Southern Yellow Pine Source in Massachusetts|New England?

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Forum topic by azl posted 03-16-2013 11:19 AM 5787 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6 posts in 3107 days

03-16-2013 11:19 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question southern yellow pine syp bench massachusetts source new england

Afternoon folks,

Does anyone have a source for 2×12x12 Southern Yellow Pine in the greater New England area please?

I’m beginning my lumberjocks journey with a Schwarz French Bench build this spring.. I’m am now attempting to source about a dozen boards of 2×12x12 Southern Yellow Pine.

I live in Acton, MA and I can’t find a lumberyard yet that carries SYP.

So far I’ve called, with no luck:
Littleton Lumber
New England Hardwood Supply
The Woodery
Milford Lumber
Bingham Lumber
Currier Lumber – can special order but I can’t choose the boards
National Lumber – can special order but I can’t choose the boards

I will drive a couple of hours from metro-Boston to procure.

Or: What would be a suitable alternative wood to use that would be in the same price range as SYP? Lowes down south carries SYP 2×12x12 for about 20.00 a board. That would put me in the 250.00 range for lumber.

Thanks either way.


8 replies so far

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 3833 days

#1 posted 03-16-2013 11:52 AM

Alex, I was in this place (name and address below) about a year ago and they had a bunch of SYP that looked to be stair treads. Not sure how thick, maybe 1”. Obviously not as thick as you are looking for, however, I asked the guy who worked there and he told me they could order other sizes for me. Never did go back as the project went a different direction.

Sanford and Hawley
253 Baldwin St West Springfield, MA 01089‎
(413) 732-6900

There are many suitable alternatives for benches. There is a lot of stuff here in Western MASS. Ash, oak, hickory, maple, beech are all very good species for benches. In fact, a lot of references I read on bench construction do not list SYP as their wood of choice for a bench.

Check out Craigslist for Western MASS and you will find lots of sawyers in the area who have lots of wood for sale. Just recently I found a guy who had (maybe still has) a bunch of hickory and oak slabs that would be perfect for a bench top. Additionally, any number of the good suppliers you already called should be able to order SYP from their distributors if that is the wood you want to use.

Good Luck

-- Mike

View azl's profile


6 posts in 3107 days

#2 posted 03-16-2013 01:47 PM

Mike, thanks for the information, I will give them a call. I’ve definitely neglected Western Mass Craigslist, that is a great tip!

I got the idea for Southern Yellow Pine from both of Chris Schwarz’s Work Bench books. I’ve never worked with it before and I wanted to try it for this particular project. I’ve been working in my Dad’s shop my whole life and I’m now starting to build out my own. With three little kids and a career, it’s hard to drive 30 miles up to my Parent’s house so I can work in his shop.

The suppliers that I spoke with already can order SYP for me but the issue is – I can special order 12 boards and they will give me 12 boards. If any of the boards are checked, damaged, warped, etc. I’m on the hook for them anyway. They will not have a pallet of boards delivered that I can root through in order to find the best 12 boards out of the bunch.

All that said, I have a few of those suppliers hunting around for me. SYP or bust!

Thanks again for the advice!

View GaryL's profile


1099 posts in 3712 days

#3 posted 03-16-2013 01:59 PM

You also have to realize that obtaining 2×12x12 will more than likely be construction grade/No2. The moisture content can be 20% or more. You will need to sticker it and acclimate it to your shop for awhile before starting your build.
I agree with paratrooper34 on possibly considering other options.

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

View twelvepoint's profile


38 posts in 2844 days

#4 posted 03-16-2013 02:14 PM

Anderson McQuaid in Cambridge has SYP, but you may need to call to see if they can get the dimensions you need. From their price list it looks like they only go to 5/4.

View azl's profile


6 posts in 3107 days

#5 posted 03-16-2013 02:19 PM

Gary, great point. Moisture meter is a must for this, I think. It’s going to acclimate for at least a month while I insulate and add some electric to the shop area (we have two garages, one under the house and one detached, under the house is going to be my shop).

twelvepoint – I never even thought about Anderson McQuaid – I’ll have to give them a call. I don’t usually go there because I find their prices to be very high. Maybe an exception for this bench?

Thanks for the advice.. to both of you. I appreciate it.

View azl's profile


6 posts in 3107 days

#6 posted 03-17-2013 01:25 PM

Eric at National Lumber in Gardener, MA is having an entire pallet of 2×12x12 SYP delivered for me next week to root through. And he’s able to send back the remainder after I’m doing choosing my dozen or so. It will be about 22.00 a board. A little more expensive than Lowes but the convenience factor is awesome.

Talk about the customer service!

And it’s only 25 minutes from my house.

Thanks for the tips everyone, we’ll see how this goes.

View azl's profile


6 posts in 3107 days

#7 posted 04-02-2013 05:29 PM

Update – Eric @ National Lumber Gardener, MA had the pallet of SYP delivered.

I drove out there yesterday morning, moved the entire stack, found 13 boards, purchased them for 24.00 a board, then drove them home. A little more expensive than initially anticipated but I’m happy!

They are now stacked in my soon to be permanent shop where they are going to acclimate for the next 6 weeks or so. They are pretty high in moisture.

Going through each board, I was amazed at the fact that almost every single board on the pallet had a split on it. I wish I had a second pallet to root through.

With tax I spent about 325.00. I estimated that I can get 1 8 foot long french bench and 2 saw benches out of it.

Thanks everyone. LJ is a great resource.

View Jason White's profile

Jason White

114 posts in 4252 days

#8 posted 04-02-2013 07:22 PM

Yeah, I was always pissed that I couldn’t find SYP when I lived near Boston. Then I moved to California, only to find they don’t have it here, either! Argh!!!

- Jason

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