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I've lived in Utah for about five years now, having moved from the Norfolk, Virginia area. In Virginia my local Woodcraft store had a great selection of good wood for my projects and if I bought it there, they would even surface it for me.

But in Utah my Woodcraft store is great, but they don't have the lumber selection. I've researched on Lumberjocks and elsewhere and found a place called MacBeath Hardwood, in Salt Lake City. Today (1/20/2014) I had the day off so I went to check them out.

They are difficult to find, located behind other businesses, but honestly, once you see it it's not hard to get to :) It's convenient off I-15.

I'm an amateur/hobbyist and generally buy based on what my gut tells me I want for a given project idea. I don't go shopping with plans or a cut-list.

When I got to MacBeath's I wondered if they were open or still in business, but I tried the door and went right in. Right off the bat it's fairly obvious they're not set up for walk-in consumers. This is a business that caters to professionals…I would guess cabinetmakers, trim carpenters, custom furniture shops, etc.

Behind the counter were three guys…one of them greeted me.

"Good morning, what can I help you with today?"

I answered with "I'm just an amateur woodworker and I wanted to see what you have available. Are you set up for me to just look around?"

He said "Of course. Go through that door right there and you'll be in the lumber room. Everything is marked for species and price. Just look out for forklifts but take a look at what we've got. If I can be of any help just let me know."

So after offering my thanks I walked through the door. In a minute or so the guy who builds orders spoke to me. He asked me what I was looking for or making. I told him I was just an amateur looking around. He said to "have fun" and just give him a wave if I needed help with anything.

They have a great selection of really good-quality wood. Lots of variety and some things I've never seen before. Some is sold by the board foot, some by the lineal foot and some by the pound. They have a little wood for turning projects but most of it is furniture-grade lumber. It looks like they do extensive custom work too: milling, jointing and gluing up. They had about three guys working commercial planers while I was there.

The lumber building, except for a small corner in back, has no climate control. It was cold! But I took my time an enjoyed looking around and getting numerous ideas.

From the cutoff table I found a big piece of hard maple that spoke to me … it wants to be a big bowl. I picked that up and carried it around.

The guy building orders came over and said he needed to write up an order form for me so I could pay for the wood on my way out. That quickly done I went to an adjoining building that holds sheet goods. Most of it was wrapped so it wasn't much fun to browse there, but it's the place for cabinet-quality sheets of maple, walnut, cherry, ash, etc.

The two guys I spoke to were friendly and helpful. But it's clear this isn't Lowe's, but I will not hesitate to go back when I want some quality pieces for a project. Based on my experience today, I recommend them.

Some pictures from my visit:

Shelf Wood Shelving Beam Mass production

Shelf Building Wood Shelving Automotive design

Wood Hardwood Lumber Building material Plywood


· Registered
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@jasonbyu75: I think you make a really good point about being able to go through and browse and make your own selections. The fact that they allow that is worth it. And that big chunk of hard/sugar maple ended up being used in many projects.
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