coming, I’ll be here. I only live just a couple of minutes away and I’ll be happy to be here on Saturdays mornings, too. Come on by and snoop around.”
I work about 30 minutes north, so getting there during the week on my lunch break was out of the question. I shot the owner, Rick Wood (Come on, a guy named Wood with a wood store? Awesome.) an email and told him that I was a beginner woodworker and wasn’t really ready to buy 50 bd/ft of lumber, but I’d really like to check out what he has in stock and pick up a few boards. He replied right away and agreed to meet me on Saturday morning so we were set.
I got there Saturday morning and he was inside, handling some internet sales. He took the time to let me know where everything was and then left me to it- no pressure at all. Real nice guy.
He said he can order whatever I like, but this is what he had in stock at the time:
He stocks a fair variety of hardwoods:
- Amazon Rosewood
- Aromatic Eastern Red Cedar
- Maple (Birdseye, Curly, Hard)
- Oak (White, Red)
- Spanish Cedar
- Wormy Chestnut
- Heart Pine (from an old local mill- even has some HUGE beams)
He also had 3/4, 1/2, and 1/4 baltic birch plywood in 4×8 sheets for about 30% cheaper than Atlanta Hardwoods. I love me some baltic birch plywood.
Once I picked out 5 or 6 “sample” boards to take home and play with to see how hard they were to work, etc. He measured the boards out and we settled up the bill. I turned one of them in to my first band saw box last week.
While we were measuring up the boards we started talking about the different species, how well they machined, etc. From there we started talking about projects, the pictures came out, another woodworker came in, conversation shifted to painting kitchen cabinets… Eventually we were talking about “just how effective spraying roundup on a tree in your yard might be if you wanted to convince the wife to let you chop it down for wood.” At some point I’m pretty sure I volunteered to “help cut down a chestnut tree if they would give me a couple boards.” They had me rolling.
What started as a quick 30-minute trip to the local wood store turned in to 4 hours of laughing, bullshitting, and talking about projects. I had a great time.
If you live in the Atlanta area I’d highly recommend The Wood Yard the next time you need project lumber. A couple weeks ago I didn’t even know this place existed- Now, I can’t imagine going anywhere else to buy wood. It’s run by a good guy, stocked with quality lumber, and great prices.
The Wood Yard http://www.thewoodyard.com
-- Jason, Atlanta, GA