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Tell me about the Pacific Northwest - Portland/Seattle

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Forum topic by live4ever posted 08-13-2014 07:42 PM 717 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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live4ever

983 posts in 1698 days


08-13-2014 07:42 PM

May be moving to the PNW from Northern California – either Portland or Seattle.

How are these locations for woodworking?? Good hardwood dealers? Good plywood supply? Decent tool market? Woodworking clubs? Friendly jocks in the area?

Where I’m coming from, lumber is expensive (imagine this is the case for all of the West Coast), but the area has bountiful hardwood dealers. The used tool market is total crap – not many good deals to be had at all.

There’s a lot of non-woodworking factors that will ultimately determine where we move to, but I just wanted to get a feel for these two cities. :)

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.


20 replies so far

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jmartel

2311 posts in 838 days


#1 posted 08-13-2014 08:07 PM

I live in Seattle.

You generally won’t find great deals at the hardwood dealers here. Hard Maple is about $4/bdft, walnut is $6.75, about the same for Cherry, Oak is $3-4/bdft. The trees up here are virtually all softwoods. Alder can be pretty cheap, but while technically a hardwood, it’s pretty soft.

I typically buy wood off of craigslist whenever possible.

There is a Rockler on the north side of the city and a Woodcraft in Georgetown (which is the south side of the city, industrial district).

Used tools is decent, but only for more hobbyist type machines. If you want cabinet shop stuff, there isn’t as much. The upside though is that there is a Grizzly showroom up in Bellingham that is a 2 hour drive away.

If I buy wood from a dealer, then I go to Crosscut Hardwoods. They are in Portland as well. Very large selection of plywood in addition to their normal wood.

-- End grain is like a belly button. Yes, I know you have one. No, I don't want to see it.

View BillJ_Portland's profile

BillJ_Portland

7 posts in 278 days


#2 posted 08-13-2014 08:55 PM

I live in Portland.

For a smaller “big city”, I think Portland has a pretty good woodworking community:
Examples:
-Crosscut Hardwood- Great hardwood, softwood and plywood selection
-Sustainable Northwest Wood (http://www.snwwood.com/) – These guys get a lot from a local FSC certified lumber suppliers
-Mr Plywood – The name says it all
-Woodcraft
-Rockler
-Woodcrafters – woodworking tools, supplies and lumber
-Barbo Machinery – Sales of new and used wood working machines from hobby to professional grade
-Northwest woodworking Studio – Gary Rogowski
Bridge City Toolworks – For the high end precision hand tools
And many more resources. I think you will be pleasantly surprised when you do a bit of your own research.

Good luck and a future welcome to the northwest, wherever you shall land.

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splatman

61 posts in 87 days


#3 posted 08-14-2014 03:19 AM

No hardwood dealers in or around Tacoma (smallish city south of Seattle) that I’m am aware of. I checked.
Anyone here know of any?
Rains like crazy here from October thru April. Puts the Wash in Washington.
Aside from the occasional deal on Craigslist, I cannot give any real answers for your other questions.

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jmartel

2311 posts in 838 days


#4 posted 08-14-2014 02:49 PM

It doesn’t rain like crazy here. We get less rain here than the east coast. Just more of a constant drizzle than any actual rain. Certainly not rainy enough to stop doing whatever you’re doing.

-- End grain is like a belly button. Yes, I know you have one. No, I don't want to see it.

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Stellatyler

3 posts in 69 days


#5 posted 08-14-2014 03:02 PM

I think you need bureau shop stuff, there isn’t as much. The upside however is that there is a Grizzly showroom up in Bellingham that is a 2 hour head out. I purchase wood from a merchant, then I go to Crosscut Hardwoods. They are in Portland also. Extensive choice of plywood notwithstanding their typical wood.
Rugged Android Phone

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tdwilli1

5 posts in 274 days


#6 posted 08-14-2014 03:04 PM

I live in the Portland area also and just to add another place for wood – Hardwood Industries.

