Access to jointer/planer for apartment dwellers? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 06-18-2020, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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Access to jointer/planer for apartment dwellers?

I'm very new to this but I just got access to a table saw and picked up my first couple tools and am doing my first simple beginner product which is modifying and customer finishing a dresser and I'm really in love with this! I'm an artist and I think this will be a great new outlet for me.

I'm aware of the techniques for at least squaring edges on a table saw using a jig (No router yet.) which i plan to make but I'm already 3d modeling up plans for my first small from-scratch furniture project. Given how massive and/or expensive most joiners/planers are and the space limitations a lot of people have do hardwood or any lumber stores have planing and jointing services? Is that a thing? It seems like a service that would be offered for cheap. I will definitely need to glue up some panels and the thicknesses are of course not uniform with any of the home store wood and I don't think i got any other options for hard wood out here..

How do you guys without access to this equipment deal with this? Anybody in brazos county texas wanna trade occasional jointer/planer access for beer?
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post #2 of 17 Old 06-18-2020, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by baserock love View Post
I'm very new to this but I just got access to a table saw and picked up my first couple tools and am doing my first simple beginner product which is modifying and customer finishing a dresser and I'm really in love with this! I'm an artist and I think this will be a great new outlet for me.

I'm aware of the techniques for at least squaring edges on a table saw using a jig (No router yet.) which i plan to make but I'm already 3d modeling up plans for my first small from-scratch furniture project. Given how massive and/or expensive most joiners/planers are and the space limitations a lot of people have do hardwood or any lumber stores have planing and jointing services? Is that a thing? It seems like a service that would be offered for cheap. I will definitely need to glue up some panels and the thicknesses are of course not uniform with any of the home store wood and I don't think i got any other options for hard wood out here..

How do you guys without access to this equipment deal with this? Anybody in brazos county texas wanna trade occasional jointer/planer access for beer?
Looks like there is a Makers Space in College Station, not sure if they have what you need, but they are a great resource typically.
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post #3 of 17 Old 06-18-2020, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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Looks like there is a Makers Space in College Station, not sure if they have what you need, but they are a great resource typically.
They're fully stocked. Sadly the only membership that i could actually take advantage of where you can come any time they're not holding classes is kinda absurdly expensive. I wake up at like 4 pm and the only membership i can currently justify paying only allows me to come in before noon. Plus i would have to take the beginners wood working course before they let me even in the shop which i'd like to do but i'm so damn busy. I get part of my weekends for this stuff and that's about it.
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post #4 of 17 Old 06-19-2020, 05:20 AM
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Anybody in brazos county texas wanna trade occasional jointer/planer access for beer?
I don't know about Brazos County, but if you feel like driving to Hobby Airport...

Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to have been an Earth-shattering KABOOM!

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post #5 of 17 Old 06-19-2020, 09:12 AM
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Can you tell us more details about your setup? Are you doing all of your woodworking inside the apartment? Where is the table saw?

Some cabinet shops will run your work through their planers ... for a fee, of course.

Have you considered learning and using old-school hand tool methods? They take a lot of practice and skill, but can be done inside an apartment without bothering the neighbors. Back in the day, woodworkers used hand planes, for example. A lot of today's woodworkers still use hand tools and old methods. You can get old hand tools and restore them, and I note that many woodworking stores are expanding their offerings, so it must be popular. Look at some of the exquisitely made furniture from a couple hundred years ago, and be amazed at the quality of their work.

Some people rent a storage unit for their woodworking tools. You may need your own generator to get enough power for that. Ask around.

Does your community center, local adult education center, or community college offer woodworking classes? Perhaps you can make an arrangement to take classes or do "independent study."

Is there a woodworking club in your area? Maybe they have ideas about local solutions to your needs?
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post #6 of 17 Old 06-19-2020, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
Can you tell us more details about your setup? Are you doing all of your woodworking inside the apartment? Where is the table saw?

Some cabinet shops will run your work through their planers ... for a fee, of course.

Have you considered learning and using old-school hand tool methods? They take a lot of practice and skill, but can be done inside an apartment without bothering the neighbors. Back in the day, woodworkers used hand planes, for example. A lot of today's woodworkers still use hand tools and old methods. You can get old hand tools and restore them, and I note that many woodworking stores are expanding their offerings, so it must be popular. Look at some of the exquisitely made furniture from a couple hundred years ago, and be amazed at the quality of their work.

