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Forum topic by KenBry posted 879 days ago 2766 views 1 time favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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KenBry

449 posts in 1046 days


879 days ago

I thought this might be a neat way of helping each other out. Lets share our ways of finding wood free.

On my list is pallets. I cruse the backs of stores all the time looking at pallets. I have had good luck finding mahogony and some unknown exotics from the back of Pier One and World Market.

Where have you folks struck wood gold?

-- Ken, USAF MSgt, Ret.


15 replies so far

View joey bealis's profile

joey bealis

177 posts in 1106 days


#1 posted 879 days ago

I get phone calls daily from people trying to give me trees from their yards. A lot of times they even try to pay me to get rid of it. I take what I want and give what I don”t away for firewood. I make a lot of friends that way. My dad also works in a very large custom cabinet shop and he saves me what they call the ugly wood. They will at times run say 5000 feet of mahogany and what pieces the color is too off on I get some at times. I also like looking in peoples firewood piles. Found a large oak burl yesterday doing that. Just drove by their house and saw it. Stopped and they were happy to give it to me. Didn’t hurt that it was my uncles house either.

-- http://reclaimedbuilding.blogspot.com/

View Elizabeth's profile

Elizabeth

792 posts in 1743 days


#2 posted 879 days ago

How do you get the pallets; do you go in and ask the manager for them? How big is a standard sized pallet? (Wondering if I can get on in my station wagon.) How much usable wood vs junk would you say you get from an average one?

So far my only sources are Craigslist (people cutting trees mostly) and the scrap bin at the local university’s woodshop – but that scrap bin has been great for small offcuts of hardwood and plywood which I have been using for jigs and small projects.

View dbol's profile

dbol

135 posts in 1597 days


#3 posted 879 days ago

Go to flooring stores and or warehouses. tons of pallets.
the way 3/4 hardwood is shipped is by tying it together with a plastic or metal strap but on the bottom is nice thick piece of hardwood at least 2×2. It is rough but I have gotten a few white oak and red oak pieces.

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KenBry

449 posts in 1046 days


#4 posted 879 days ago

I pull the pallets out of their trash cans normally. That makes it totally legal. The usable wood varies but I also look over the pallets and see if they are worth the time. If only 1 piece is worth a darn I usually leave it.

-- Ken, USAF MSgt, Ret.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112000 posts in 2176 days


#5 posted 879 days ago

Turners can just ask for a little fire wood or go to a logging site in my area. Lumber yards in my area will give you all the pallets you want Elizabeth, but you will need some good Nail pulling tools and a hand held metal detector. I’ve seen on Ljs where people dumpster dive outside cabinet shops,or even ask cabinet shops for scraps. You can do the same at mills if you ask first.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View joey bealis's profile

joey bealis

177 posts in 1106 days


#6 posted 879 days ago

With pallets you want to be nice to the store owners and ask. Some get charged for and they get a credit back when the driver picks it back up.

-- http://reclaimedbuilding.blogspot.com/

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

10408 posts in 1605 days


#7 posted 879 days ago

Keep your eyes open for demo jobs, especially on older homes, ive used more reclaimed lumber than i have virgin lumber. If its a residential job most contractors dont mind you scoping out the dumpters but commercial jobs can be different. It turns into a liability issue with that many hands in the pot. When using reclaimed lumber i have 2 sets of blades, one for good clean lumber and the ones ive all ready hit nails with.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Elizabeth's profile

Elizabeth

792 posts in 1743 days


#8 posted 879 days ago

I’m planning on checking with my city’s “urban forester” to see if they give away/throw out the wood they obtain when cutting down damaged trees, but I haven’t contacted them yet. Has anyone else tried this?

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

3556 posts in 2334 days


#9 posted 879 days ago

@ Elizabeth: Winnipeg has a wood reclaimer operating right in the Municipal landfill. This city takes down hundreds of elms each year due to disease; Wood Anchor mills and reclaims the lumber. Every city should have a facility like this. http://www.woodanchor.com/how-we-reclaim
But no, it ain’t free…
Otherwise, I scout the river banks after the spring floods for interesting logs….hundreds out there!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1469 posts in 2724 days


#10 posted 879 days ago

Our local high end deck place occasionally clears out their scrap pile for peanuts. I’ve got some nice massaranduba and ipe from that.

And Craigslist. Lots and lots of Craigslist watching.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

View midgaoutdoor's profile

midgaoutdoor

7 posts in 906 days


#11 posted 875 days ago

i doubt u can get a 40×48 pallet in a wagon. we haul in on 20ft trailer, about 50 at a time. ive built some nice stuff. get trees to and load and unload with front end loader my specialty is reclaimed wood. i dont buy unless i need treated.

View BentheViking's profile

BentheViking

1746 posts in 1163 days


#12 posted 875 days ago

I work at lumber liquidators. We take extra pallets that our bamboo and laminates come on and sit them in our back lot. Some people undoubtedly take them, but most come in and ask. I have yet to grab one since they are large and getting the usable wood out of them takes work. Our hardwoods on the other hand come bundled together with wooden sticks holding them off the ground. These pieces are approximately 3-4 feet long and 3×3 square with a dado cut down the underside of it. Most of them are pine and pine, but I’ve gotten plenty of other stuff. Oak, cherry, walnut, mahogany, and a few other things that have yet to be identified.

Another suggestion is to find free wooden furniture (or maybe something cheap) and salvage things from that. Think about how much wood is in a dining table, armoire, bookcase or other things. Craigslist, freecycle, tag sales, garbage piles, thrift stores are all great places to search.

PS World Market is an awesome store. Wish I had one near me

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View midgaoutdoor's profile

midgaoutdoor

7 posts in 906 days


#13 posted 875 days ago

viking, does LL give that stuff away? the 3×3? theres one right down the street from our office in Byron GA

View BentheViking's profile

BentheViking

1746 posts in 1163 days


#14 posted 872 days ago

I picked up three real nice pieces of mahogany today from the bottom of a pallet…everything just getting squirrled away for the future.

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View mm8ball's profile

mm8ball

7 posts in 917 days


#15 posted 866 days ago

Most woodworking businesses have a scrap bin, and many are pleased to let you carry away as much wood as you like. Remember many of them used to be hobby woodworkers, and opened a shop so they could turn their hobby into a business. I used to run a computer repair business, and stayed on the lookout for nice wood. I started doing computer work for a custom door and cabinet maker, and he was happy to let me pick through his scrap bin. I made a few nice pieces for him, including a rocking horse for his grand daughter (I saw a picture on his desk.) After that he would run off anyone else from his scrap bin. He kept me supplied with wood for several years, and when he decided to retire he gave me a few pickup truck loads of really nice wood, including mahogany, a lot of curly maple, oak, cherry, ash, some walnut, and others that I’m not sure what it is. Judging by how much shelf space it takes up in my garage I’ve got over 1000 board feet of really nice wood to work with. Can’t remember the last time I bought wood (other than plywood and particle board) for a project.

-- Thinking you know something is the most perfect barrier to learning.

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