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View AlmostRetired's profile

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

by AlmostRetired
posted 03-29-2018 08:40 AM


18 replies so far

View laterthanuthink's profile

laterthanuthink

39 posts in 582 days


#1 posted 03-29-2018 10:37 AM

Hey Roger, what a fun trip you have planned. Kettle Moraine Hardwoods is an awesome destination just south of Milwaukee, but it’s a little out of your way. They have a great selection of locally sourced hardwoods as well as full service onsite milling capabilities to break it down just the way you want it while you wait. Most amazing to me was their Go Fast resaw machine, an industrial horizontal bandsaw that makes quick work of any resawing you may need.

http://www.kmhardwoods.com/

Good luck, have fun, send pictures!

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

4104 posts in 2441 days


#2 posted 03-29-2018 11:09 AM

Owl Hardwood in Chicago is a fun place to visit with a HUGE selection of domestic and exotic wood.

Your trip thru Michigan and Indiana has a lot of sources of hardwood. Lower Michigan has good winerys. I go to that area for hardwood and we have to stop to get some wine for my wife.

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2901 posts in 2967 days


#3 posted 03-29-2018 11:37 AM

Don’t miss Mimms Lumber on Nolansville Pike in Nashville. They let you cherry pick, cut to length for your vehicle for free, and Nolansville Pike is actually Highway 41A, which should handle your RV with no problems. Huge selections…

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

1638 posts in 1947 days


#4 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!

View MKH's profile

MKH

53 posts in 579 days


#5 posted 03-29-2018 12:31 PM

Wow, you even mapped out all of the Stop signs on your route. How cool is that?

I like your idea of collecting wood as a memento of your trip and to frame the pictures.

-- Marshall --------------------------- In with 10. Out with 10.

View gargey's profile

gargey

1013 posts in 1228 days


#6 posted 03-29-2018 12:57 PM

These two objectives don’t seem very compatible to me (family trip / hunting for wood). Unless your family likes watching you drive around buying lumber.

Where are you stopping in CT?

View 8iowa's profile

8iowa

1591 posts in 4214 days


#7 posted 03-29-2018 02:09 PM

I like to avoid Interstate 80 at all possible, terrible truck drivers by the thousands. Instead, go up the Canadian Lake Huron side, then swing West and enter Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula at Sault St. Marie. You can then take M 28 West to Ishpeming, and stop at Bell Forest Products ( www.bellforestproducts.com ). Great selection of domestic, local, and exotic imported woods, very nice people, (typical of the U.P.) and purchasing small quantities is no problem. You could even stop and see me at “the Workshop in the Woods”.

Interstate 80, Detroit, Chicago, ugh.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

958 posts in 1672 days


#8 posted 03-29-2018 03:39 PM

detroit= armstrong millworks. a wee bit pricey, but their barns are enjoyable to go through.
http://armstrongmillworks.com

also in ann arbor:
http://www.bandbheartwoods.com

it looks like Johnsons workbench indiana store may be close to your route
http://www.theworkbench.com/contact.php

View Andre's profile

Andre

2695 posts in 2259 days


#9 posted 03-29-2018 04:27 PM

Only time I have had trouble at the border is when I make a point to declare it!
Small amounts and no bark! Live edge is tricky, just brought some back from Mexico
made sure no bark or holes plus they sprayed on a sealer!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

2318 posts in 3091 days


#10 posted 03-29-2018 04:56 PM

In Tennessee, there are lots of local sawmills. Check out Nashville craigslist. One place I’ve been meaning to go is Grant Cedar Mill, near Lebanon.. for the smell if nothing else.

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

2318 posts in 3091 days


#11 posted 03-29-2018 05:02 PM

If you’re not towing a car behind the RV, you should tow a trailer and really stock up! ;-)

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

6342 posts in 1165 days


#12 posted 03-29-2018 09:04 PM

seeing that map reminds me of national lampoons vacation LOL :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

958 posts in 1672 days


#13 posted 03-30-2018 01:08 PM



If you re not towing a car behind the RV, you should tow a trailer and really stock up! ;-)

- Ocelot

tow a pickup and trailer!

View AlmostRetired's profile

AlmostRetired

220 posts in 1167 days


#14 posted 03-31-2018 06:10 PM

Thanks everyone for all the info and recommendations. I’ll revisit this again when I get closer to my trip.

Gargy, stopping in East Windsor, where I grew up before I joined the Navy.

Thanks
Roger

View firefighterontheside's profile

firefighterontheside

20445 posts in 2309 days


#15 posted 03-31-2018 06:39 PM

Around StLouis, I recommend my friends at Doug White Hardwoods, but that’s not exactly on the main road in Illinois. I have a mill and would be happy to contribute some lumber your little project. I live about 30miles south of STL.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View BalsaWood's profile

BalsaWood

154 posts in 1611 days


#16 posted 04-01-2018 06:16 PM



Owl Hardwood in Chicago is a fun place to visit with a HUGE selection of domestic and exotic wood.

Your trip thru Michigan and Indiana has a lot of sources of hardwood. Lower Michigan has good winerys. I go to that area for hardwood and we have to stop to get some wine for my wife.

- Redoak49

I second that. When I visit Chicago, I like stopping by Owl Hardwood. Their Des Plaines location is where you want to go. They have a huge selection of lumber from all over the world.

View AlmostRetired's profile

AlmostRetired

220 posts in 1167 days


#17 posted 04-08-2018 07:34 PM

Thanks Guys, I appreciate the added comments.

firefighterontheside, Thanks for the offer, I’ll see what I can do to deviate from the trip a little. How far off the main stretch are you?

Roger

View firefighterontheside's profile

firefighterontheside

20445 posts in 2309 days


#18 posted 04-08-2018 10:09 PM

My house is about 30 miles south of I70.
My firehouse is very close to I270.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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