Some people rent a storage unit for their woodworking tools. You may need your own generator to get enough power for that. Ask around.

Does your community center, local adult education center, or community college offer woodworking classes? Perhaps you can make an arrangement to take classes or do "independent study."

Is there a woodworking club in your area? Maybe they have ideas about local solutions to your needs?
Sounds like the OP has a packed schedule, and his times are pretty inflexible. Going to be tough to find something that will fit with a half a day on a weekend I think, but there might be something out there. Best solution is to acquire your own stuff, that way you can use it on your schedule, my .02.
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post #7 of 17 Old 06-19-2020, 11:33 AM
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Rent a narrow storage space

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Originally Posted by baserock love View Post
They're fully stocked. Sadly the only membership that i could actually take advantage of where you can come any time they're not holding classes is kinda absurdly expensive. I wake up at like 4 pm and the only membership i can currently justify paying only allows me to come in before noon. Plus i would have to take the beginners wood working course before they let me even in the shop which i'd like to do but i'm so damn busy. I get part of my weekends for this stuff and that's about it.

Get the 5ft wide storage space on a monthly rate with 120 volt power and lights and then buy a Dewalt thickness planer, new or used. You can use it anytime the storage units are open. Maybe there's one with 24/7 access? Our member Tony B used one for a business location for years. Noise shouldn't be a factor. .... sawing, planing etc.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #8 of 17 Old 06-19-2020, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by baserock love View Post
................. It seems like a service that would be offered for cheap. I will definitely need to glue up some panels and the thicknesses are of course not uniform with any of the home store wood and I don't think i got any other options for hard wood out here..

How do you guys without access to this equipment deal with this? Anybody in brazos county texas wanna trade occasional jointer/planer access for beer?
I neighbor. I am presently living and volunteering in Birch Creek State Park outside Somerville. Been here close to a year.
Anyway, back to your problem.................Very rarely will you ever find a service from anyone that will let you use their planer or their service if you did not purchase your wood from them. As a stranger, they have no way of knowing if the wood was reclaimed or came from a backyard tree. There could be long forgotten nails or staples, etc. in the wood. When I had my big shop I would at times cur or plane pieces for strrangers, but that was rare.
My rules were no reclaimed lumber, no pallet wood and definitely no pine.

As for your other problem about wood thicknesses not be reliable, that is a bit easier to resolve. You happen to live about a 2 hour drive from one of the best quality hardwood suppliers, bot domestic and exotic. I believe they also carry pine. They will plane their own lumber at time of your purchase to any thickness you desire. The cost is reasonable. For the longest time, I didnt own a planer and bought ALL my lumber from them. Their 1" lumber was really about an inch and an eighth thick. I would tell them to plane one side perfect and the other side to more or less OK. I build a lot of furniture. By planing it that way, I ended up with a slab anywhere for 7/8" to 15/16" thick. That made for better table tops.
Anyway, the name is Houston Hardwoods and is not too far off of I-10 on the west side of Houston.
Good Luck and welcome to the forum.

Tony B Retired woodworker, among other things.


"Strive for excellence and settle for completion" Tony B

Last edited by Tony B; 06-19-2020 at 02:57 PM.
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post #9 of 17 Old 06-20-2020, 12:29 AM
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I built two kitchens using a wood jointer plane for edge joining. I screwed a piece of aluminum flat strip to one side of the plane that was 1" deeper than the plane bottom.
This can be done on a metal plane also. The strip keeps the plane square to the board. Maybe as fast as an electric plane.
I used this method to joint boards til my kids bought me a 6" jointer.
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post #10 of 17 Old 06-20-2020, 01:56 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Tony B View Post
I neighbor. I am presently living and volunteering in Birch Creek State Park outside Somerville. Been here close to a year.
Anyway, back to your problem.................Very rarely will you ever find a service from anyone that will let you use their planer or their service if you did not purchase your wood from them. As a stranger, they have no way of knowing if the wood was reclaimed or came from a backyard tree. There could be long forgotten nails or staples, etc. in the wood. When I had my big shop I would at times cur or plane pieces for strrangers, but that was rare.
My rules were no reclaimed lumber, no pallet wood and definitely no pine.

