Getting decent wood for the projects

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This topic contains 21 replies, has 20 voices, and was last updated by  Keith Walton 6 months ago.

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    Hi Alan
    This my be a little late but was just looking over a few of the posts.
    I bought a pack of 5 oak boards 27 mm X 160mm X 2.1 mt sawn from scawtonsaw on eBay for £135, good quality.
    I have made a couple of projects from first order.
    You do have to dimension them up to requirements but easy enough if you rip them down to size first.

    Have a look, I have used them a couple of times now.



    Dave Gardner

    Bandsaw would be worth getting. I have a Record 350 and its saved hours when resawing or ripping. With blades get the best quality and tension properly. If it wanders then its not equally sharp or set on both sides. All the guides do is set the route of the blade through the machine not the cut.


    Michael Ross


    Lots of opinions on this sort of topic. To me the most important is wood. The philosophy of woodworking and tools is personal.

    On lumber, it is expensive. Pine isn’t a bad would and is useful in many ways. It took me quite a while to source wood, and there are sometimes surprising resources.

    Surplus lumber from demolition- often in urban locations
    Sawmills if you are more rural.
    You’ve probably tried hardware stores,
    Are there any woodworking clubs in your region. Sometimes members have sources you aren’t aware, sometimes they have surplus lumber, and at the saddest of times; a member dies and their widow struggles with the what to do with all the darn wood.

    Tools of woodworking, everyone has an opinion. I value the fundamental principals I’m learning here. If you want to use power tool, don’t think twice. You must make a choice that works for you. For example, Sam Maloof used to live up the street from me. Most of his furniture was manufactured with power tools. The joinery was routers and reverse shape bits, screws were used ( and he wasn’t ashamed), the shaping of the furniture’s final form was with power sanders. Planers, jointers, routers, bandsaws, power sanders. It was all fair game to make what he wanted. Sam also lost the tip of 2 fingers on separate occasions and on another occasion the sleeve of his sweated was pulled into his jointer. The sweater was taped to the jointer’s exhaust port as a grim reminder with a hand written note.

    Use the tools that suit you! I’ve power tools and use them, but find there is an important place for hand tools. I don’t want to try and tell what I do, because you need take the path that fits your needs.

    In regards to machines, others have valid thoughts. A bandsaw is more useful than a table saw, in my opinion, and less likely to loose fingers. If you don’t plan on cutting slabs, buy some other tools. You can do much with a circular saw and a straight edge for ripping and crosscutting. I do find a thickness planer a useful tool. If you want to 4 square a board precisely using a machine, there is much expense. Dust is its own topic. Power tools to get close, and hand tools for precision is a quiet less expensive possibility.

    I’m interested in hearing about you choose to do, and what you discover on sourcing lumber.

    But as a reminder, rough sawn lumber is always cheaper to purchase than surfaced lumber.



    Peter Gaffney

    I hope this hasn’t been covered in an earlier reply to this post (there are a lot of long posts on this topic), but an idea I heard was to call your local municipality and ask what they do with the wood from fallen trees or trees that need to be removed for safety/logistical reasons within your city. Here in California we have a lot of oak trees that fall or are damaged in storms and get removed by cities. I’ve called and queried them about this and they either contract out or remove the tree through their agency and throw the wood in a chipper or in the local landfill. I’ve been able to get some of these logs/large branches for free. I take it to a local mill (local means 35 miles one way) and they, for a minimal fee will rough cut it to a size I can stack and begin seasoning. A little time and effort and I save on money and frustration. Hope this helps.


    Kurt Schultz

    Great suggestion! My neighbor owns a tree cutter service and has given me tree trunks upon asking. He’ll cut length to spec and I have to pick up when they are cutting down and will haul to have cut at a local yard, of course. However, it sure is worth the effort and knowing that the tree will become something useful (not mulch or firewood) is priceless.

    Rhode Island


    Kurt Schultz

    Another suggestion for lumber source, Craigslist is great resource for lumber, search materials, free, or furniture or yard sales. Even check other categories as some listers are not that clever to list appropriately. I just did a Nottingham, England search on Craigslist and someone has dozens of oak(60£) and pine (35£) doors in materials category. Also, another sale in England is for a lot of reclaimed wood beams for 3500£. Maybe a group buy for you Brits?? The wood is out there. Reclaim it.

    Rhode Island


    Keith Walton

    I’m all for people sourcing timber from tree services, but I would still consider firewood very useful and not everytree produces furniture grade lumber so sometimes firewood is the way to go rather than put a ton of labor, hauling, storage and time into sub par timber.

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