|Review by lumberjoe||posted 05-22-2012 04:22 PM||5799 views||6 times favorited||38 comments|
As I am new to woodworking, I found the transition from crappy big box lumber to quality hardwoods very intimidating. Buying planed dimensional lumber by the liner foot is a much different experience than buying rough cut lumber by the board foot. While the internet is a great resource for many things, I could not find good information on saw mills close to me. Since this location is about 15 minutes away from me, I figured I would take a chance.
1 – The owner is VERY knowledgeable. He has been doing this for a long time. He also must be used to talking to “idiots” like me because he explained the selecting and pricing process of rough cut lumber very simply. He even asked for dimensions of what I was building and showed me how best to slice up the lumber to minimize waste. I was also a little intimidated by the board foot vs linear foot pricing. After he explained it I felt like an idiot paying 30 dollars for 3 board feet of maple at Home Depot.
2 – Selection. He has the typical north american hardwoods and softwoods such as maple (hard and soft), red and white oak, butternut, ash, cherry, pine, and tulip (poplar). While not a very vast selection, there is ample amounts of everything. There is some random walnut, hickory, and other hardwoods sprinkled in. He also operates a kiln and has both air dried and kiln dried varieties of just about everything. Sizing is also good, There is a good amount of 4/4, 8/4 and some 12/4 cuts. There is even a good selection of boards over a foot wide, but on average most are 6 to 8” wide and between 8 and 10 feet.
To date I have purchased some maple and some red oak. All of which has been outstanding in quality. In fact after planing some maple that I bought I found it had about 3 bf of birdseye in it.
3 – Service. This is why I gave 4 stars. That place is BUSY. Selling to residential customers is not a main focus. If you are there when a lot of commercial trucks show up, you are going to wait. I understand that selling people like me 100$ to 200$ of hardwoods every so often is not going to keep him in business, so I use some patients. If you don’t have the means to clean up the wood, it can be planed/jointed for an additional .25 per board foot per side. However when not busy, the service is excellent. I need a small amount of 8/4 oak. Rather than getting more than I needed (which I was prepared to do), he searched the off cut bins for about a half hour for 2 pieces that worked out perfectly.
4 – Price. Prices seem to be inline with this area for what he carries. I have been to a few other mills in the area, but the selection isn’t even close. I don’t want to dig though a bunch of 8” long off cuts to secure a decent quantity of wood.He is a little generous in your favor counting board feet. Bring cash because that’s your only option.
If you are in the western MA area, please go check them out. You will not be disappointed.