As for your other problem about wood thicknesses not be reliable, that is a bit easier to resolve. You happen to live about a 2 hour drive from one of the best quality hardwood suppliers, bot domestic and exotic. I believe they also carry pine. They will plane their own lumber at time of your purchase to any thickness you desire. The cost is reasonable. For the longest time, I didnt own a planer and bought ALL my lumber from them. Their 1" lumber was really about an inch and an eighth thick. I would tell them to plane one side perfect and the other side to more or less OK. I build a lot of furniture. By planing it that way, I ended up with a slab anywhere for 7/8" to 15/16" thick. That made for better table tops.
Anyway, the name is Houston Hardwoods and is not too far off of I-10 on the west side of Houston.
Good Luck and welcome to the forum.
This is huge! Its' a helluva drive but yeah there's nobody around here other htan the home stores that sells hardwood. I would absolutely make the 2 hour drive to pick up wood for a project if they'll face joint/plane it on the spot and i can just do my glue up the moment i get home.. Thanks a lot for this!

A question on that though. THey would i'm sure have a very nice full size planer. If i bought wood from them and said i need a certain length and certain thickness should i ask for extra length to account for snipe? If so how much ? I've ony been looking at future buying a little desktop planer and i know snipe is a big issue on those and in general. I just don't know if it's an issue at like a serious place like a hardwood store that does this all day.

Now i'm all excited to start my first from scratch project!
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post #11 of 17 Old 06-20-2020, 04:10 AM Thread Starter
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I don't know about Brazos County, but if you feel like driving to Hobby Airport...
Yeah sure if you meet me there and bring your shop :P. W'll get up in the baggage claim, i'll bring the beer and let's make some sawdust lol.

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Get the 5ft wide storage space on a monthly rate with 120 volt power and lights and then buy a Dewalt thickness planer, new or used. You can use it anytime the storage units are open. Maybe there's one with 24/7 access? Our member Tony B used one for a business location for years. Noise shouldn't be a factor. .... sawing, planing etc.
I actually would like to buy desktop version of this stuff. I just don't got em yet. I do live in an apartment but i could totally just set it up in my parking area and run anything i want as long as it's not a constant thing. I just don't got these tools yet. First on my agenda is a router.

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Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
Can you tell us more details about your setup? Are you doing all of your woodworking inside the apartment? Where is the table saw?

Some cabinet shops will run your work through their planers ... for a fee, of course.

Have you considered learning and using old-school hand tool methods? They take a lot of practice and skill, but can be done inside an apartment without bothering the neighbors. Back in the day, woodworkers used hand planes, for example. A lot of today's woodworkers still use hand tools and old methods. You can get old hand tools and restore them, and I note that many woodworking stores are expanding their offerings, so it must be popular. Look at some of the exquisitely made furniture from a couple hundred years ago, and be amazed at the quality of their work.

Some people rent a storage unit for their woodworking tools. You may need your own generator to get enough power for that. Ask around.

Does your community center, local adult education center, or community college offer woodworking classes? Perhaps you can make an arrangement to take classes or do "independent study."

Is there a woodworking club in your area? Maybe they have ideas about local solutions to your needs?
Never thought about a woodworking club or community center, i'll see if anything like that exists. As for my setup, i don't have one lol. My buddy just got a contractor saw which i tuned and set up and get full access to and he's got some tools, i'm about to start acquiring some, my random orbital sander just got delivered today. I'm doing this pretty guerilla style. When i gotta do my cuts i go to his place, when i'm doing anything else i just work on my front patio. Noise isn't really an issue, i have an amazon parrot, the neighbors are cool. As for hand tools. Honestly that's a rabbit hole i just don't want to go down lol. I'm a very results oriented person and i'm not a patient man. I just want to make beautiful things and the fastest way to get there is the way i want to do it. I'll acquire the stuff i need eventually, I just now have a lot more possibilities open now that I got access to a table saw.

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Originally Posted by shoot summ View Post
Sounds like the OP has a packed schedule, and his times are pretty inflexible. Going to be tough to find something that will fit with a half a day on a weekend I think, but there might be something out there. Best solution is to acquire your own stuff, that way you can use it on your schedule, my .02.
Yup i'm working on it. Can't afford it just yet but looking at routers to pick up when i get paid for my next art job. After that I'll probably start saving for a planer. As for my schedule, i have a sleeping disorder. I can only sleep from about 6 am to 2 pm and there's basically nothing i can do about it. It makes things a challenge for sure.

