All Replies on Source for hardwood in the NW Chicago burbs?

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Source for hardwood in the NW Chicago burbs?

by becikeja
posted 11-20-2010 04:01 PM

24 replies so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3848 days

#1 posted 11-20-2010 04:49 PM

Becikeja, when I see posts like this I generally recommend searching for lumber or hardwood lumber in the materials section of your local Craigslist, if you have not already done so. For example here is a list of recent posts for the Chicago area. Ads listing hardwood for sale do not generally appear on a daily basis but, if you are patient, some good buys can be found.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View miserybob's profile


88 posts in 3070 days

#2 posted 11-20-2010 05:17 PM

It’s a bit of a trip out to Kirkland Sawmill , but they have the cheapest prices for the best quality that I’ve found. Selection is limited to local hardwoods, but I’ve bought some reeeeally nice QSWO there. There is, I think, a cash discount.

Sent you a PM as well.

View becikeja's profile


891 posts in 2839 days

#3 posted 11-22-2010 02:23 AM

Thanks for the tips. I looked up Kirland sawmill, I am actually going to be out that way in a couple of weeks. I’ll make sure to stop in. thanks for th info.

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View bandman's profile


79 posts in 3416 days

#4 posted 11-22-2010 04:29 AM

I’d recommend you check out some of the mini sawmill and kiln operations within an hour or two of the
Chicago area, I own one about 1 hour north of Milwaukee. Feel free to send a pm, if you’re interested
in what’s available right now. I sometimes bring material down to the Naperville area for a customer I have
as well.



-- Phil

View CantBurn's profile


69 posts in 2852 days

#5 posted 11-25-2010 08:31 AM

Not sure exactly what wood you are looking for. But I live in McHenry county, and I know that you can special order some from Menards. Ahh, no I said Menards, how could it be good. Truth be told, I ordered some PurpleHeart and Hard Maple from them, and it was actually pretty good. I guess you never know.

-- Chris-Woodstock, Illinois

View Tim Pursell's profile

Tim Pursell

499 posts in 3808 days

#6 posted 11-25-2010 12:36 PM

I live in the south ‘burbs of Chicago and I feel your pain whenever I’m forced to pickup some lumber from Owl.
I regularly drive 1 -2 hours to small mills to keep my wood room stocked. Craig’s List is one source or do an internet search for sawmills. There are quite a few within 100 miles. Yeah, it can be a hassle, but I think of those trips as an adventure and you can find some great lumber and major characters running those mills.


View BrianA's profile


76 posts in 3055 days

#7 posted 11-26-2010 11:00 PM

You can try Kettle Moraine Hardwoods, I believe they have a southern location in Caledonia near Racine. Worth the short drive. I have always had a good experience there. Good prices and good service. I have not been at that location but the one north of Milwaukee.


View becikeja's profile


891 posts in 2839 days

#8 posted 11-28-2010 11:18 PM

Do the small mills have stock that you can browse and pick your pieces or do you have to buy a minimum amount of a specific wood at a time?

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View Marc5's profile


304 posts in 3368 days

#9 posted 11-28-2010 11:28 PM

If you are willing to come down to NW Indiana there is a saw mill in Valparaiso called White Lumber. They carry all of the local hardwoods and are not to expensive.

-- Marc

View becikeja's profile


891 posts in 2839 days

#10 posted 11-30-2010 02:44 AM

Thanks, My dilemma is I usually purchase maybe $100-$200 worth of wood at a time and typically in a trip I’ll buy several different types of wood. I’m a weekend warrior not a professional, and like to make a variety of different things. I don’t think I have ever made the same thing twice. Because of this I’ve been skeptical of driving a couple of hors to a small mill. Not sure it’s worth it for them or me.

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View bues0022's profile


250 posts in 3186 days

#11 posted 11-30-2010 04:41 AM

Located in West Bend, WI – just north of Milwaukee.

-- Ryan -- Bristow, VA

View MarkwithaK's profile


370 posts in 3204 days

#12 posted 11-30-2010 04:48 AM

Living in NW Indiana I too found decent hardwood suppliers few and far between….White Lumber is a new one to me but there is another supplier in Valpo, The Wood Shed. Also, Menards does carry oak, cherry, maple, and walnut and can special order several other species.

