Where to Buy Lumber Near You
Where are the best places to buy lumber? It’s tough to do much woodworking without wood. Keeping the following ﬁve sources in mind can save you money and expand your options while sometimes also uncovering some truly extraordinary material. Thinking outside the “big box” can save money while providing more and better choices for great lumber.
Best Places to Shop for Lumber
1. Woodworking Retail Stores
Woodworking retail stores such as Rockler are staffed with experienced woodworkers and carry a moderate to extensive range of wood species and sizes. The lumber selection at Rockler stores is generally surfaced and can provide good value. A woodworking retail store has the added advantage of being a one-stop shop for everything else you need — hardware, glues, ﬁnishes, tooling, jigs and many other supplies. Rockler has doubled and even tripled their lumber selection by introducing hardwood lumber outlets in many of their retail locations. They also sell some hardwood online.
Rockler Hardwood Lumber Outlets Near You
2. Specialty Lumberyards
Specialty lumberyards, advertised in woodworking publications and online, typically stock a wide variety of both domestic and exotic species options and board sizes. Many carry one-of-a-kind ﬁgured and slab lumber. Their staff are often woodworkers who tend to gladly share their expertise. A yard that specializes in furniture-grade lumber for the general public can become your best friend. Some of these specialty yards also sell their lumber on the Internet, increasing your options for species not found in your region.
3. Home Centers
Home centers are convenient and obvious destinations for building supplies, including wood, but inventory is limited to mostly construction lumber and plywood. A small selection of hardwoods will have top-dollar pricing. You can do much better elsewhere.
4. Classiﬁed Ads
Ads on Craigslist and other similar listing sources can put you in touch with local sawyers who cut, dry and sell lumber on a smaller scale. Want ads are also a great option for buying caches of boards stored in barns, sheds and home shops. Often, families of deceased woodworkers are willing to sell off inventories of lumber for very modest prices, particularly to buyers who will put a loved one’s precious boards to good use.
5. Backyard Lumber
Finding lumber in your backyard might seem implausible, but there’s no reason your storm-downed maple or overgrown oak tree couldn’t become excellent lumber if you can process the log. Here again, classiﬁed ads can help. Find an enterprising sawyer with a portable band saw mill who can come and slice the log into green lumber. You’ll need to air-dry the material for at least a year, or have it kiln-dried, but the sawyer may have suggestions for who could take care of that part of the process, too.
Imagine making one-of-a-kind lumber instead of firewood!