Reply by CaptainKlutz

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Posted on What (and where) lumber to buy during my RV Trip

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2042 posts in 2057 days

#1 posted 03-29-2018 12:28 PM

Looks like fun.
Have attempted many similar wood collecting activities when I vacation long distances. Do not have any specific suggestions, but will share some tips:

#1 – Your trip drives thru Canada? Sure hope this leg is on early portion of trip.
Wood is considered a plant material by Customs folks at border. Due efforts to stop migration of wood infesting insects, there are severe import/export restrictions on wood crossing border. Check with Canadian customs site for current regulations. Last I checked, dragging a trailer of wood across the border requires source inspection permits by someone certified by CFIA and/or USDA. It is not hard, but it does require proper paperwork.

#2 – Many states have limitations on transportation of firewood, or any wood with live edge on it. They are trying to stop spread of things like emerald ash borer, gypsy moth, or the tiny spores of oak wilt fungus. If you plan to buy any live edge woods, you might need to get certificate from sawmill that it was kiln dried and inspected to be free of bugs. Without this, any visits to a state park might be turned away, or worse you find your wood stash confiscated and burned.

#3 – Your path thru Missouri misses the highest concentration of sawyers located in south east side of state near I44. One of them , Shaller Hardwood has a St. Louis retail location. It has been 10+ years since I made any wood runs to that state, but there used to be a couple of small mills ~30 miles south of I70 near Jeffersonville and Hermann.
Illinios may be difficult to get hardwood without driving well off your route? The northern path thru Illinois is 99% farmland, with minimal standing forest. Majority of sawyers are located in central portions of Illinois near I57 or I85, several hours from your route.

#4 – Wood inventory is ever changing. While you can try to find places to visit months before your trip, you should call them the week before you leave if you want something specific. Have missed out on several bundles of cheap walnut/cherry in past due time between my shopping phone calls, and when I arrived several weeks later.

#5 – Beyond LJ, there are some excellent online resources for finding wood in other states. Woodbarter site can useful place to look for deals. The sawmill mfg (Woodmizer, TimberKing) also maintain online directory of customers that are interested in selling wood from their mills. Have also had good luck using mapquest looking for “Sawmill” and state of interest. :)

Good luck on your adventure.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

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