newbie ? finding resources

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Forum topic by mrbuck posted 03-21-2017 02:37 PM 669 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View mrbuck's profile


2 posts in 881 days

03-21-2017 02:37 PM

First of all I’d like to say Hi to all the Jocks. I recently bought a mini lathe for a winter hobby. Which has quickly spiraled out of control, I’ve since added a 13” bench top thickness planer and am looking for a 14” bandsaw to add to the compound miter saw and table saw I already have. Now my questions begin where can a guy find decent woods to turn?
I’m located in santa rosa Ca. ( northern bay area) There is a local hardwood distributer here (mt storm) but they’ll only sell whole boards at a hefty cost, add only 8/4 at the thickest.
Does anyone have any leads on where a hobbyist can find good materials?

7 replies so far

View HickWillis's profile


115 posts in 1109 days

#1 posted 03-21-2017 02:39 PM

Try I’m in NJ so I can’t help you locally but that site helped me find a couple lumber dealers that Google couldn’t.

-- -Will

View DrDirt's profile


4588 posts in 4191 days

#2 posted 03-21-2017 02:44 PM

Talk to any tree service.

Many enjoy turning green wood, so they will let you have chunks of downed trees, and branches etc.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1588 posts in 2179 days

#3 posted 03-21-2017 02:50 PM

I’m surprised you’re looking to buy wood when there is so much of it lying around. There are a lot of places to find the wood, like the local curbs around town, Craigslist, local tree trimmers, and maybe even a local sawmill if you have one in town. If fireplaces and outdoor burning is’t banned in your area, check out your friends and neighbors firewood piles. Stay away from those stores that sell lumber. It limits you to thin stock whereas, getting a log will allow you to turn unusual pieces by following what the wood dictates…...... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View TheDane's profile


5665 posts in 4112 days

#4 posted 03-21-2017 04:05 PM

I live about 3 miles from a yard waste drop-off site … every so often I pull in and do a drive-by of the area where people drop off tree cuttings. If I see something good, I grab my chainsaw out of the back of my truck and go to town. There’s usually a lot of trash wood, but I have found some really good stuff too (maple, cherry, oak, etc.) It is pretty much always green wood, but that’s okay … green wood is really fun to turn.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View a1Jim's profile


117688 posts in 4026 days

#5 posted 03-21-2017 04:18 PM

Welcome to Ljs.

View xunil76's profile


31 posts in 914 days

#6 posted 03-21-2017 05:52 PM

check with tree services to see if they’ll let you take part of what they cut down.
check with local cabinet makers and/or flooring manufacturers to see if they’ll save scraps of wood for you.
drive by construction sites (more residential than commercial) and see if they’ll let you take their scrap pieces.
talk to your local city govt and see if they’ll let you take already-fallen wood out of parks/playground areas, etc.
talk to your frieds/neighbors and let them know you’re looking for wood for woodturning, and see if they’ll keep an eye out for you for sources of wood.
if you ever drive out in rural areas and see fallen trees by the side of the road, check with the highway dept to see if you can take it.
hell, just drive/ride around the neighborhood and check people’s garbage piles…not sure how it is in your area, but here, people typically just dump all their scrap by the road.
also, depending on the weather at the time, roll down your windows and turn your radio off….listen for chainsaws…if you hear them, try to locate the source, then find out what they’re doing with the wood.

unless you’re trying to turn something as a special request/order, there should be very little reason to buy wood…it’s extremely plentiful if you know where to look.

View MrRon's profile


5623 posts in 3693 days

#7 posted 03-21-2017 06:52 PM

When I lived in the SF Bay area, there was a lumber dealer in Oakland who carried all kinds of hard woods. That was 25+ years ago.

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