Total newbie question about where to get wood - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 11-02-2019, 02:40 AM Thread Starter
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Total newbie question about where to get wood

Hi All! Im a beginner woodworker with the next 2 months off and some projects i want to try and tackle. I am doing all craftsman style furniture. Id like to build a bed, outdoor deck box, a sofa/entry table, and possibly a couch...i know this sounds crazy..but i have access to a full carpentry shop and lots of resources should i need them...

Where should i get wood for these projects? Is lumber from big box stores, woodcraft, or local lumber yards any good to use?

Thanks in advance for any help!

Rob
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post #2 of 24 Old 11-02-2019, 06:03 AM
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First we need to know where you live.


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post #3 of 24 Old 11-02-2019, 07:09 AM
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Yup need to know where you're located! Here in rural central PA there are hardwood mills everywhere! But if you're in Arizona you might need to order online or drive 6 hours.

Don't buy wood at the box stores. They usually only have red oak and poplar, if you're doing Craftsman style you'll probably want to work with some white oak, right? Also that stuff is pre surfaced to 3/4", but then it gets transported and sits, and cups. Can't plane the cup out unless you want it to be less than 3/4". You really want to start with rough lumber if you have a full shop that you can use.
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post #4 of 24 Old 11-02-2019, 08:20 AM
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Let's take this slowly ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megacoulomb View Post
Hi All! Im a beginner woodworker

with the next 2 months off

and some projects i want to try and tackle. I am doing all craftsman style furniture.

Id like to build a bed, outdoor deck box, a sofa/entry table, and possibly a couch...i know this sounds crazy..but i have access to a full carpentry shop and lots of resources should i need them...


Where should i get wood

for these projects?

Is lumber from big box stores, woodcraft, or local lumber yards any good to use?

Thanks in advance for any help!

From the bottom .... Have you priced wood from the stores you mentioned? Woodcraft will have exotic species for turning and other high end projects and it will be expensive. Box stores will have softwood for construction and some limited hardwoods, Poplar and Red Oak, maybe some Maple.

What makes a "good wood to use"? You'll need to know more about wood than you do at present. Read some of the books from here:
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=working+w...f=nb_sb_noss_1
And these especially:
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Bruce+hoa...f=nb_sb_noss_2

Access to a fully equipped shop means access to some dangerous tools! You will have a steep learning curve to get familiar with even the basic machines like the tablesaw which requires instruction and even a mentor.

Making Craftsman Style Furniture will take some specific machines
or hand tools and your list won't get anywhere near finished in 2 months with a limited skill set... yes, it does sound "crazy" or very ambitious. There are about 30 mortise and tenon joints on this Mission style quilt rack:



You can't rush precision joinery and get tight fitting joints. Woodworking is mostly about joinery, especially in furniture. Learn the basic joints and practice them on scraps before starting with more expensive wood.

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)

Last edited by woodnthings; 11-02-2019 at 10:19 AM.
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post #5 of 24 Old 11-02-2019, 08:53 AM
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Here is a list of the top ten in your area:

https://www.yelp.com/search?find_des...eaverton%2C+OR

But this one sounds pretty good.

https://www.yelp.com/biz/mr-plywood-...yFpQqFjzgPrTUg

http://www.diychatroom.com/
The Other
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post #6 of 24 Old 11-02-2019, 11:35 AM
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How do we know that @Megacoulomb is in the Beaverton, OR area? That one escaped me. It would help to confirm where Megacoulomb lives. My advice parallels the others:

SAFETY:

I am very concerned about your personal safety. I admire your ambition, but worry about your inexperience with power tools. Woodworking tools can injure you for life. Safety is about maintaining good habits, and they take time and experience to develop.

It is nice that you have access to a well-equipped woodshop, but there is more to woodworking than just tools. You need to have the owner there all the time, guiding you and keeping you safe.

REALISTIC GOALS:

I admire your ambition and confidence, but there is a learning curve. Even really smart people can't avoid that learning curve.

Imagine if you showed up on the "SurgeryTalk" website, saying that you took a two month sabbatical and want to use a friend's operating room to spend the time performing cardiac bypasses, removing a few brain tumors, reattaching amputated limbs, etc. Woodworking isn't brain surgery, but do not undervalue the hard-earned experience that the people here have acquired over their lifetimes.

I hope that the person who owns the woodshop can guide you to set more realistic goals for woodworking projects that fit your skill and experience level better, stepping up in complexity as you go. You can accomplish a lot in two months, but be realistic and stay safe!

