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Forum topic by Kribbz posted 07-05-2016 03:41 PM 2206 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Kribbz

13 posts in 771 days


07-05-2016 03:41 PM

Question for all you Texas woodworkers out there. I live near downtown Houston and have been looking for a source for rough cut hardwoods. I would be willing to drive a few hours if the price was right and my sister lives up near Dallas so I could justify a trip up there. But I’m wondering where you all go to get your stock?

Any suggestions?


20 replies so far

View Morning_Wood_Worker's profile

Morning_Wood_Worker

1 post in 716 days


#1 posted 07-05-2016 04:59 PM

Hey Midtown here. Check out Houston Hardwoods – they are located on the route out to Cypress – not a very long drive. The prices seem reasonable but I’m no expert.

There is also Clarks which is located in the Heights. My experience with them has been poor. Very expensive and walking in there I felt like a complete idiot. Also they don’t have a yard. You basically walk in and tell them what you want.

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GregD

788 posts in 3161 days


#2 posted 07-05-2016 05:19 PM

I’ve had OK experience with Clark’s, but getting there through traffic from the western ‘burbs seems even more painful than the drive to Houston Hardwoods. I have, on occasion, price compared the two yards by phone when I knew what I wanted.

-- Greg D.

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Kribbz

13 posts in 771 days


#3 posted 07-08-2016 02:23 AM

Thanks guys! I checked out Houston Hardwoods and it was fantastic! I got lost in there for about 45 mins. Thats exactly what I was looking for as it is close to a customer of mine so its convenient for me!

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Kribbz

13 posts in 771 days


#4 posted 07-08-2016 02:43 AM

Thanks guys! I checked out Houston Hardwoods and it was fantastic! I got lost in there for about 45 mins. Thats exactly what I was looking for as it is close to a customer of mine so its convenient for me!

View jimintx's profile

jimintx

801 posts in 1610 days


#5 posted 01-28-2018 04:02 PM

At Clark’s, you are free to walk around through the assorted buildings on the lot and find the pieces you want. I agree that it can be intimidating due to the vastness of it all.

I also don’t really like that they don’t have the pieces priced, so you have to ask.

There is no disputing the location is a tough source to use, unless yo live in the Heights. Most of us suburban woodshop guys are not in that part of town.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

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jimintx

801 posts in 1610 days


#6 posted 01-28-2018 05:02 PM

error, repeated post

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View Mike_D_S's profile

Mike_D_S

478 posts in 2240 days


#7 posted 01-28-2018 05:26 PM

So my input:

Clark’s:
The good – Lots of good wood and often have stock for things that are harder to find other places). You are free to walk around pretty much anywhere and look at what they have. They often run a monthly special which can be a pretty good deal for 3/4” S4S. They’re open until 1 on Saturday. Also they tend to have a good selection of live edge slabs.

The bad – They don’t have a price list which you can just pick up and scan. Generally their prices are on the high side. Getting into midtown can be a challenge with traffic.

Houston Hardwoods:
The good – Printed price lists available at the counter. Good available of lots of different wood types. Probably the best overall pricing on true rough cut lumber. Some discounts on quantities of 100 bf or larger. Open until noon on Saturday. Depending on the guy you get, they’re usually pretty good about knocking off bf for knots, defects, etc.

The bad – Some of the prices can be on the high side. If you need 8/4 or thicker they’ll have limited stock sometimes.

Hardwood Products:
The good – Printed price list available at the counter. Reasonable availability on ‘normal’ mix of hardwood species. They stock a lot of S2S thicknesses stock at a pretty reasonable price. I often find that paying a little bit more for their S2S end up being a better deal that buying true rough stock if I take the planing time into account. Reasonable pricing on S4S hardwoods if you don’t want to prep rough lumber.

The bad – Small supply of true rough lumber compared to their S2S stock. Labeling of the wood bins is hit and miss, so you need to either ask someone or be able to identify by sight some of the stuff. Not open on weekends.

So my normal logic is Hardwood Products S2S for most of my wood, Houston Hardwoods for 6/4 or thicker or more exotic stuff and then Clarks when they have a monthly special of interest.

Mike

-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

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jimintx

801 posts in 1610 days


#8 posted 01-28-2018 07:29 PM

Excellent write up, Mike. You captured all the characteristics of these places.

