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  • Wood?

    I seem to live in an area in which it is very hard to buy wood. Dallas is 65 miles from here, but, even so, there are very few dealers in wood. Lots of "lumber yards" with commercial building stuff, but almost no hardwoods and no one around here even seems to know what burl is. I am willing to pay shipping for the wood I need but it still galls me to pay more in postage than the price of the wood. I am also tired of these retail catalog places selling only pieces that are 6-8" wide and only 24" max in length. What a ripoff! All these projects call for wood that isn't available here or large pieces of "spalted" or burl wood like they are available at Sears. What gives? Can anyone tell me of one good supplier of this stuff? Especially one where I don't have to figure some exotic formula for board feet? Your help is appreciated. Maybe I am just venting.
    Old Mooner

  • #2
    Old Mooner

    You need to calm down and take a chill pill. To address your problem a few thing are needed but will go under some assumptions here. First when you say 6 to 8 inches wide to me that is a very good stable board. Wider boards may carry a premium price unless they are redily available such as oak and mahagonys. You do not say what kind of woodworking you are doing that require long lengths. I would first try your phone book and see if any hardwood dealers in your area. You can do a google search and find them that way. Another way is to get yourself a copy of a good woodworking magazine such as WOOD, or Popular Woodworking, or Fine Woodworking, my favorite because they have so many ads for tools wood and finishes is Woodsop News, and in the back or throughout there are numerous wood dealers and they all ship any lengths any size and anywhere just about. These people have been in business for a long time and need your business so they will work with you. I am fortunate to have 3 such places in my general area but have ordered from some mailorder places. Now these are not the scrollsaw craft places I think you were refering to.

    Berea Hardwoods

    Steve H Wall Lumber Co.--- 1-800-633-4062 NC

    Hearne Hardwoods 1-888-814-0007

    These are just a few I have used. Not sure if this helps you. But people are woodworking in your state so there must be some place close.
    John T.


    • #3
      Try Wood Finder

      Old Mooner:

      Try For USA and Canada area only.

      I am positive that the problem you are facing is more of the RETAIL selling of hardwoods. There most likely will be several places that sell hardwoods to small woodworking shops.

      I don't know Texas state map, but have you tried the North Texas Woodworker Association? A woodworker's club must know where to get wood, even if it a co-op purchasing plan ( some guy with a truck drives over to where hardwoods can be gotten, like an independent part time saw mill, and buys a several hundred board feet for his self and others.)

      On another forum, more for general woodworking, there are rare occations when someone gloats about they know someone who knows someone, who has a friend... (and so on) where an independent trucker who is deadheading back to Texas, or Oklahoma, or where ever, has gotten a large load of hardwoods from some small mill in Northern Michigan, Northern Wisconsin, or where ever, and is selling the wood off the back of his 18 wheeler.



      • #4
        You didn't mention if you were looking for rough sawn, S2S, S3S, or S4S lumber. If your looking for finished woods (planed to thickness, sanded etc.) Sloan's woodshop ( has a good selection in a variety of widths. You'll find most boards are 24" in length though. You pay far more for finished lumber than rough lumber. If you have a local Woodcraft Store, (there are several around TX) they sell both rough and surfaced lumber. They also sell turning blocks in 6X6, 8X8 sizes, these work nicely for boxes. As for others, Memphis Hardwood Lumber ( will surface and edge join pieces to provide you with any panel size you wish, of course it does come at a price. One of my favorite mail-order houses is Niagara Lumber ( They do have a 20 bd-ft minimum requirement but I believe they also offer surfacing. As far as bd-ft goes, it's quite easy to calculate. (L X W X T)/144 = bd ft (with all dimensions in inches). In other words, a 4/4 board 6" wide, 8' long would be calculated as:
        96 (length of the board) X 6 (width of the board) x 1 (thickness of the board)/144 = 4 board feet. Another option is e-bay, but beware of bidding wars, they typically drive the price up to beyond what the lumber is worth. I have gotten some nice deals and lumber off of e-bay though.
        Burls are tougher to come by and can be very expensive.

        Hope this helps,

        Scrollsaw Patterns Online
        Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671


        • #5
          Try Austin Hardwoods in Dallas.

          Austin Hardwoods
          11353 Mathis Avenue
          Dallas, TX 75229
          (972) 869-1770

          The only one I could find in my short search.

          Dan H

          I would rather be friendly to a stranger than be a stranger to my friends.


