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Forum topic by jdmaher posted 03-27-2012 04:52 PM 3892 views 15 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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463 posts in 3214 days

03-27-2012 04:52 PM

It’s hard to find lumber. It would be nice to have a trustworth list of online sources.

I have a handful of local sources, but each is about an hour away. Traveling to check out what’s available is usually a 3 hour investment – EACH. Of course, I never find what I want on the first trip. And I can’t go out everyday. If I need something, its usually a week or two before I’ve sourced it.

I like the idea of online sources. I’ve had some limited experience buyiing from online sources, with service ranging from good to wonderful, quality ranging from pretty good to acceptable, and price ranging from good to great. But I’ve heard horror stories about the experiences of others (including a recent thread about a well-advertised source).

I’ve come to rely on the advice I receive at LumberJocks. So, I wonder if it would be possible to get together a list of recommended sources. I’m thinkin’ about wood, and I’m sure that’s a common need. The same idea could apply to any number of needs, but we pretty much all use wood – so I think that’s a place to start.

I’m imagining a mechanism where a LumberJock nominates a source – based on personal experience. Then, at least two other LumberJocks “second” that nomination – and the source gets a “Recommended” tag. After that, each source is given a ”+” or ”-” based on the experiences of other LumberJocks. The pluses and minuses are tallied and shown. Lots of pluses could result in better tags – “Often Recommended”, “Commonly Recommended”, “Highy Recommended”. My personal preference would be that 3 minuses causes a source to lose their tag – permanently; I know it seems harsh, but this is America and we play baseball and “three strikes . . .”.

Such a mechanism would rely on the careful and honest consideration of the LumberJocks, but this whole “community” relies on that premise. I’m comfortable with that.

What do you think? Is this an idea worth pursuing?

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

18 replies so far

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463 posts in 3214 days

#1 posted 03-27-2012 05:06 PM

As a follow-up, below is a list of “nominated” sources I’ve gleaned from a few LJ threads (plus one of my own experience). Each of these sources was mentioned favorably by at least one LumberJock. It is not an exhaustive list, just the ones I made note of.

Each of the specified websites are extant (at least as of this posting).

I’ve attempted to determine a general location for each source, and I’ve included that in the following list.

Bell Forest Products Ishpeming, MI
Cook Woods Klamath Falls, OR
CR Muterspaw Xenia, OH
Downes & Reader Stoughton, MA
Exotic Woods USA East Northport, NY
McKinney Hardwood Lumber McKinney, TX
Milwaukee Woodworks Milwaukee, WI
Porosky Wood Products Preston Park, PA
The Lumber Shack Webster City, IA
Timber Ridge Woodworks Berkeley Springs, WV
Wall Lumber Mayodan, NC
Woodworkers Source AZ

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View Dusty56's profile


11856 posts in 4323 days

#2 posted 03-27-2012 05:27 PM

I have to give a definite plus , plus, to fellow LJ member Scott at Porosky Wood if you’re looking for nicely figured Maple and Cherry : )
Also , I have had great luck with both the service and the quality of wood from Downes and Reader.
Joe M. was my contact there at the time : )

Don’t forget fellow LJ , Barlow, for superb quality figured Maples : )
Another plus , plus , for quality and service !!

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View smokey1945's profile


75 posts in 4017 days

#3 posted 03-27-2012 08:00 PM

-- TheShadeTreeWW If God wanted me to touch my toes, he'd have put them on my knees

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12027 posts in 4063 days

#4 posted 03-27-2012 08:25 PM

I’ll second Porosky Lumber and Woodworker’s source.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View ronell's profile


1 post in 2886 days

#5 posted 03-27-2012 08:36 PM

I’m trying to locate a California buyer who might be interested in purchasing 3 very tall Eucalyptus trees which I think were planted 1980. All 3 need to be removed. However, before doing so, I’ve been researching the use of Eucalpts, timber and bark. I understand that if the timber is cut and stored, it becomes hardened and thus makes cutting through it virtually impossible with any power tool. I specifically became a member here to, hopefully, have someone point me in a direction of a potential buyer of these E. trees. Thanks in advance!