SOURCES FOR QUALITY, FURNITURE-GRADE HARDWOOD:

* The big box stores like Home Depot and Lowes carry a few boards of basic hardwood at high prices.
The value of those stores is their convenient supply of construction grade lumber.

* Specialty woodworking stores like Rockler and Woodcraft have a selection of hardwood lumber at high prices. These stores carry a few boards of many species, including imported hardwoods.
The value of those stores is the advice you get from the staff. They typically stock a wide variety of hardwoods, but not many boards of each. Selection of a given species may be limited.

* True lumber yards. They vary in what wood they stock, but usually have a much larger supply of the wood they carry. They cater to professionals who know what they want and how to choose boards. They vary a lot on how much they assist (or tolerate) home woodworkers.
The value of those stores is a good selection of hardwood boards at a decent, local market price.

* Woodworking friends and clubs. Yesterday my spouse and I just picked up a bunch of hardwood in various species from a woodworking club member who was cleaning out his shop. We got maple, mahogany, and walnut boards, plus many smaller pieces of more exotic species, suitable for scroll sawing, small boxes, and turning projects. I got a very nice piece of pink ivory for turning.
The value of friends and clubs is priceless. The wood is usually a great bargain, but availability is haphazard.

Last edited by Tool Agnostic; 11-02-2019 at 11:39 AM.
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post #7 of 24 Old 11-02-2019, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
How do we know that @Megacoulomb is in the Beaverton, OR area?
That one escaped me.
me too at first . . . . then at the top of the page, I see there is a block to put in your location.
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post #8 of 24 Old 11-02-2019, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Smith_inFL View Post
me too at first . . . . then at the top of the page, I see there is a block to put in your location.
Yeah, but it was @BigJim who posted the links, not the OP, @Megacoulomb. I wonder how BigJim figured out that Megacoulomb lives in Oregon. Obviously I missed something.

I am still very concerned about a newbie with unknown experience jumping into a fully equipped woodshop, who plans to build a lot of challenging furniture in a short time. Hopefully he/she has a lot more woodworking experience than was implied by the "where to get wood?" question in this thread.
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post #9 of 24 Old 11-02-2019, 02:10 PM
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Moderators can access more info than you .....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
Yeah, but it was @BigJim who posted the links, not the OP, @Megacoulomb. I wonder how BigJim figured out that Megacoulomb lives in Oregon. Obviously I missed something.

I am still very concerned about a newbie with unknown experience jumping into a fully equipped woodshop, who plans to build a lot of challenging furniture in a short time. Hopefully he/she has a lot more woodworking experience than was implied by the "where to get wood?" question in this thread.

That's what I was getting at also. All sorts of Red Flags came up for me and that's why I posted my concerns.

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 #10 of 24 Old 11-02-2019, 02:23 PM
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ok - with my limited experience with YELP SEARCH, when I put in
a location in the box that I indicated in the photo. . . . they remember
my last search location on my next visit. Oregon may be just a generic
location that is totally random. you must put in the location that you want to search.
nobody knows for sure where the OP lives until he comes back for an update.

and yes, all the safety issues and the OP's experiences are very valid.
we will just have to wait n see. there is no need for all the speculation.

.

.

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post #11 of 24 Old 11-02-2019, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your concern. I am no where near a beginner with using power tools. I have been working in a semiconductor fab for 9+ years repairing and installing million dollar equipment that can kill you in a second (I'm not kidding, look up accidents in semiconductor manufacturing) so I am very familiar with personal safety around post dangerous equipment...maybe I am being too ambitious but that is not the question asked....in my experience with large seemingly insurmountable projects if you have a plan and a schedule you can accomplish crazy things...especially if you have the time..so tbh I'm not sure this forum is for me, lots of negativity here for just a simple question of where to get lumber for furniture making....and yes I'm in Oregon....
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post #12 of 24 Old 11-02-2019, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Big Jim. Mr. Plywood comes highly recommended from a few friends whi also build furniture. Thanks for your help!

Rob
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post #13 of 24 Old 11-02-2019, 08:17 PM
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We are concerned about your safety, not being negativer at all...