Tim


I live in Portland.

For a smaller “big city”, I think Portland has a pretty good woodworking community:
Examples:
-Crosscut Hardwood- Great hardwood, softwood and plywood selection
-Sustainable Northwest Wood (http://www.snwwood.com/) – These guys get a lot from a local FSC certified lumber suppliers
-Mr Plywood – The name says it all
-Woodcraft
-Rockler
-Woodcrafters – woodworking tools, supplies and lumber
-Barbo Machinery – Sales of new and used wood working machines from hobby to professional grade
-Northwest woodworking Studio – Gary Rogowski
Bridge City Toolworks – For the high end precision hand tools
And many more resources. I think you will be pleasantly surprised when you do a bit of your own research.

Good luck and a future welcome to the northwest, wherever you shall land.

- BillJ_Portland


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MrRon

2860 posts in 1931 days


#7 posted 08-14-2014 04:07 PM

Aside from woodworking, Seattle has some of the best seafood readily available in the whole country. I used to live there, but now I live in Ms. Nice place to live in, but I’m getting tired of eating catfish.

Seattle has a large community of wooden boat builders, so any woods used in boat building is available there.

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Nomad62

725 posts in 1646 days


#8 posted 08-14-2014 09:06 PM

If you decide on the Portland area, check out the Guild of Oregon Woodworkers, good group leaning toward education and occasional public service. Couple of turning groups around as well.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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Earlextech

994 posts in 1378 days


#9 posted 08-14-2014 09:28 PM

As an outsider – I’ve done The Woodworking Show in both cities. Both seemed to have a strong woodworking community. Personally I prefer Downtown Seattle to Downtown Portland. Don’t be mad at me Portland, the show isn’t going to Seattle again this year, but we will be in Portland!

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "finished"!

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crank49

3458 posts in 1659 days


#10 posted 08-16-2014 03:27 AM

Well, Portland has the WNBR every year. That would be the world naked bike ride.
Where else you gonna find “wood” celebrated like that?
You’ll have to Google it to see pictures; don’t want to get thrown off of here.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8791 posts in 2787 days


#11 posted 08-16-2014 03:57 AM

You could take a woodworking class with Gary Rogowski. It would be fully clothed I am sure so you would be pretty comfortable compared to the WNBR. http://www.northwestwoodworking.com

Goby Walnut is in Portland if you are shopping for killer slabs http://www.gobywalnut.com

In Seattle there is the Northwest Woodworker’s Gallery which is pretty fine! http://www.nwwoodgallery.com

Darrel Peart is in Seattle area – http://www.furnituremaker.com

Tom Stangeland is in Seattle too. http://www.artistcraftsman.net

Up in the Seattle area is the Port Townsend School of Woodworking – http://www.ptwoodschool.com/Home.html

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

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Todd A. Clippinger

8791 posts in 2787 days


#12 posted 08-16-2014 03:58 AM

And that all just scratches the surface of what you can find and do in either location.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

2311 posts in 838 days


#13 posted 08-16-2014 04:25 AM



Well, Portland has the WNBR every year. That would be the world naked bike ride.
Where else you gonna find “wood” celebrated like that?
You ll have to Google it to see pictures; don t want to get thrown off of here.

- crank49

While not as big, we do have the Fremont Solstice parade here in Seattle. Naked people on bikes and foot, and sometimes on floats too.

-- End grain is like a belly button. Yes, I know you have one. No, I don't want to see it.

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jmartel

2311 posts in 838 days


#14 posted 08-16-2014 04:29 AM

I don’t know that I would consider Port Townsend in the “Seattle Area”. You need to take a ferry across the sound and then drive some more to get there. It’s a day trip away.

-- End grain is like a belly button. Yes, I know you have one. No, I don't want to see it.

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8791 posts in 2787 days


#15 posted 08-16-2014 05:23 AM

jmartel – thanks for the correction, my bad

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

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