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 1244 days ago

24 replies so far

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Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2322 days

#1 posted 1244 days ago

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 1544 days

#2 posted 1244 days ago

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


293 posts in 1313 days

#3 posted 1243 days ago

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 1890 days

#4 posted 1243 days ago

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 1326 days

#5 posted 1240 days ago

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

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Tim Pursell

493 posts in 2282 days

#6 posted 1240 days ago

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


64 posts in 1529 days

#7 posted 1238 days ago

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


293 posts in 1313 days

#8 posted 1236 days ago

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 1842 days

#9 posted 1236 days ago

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


293 posts in 1313 days

#10 posted 1235 days ago

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


215 posts in 1660 days

#11 posted 1235 days ago

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

-- Ryan -- Maple Grove, MN

View MarkwithaK's profile


370 posts in 1678 days

#12 posted 1235 days ago

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


58 posts in 1294 days

#13 posted 1235 days ago

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


293 posts in 1313 days

#14 posted 1233 days ago

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 2025 days

#15 posted 1233 days ago

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 1326 days

#16 posted 1218 days ago

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


1956 posts in 1511 days

#17 posted 1218 days ago

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 1644 days

#18 posted 1217 days ago

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


293 posts in 1313 days

#19 posted 1216 days ago

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


933 posts in 1625 days

#20 posted 1026 days ago

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!

-- the sacrifice of one's ego is the greatest gift to someone you respect

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30 posts in 1533 days

#21 posted 1026 days ago

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


281 posts in 1060 days

#22 posted 1026 days ago

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

-- Douglas in Chicago -

View becikeja's profile


293 posts in 1313 days

#23 posted 1018 days ago

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

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View reberly's profile


145 posts in 1189 days

#24 posted 1013 days ago

Try woodfinder, they have alot of sources posted.

-- "Big Timber is our Legacy" ,

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