Last edited by baserock love; 06-20-2020 at 04:19 AM.
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post #12 of 17 Old 06-20-2020, 05:02 AM
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Yeah sure if you meet me there and bring your shop :P. W'll get up in the baggage claim, i'll bring the beer and let's make some sawdust lol.
I live close enough to the Hobby Airport fence that a good left fielder could hit it on one hop. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but not by much....

Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to have been an Earth-shattering KABOOM!

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post #13 of 17 Old 06-20-2020, 05:50 AM Thread Starter
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I live close enough to the Hobby Airport fence that a good left fielder could hit it on one hop. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but not by much....
Oh wait, i totally misunderstood your post XD Hobby is the airport in houston. I was thinking you were talking about the little airport here, and then like fly out to where you're at, like you were telling a joke because you wanted beer lol.

I would absolutely drive down there to meet ya and have you show me how to use that stuff and make it worth your while if you're ever up for it. In fact, there's a guy trying to get rid of tons of rough sawn hardwood, cherry, maple, walnut etc locally here. I"m pretty sure he's not charging much. I haven't taken him up on anything cuz i just don't currently have the equipment to turn rough sawn lumber into something i can use.

If you're serious and would like to help out a noobie with some knowledge I am absolutely up for that!
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post #14 of 17 Old 06-20-2020, 06:51 AM
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There is nothing you can get that wont fit their planer. There will be no snipe. You will be in awe when you see this place. My SO always wants to come with me when I go there. She is not into woodworking but she is into picking out hardwoods. I would be selecting lumber off the shelves and she would be filling a cart with exotic woodturning blanks. I would say "do you have any idea home much that stuff costs? She would say yea about $70 for this piece. But I know you will make something beautiful out of it for one of the kids. Kids being like 40 years old
Anyway, when you buy hardwoods, it is not at all like the big box stores. They charge by board foot which is length X width X thickness. The boards do not come in standard sizes. They come in the way they were cut at the saw mills. The terminology is "they come in random lengths and widths" But they are kiln dried and almost perfect as they lay there. They charge for milling the lumber. But........if you compare the prices to what the big box stores charge for oak, birch and plywood, this place is much less expensive. Sometimes almost 1/2 the price.
Back to the random lengths and widths If you dont have a planer, you will tell them S2S which means "Surface 2 sides" which is top and bottom If you havent made a straight line rip jig, you will want 1 good edge straight and flat. So you would tell them you want S2S and Straight Line Ripped or S3S which is Surface 3 Sides. They are very patient and helpful. They also sell softwoods and plywoods. If you want the wood S2S or S3S, ask them how much it will cost and they will tell you. They will also cut to length if you want, but you still have the buy the whole board.
Get on their website and see what they have. They are definitely worth the trip. They are about 1 hours drive from my shop. Not too far from them is Brazos Forrest Products - same kind of set-up and similar prices.
I have been out of woodworking for about 8 years and I know things change. But here is how it used to work at Brazos - they would have defective wood, like splits and warps on pallets looking like they will be junked. The wood is more than fine for small projects - just make an offer on the whole pallet At least it used to be that way.
If you call either of them up, they will give you the board foot price of the species you want and the set-up charges for S2S, S3S or just SLR.

Their lumber is of the very highest quality. If you buy Purple Heart it is purple and Padauk is red. You dont have to put it in the sun for several days for it to get color.

Also, Never Ever plan your wood projects down the inch. You will be very sorry. Always allow 20% extra

Tony B Retired woodworker, among other things.


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post #15 of 17 Old 06-20-2020, 07:57 AM
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@baserock love

Since you mentioned your location, it was much easier for you to get the help you needed. I would strongly suggest that you go back to your profile and add your location there. That way, in the future, we will know where you live and could be of more help. There may be folks on here that are closer by and they dont know it and you wont know it unless you indicate your town in the location slot.

