Looking for the best websites to buy bowl blanks from.

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodturning forum

Forum topic by Ada_jgoodm posted 05-08-2017 08:25 PM 5286 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Ada_jgoodm's profile


1 post in 1664 days

05-08-2017 08:25 PM

Topic tags/keywords: wood lathe bowl

I’m pretty new to bowl turning and don’t have any stores around me. What online stores do you use to buy bowl blanks?

11 replies so far

View TheDane's profile


6017 posts in 4943 days

#1 posted 05-08-2017 10:34 PM

I go to the local yard waste drop-off … it is hit and miss, but I have scored some pretty decent wood there, and it free.

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

View MrUnix's profile


8796 posts in 3479 days

#2 posted 05-08-2017 10:38 PM

Never bought a bowl blank… online or otherwise :)

There are just too many sources of free wood. You just have to look.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View tomd's profile


2222 posts in 5051 days

#3 posted 05-08-2017 11:11 PM

I agree with Gerry if you see a tree service cutting down a tree stop and ask where they dump the tree waste. I did this when I first started not only did they tell me where to go to get the wood they would dump but they gave me a load of what they were cutting right there, they have to load it into the truck drive it to the dump they are often glad to get rid of it. Then keep your eyes open for people cutting down a tree and ask for some they can only say no, but often you will score some nice wood. Then look on craiglist in under free often you will find people wanting to get rid of tree that have been cut. Also on craiglist look under logs this wood is often for sale but is also very often very cheap, 8 months ago I replied to an ad and they filled a small trailer I had full of nice turning wood for $30. When you become a bowl turner you also become a wood hunter, after awhile you can almost smell wood being cut. Good luck on your journey into turning.

-- Tom D

View bigJohninvegas's profile


1120 posts in 2742 days

#4 posted 05-09-2017 01:47 AM

I agree with all of the above. Where are you located? I live in southern Nevada. Desert, last place you would think to look for wood. As it turns out, Mesquite, Mull berry, and olive trees, just to name a few favorites are everywhere. Amazing grain patterns and color. A couple local tree trimmers save all the wood that is to big to go through the chipper. They split it for fire wood. Most will let you pick through the pile, sometimes for free. Always helps to have a bowl or small vase to give away.
Craigslist has been a good source after a storm. Typically after a storm, there will be grandma, on a fixed income with a tree laying on its side, or broke in half. A small group of us turners come together with our pickups and a couple chain saws. And all the free wood we can handle. Feels good to help out in the community too.

-- John

View Karda's profile


3376 posts in 1834 days

#5 posted 05-09-2017 05:51 AM

there are times when buying wood is the only option like if you can’t drive

View LeeMills's profile


702 posts in 2581 days

#6 posted 05-09-2017 01:03 PM

I don’t know if they are the best place but check out WoodBarter.
You can buy, sell, swap wood. I expect most bowl blanks would be green but maybe not. The only thing I have bought is a box of small burls. Shipping for green wood may be cost prohibitive but worth a shot. You can post what your are looking for (species, size, etc) or look at the for sale items listed.

-- We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

View Wildwood's profile


2959 posts in 3415 days

#7 posted 05-09-2017 04:03 PM

Check out this site they sell both kiln dry & wet wood. Word of caution just because wood has been in a kiln, doesn’t mean cannot reabsorb moisture! Moisture content varies with relative humidity in the surrounding area. So would take their 30 day guarantee with a grain of salt whether buy kiln dry or wet wood from them. Never bought anything from them like other folks here prefer to harvest my own wood but nice site anyway.

Most of us turn wet found wood a few have a moisture meter and do check MC before turning. I just rough turn to a uniform thickness 5/8” to 1”and set a bowl blank in a corner of my shop to finish air drying before final turning and finishing. Really depends upon size & design of the bowl going to rough turn. Used to turn them thin 1/8” or 1/4” thickness, sand finish, and wait for them to go oval. If it cracked threw in in the trash, but had pretty good luck.

If don’t understand how wood dries check out the wood handbook.

-- Bill

View magaoitin's profile


249 posts in 2230 days

#8 posted 05-12-2017 09:20 PM

There are a few places that I watch for turning blanks online. For the most part I have been disappointed buying online. I try and look for company’s that photograph individual pieces of wood and you order based on those photos. Online stores like Woodcraft and Rockler's, do offer decent pricing, but you wont get the piece of wood that is in the photo, so it can be dissapointing.

I’ve purchased online from Cook Woods (located in Southern Oregon). I have bought more pen blanks than bowl blank,s or dimensional lumber, from them, and have been satisfied.

They usually have a deal with a box of smaller turning blanks so you can try some more exotic woods without feeling like you have totally broken the bank, when the bowl flies off the chuck :) Not that this has ever happened to any of us. Cook Wood’s also has monthly specials featuring a different exotic wood that is interesting.

Edensaw out of Washington does online sales. I havent ordered online but I go into their stores often to buy exotic lumber.

I have purchased from Craft Supplies USA/Wood Turners Supply and Penn State Industries for pen blanks and have looked at their bowl blanks but have not purchased bowl blanks from them.

-- Jeff ~ Tacoma Wa.

View magaoitin's profile


249 posts in 2230 days

#9 posted 05-12-2017 10:27 PM

One more site that is not commercial sales, but more of a wood turners lumber swap. Try Wood Barter

-- Jeff ~ Tacoma Wa.

View Nowater's profile


18 posts in 3221 days

#10 posted 05-15-2017 08:23 AM

This guy does mail order. He cuts a lot of the wood himself and has reasonable prices. I have been to his shop, and he turns as well.


Sorry, you may have to cut and paste the link.

View TheDane's profile


6017 posts in 4943 days

#11 posted 05-15-2017 01:15 PM

Leave thr quotes out of the URL:

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

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics