Hard wood, where do you find this stuff?!

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Forum topic by Jim55 posted 10-26-2012 04:07 PM 2138 views 8 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Jim55's profile


184 posts in 2577 days

10-26-2012 04:07 PM

I see people talking about using beautiful hardwods. Where are they getting this stuff??? I live in a rural area so our option of stores is limited. All we have here are like Lowes, HD, McCoys, Surplus Warehouse and that’s abouit it. They sell oak and poplar and that’s about it.
While not a hard wood, cedar is pretty but that is no problem. I can cut that off my own place. In fact, I have at least three smaller cedar trees I need to harvest right now.

But, back to hard wood… I seem to recall hearing of folks buying from flooring stores and we do have one of those in town. Is that correct?

Advice wanted, please.

19 replies so far

View Joe Weaver's profile

Joe Weaver

520 posts in 4197 days

#1 posted 10-26-2012 04:18 PM

Try Just put in what you are looking for and zip code.

-- Joe, Ga

View AJLastra's profile


87 posts in 2739 days

#2 posted 10-26-2012 04:42 PM

Don’t discount ordering hardwoods online if a retailer isnt near you. Steve Wall Lumber is a great source. No minimum orders. There are others out there too. If you have access to a computer, web searches for figured hardwood and other species can be found and many sellers provide photos of what you’re buying and will sell by the board instead of by the board foot. I’ve purchased a LOT of wood this way and it was delivered by UPS. I would say that a good 90% of the stock I have on hand in my shop was ordered through the mail…...............and I have a GREAT hardwood lumber supplier right down the street from me! Sometimes he doesnt have what I’m looking for….............tiger maple is one of those wood species where he is sort of hit or miss. And I use a lot of it. He has a website. I believe he ships too. Try Kencraft Hardwoods. Happy hunting!!!

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30441 posts in 2849 days

#3 posted 10-26-2012 04:54 PM

Most of the stores you mentioned can order you what you want. Be prepared for sticker shock.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 3469 days

#4 posted 10-26-2012 05:19 PM

Look into local woodworker guilds, they may have sawyers or other info that may help you out. Be wary of what you find, and be sure of what you are looking for, such as whether or not you want it kiln dried (to what mc level) and/or sterilized of bugs and larvae. Many articles in forums such as this are about how to avoid the poor quality or service experienced when making such a purchase; sometimes that is the case, sometimes it is just a case of a person not getting what they expected and hadn’t clarified. I’ve sold several nice maple slabs, lots af figure and burl but I magnify the need to treat it properly or get poor results; some will sell their product just to get the money and figure your inexperience is your problem. This is where good references are nice, like the ones above. Figured or artistic woods are more expensive as they are harder to come by and hard to keep from cracks and warpage during drying, making the successful pieces the ones that need to sell for enough to make the particular log profitable. Best of luck in your searching.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View Kreegan's profile


1452 posts in 2657 days

#5 posted 10-26-2012 06:01 PM

Look on Craigslist for mills in your area. Also check eBay.


View Steve Erwin's profile

Steve Erwin

132 posts in 2563 days

#6 posted 10-27-2012 02:24 AM

As I was in the market for a new lumber mill and as there weren’t many near my home, I decided to start looking for online ordering. I just finished a couple weeks of intensive comparison shopping for ordering lumber online from the following lumber mills. On some level, each of these had good word of mouth reputations online or among furniture craftsmen. I’m sure there are several other mills that do a great job and treat their customers courteously, but I had to stop the spreadsheet at some point so I could get back to the woodshop :)

  • Dunham Hardwoods (see my review of this lumber mill, hand-selects boards for your order)
  • Steve Wall Lumber Co (best prices I found across the most species)
  • C. R. Muterspaw (huge selection, great online reputation, wide selection, hand-selects boards for your order)
  • Irion Lumber (probably the best Tiger maple, Flame birch… they specialize in 18th century fine furniture woods)
  • Talarico Hardwoods (very likely the best Quartersawn White Oak you’re ever going to find, and priced accordingly)
  • Hearne Hardwoods (wide selection, popular among fine furniture craftsmen)
  • Bell Forest Products (great online reputation, wide variety of woods to choose from)
  • Forest Products Associates (huge, highly organized inventory, but weak website, have to call for prices)
  • West-Penn Hardwoods (weak website, but good online reputation)
  • Bailey Wood Products (weak website, no online pricing, have to call to get any info, but they were responsive and courteous)

I picked Dunham Hardwoods for my first foray into online lumber purchasing and I was most definitely NOT disappointed. They exceeded my expectations at every turn. I kept my order small so I could try out a couple other ones on this list in the near future. C.R. Muterspaw and Steve Wall Lumber Co. are next on my list to try.

