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my find - should I share it?

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Forum topic by HokieMojo posted 07-16-2009 06:53 PM 1379 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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HokieMojo

2103 posts in 3193 days


07-16-2009 06:53 PM

I’ll be honest, I am really tempted to keep this a secret because I don’t want competition for lumber, but I’ll share anyway with the knowledge that:
1) I know some of you already know about this
2) its better for me to try and share my limited knowledge with those that might not be aware rather than horde it for my self. (I know many on here give a lot more than me, I’m just trying my best not to fall too far behind)

I went to Home Depot the other day to buy a plumbing part. As I always do when my wife isn’t with me, I went to browse the lumber section in vain again (or so I thought). I’ve never found much of interest in the 5 yrs I’ve been looking except one quartersawn red oak 1×6 that has some nice ray fleck. when heading to the hardwoods, I noticed some 1×4’s in the pine section that were differently colored than the boards around it. Before I got close enough to ID the wood by its appearance, I saw a “1×4 maple” sticker.

I thought it was odd since they NEVER carry maple, but hey, lets go find out what it costs (no priceing stickers on the shelves). The guy at the register didn’t know the price and it wasn’t in the system so he sent me to the wood cutting station. I talked to a cool guy named Doug about some lumber he had collected over the years, but he couldn’t help either, however he got a mgr on the phone. After about an hr trying to get a price on a single board they made up a sku number for me and marked it at $2.10 per linear foot. Nothing to brag about I know, especially for a thin stick like this, but it was S4S and here is the kicker. a couple boards had some some cool spalting.

Nope, I didn’t buy those spalted ones. I didn’t talk it over with my wife first so I wanted to keep the purcahse under $20 because I’ve got an ugly habit of collecting lumber and not building NEARLY as fast as I buy. She is very understanding of my problem, but the truth is, she is right on this one. I settled on one 7 ft board. Tiger Maple. I’ll post pictures if you’d like later depending on peoples interest.

I doubt that I got a killer price at about $6/bd foot, but I think it was pretty darn good. I left two other comparable boards behind (again didn’t want to go over $20) and plenty of nice clear maple. I also learned that you can special order maple through HD if you wanted to. I don’t know if this will help the people that; insist that there are no sawyers nearby (maybe true) or that need surfaced material, or that want to stay in their HD comfort zone, but I thought I’d share. Again, let me know if you’d like to see a picture and I’ll post it this weekend if you are interested. I’d also LOVE to know your thoughts on the price of $6/bdft 4” wide curly maple. the only place I seem to be able to get this is online and those prices ussually run quite high, even before shipping.


23 replies so far

View GMman's profile

GMman

3902 posts in 3162 days


#1 posted 07-16-2009 07:23 PM

I think you got taken I get that suff here for $3.50 to $4.00

View HokieMojo's profile

HokieMojo

2103 posts in 3193 days


#2 posted 07-16-2009 07:43 PM

thanks gman. is that kiln dried and surfaced? Is it easily accessible at a retail location or is it in the boonies? I know I could probably find some local sawyers who have it (my local lumber yard carries great birdseye stock at $15/bdft but they dont’ have any curly maple), but I’m trying to make sure I compare apples to apples. I know I wouldn’t want to try and build an heirloom piece of furniture from this stock, but how bad can you really get ripped off for a total cost of about $15. I figured it is worth the cost for a learning experience.

I’ll agree though that I RARELY by lumber at a homecenter due to their prices.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115202 posts in 3042 days


#3 posted 07-16-2009 08:00 PM

good find

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1000 posts in 2847 days


#4 posted 07-16-2009 08:01 PM

Lumber is a very regional thing through HD. What state are you in? Maple is one of the woods that are always stocked at my HD in Los Angeles. It’s there in 1×2 up to about 1×8. We have Tulip Poplar, Birch, Maple, and Red Oak. There was one week where they had a stash of European Beech, but never again since. I always push my way through the stacks of maple and poplar, because I’ve found some pretty neat things hidden in there. Birch, for some reason, has fallen off my radar a bit. They often have wonderfully figured heartwood, if you cut your way around the sapwood edges or end pieces. I’m curious what woods you get there.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View Kindlingmaker's profile

Kindlingmaker

2656 posts in 2991 days


#5 posted 07-16-2009 08:13 PM

Gary, I live about an hour and a half north of you and our HD has never had birch but does have a small amount of the rest you mentioned. HD stores each have their own buyers/order folks and each does pretty much their own thing and so far its not based on the wants of the woodworker but it is the amount of what they sell to the home handyman. $2.10 LF sounds pretty good for up here.

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1000 posts in 2847 days


#6 posted 07-16-2009 08:34 PM

Kindlingmaker (and everyone else!) – I carry a pocket voice recorder with me everywhere, and in mid/late January this year, I used it to speak all the 1x lumber prices so I could later add them to this table. That’s what we have in the half-aisle of hardwoods at the HD in LA on Jefferson, near Lincoln (Culver City/Marina Del Rey area).

I would love to see what’s carried at the HDs across America, as I know they’ve sort of taken over. It’s really difficult or impossible to search regional things through them online.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View HokieMojo's profile

HokieMojo

2103 posts in 3193 days


#7 posted 07-16-2009 08:51 PM

Thanks for the responses everyone. I’m in central virginia.

All we’ve got is standard framing timber (i assume its loblolly pine or SYP), whiteboard (some other type of pine), poplar, red oak, and cedar. not to offend anyone, but so far I’ve been unthrilled about working with oak. I can see why some people like it, but for me it just seems like the grain hits me over the head. as such, i prefer the more closed pore woods. the poplar is very pricy and I’m not sure if cedar is ussally used for furniture construction (aside from aromatic used in custom closets and blanket chests).