View Dusty56's profile


11856 posts in 4323 days

#6 posted 03-27-2012 09:31 PM

ronell ,looks like there are over 700 species of Eucalyptus. This is a link to info about some of it.
You must have a local Forestry service that can help you find answers to your questions and identify your particular species : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View AandCstyle's profile


3271 posts in 2892 days

#7 posted 03-28-2012 12:24 AM

JD, this sounds like a good idea to me. I haven’t ordered from any on line sources yet, but living in the desert Southwest, I can anticipate that I will have a need in the future. That said, I found Woodworld through and was there 2 weeks ago. They have a great selection of exotics and will ship. The person I dealt with was very personable and knowledgeable so I would recommend them. FWIW

-- Art

View TJU's profile


72 posts in 3291 days

#8 posted 03-28-2012 01:18 AM

I ordered figured maple from Bell Forest about a year ago. It was just a project pack of 20 bf on sale and I bought it just to have some on hand to use as needed. I also wanted to test out the mail order process. I was very happy with the quality of the wood and the delivery. I have never had the need to use them again but I would if I could find what I needed locally. Before you order you may want to ask about the length of boards that they will ship.

-- Although the voices aren't real they have some pretty good ideas.

View bruc101's profile


1378 posts in 4177 days

#9 posted 03-28-2012 01:46 AM

You probably have a good resource in your area…cabinet shops. I get local woodworkers asking me where I get my lumber from and I give them the phone numbers of all our vendors within a 100 miles of me which amounts to about a dozen.

All of my vendors carry just about any kind of wood you’re looking for including Exotics. I would suggest you give them a call and ask them where they buy their wood from. All of my vendors sale retail and some have showrooms.

Sometimes cabinet shops just like myself have piles of short cuts we can’t use, boards to narrow, I call around and ask some of the local woodworkers would they like to have it…noooooo problem and they come and get it. Gives me more floor space and not have to haul it off to the dump and pay to discard it.

Several years ago I had a friend that had a grandson learning woodworking, i took him a pickup truck load of our scraps,,boy was he excited…me didn’t cost me anything to get rid of it.
Pen turners and knife makers love my wood pile and solid surface counter top trash pile.

-- Bruce Free Plans

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 3004 days

#10 posted 03-28-2012 01:07 PM

I’m relatively new to woodworking, but I’ve had good experience with Southern Tier Hardwoods in Apalachin, NY.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3943 days

#11 posted 03-28-2012 02:18 PM

Definitely alot of lumber sources available. I clicked many of the links yall provided and saw some great sources for some unique woods…however some of these places have some very high prices compared to the same species available on the other links.

View NiteWalker's profile


2741 posts in 3211 days

#12 posted 03-28-2012 04:13 PM

I’d add Project Lumber. They ship quick and the wood they sell is good quality.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3905 days

#13 posted 03-28-2012 04:33 PM

Great list. I have used most of them….including Porosky (got some beautiful curly cherry and maple). I would add Bad Dogs Burl a great source of one of a kind turning blocks and burls. Also, Amazon Exotics some interesting woods now and then. Both are reputable and ship excellent product.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View mr500's profile


5 posts in 2885 days

#14 posted 03-28-2012 06:53 PM

Great Info

-- If you like your freedom..Thank a VET!!

View dlmckirdy's profile


199 posts in 3768 days

#15 posted 03-28-2012 07:23 PM

I’m a repeat customer of Bell Forest Products. They have, or can get most anything, including exotics. Here in California, the hardwood supply is sketchy at best. I can get wood from Bell, with shipping (UPS) included for less than I can get the same wood here in CA at a store/yard. I work mostly with Eric, but have talked with Boone a number of times. Call them (800-770-9663), and they can work most things out for you. I have never received any questionable wood or service from them.

-- Doug, Bakersfield, CA - I measured twice, cut it twice, and it is still too short!

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