I also watch the sales at Woodcraft. Not for rough cut, but sometimes I find really good pieces on sale.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

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Siv

61 posts in 595 days


#9 posted 02-05-2018 04:06 PM

Have any of you guys tried M&G sawmill in Huntsville? Their website shows pretty good prices for red cedar. I was thinking of making a trip up there with a trailer and buying one of their lots.

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jimintx

801 posts in 1610 days


#10 posted 02-05-2018 04:11 PM

I have not. It’s new to me, ... I didn’t know they existed. I’ll google for their info.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View weathersfuori's profile

weathersfuori

90 posts in 1155 days


#11 posted 02-05-2018 06:01 PM

I can only speak to two places- Clark’s and Mason’s Mill. I have not been to Houston Hardwoods or Hardwood Products but will definitely be giving those a try soon.

Mason’s Mill is quite a bit cheaper than Clark’s, and seems to have similar availability and quality of rough lumber. The downside of Mason’s Mill is that it is really hectic in there with lots of fork lifts and noise, and they don’t have bins where you can easily pick and choose your boards like Clark’s does. They have to pull a bundle of what you want to look at with a fork lift, then you pick through it. Seems to cater more to the businesses vs. individual woodworkers.

Clark’s is a little more what I expected for a woodworker’s source… well-labeled bins and you can pick through whatever you want. They have some really good stuff in there and several species that I don’t think Mason’s has. But, the 2-3 times I’ve bought from them I got major sticker shock.

Between the two I’ve come to the conclusion that Mason’s is better for me if I’m doing a project for a customer or really trying to minimize cost. Clark’s is better for me if I want to take my time looking at various species to build something special for my own use. I’m hoping that I’ll find that Houston Hardwoods and/or HP might be a happy medium!

-- Weathersfuori, Texas, www.facebook.com/f5creations

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gargey

997 posts in 801 days


#12 posted 02-05-2018 06:30 PM

My comments are generally in line with others:

Clarks is expensive, and the fact that they don’t publish their price list (even on site) is super annoying.
BUT, they have really, really nice wood, and a very wide selection of species and widths/thicknesses, and a lot of it available quartersawn. Most of the employees are very nice.

Houston Hardwoods is cheaper, but the employees are very gruff and don’t want to give you much of their time. Their selection is much smaller (species, but especially widths/thicknesses).

Both will allow you to pick through the bins as much as you want. Clark’s is much quicker to help you with crosscuts to fit stuff in your vehicle, if needed.

I find myself going to Clarks now (I used to go to Houston Hardwoods) because I invest way more valuable time in my hand-tool-oriented projects for myself and my family than I do in dollars into the wood. If I was trying to do this commercially, I might try to get cheaper wood.

The higher quality wood (all heartwood, no knots, no cracks) does save some money from reduced wastage, around the edges.

Finally, we should count ourselves as lucky to have quality suppliers, and I want to reward Clarks for having what I need and relatively good service, despite the higher price. It’s also much closer to downtown, so that has an impact.

View Stew81's profile

Stew81

43 posts in 1391 days


#13 posted 02-05-2018 08:12 PM

I agree with everything Mike said also.

Houston Hardwoods is my favorite followed by Hardwood products.

I have been out to M&G and I bought a few pieces just because I drove so far to get there. I would buy from them if I lived in Huntsville but it’s NOT worth the drive from Houston. They only had Red Oak and Cedar when I went out there and the pricing was approximately the same as Houston Hardwoods. Maybe the lots are priced a little better though.

-- Stew

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Kribbz

13 posts in 771 days


#14 posted 02-06-2018 02:23 AM

I have been to Houston Hardwoods, clarks and hardwood products now so far. I have to say Houston Hardwoods is my favorite. Clarks service is better if you need help but the prices are a bit high and not knowing what I’m going to be hit with is a bit annoying. Hardwood products doesn’t have as nice of a selection and is a bit of a drive compared to HH for me. HH, the guys are not as outgoing but I’m not one that likes to really be bothered when I’m looking either. So for me thats actually a positive. Prices are good and selection for what I do is perfect.

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Stew81

43 posts in 1391 days


#15 posted 02-06-2018 03:20 AM

^^^That’s a plus for me too. If I need help I’ll come ask you for help. Other than that, leave me alone. HH also seems to rotate their inventory pretty quickly so there is usually something new to look at whenever I stop by… Except for that bin of “antique pine” that has been sitting there for at least a couple of years. Seems like they would drop the price at some point and try to move that stuff out of the way!

-- Stew

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