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  • better sources for wood?

    I buy poplar for most of what I do--or birch plywood. So far I get it at Lowes generally or sometimes home depot. I have to pick through a LOT of crud to get a nice board. I use thicker wood than most of you guys cuz most of of my projects -so far are chunky little wood figures that I then woodburn & paint. So I'm using what they call 1" but its not really an inch thick--more like 3/4 or 5/8.

    Do you guys know how to find better wood? or local sources? thanks!
    Ready, Fire, ... Aim!

    My blog: Pokeberry Patch

  • #2
    I've been using Ocooch Hardwoods for the last couple years. They seem to have the best prices and it's very easy to order on their site. You just choose what type of wood you want and use their little pull down menus to click on size and thickness. Other than that, the best option is always to go to a local lumber yard so you can pick out the wood yourself. A local lumber yard will always be cheaper and you won't have to worry about shipping costs. But if your lumber yards are like the ones in the NY area, they won't mill the wood down and you will need a planer and other tools to do it yourself.

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    • #3
      Mary, go to the web site I sent you in the PM the other day. There is a listing of wood suppliers in your area. The one nearest to you is Scott Smith. He can provide with hardwoods like red oak, cypress,white oak and many others at prices you won't believe. Other major sources (in no order) near you are:
      - The Hardwood Store in Gibsonville
      - Klingspor in Raleigh
      - Wood Craft in Raleigh
      - Anchor Hardwoods in Raleigh
      Scott
      Creator of fine designer sawdust.

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      • #4
        Woodfinder: Find Sources of Lumber, Veneer and Sawmill Services is a great site. Put in your zip code and find local places.

        No matter where you get the wood, if it is kiln dried and planed a "1 by..." will not be 1 inch thick. The 1 is the measurement before drying and smoothing. A 2 x 4 isn't 2 inches by 4 inches either for the same reason.
        T
        Theresa

        http://WoodNGoods.weebly.com

        http://woodngoods.blogspot.com

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        • #5
          Thank you all! I will look into the sources mentioned.. and Theresa--thanks for explaining about the wood size. I've always wondered about that.
          Ready, Fire, ... Aim!

          My blog: Pokeberry Patch

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          • #6
            Mary - to Theresa's comment; she's right. To be more exact, a finished 1X4 is 3/4 X 3-1/2. A 1X8 is 3/4 X 7-1/2. Now your catching on. A 1X12 is 3/4 X 11- 1/2 etc. etc. Now I'm willing to bet that if you take Scott's advice, you will find the boards to true measurments, that is to say a 1X6 will be 1X6, but the boards will not be finished. You will be buying rough lumber and if you try to cut square pieces from it, you will be frustrated. Rough lumber means rough lumber. If you lay a rough board on a flat surface, you will notice that it's not flat. One side will usually have a cupped surface while the other will have a convex surface. The edges will not be straight either. Those of us blessed with fully equipped workshop have tools to fix those problems.

            But if you don't need to work with larger finished lumber, maybe you can cut smaller, more manageable pieces to work with. But the problem will not be completely solved. You will find that the smaller pieces will warble on the saw's table as you try to cut it.

            I don't mean to discourage you but I'm simply trying to give you a heads up. Maybe you can find a generous woodworker in your area that will not mind planing down a rough piece of lumber as a favor or a small fee. Or you could buy a 1X? plus a 1/4 inch plywood piece and glue them together. It will show on the edges, but maybe you can live with that. Good luck!
            It's never hot or cold in NH, it's always seasonal!

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            • #7
              In the 70's I worked for a carpender that could tell you the age of the house that we were working on by measuring the wall studs. In the 20's when things got standardized they started out as 2x4 rough, and were dressed to 1 7/8 by 3 7/8. Over the years the standard got smaller a little at a time 'till they got down to the size we have today. They are still called "2x4" though it's just a 'nominal' size.

              There are a few reasons for this downsizing. (all related to profit)
              1. Because they are smaller, you can cut more 2x4's from any given tree.
              2. Because they are smaller, you can put more on a truck.
              3. Because they are smaller, it takes less time/emergy to kiln dry them.

              Back to your original question, Where can I get 'better' wood? A lot of the thinnest wood I get (5/16 or less) is drawer bottoms from dressers found at the curb. It's almost always flat ande comes in pretty usable sized pieces.
              The medium sized boards (3/8" to 5/8") come from the sides of the drawers of the same dressers.
              Thicker boards (3/4" and up) come from drawer fronts and sides and tops of dressers, and table tops.

              As the years go by, this source of wood is getting tougher to find as most newer furniture (after the 70's) is compressed sawdust and not suitable for scrolling. However it can be found in the "free" pages of craigslist. I've gotten some free from the people at the Salvation Army and Goodwill. When I was there I asked what they did with the furniture that was not fixable and went and picked it up, Free.

              Palletts are also a good place for good, cheap wood. I stay away from palletts from food industries (poisions) and from chemical companies (who knows what may have been spilled on them).

              Many interesting species can be found in palletts depending on where they are from.

              Finding them is easy, just drive around any industrial park. Please ask before you take them. Just because they are outside dosen't necessarily mean they are not wanted. Many companies sell their pallets to brokers and leave them outside for pickup at the brokers convenience.

              They can also be found on Craigslist.
              Political correctness is always political and rarely correct!

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              • #8
                I love your signature Ten fingers.. I may have to borrow that.
                Well.. anyhow I mainly use poplar because I need a white wood--pine would work but it doesn't hold up to playing with as well. I make toys and things that I wood burn on and paint with watercolor--as if it were a stain. And the wood really needs to be light colored. Also--don't want to burn just any wood cuz some are pretty toxic when burning.
                so... for what I do right now.. recycled wood is not likely to work too well, although I love to re-use things and have more than a few things rescued from curbs. Still its a good idea to keep in mind for other projects.
                Ready, Fire, ... Aim!

                My blog: Pokeberry Patch

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                • #9
                  maple and birch are good choices for white wood.

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                  • #10
                    I just have to say, again, that Lowes & HDepot has terrible wood. The local lumber stores also don't carry anything but, construction lumber here. It's almost impossible to find good wood anywhere in Yuma. Phoenix, I know has some good sources, though.
                    PERK

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                    • #11
                      Pokeberry Mary. It might help if we knew where you were located. Someone may be able to direct you to a good source.
                      Roger

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ramjet View Post
                        Pokeberry Mary. It might help if we knew where you were located. Someone may be able to direct you to a good source.
                        Roger
                        Already did. She is in central North Carolina.
                        Scott
                        Creator of fine designer sawdust.

                        Comment

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