A "beginning woodworker" as you describe yourself, will have a learning curve to get familiar with high speed rotating cutters on table saws, jointers, routers, etc. Woodworking machines won't likely "kill you", but they can or will cause irreparable hand and finger damage. So yes, concerned for your safety..... from a former shop and Industrial Design Instructor MFA at a Big Ten University and woodworker with 55 years experience.
You don't need an advanced degree in computer technology to do a Google search in your area for hardwood lumber sources. So, what's the issue, really? Were the links to sources and references to literature not any good?


This is all I will suggest as far as your safety goes:
Kickback is one of the least understood and under reported injuries in the use of a table saw. It happens far more times than blood letting blade cuts, so you better understand why it happens:
http://www.raygirling.com/kickback.htm



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 #14 of 24 Old 11-03-2019, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Megacoulomb View Post
maybe I am being too ambitious but that is not the question asked....in my experience with large seemingly insurmountable projects if you have a plan and a schedule you can accomplish crazy things...especially if you have the time..so tbh I'm not sure this forum is for me, lots of negativity here for just a simple question of where to get lumber for furniture making....and yes I'm in Oregon....
You just have to be careful you don't trip over some of the egos here, otherwise it isn't so bad.
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post #15 of 24 Old 11-03-2019, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Megacoulomb View Post
where to get lumber for furniture making....and yes I'm in Oregon....

Hey, I'm in Corvallis. There are commercial hardwood stores, there are lots of private sawmills, guys with sawmills that cut, dry and sell wood. Around here, there is the The Hardwood Centre, Eugene has X-Cuts Hardwoods, Springfield has Tree Products, Salem has Woodcraft, Portland has Gilmer Wood Company, Woodcraft, Emerson Hardwoods, and others....Are you in Western Oregon? What county, if I'm familiar with it, I will give you more sources.


And FWIW, yeah, the safety police on here can get rather annoying. Sorry for that experience.

Last edited by mmwood_1; 11-03-2019 at 08:27 PM.
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post #16 of 24 Old 11-07-2019, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Megacoulomb View Post
Hi All! Im a beginner woodworker with the next 2 months off
Are you on sabbatical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megacoulomb View Post

Where should i get wood for these projects? Is lumber from big box stores, woodcraft, or local lumber yards any good to use?
There are lots of places to get wood. I usually start with logs and make my own boards. Here is a great resource for you: https://guildoforegonwoodworkers.org/ I was a member for a couple of years. They have some great classes for beginners to advanced wood workers. A very large membership, an active group and a great resource for a beginner.

The trouble with the Yelp.com list above is that it is mostly for lumber retailers and you want hardwood retailers. You want places like these: Crosscut Hardwoods (Portland), Rockler (Beaverton), Woodcrafters (Portland), Woodcraft (Tigard). There are numerous wood recycling places also in Portland, Tigard, etc.

Send me a PM if you want to get together and discuss some of the options.

Eric
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post #17 of 24 Old 11-07-2019, 08:53 PM
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Here is another "good" hardwood lumber retailer

Hurford Hardwoods (Outback Hardwoods)
8930 NE Killingsworth St, Portland, OR 97220
https://www.outbackhardwoods.com/

I haven't shopped there since they got bought out in 2018, so they may not be any good any more. I bought 450 bdft of mahogany there in 2017 for a chair I made. I don't usually buy wood, but the customer wanted mahogany. I still cringe today over the $6/bdft I paid. I strive to find wood under $1/bdft. It is not hard if you buy right from the tree cutter. Most arborists in this area can't give away the logs they have. I would take them all, but I don't have enough storage space.

Eric

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post #18 of 24 Old 11-08-2019, 02:07 AM Thread Starter
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I am on sabbatical. Starting 11/25 - 1/25. Thanks for the recommendations. Im looking forward to some downtime...

Rob
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post #19 of 24 Old 11-08-2019, 02:53 AM
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Yeah! More Oregon people!



Plenty of wood stores over in Portland, if you're just in Beaverton then that's a pretty short drive. Crosscut hard woods, Emerson hardwoods and Goby Walnut to name a few off the top of my head. You using your own shop or spending two months hanging out in somebody else's?



It's not bad here mate, we get a lot of people who have very little experience with power tools so by saying you're a beginner people assume zero shop experience of any kind. People here warm up.


-T

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post #20 of 24 Old 11-08-2019, 09:20 AM
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Very timely question - you should check out "EPISODE 16: WHERE TO BUY LUMBER" of the podcasts at Shannon's Lumber Industry Update
--steve

Last edited by difalkner; 11-10-2019 at 05:07 PM. Reason: removed link
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