Memories #2: Going In Halves On a Lot of Wood

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Blog entry by Sam Yerardi posted 01-22-2008 07:01 PM 785 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: My dad's tools Part 2 of Memories series Part 3: Honey the Plane is Only $350 bucks! »

A few years ago me and my friend Mike were talking about woodworking and he told me of a sawmill that had great prices on unseasoned wood. We went together and bought about 1000 board feet of mixed hardwoods, oak, maple, and poplar. We got it for $300. It was from a mill near a farm his family had near Rio Grande, Ohio. I bought my half sight unseen. I just had to have the wood. And at $150 for 500 bd ft, how could I go wrong? I didn’t think about (or realize) the fact that I only had a small Ford Ranger pickup, I lived an hour and a half away from where his farm was, and was another 20 minutes past that to get to the lumber. And that the lumber would be in huge dimensions. Didn’t know and didn’t care. In hindsight, if the same offer came up today I would still do it.
Anyway, I drove the hour and a half to Mikes. Mike and I then went to the mill and asked them if they could deliver the lumber to Mike’s. They said they could but it would be the following week. So another long drive back home and back the following weekend. We patiently waited on the lumber truck. Mike had a pretty good idea how big the dimensions would be but didn’t say anything. The truck slowly came lumbering up the hill to his farm. It was an 18-wheeler size truck with a flat bed covered with wood from one end to the other. I stood there thinking how in the world will I be able to haul my part home? The boards were on average 16” to 20” wide, a minimum 5/4 rough stock, and typically 19’ long. There were also 2×8 cuts in the same lengths, and 4×4 posts in 10-12’ lengths. I stood there with my deer-in-the-headlights stare and slowly looked at Mike. Mike grinned and said ‘Merry Christmas!’.

At first we tried to unload it board by board but that was a futile effort as it was going to take all week with that approach. We came up with the idea to tie ropes around it and then tie the other ends to fence posts and literally drag it off of the bed of the truck. Our first attempt failed as the rope broke so we went into the nearest town and bought a bunch of nylon ropes. That worked. With a resounding crash the lumber came off of the truck one stack at a time. We worked for two days (more trips for me) to get it out of the weather and into his barn. He let me keep my half there and pick it up as I could. I must have made 20 trips in my little Ranger. And I fondly remember the boards hanging out 10’ or so out the back. I did have a red flag on it :). The truck bed sagged fearfully all the way home and I couldn’t drive more than 40 mph. But the whole time I kept thinking of what I would do with all of this beautiful lumber. Most of it was clear. Absolutely beautiful material. I still have about half of it after ten years. I’m planning on using some of it for the Morris chairs I hope to build this summer. Even though we worked our tails off, it was worth it and that was the most fun I’d had in a long time. And at that price I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

-- Sam

9 comments so far

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3363 days

#1 posted 01-22-2008 07:08 PM

Having just purchased my first batch of lumber from a mill, I can relate to your excitement. I didn’t get quite so much, but I can fully imagine the effort getting it unloaded and stacked. And, if you don’t mind, I’m laughing at boards hanging 10’ off the back of your truck. Great story.

-- Working at Woodworking

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3310 days

#2 posted 01-22-2008 07:45 PM

Is this deja vu? Great story!!! My mill is only 25 minutes away…...and hope you get home and unloaded before it rains. Seems every time we go there it’s nice and sunny out but a rain storm will follow us home.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Tomcat1066's profile


942 posts in 3220 days

#3 posted 01-22-2008 08:49 PM

What I’d do for that kind of deal! Great story. Thank you for sharing it!

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View rpmurphy509's profile


288 posts in 3279 days

#4 posted 01-22-2008 08:53 PM

Great story, and a phenomenal price!
I recently traded my pickup truck in for a more
“family-friendly” SUV, so can relate to the limited
lumber hauling aspect of it all. Every time I need
more lumber, gotta barrow a trailer from a friend…

-- Still learning everything

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6819 posts in 3404 days

#5 posted 01-22-2008 09:33 PM


Some guys have all the luck!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3413 days

#6 posted 01-22-2008 10:03 PM

Man, that’s one heck of a find!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Grumpy's profile


21459 posts in 3275 days

#7 posted 01-23-2008 12:52 AM

That should keep you busy for some time Sam.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 3585 days

#8 posted 01-23-2008 03:58 PM

ha I can see the impatient drivers passing you, waving their fists.. and you sitting behind the wheel, with a grin from ear to ear and a glazed sparkle in your eyes

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 3671 days

#9 posted 01-24-2008 12:20 AM

I’ve been driving about 20 miles to my lumbermill to get my lumber until this past fall by chance I followed up on an add for a wood stove and this guy tells me about a sawyer about 5 miles from my house. Plus I can get a truck load of scrapwood to burn in my stove for 15 buck a pickup load. And I got an 8 ft bed. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

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