Wood is wood, right?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by David Grimes posted 05-25-2011 08:02 AM 2081 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 2635 days

05-25-2011 08:02 AM

I was on the Rockler site and saw that a 1/2×5 x 48 piece of walnut is about $25. That’s $15 per sf.

I can get unfinished 3/4” walnut in 5” wide x 48 inch length for half that price. If I have to plane the back side down to 5/8 or 1/2 I am still ahead of the game.

I use a lot of pine, birch and oak plywood, pine and oak trim, etc. I have been buying my doors from a shop in Alabama.

Now that I am wanting to make my own doors, I need access to hardwood like maple, hickory, cherry, oak, walnut, pecan, etc.

So what gives ? Do any of you rework solid flooring to get the wood to make your projects ? What’s wrong with that as a source ?

Where do you get your wood ? I’ve checked locally (besides Lowes and HD) and they do not sell it and seem to not have a clue how to get it.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

16 replies so far

View childress's profile


841 posts in 3537 days

#1 posted 05-25-2011 08:13 AM

I guess I’m lucky to have a place like Peterman Lumber close by….

They have anything and everything. I also get free delivery since my orders are over $500.

Keep looking. Call your local cabinet shops and ask them, heck they might even piggyback your order on theirs to get free shipping. Never know

-- Childress Woodworks

View bubinga's profile


861 posts in 2663 days

#2 posted 05-25-2011 09:16 AM

A good place to find wood, for any area is,Woodfinder I have found places near me I did not know about

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3818 days

#3 posted 05-25-2011 10:54 AM

David, when I see posts like yours I generally will suggest taking a look at Craigslist, if you don’t already do so. While deals don’s show up on a daily basis, with patience you can find motivated sellers. Here is a list of recently posted sales for lumber in the Albany area.

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

View McKinneyMike's profile


80 posts in 2657 days

#4 posted 05-25-2011 12:49 PM

Well while I don not agree that all “wood is wood”, that is too expensive for plain walnut lumber! Not every tree that is sawn into lumber is going to make great lumber, in fact I would say that most make average lumber at best. Too many variables to make a statement like “wood is wood”. With that said I have seen totally clear lumber that i would not buy if it were $1/BF and then seen lumber that I would have paid twice the going rate as it was exceptional lumber. Grain structure and color are my two biggest concerns when I use/purchase any lumber. Wish that lumber were like plastic, but in my years as a hardwood lumber dealer, it is far from it. I have had suppliers tell me that they will no longer sell lumber to me as I am too picky. I must have the world’s pickiest customers then LOL!!!! Quality will always win, regardless of price, IME.

-- McKinney Hardwood Lumber --Specializing in exotic and figured hardwood lumber -McKinney, TX

View TheDane's profile


5423 posts in 3659 days

#5 posted 05-25-2011 03:58 PM

I buy from a cabinet shop in West Salem, Wisconsin (Beyer Cabinets) ... they have a millwork shop that carries a pretty decent stock of hardwoods at competitive prices. Plus, they are just over the ridge from my house.

When you do the math, the price per board foot that the box stores and some mail order suppliers charge is outrageous.


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3299 days

#6 posted 05-25-2011 07:34 PM

i would suggest you find a local mill if possible, if you can then i would do as suggested earlier, try some cabinet shop, and see if they will let you buy and have i shipped in with there’s…wood craft and places a like will skin you alive on wood…they should sell it for cheap since they can make there profit on everything else…i recently bought some beautiful walnut that was perfect..and got it from a local mill for 2 bucks a bf….....yea it was about 70 board feet…the boards were 15 inches wide and 13 feet long…...anyway.good luck..

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View scottv11's profile


29 posts in 2559 days

#7 posted 05-25-2011 08:16 PM

The cheapest way to get wood is from a sawmill. I bought 3 big 10’ hard maple logs. It cost me less than $1 per Bf. I had the mill cut them to my spec which was 8/4 and 6/4. I then had about 500 bf of green wood.
I stickered and stacked it for 3 months outside. I found a local guy that had built a drying barn and he charged me 50 cents bf to dry the wood. It ended up around 10% moisture wise.
Time is the issue. It took a year from buying the trees to having dried wood usable for cabinet making. It was cheap though at less than 1.50 bf.
I used some of this maple for my workbench. (photos in my workshop section)