-- If at first you don't succeed then maybe skydiving isn't for you.

View WoodworkGuy's profile


60 posts in 2820 days

#13 posted 11-30-2010 05:33 AM

Becikeja, have you checked Badger Hardwoods of WI in Walworth? They publish their prices on their website so it will save the trip. They also have 20 board foot foot bundles of S2S of hardwoods. If I’m not looking for exotics I also keep an eye out for Menards sales and hit the store in Crystal Lake.

-- Making sawdust and memories through woodworking.

View becikeja's profile


891 posts in 2839 days

#14 posted 12-02-2010 03:33 AM

I’ll check out the Badger Hardwood, thanks for the tip. I get up to the Lake Geneva area every so often. Thanks

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 3551 days

#15 posted 12-02-2010 03:54 AM

I live in the south burbs and I mainly get my wood from craigslist. You just have to be patient and watch it regularly to score a good deal. Earlier this year I bought 200 bf of 12”-18” wide 14’ long rough sawn red oak that was almost 1 1/4 thick for $1.50 a foot from a guy posting on craigslist..

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View CantBurn's profile


69 posts in 2852 days

#16 posted 12-17-2010 07:08 AM

Another two that may be of interest, not sure how far out you are ok with going. Alexander Lumber in Crystal Lake, or Woodstock Lumber in Woodstock.

-- Chris-Woodstock, Illinois

View 489tad's profile


3370 posts in 3037 days

#17 posted 12-17-2010 08:05 AM

There is a guy in West Chicago that posts on craigslist. I bought some cherry from him last year. It was ok, had to pick through the pile. For my current project I went to Owl.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View NathanAllen's profile


376 posts in 3170 days

#18 posted 12-17-2010 06:47 PM

Agreed on Owl’s price; however the quality is leaps and bounds ahead of what you can buy from the local sawyers.

I’ve had good luck in the past with Ron Meyer out of Batavia.

View becikeja's profile


891 posts in 2839 days

#19 posted 12-19-2010 01:33 PM

Hey CantBurn – Alexander Lumber in Crystal Lake has hardwoods? Is it just the basics, or do they have some exotics. I’m only about 5 minutes from there, and have never been in it. I just assumed it was construction grade lumber like that found at HD. I’ll have to check that one out.

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View EPJartisan's profile


1118 posts in 3151 days

#20 posted 06-26-2011 11:00 PM

If you are not that far from the city, there is Wood World. I like them … laid back, a lot of artists use them… they’re a small business, and at times cheaper the Owl.. though I love Owl for the imports. One of my secret haunts is Mueller Tree Services in between Racine and Kenosha on Greenbay Road. The selection is random because they are a service to remove fallen trees, etc. But the figuring you get can be jaw dropping, thick boards… really really cheap… but expect to get really dirty sorting through their stacks, get splinters, and expect to talk for a LONG time, but if your lucky and it is the near Autumn, you get served the BEST apple cider!

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View Pick's profile


30 posts in 3059 days

#21 posted 06-26-2011 11:52 PM

Hey becikeja- I’ve always shopped at Rockler for my hardwoods. If you are a semi-regular customer, (like me) you can always say:

”hey [store manager] I’m buying 25bf of this wood, can i get 20% off the board foot price?”

9 times out of 10 it works for me. This line also works alot:

”Hey {store manager} I needed 30bf of this hardwood, and I see you have 40bf, If I buy it all, can I get a discount?”

View Douglas's profile


424 posts in 2586 days

#22 posted 06-27-2011 12:36 AM

I like Wood World too, especially because they’re just a mile away.

-- Douglas in Chicago -

View becikeja's profile


891 posts in 2839 days

#23 posted 07-04-2011 11:57 PM

Never heard of wood world. I’ll have to check them out, thanks,

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View reberly's profile


191 posts in 2715 days

#24 posted 07-10-2011 05:34 AM

Try woodfinder, they have alot of sources posted.

-- "Big Timber is our Legacy" ,

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