Gary,
Do you find figured maple in the piles regularly? i should add, apparenlty you can get special orders of woods if you want. thats how the maple showed up. someone ordered it and then claimed it wasn’t what they wanted. maybe they didn’t want the figure/spalting. i can understand that if someone were making cabinets. Also, why do you say you need to cut away the sapwood on birch? Is it just a color preference thing or is there a structural reason?

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8523 posts in 3113 days


#8 posted 07-16-2009 08:52 PM

HD around here (Boston, MA) always carries Maple 1×4. 1×6, 1×8, 2×6 at that price… to be honest – not bad looking pieces… and S4S.

when I built my doughters bed, I thought that I’d be better off buying at a local lumberyard – which Is where I got the maple boards from – it was also S4s as I did not have milling capabilities at the time – but I ended up paying ~$4 lf …. I still feel like a sucker… but I learnt my lesson.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View HokieMojo's profile

HokieMojo

2103 posts in 3193 days


#9 posted 07-16-2009 08:57 PM

sounds like maple isn’t that rare at HD. It’s just regional. I wonder if anyone ever finds anything less common like walnut, cherry, cocobolo. lol. i figured the northern states might find maple in stock more easily.

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8523 posts in 3113 days


#10 posted 07-16-2009 09:03 PM

regular stock here is pine, maple, poplar, and oak, all ranging between 1×4 – 1×8, 2×6, varying lengths all S4S.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1000 posts in 2847 days


#11 posted 07-16-2009 09:27 PM

Hokie – I don’t find figured maple regularly. It’s all quite pretty, but it’s also all quite uniform. That’s one nice thing about their maple stock – I can count on it to match up pretty perfectly with each new shipment. It’s always pale and simple. I did just find a heavily birdseyed 1×3 or 1×4, and cut off the regular half of the plank. It’s not much, but I’m curious to try resawing it and planing it into 1/4” thick planks, and then cutting out panels that I can bookmatch for filling some small frame and panel doors.

As for the birch, I simply meant that if you wanted to work in the more interesting, and darker heartwood of birch, you could cut away the more maple-like, lighter heartwood from the edges of their flatsawn boards, and have pure, rich, dark, swirly heartwood. Structurally, they seem the same, and for some/many projects, it would be desirable to have both. The heartwood almost gets to walnut colors sometimes. It can be quite a contrast. I can see a resawn, bookmatched piece being quite pretty when it’s like this. And that’s what I meant – a great deal of their birch stock is dark heartwood, streaked, especially on the edges with light heartwood. I thought this board of birch was pretty nice. I never see birch with all these ripples in it, so I picked it up. It’s still sitting in my storage shed, waiting for me to get better at this woodworking thing before I use it.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View Karson's profile

Karson

35035 posts in 3865 days


#12 posted 07-16-2009 10:11 PM

I found some maple at HD that had some surface mold on it. It was in their discount area. I pd 75 cents a board. Some was birdseye and other was curly. I planed it down to get rid of the mold.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia karsonwm@gmail.com †

View HokieMojo's profile

HokieMojo

2103 posts in 3193 days


#13 posted 07-16-2009 10:41 PM

Karson,
its funny how a planer can get you some great deals. you just need to be extra careful with the DC. I’m sure you know that, but I didn’t and learned the hard way when planing some really really old walnut

Gary,
We each have an almost identical board of birch and I bought it for the exact same reason. The way mine looks, the heartwood makes repeating hourglass figures. This is definitely beyond my skill level, but I was picturing an endtable with some coy fish inlays. the figure would have made it look just like a stream. It would also be cool as a vey basic footstool which is what I will more realistically make with it. I’ll try to snag a photo of that as well.

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1000 posts in 2847 days


#14 posted 07-16-2009 11:23 PM

Karson – I wish my HD had a discount area! They sell all boards as though they’re matched with each other for quality. This makes simple DF 2×4 purchases hit or miss. If you get there just after they’ve cut open a new load of them, you can sort through for the straightest, most knot-free examples. In a few instances, however, the current load was almost done, and it was nothing but split pieces, and extremely warped stuff. They wouldn’t mark it down for me. They’re pretty lazy at the LA HD.

Hokie – I’d love to see the board, if and when you get a chance!

Oh, another one that’s probably only around here is one I stumbled into a trip or two back at HD. There was a piece of pine in with the hardwoods, which are usually separated by an aisle or two. It was only a 1×2 or 1×3, but it was really pretty. Super uniform up the whole length, and it had little dark brown lines, like hairs up the whole thing. It kind of reminded me of euro beech, but with longer, thinner hairs, and much lighter wood (weight-wise). No knots, very straight, very light and smooth. It felt like smooth cedar. The sticker said “radiata pine.” I found the rest way in the back of the store, in their lightweight, but pretty woods (e.g. cedar, redwood, and the highest grade pines). Most everything back there tops off around 2×2, and even then it’s more like 1.25”, not even the usual surfaced 1.5”. It’s actually in metric, but it’s small stuff – long, but thin. Radiata is a species that grows in California, and I think it’s even native to this area – one of the few things that is.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View brian75137's profile

brian75137

19 posts in 2709 days


#15 posted 07-17-2009 12:33 AM

I never thought of looking for decent wood at HD. I’m going to have to make a specuial trip this weekend to do so. I wonder if Lowes is the same. I’ll have to look there too & report back.

Brian75137 in Denver.

-- Brian now in Albuquerque, NM

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