View DLCW's profile


530 posts in 2650 days

#8 posted 05-26-2011 08:45 PM

Not sure where you live David. Here in the northwest, I have several places I can go. I have lumber yards that sell only to commercial organizations (some even sell to the local Woodcraft). I also use several saw mills where I can get my stock either air or kiln dried. I can specify (a month in advance) a pile of wood I need with the cuts I need and get it kiln dried and ready for the project. Lowes, Home Depot, Rockler and Woodcraft cater to consumers and sell retail. For a commercial cabinet/furniture shop, these prices are impossible to pay and still make money on a project.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 2954 days

#9 posted 05-27-2011 02:03 AM

Wood is more expensive as the work it takes to generate it increase. Sometimes a piece can cut right out and be perfect, sometimes it warps or whatever and needs resawn; sometimes the figure is high, sometimes the tree held little wood (making what was there costly to get), and sometimes a business needs to make a profit. I have been cutting wood for a couple of years now and understand the costs in a way I never imagined before. So, yeah, wood is wood but the work varies to get it making some more expensive that others.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View Kevin's profile


462 posts in 3201 days

#10 posted 05-29-2011 04:41 AM

I have access to a local sawmill that has a lot that has been air dried for a couple of years in a barn/shed. It just depends on what you want and what you have. If you have a jointer, planer then buying from a local sawmill like I do is very beneficial and cheap.

I would try the cabinet shops also. I do IT work for a couple of cabinet shops so in return I get some discounts and such also.

I couldn’t imagine paying that much for the wood at rockler. Look around, time will be your friend :)

-- Williamsburg, KY

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3159 posts in 3105 days

#11 posted 05-29-2011 04:55 AM

I call Rockler wood “boutique wood”. There is nothing wrong with that appellation; it’s a matter of what you are getting. It’s sized like you want and it’s picked out of the ruck (most of it looks nice; that sorting costs money). Personally, for a lot of my little projects, I’d rather pay them (and their middlemen) to machine my wood reasonably close to size. If I have to buy a thick piece and resaw, then mill and sand, that’s way more time than I want to spend.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 2635 days

#12 posted 05-30-2011 10:46 AM

I’ll look into a couple of the sources that turned up on Woodfinder. The closest is 46 miles. Will call Tuesday.

Nobody even touched the “Do any of you rework solid flooring to get the wood to make your projects ? What’s wrong with that as a source ?” question. Must not.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View EPJartisan's profile


1118 posts in 3121 days

#13 posted 05-30-2011 06:27 PM

This one is made from Recycled hickory flooring.

I get my wood from a wide variety of sources. Driving down the streets after big storms is one of my favorites, but I can;t use most of that wood for a year or more. I have discovered two resources (one here in Chicago, and one in Wisconsin) that are local mills that are actually tree cutting services. They get most money from the service and you get the incredibly cheap prices on the lumber. I also dumpster dive for old furniture pieces and construction/remodeling cut offs and cannibalize the wood into new life. People also give me their old furniture and junk.. and basement wood finds. Beyond that, if i need to pay for new, dimensioned, or kiln dried.. I go to underdog places just to keep them in business. And if all else fails.. I got to Owl Lumber or order from on-line.

-- " '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 bubinga's profile


861 posts in 2663 days

#14 posted 05-31-2011 05:04 AM

Do any of you rework solid flooring ?
I haven’t, but I have seen people here, that got good deals on some flooring stock, it fit there needs, and they got ,good use out of it. Don’t remember who !! One guy was planing to build a bench top from it,
It is kiln dried wood after all !
The place I get most of my ruff sawn hardwood is 30 miles one way

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

View devann's profile


2246 posts in 2688 days

#15 posted 05-31-2011 06:12 AM

I like to get used wood sometimes for little $ or just for hauling it off. But to use it to make something for a profit is difficult at best. There is a lot of work that goes into “reclaiming the wood”. Time is money and most of the time I find it cheaper to buy from a dealer or mill. Buying from a mill sometimes can add cost where getting wood from a dealer is more cost effective. It’s just cheaper to use their employee to run the planer/jointer than mine.

Most of the time this is all relative to what species you are considering too. About the only species that I see being reclaimed for a profit in my neck of the woods is long leaf pine. That’s because there are no more trees to cut. The pine beetles have wiped out just about all that was left around here. I’ve worked for a cabinet shop installing cabinets and trim that is made from long leaf pine, but it almost always comes from some old building that add been bought for that purpose. And I don’t know what they pay for it but I do know that it is not cheap

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

showing 1 through 15 of 16 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics