Source for hardwood in the NW Chicago burbs?

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Forum topic by becikeja posted 11-20-2010 04:01 PM 9210 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1172 posts in 3899 days

11-20-2010 04:01 PM

Ok Lumberjocks of Chicago please HELP
I am going broke. Does anyone know of a good source for hardwood in the NW Chicago suburbs. I know of Rockler, Woodcraft and Owl Hardwood $$$$$$. I have searched for the past 5 years, but this is all I have found. Does anyone know where I should be looking?

As an alternative are there any good on-line sources??

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

24 replies so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4907 days

#1 posted 11-20-2010 04:49 PM

Becikeja, when I see posts like this I generally recommend searching for lumber or hardwood lumber in the materials section of your local Craigslist, if you have not already done so. For example here is a list of recent posts for the Chicago area. Ads listing hardwood for sale do not generally appear on a daily basis but, if you are patient, some good buys can be found.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View miserybob's profile


88 posts in 4130 days

#2 posted 11-20-2010 05:17 PM

It’s a bit of a trip out to Kirkland Sawmill , but they have the cheapest prices for the best quality that I’ve found. Selection is limited to local hardwoods, but I’ve bought some reeeeally nice QSWO there. There is, I think, a cash discount.

Sent you a PM as well.

View becikeja's profile


1172 posts in 3899 days

#3 posted 11-22-2010 02:23 AM

Thanks for the tips. I looked up Kirland sawmill, I am actually going to be out that way in a couple of weeks. I’ll make sure to stop in. thanks for th info.

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View bandman's profile


79 posts in 4475 days

#4 posted 11-22-2010 04:29 AM

I’d recommend you check out some of the mini sawmill and kiln operations within an hour or two of the
Chicago area, I own one about 1 hour north of Milwaukee. Feel free to send a pm, if you’re interested
in what’s available right now. I sometimes bring material down to the Naperville area for a customer I have
as well.



-- Phil

View CantBurn's profile


69 posts in 3912 days

#5 posted 11-25-2010 08:31 AM

Not sure exactly what wood you are looking for. But I live in McHenry county, and I know that you can special order some from Menards. Ahh, no I said Menards, how could it be good. Truth be told, I ordered some PurpleHeart and Hard Maple from them, and it was actually pretty good. I guess you never know.

-- Chris-Woodstock, Illinois

View Tim Pursell's profile

Tim Pursell

501 posts in 4868 days

#6 posted 11-25-2010 12:36 PM

I live in the south ‘burbs of Chicago and I feel your pain whenever I’m forced to pickup some lumber from Owl.
I regularly drive 1 -2 hours to small mills to keep my wood room stocked. Craig’s List is one source or do an internet search for sawmills. There are quite a few within 100 miles. Yeah, it can be a hassle, but I think of those trips as an adventure and you can find some great lumber and major characters running those mills.


View BrianA's profile


122 posts in 4115 days

#7 posted 11-26-2010 11:00 PM

You can try Kettle Moraine Hardwoods, I believe they have a southern location in Caledonia near Racine. Worth the short drive. I have always had a good experience there. Good prices and good service. I have not been at that location but the one north of Milwaukee.


View becikeja's profile


1172 posts in 3899 days

#8 posted 11-28-2010 11:18 PM

Do the small mills have stock that you can browse and pick your pieces or do you have to buy a minimum amount of a specific wood at a time?

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View Marc5's profile


304 posts in 4427 days

#9 posted 11-28-2010 11:28 PM

If you are willing to come down to NW Indiana there is a saw mill in Valparaiso called White Lumber. They carry all of the local hardwoods and are not to expensive.

-- Marc

View becikeja's profile


1172 posts in 3899 days

#10 posted 11-30-2010 02:44 AM

Thanks, My dilemma is I usually purchase maybe $100-$200 worth of wood at a time and typically in a trip I’ll buy several different types of wood. I’m a weekend warrior not a professional, and like to make a variety of different things. I don’t think I have ever made the same thing twice. Because of this I’ve been skeptical of driving a couple of hors to a small mill. Not sure it’s worth it for them or me.

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View bues0022's profile


256 posts in 4245 days

#11 posted 11-30-2010 04:41 AM

Located in West Bend, WI – just north of Milwaukee.

-- Ryan -- Bristow, VA

View MarkwithaK's profile


370 posts in 4263 days

#12 posted 11-30-2010 04:48 AM

Living in NW Indiana I too found decent hardwood suppliers few and far between….White Lumber is a new one to me but there is another supplier in Valpo, The Wood Shed. Also, Menards does carry oak, cherry, maple, and walnut and can special order several other species.

-- If at first you don't succeed then maybe skydiving isn't for you.

View WoodworkGuy's profile


60 posts in 3879 days

#13 posted 11-30-2010 05:33 AM

Becikeja, have you checked Badger Hardwoods of WI in Walworth? They publish their prices on their website so it will save the trip. They also have 20 board foot foot bundles of S2S of hardwoods. If I’m not looking for exotics I also keep an eye out for Menards sales and hit the store in Crystal Lake.

-- Making sawdust and memories through woodworking.

View becikeja's profile


1172 posts in 3899 days

#14 posted 12-02-2010 03:33 AM

I’ll check out the Badger Hardwood, thanks for the tip. I get up to the Lake Geneva area every so often. Thanks

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View Julian's profile


884 posts in 4611 days

#15 posted 12-02-2010 03:54 AM

I live in the south burbs and I mainly get my wood from craigslist. You just have to be patient and watch it regularly to score a good deal. Earlier this year I bought 200 bf of 12”-18” wide 14’ long rough sawn red oak that was almost 1 1/4 thick for $1.50 a foot from a guy posting on craigslist..

-- Julian, Homewood, IL

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