Good luck!

-- I've been creating problems to solve since I was born. -

View saucer's profile


61 posts in 3458 days

#7 posted 10-27-2012 02:32 AM

Jim: I live in a rural and more rural area and if you look around you can find anything you want. I can take you to well over a million board feet of lumber with in a 50 mile radius, and none of it will be in a store.

-- It has been deemed bad for you hence there for it is illegal.

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3795 days

#8 posted 10-27-2012 09:17 PM

Another good place to order lumber from is; The Hardwood Store of NC. [email protected]
They carry a great selection of hardwoods and will ship any quainty you want.
If you give them a call, talk to Jeff (he’s the manager) or Hill (he’s the owner) and they will help you with anything you are looking for. I’ve dealt with them for years and bought everything from one single board to hundred’s of board foot. I think they are great people to deal with and trust me, if you mention my name, they will know who you’re talking about. John @ the Hufford furniture group.

-- John @

View rattler's profile


17 posts in 2549 days

#9 posted 10-27-2012 11:27 PM

I have had great luck with ebay!

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

509 posts in 2550 days

#10 posted 10-28-2012 04:46 PM

Although getting lumber online is a great way to find what you want, the price of shipping sure does drive the total price up.

View Jim55's profile


184 posts in 2577 days

#11 posted 10-29-2012 08:28 PM

Shipping costs of on-line ordering is my concern. But thanks for that great list you worked hard to acquire Guildedrain! I will copy that out and keep it.

Saucer, you make a good point. I feel like an idiota! One of the major industries hereabouts is timber harvesting. Heck! I only live a few miles from a tree farm! I got to talking to a fellow about those above mentioned cedar trees of mine and it dawned on me I had discussed with a friend about taking trees to a mill to have them cut. But still, that only gives me an endless supply of oak and hickory. I have never seen one but I imagine there’s bound to be some walnut hereabouts. Pecan grows in plenty but how much is harvested for timber I can’t say. That’s pretty much all I can think of we’d have. No fruit woods to speak of. Well, pears maybe but I haven’t heard much about it as timber.

That reminds me. I’ve been making a box for my son out of some gorgeous mystery wood I dug out of the wood pile. I had thought it was from the Catawba tree my neighbor cut but then I saw some pieces I know where from that tree and it was definitely different. I’ll get some pictures…

View Mike R.'s profile

Mike R.

214 posts in 3156 days

#12 posted 03-09-2013 08:07 AM

pear wood is very popular in Europe from what i hear and is similar looking to steamed beech just a thought because free wood is the best wood

Mike R.

View Straightbowed's profile


717 posts in 2808 days

#13 posted 03-09-2013 10:30 AM

go to a SAWMILL if you have one around and also they have dry kilns around everywhere thats where you get that good stuff just tell to save you some good wood and usually they will, go around after storms and find trees blown down and barter for some wood thats what I do always lookin when I drive around for an old walnut or maple thats dying and ask if I could have that tree, you have to be on the lookout all the time go to a tree trimmer and see what they are cutting you never know what you might find or hit ebay they have killer wood I found a place down in Tenn that has exotics at a good price just down the road

-- Stevo, work in tha city woodshop in the country

View Straightbowed's profile


717 posts in 2808 days

#14 posted 03-09-2013 10:33 AM

you live in Texas your close to the border or I mean down next to where the most exotic wood is from South America and Mexico

-- Stevo, work in tha city woodshop in the country

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2998 days

#15 posted 03-09-2013 01:20 PM

Depending on where you are in “Rural East Texas”, you could make a run to my place, I usually have some stuff laying around for cheap prices, I even do trades, lol.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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