          • #6
            Thanks for the responses folks. I am currently buying wood from Sloan's Woodshop as was suggested, but my original comments still hold. Telling me to take a "chill pill" and calm down is a bit condescending don't you think? As I said, Austin Hardwoods is in Dallas and deals mostly with furniture makers and commercial shops. I have done the searches and, as someone else has said, there aren't many (any?) hardwood dealers in my area. I do scrollsaw segmentation and intarsia mostly, but many of those projects call for lengths longer than 24". Besides, as most of you know, buying longer boards and cutting them to length is cheaper than buying shorter lumber. Haven't any of you seen photos of the lumber that Judy Gale Roberts has stacked up in her place? Quite a few of the projects shown in past issues of scrolling and carving magazines are done on large pieces of spalted oak and burls of all types. I just wondered where all this stuff came from. Not from around here. Thanks once again.
            Old Mooner


            • #7
              Old Mooner,
              I sympathise with you and your wood dilemma. I too have a hard time finding wood - even those cedar 1 bys that Judy Gayle talks about like they "grow on trees" (oops - wait a minute - I guess they do!) but our one "local" (over 40 miles) hardwood dealer closed, and I must either mail order, buy at carving or wood shows (few, and far between), or make substitutions from the home improvement stores - Red oak, poplar, and occasionally some birch. If you keep looking, you will find SOME useable stuff, and the rest you will just have to glue up, or change the pattern. I find some really neat color patterns in some of the poplar at Home Depo - with a squint, you can see it pinch-hitting for some of the burl woods we lust for in the magazine.
              If you find a decent source of the perty stuff before I do, please let me know. I'll do the same for you.
              In the meantime, lets just keep sawing!


              • #8
                Old Mooner

                Let me first say I was the one to tell you to take a chill pill and I still will. I did say it in jest but seems there is some more venting that needs to take place. Yes you have a situation and believe me if you read some of these posts there are alot of people worse off than you. I think I have given you some good suggestions and others have given some names too. Sometimes it takes trial and error to find what you are looking for. You say some projects take more than 2 feet of board to complete. There are those craft wood suppliers that will only ship 24" to keep costs down. If you explain you need 2 boards closley matched in color they maybe able to help. Lots of times when dealers get a shipment of wood the boards come from the same tree in their shipment. By the way 1 Bdf= 12" X 12" x1" thick . One other point you said alot of these projects call for spalted or burl woods. These are only the writers suggestions. There is nothing in stone that says you have to use those woods. Use what is available and the project will look just as nice. Now Happy Woodworking!!!! I don't think that is condescending.
                John T.


                • #9
                  A couple times a year, members of our woodworking club truck pool to a sawmill in Wisconsin, about a two hour drive. Every September, we charter a bus to a sawmill in Charlotte, MI-3.5 hours away and fill up the luggage compartment under the bus. Last year, the club president bought 1,000 bf of cypress to take with him when he moved to Florida this past March.
                  If you have a club near you, you might be able to do this. If you don't have a club near you, maybe you can start one. We have members who drive 30 miles once a month to our club meetings and 60 miles to another club they belong to. It just depends on personal interest and free time.

                  There's a fine line between woodworking and insanity, I'm just not sure which side of the line I'm on!


                  • #10
                    I took a "Chill Pill" once, it calmed me down pretty good, although it did cause some abnormal hair growth. Please don't take chill pills without a doctors advice first, shame on you John for recommending such things.

                    Hawk G4, Dremel 1800

                    Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati


                    • #11
                      I believe that chill pills have been implicated in the total freeze-up of some brands of tools, and that they are in the process of being withdrawn from the market.
                      Tongue firmly in cheek (hard to talk or eat that way),


                      • #12
                        Chill pills? why is everyone taking cold medication at a time like this
                        CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
                        "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
                        Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


                        • #13
                          Just wanted to let you all know that I found a source for all those "exotic" forms of wood that I can't get locally (burls, planks of various sizes, domestic and foreign). The postage (shipping) is still almost as much as the price of the wood, but you gots to take what you can get. Try They even have what they call an "internet store". Neat pictures of all the products as well. So there it is for what it is worth. I also found a place for burl caps in case you want to make some of those cute little burl castles, but that is for another time.
                          As for the "chill pill"--sorry, but I enjoy having emotions. Guess it comes with age, but I think there is already too much of that "don't worry, be happy" shtick going on. Sometimes I just don't want to "have a nice day." That having been said, "Have a nice day!"
                          Old Mooner


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