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Forum topic by j1440 posted 04-27-2019 07:47 PM 864 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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21 posts in 735 days

04-27-2019 07:47 PM

I am new to the hobby and live in the desert, so wood from local trees is rare.
Also I have no other local woodturners (that I have found yet) to ask advise from.
Wood blanks from the online sources that I have seen so far are priced high for a beginner’s use.
Where is everyone getting usable wood?


-- Jim, Kingman, Az

14 replies so far

View CaptainKlutz's profile


4183 posts in 2510 days

#1 posted 04-27-2019 07:59 PM

forum search can be helpful sometimes?

this thread has list of suppliers near phoenix

Since Las Vegas is closer to Kingman; would look in sin city as well:

Randomly on CL folks in Prescott and Payson areas show up offering slab lumber. Mostly Juniper and other native softwoods; occasionally offering pecan, eucalyptus, and/or cottonwood from river bed areas. They might be able to provide turning blanks if you find one.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View Aethelred's profile


14 posts in 680 days

#2 posted 04-27-2019 08:17 PM

I do small work, carving mostly. The local live oak I find to be quite good especially when it is dead and dry. Manzanita has beautiful color and carves well when green or seasoned. I prefer seasoned old stuff. The oak doesn’t split much but the old manzanita splits a lot. It has wonderful red colors in it!

. I picked up a pecan log which I will try soon, a firewood size chunk I have split into smaller pieces. It splits like elm, not easily. The peculiarities of each piece come into play in the work I do, worm tracks and insect holes, cracks, natural coloration. I am in Bisbee AZ now, moved here from the Northeast, and since I use small pieces of wood even branches, I find stuff easily.

-- Aethelred

View Wildwood's profile


2948 posts in 3150 days

#3 posted 04-28-2019 10:20 AM

You might check out local news paper or Craig’s list for firewood!

-- Bill

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1768 posts in 2745 days

#4 posted 04-28-2019 01:27 PM

Jim, I’ve been through Kingman many times, and you’re right, trees are rare. I went on Google Earth and did find a clump of trees nearby. I believe it’s just a little northwest of you. Don’t know what they are, but they’re trees.

Now that I’m done with the humor, the Colorado river is only 24 miles away as the crow flies, so maybe you could find some wood there. Then, east towards Flagstaff there are a lot of trees like Oak, Sycamore, Cottonwood, possibly some Walnut, and at about 4500 feet elevation, there is a good possibility you could find some Agarita.

I’m going to be up near Prescott about May 10 for about 4-5 days. If you care to meet up, we could do it in Yarnell, and I could bring you a bunch of wood from Tucson at no charge to you. Only your time and whatever gas you burn up getting there and back. .............. Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

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21 posts in 735 days

#5 posted 04-28-2019 01:57 PM

Thanks, Jerry but I can’t leave town due to my wife’s health issues.
We do have a few areas with trees but getting my hands on some of the wood before it is grabbed for firewood will be fun.

-- Jim, Kingman, Az

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118161 posts in 4592 days

#6 posted 04-28-2019 02:15 PM

View anneb3's profile


85 posts in 2569 days

#7 posted 04-28-2019 04:25 PM

I also live in the desert and have the same PR

I also live in the desert and have the same problem, so I am constantly looking for wood to turn.
Some of mine are tree removal outfits. Fire wood places and folks who are buying wood for winter useage.

and places like Goodwil. Folks are always donating old so they can buy new. Lots of time
the old was made of solid real wood.

One of my brothers was at an school auction selling stuff. One of the batches was old wooden desks- solid maple
no knots and all flat. He bid on it. We ended up with 25 desks at a dollar apiece. The legs, again, solid with no knots, 3 and 1/2 suare.

Another place is Forest Service sales no cares whether you burn it or turn it. No chainsaw, no problem, a few dollars in the right hands will do just as well.

It is out there,
Keep your eyes open and grab up what you find, green or not, in Kingman it will dry as you are lugging it home.

View bigJohninvegas's profile


947 posts in 2477 days

#8 posted 04-28-2019 07:15 PM

Hi Jim, I’m right next door to you. Well almost, I know Kingman has a minimal amount of trees. But lookup any local tree trimming companies. This one came up in a google search.
Here in Vegas, most everything goes through a chipper. Larger chunks get saved and sold for firewood. Give your local trimmer a call, get to know them.
Most of the time they will just give it to you. In return, I will turn a bowl or a vase to give them. Fair trade for free wood.
I will turn most any sort of wood, but here in Las Vegas, we have Mulberry, Olive, Mesquite, any back yard fruit tree.
All of it really looks good.
I also keep an eye on Craigslist. Sometimes after a wind storm. Free firewood, Someone needing help with a tree removal, or storm damage. Have chain saw, will travel. lol.
I see your comment about not getting out of town. If things ever work out where you can get away.
1st Saturday of the month at Woodworkers Emporium the local AAW turning club meets @9am. always a demo, and good conversation.
And for tree trimmers here. I have only directly worked with First Choice tree service. They maintain a large pile of wood that they eventually split for firewood. They are open Monday through Friday, And you can pick the pile for what every you want. I have not needed to go there in a few years, but when I have. I paid $20 and filled my f150 with a large assortment of logs. Another visit I took a couple items I had turned and got my wood for free.

Good luck, and safe turning.

-- John

View CaptainKlutz's profile


4183 posts in 2510 days

#9 posted 04-28-2019 09:10 PM

J440/Jim – Your new here, so probably don’t know this:
Jerry an wild advocate of wood turning.
Highly suggest you try hard and figure out a way to met up with him,
even if only for brief hand off. :-)
Only met him once, but he genuinely wants to help other wood workers – especially people who use lathe.
You won’t be sorry you spent the time.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View DS's profile


3687 posts in 3436 days

#10 posted 04-30-2019 02:33 PM

Spellman Hardwoods is in Flagstaff, AZ
A bit of a drive, but they can source most anything you might need hardwood-wise.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View leafherder's profile


1977 posts in 2967 days

#11 posted 05-02-2019 05:28 PM

If you are turning small items like pens there is no need to limit yourself to trees – shrubs and other smaller plants can yield some very attractive wood. Try some experimenting to see what local plants work best. And welcome to lumberjocks.

-- Leafherder

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25944 posts in 4121 days

#12 posted 05-08-2019 02:35 AM

Hi Jim. If you get to Wickenburg, they have some of the biggest mesquite trees I’ve ever seen. Also, if you ever get to Casa Grande,Jjohn Goodwin has the best selection of pistachio along with mesquite an lots of other pretty wood at Dead Tree Salvage saw mill. If you are interested, PM me and I’ll send you the phone and address for John.
We live in Casa Grande for the winter and I visit John often!

cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View LittleShaver's profile


727 posts in 1635 days

#13 posted 05-08-2019 03:47 PM

When I lived in Las Vegas I relied on Peterman Lumber for hardwoods. Great selection and they would let you pick through the stacks to select your boards. That was 10 years ago, but I still have fond memories of going there with the wife and designing as we looked through the stacks.

-- Sawdust Maker

View j1440's profile


21 posts in 735 days

#14 posted 05-08-2019 11:15 PM

Thanks guys for all the suggestions. At this time I can’t get out of town until my wife gets better but will check out those sources in the future. I have a long way to go as far as learning what I am doing but have made a few rough pieces so far and scrapped a few also.

-- Jim, Kingman, Az

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