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post #16 of 17 Old 06-21-2020, 02:56 AM Thread Starter
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There is nothing you can get that wont fit their planer. There will be no snipe. You will be in awe when you see this place. My SO always wants to come with me when I go there. She is not into woodworking but she is into picking out hardwoods. I would be selecting lumber off the shelves and she would be filling a cart with exotic woodturning blanks. I would say "do you have any idea home much that stuff costs? She would say yea about $70 for this piece. But I know you will make something beautiful out of it for one of the kids. Kids being like 40 years old
Anyway, when you buy hardwoods, it is not at all like the big box stores. They charge by board foot which is length X width X thickness. The boards do not come in standard sizes. They come in the way they were cut at the saw mills. The terminology is "they come in random lengths and widths" But they are kiln dried and almost perfect as they lay there. They charge for milling the lumber. But........if you compare the prices to what the big box stores charge for oak, birch and plywood, this place is much less expensive. Sometimes almost 1/2 the price.
Back to the random lengths and widths If you dont have a planer, you will tell them S2S which means "Surface 2 sides" which is top and bottom If you havent made a straight line rip jig, you will want 1 good edge straight and flat. So you would tell them you want S2S and Straight Line Ripped or S3S which is Surface 3 Sides. They are very patient and helpful. They also sell softwoods and plywoods. If you want the wood S2S or S3S, ask them how much it will cost and they will tell you. They will also cut to length if you want, but you still have the buy the whole board.
Get on their website and see what they have. They are definitely worth the trip. They are about 1 hours drive from my shop. Not too far from them is Brazos Forrest Products - same kind of set-up and similar prices.
I have been out of woodworking for about 8 years and I know things change. But here is how it used to work at Brazos - they would have defective wood, like splits and warps on pallets looking like they will be junked. The wood is more than fine for small projects - just make an offer on the whole pallet At least it used to be that way.
If you call either of them up, they will give you the board foot price of the species you want and the set-up charges for S2S, S3S or just SLR.

Their lumber is of the very highest quality. If you buy Purple Heart it is purple and Padauk is red. You dont have to put it in the sun for several days for it to get color.

Also, Never Ever plan your wood projects down the inch. You will be very sorry. Always allow 20% extra
I"m a bit confused, so they charge for milling the lumber, i assume they charge by the cut or edge? I could make a straight line rip and cross cut jig. If i could joint the edges and just needed the faces flat and parallel which one of those would i ask for? You were saying i should have the faces jointed and one side edge jointed?

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@baserock love

Since you mentioned your location, it was much easier for you to get the help you needed. I would strongly suggest that you go back to your profile and add your location there. That way, in the future, we will know where you live and could be of more help. There may be folks on here that are closer by and they dont know it and you wont know it unless you indicate your town in the location slot.
Yeah i'll do that. thanks for the reminder.
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post #17 of 17 Old 06-21-2020, 06:31 AM
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I"m a bit confused, so they charge for milling the lumber, i assume they charge by the cut or edge? I could make a straight line rip and cross cut jig. If i could joint the edges and just needed the faces flat and parallel which one of those would i ask for? You were saying i should have the faces jointed and one side edge jointed?


Yeah i'll do that. thanks for the reminder.
If you want the faces planed and not the straight line rip, ask for S2S which is Surface 2 Sides.
If you can make a straight line rip jig, there is no need to pay them for that.
They charge for what you want them to do. If you only want one face planed, That's all they would do.
If you have a planer. Just buy the lumber as is. Generally, from their lumber, you wont be planing warps or cupping. Pretty much all you will plane, if you had a planer, will be the sawmill marks.

The main thing is to keep in mind how much and what legths and widths you project will require and add 20% to that. You will be buying random lengths and widths which means you buy a whole board regardless of size. Some of the boards can be as large as 18 feet long. They will cut them for you at a nominal fee. Always give yourself extra wood to work with. Newbe's usually mess up some projects by trying to be to precise and too efficient with the lumber. ALWAYS give yourself extra. Scraps can always be used for cutting boards or turnings.
This is not like lowes or Home Depot where people are sorting through the piles. Almost every single board is good.
One other note, say for instance, you pick a 14'board and the end has a 10" split. Mention it to them and they will adjust the price acordingly.
they usually get a premium price for boards over 12" wide. Generally, you wont be buying anything that wide. Generally, the boards on the rack have sawmill marks and some fuzzying of the surface. Not always easy to tell what the board looks like when planed. So if for instance you buy a board of hard maple, you might end up with a curly maple or a birds eye maple. You will still only be paying for hard maple.
Like I said earlier, this is not like Lowes or HD.
They also have tremendous variety of plywoods, mouldings , veneers, etc.

OH, they also have scrap bins with cutoffs in them. Located by the restrooms. Good buys if you do small projects or just dont need a large board.

On the lumber racks, the general sizes range from 10' to 16' feet long and 6 - 8" wide.

Enjoy your trip

Tony B Retired woodworker, among other things.


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