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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been lurking around these forums for the last couple months now and finally this is my first post.

I have been wanting to get into serious wood working since before I was in high school but never had the money to start on such a venture. Now that I have just graduated from college and started working I finally have some time and a small amount of money (what is left after paying college loans :smile:) to get started.

Right now I am looking for a decent used table saw on craigslist, but the right deal just hasn't shown up yet.

So while I am waiting, my question is how to obtain affordable materials. I am from rural northern Minnesota. My father in-law is a farmer and has his own homemade sawmill that he used to cut all the white pine and oak for his furniture at home. We have more oak, birch, aspen, and basswood than we know what to do with; in addition to quite a bit of maple and ash.

We have A LOT of wooded land, an endless supply for my personal use. The problem is that I really love the look of the wood not prevalent where I live such as walnut, cherry, and hickory. The nearest hardwood mill is about a two hour drive away and their prices are pretty high. I have no problem taking logs, milling them, and planing them myself to keep the cost per BF low. Are there any suggestions as to what I can do to get some Walnut or Cherry logs/rough cut lumber for a reasonable price? Have you ever heard of anybody trading Walnut for oak, say at a ratio of 1:2 Board Foot?
 

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My suggestion would be to hone your skills on the "cheap stuff" before going to the expensive stuff. You will make a lot of mistakes and it doesn't hurt nearly as bad on $1-2 per board foot stock than $5-7 bd/ft stock.
 

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Welcome!
Think what I'd suggest is to talk to your neighbors and kin, someone always has a tree blow down or needing removal-- that how I get lots of mine ( with me it's patients ).
+1 on honing skills with the common inexpensive stuff ---- your "common" stuff is expen$ive down here!
Dave H
 

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Welcome!
Think what I'd suggest is to talk to your neighbors and kin, someone always has a tree blow down or needing removal-- that how I get lots of mine ( with me it's patients ).
+1 on honing skills with the common inexpensive stuff ---- your "common" stuff is expen$ive down here!
Dave H
You ever cut any Texas ebony down there?
 

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Check with area tree services. I've been amazed at some of the wood I've gotten at no charge. Of course nothing is completely free. You need to be able to drop everything at a moment's notice to move a log out of the yard with no damage, and you'll often find metal in the logs, but it has been very worthwhile for me.

As long as you're practicing on the low value logs, cut blocking and stickers for air drying the good stuff, and maybe build a milling/drying shed. Good luck!
 

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I have been lurking around these forums for the last couple months now and finally this is my first post.

I have been wanting to get into serious wood working since before I was in high school but never had the money to start on such a venture. Now that I have just graduated from college and started working I finally have some time and a small amount of money (what is left after paying college loans :smile:) to get started.

Right now I am looking for a decent used table saw on craigslist, but the right deal just hasn't shown up yet.

So while I am waiting, my question is how to obtain affordable materials. I am from rural northern Minnesota. My father in-law is a farmer and has his own homemade sawmill that he used to cut all the white pine and oak for his furniture at home. We have more oak, birch, aspen, and basswood than we know what to do with; in addition to quite a bit of maple and ash.

We have A LOT of wooded land, an endless supply for my personal use. The problem is that I really love the look of the wood not prevalent where I live such as walnut, cherry, and hickory. The nearest hardwood mill is about a two hour drive away and their prices are pretty high. I have no problem taking logs, milling them, and planing them myself to keep the cost per BF low. Are there any suggestions as to what I can do to get some Walnut or Cherry logs/rough cut lumber for a reasonable price? Have you ever heard of anybody trading Walnut for oak, say at a ratio of 1:2 Board Foot?
"The nearest hardwood mill is about a two hour drive away and their prices are pretty high. "

How high is pretty high.

If you start trading, shipping costs will quickly eat up any savings.

George
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
"The nearest hardwood mill is about a two hour drive away and their prices are pretty high. "

How high is pretty high.

If you start trading, shipping costs will quickly eat up any savings.

George
$9 a board foot for Walnut... When it is native to the southern part of my state!!!! But driving down to where they are at is about a five hour drive.

I have plenty of access to wood such as oak, ash, maple, Tamarack, and aspen, even a lot of diamond willow. We have 200 acres of heavily wooded land by the wood I am looking for is not native to my area. I plan on starting and practicing on some oak and ash that I have milled myself because it is free to me.

Although I will say there was an ad for 600 board foot of planed cherry for $800 on Craigslist. When I hone my skills I want to learn to veneer in and maybe that will satisfy my want for more exotic woods.
 

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$9 a board foot for Walnut... When it is native to the southern part of my state!!!! But driving down to where they are at is about a five hour drive.

I have plenty of access to wood such as oak, ash, maple, Tamarack, and aspen, even a lot of diamond willow. We have 200 acres of heavily wooded land by the wood I am looking for is not native to my area. I plan on starting and practicing on some oak and ash that I have milled myself because it is free to me.

Although I will say there was an ad for 600 board foot of planed cherry for $800 on Craigslist. When I hone my skills I want to learn to veneer in and maybe that will satisfy my want for more exotic woods.
That is quite high. You can mail order cheaper than that.

www.walllumber.com

George
 

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That's kinda cheap. A mill around here sells Walnut for 25-35 / bf.:eek:
How much do they sell, and in what form? I could see that for pen turning blanks or fancy gun stocks, but if you can get that for slabs, walnut really is "black gold", and I'm "loadin' up my truck and movin' (my slabs) to Beverley"!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
How much do they sell, and in what form? I could see that for pen turning blanks or fancy gun stocks, but if you can get that for slabs, walnut really is "black gold", and I'm "loadin' up my truck and movin' (my slabs) to Beverley"!
Haha I agree! I did just find another hardwood place about 4. 5hours from where I live that has it for 4.50 BF. My buddy was able to get a whole trailer of logs for $500 which yielded 1500BF he had to mill, plane, and kiln them himself. But too many people are nuts when it come to selling there logs. They think they won the lottery or something...
 

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If your interested, I buy all my lumber from vetsch hardwoods in rochester. Also, mills fleet farm sells a number of hardwoods by the board. A bit pricier because it's retail, but available none the less.
 

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I trade with the local hardwood company. I had some old punky redwood burls. I traded them off for their "rips". Leftovers from milling.
There wasn't a straight edge on any of them. But I got my variety and saved the much needed cash for sandpaper, wood glue and Mountain Dew...
Now I go back and visit with my buddies at the hardwood store and buy their cut offs CHEAP.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I trade with the local hardwood company. I had some old punky redwood burls. I traded them off for their "rips". Leftovers from milling.
There wasn't a straight edge on any of them. But I got my variety and saved the much needed cash for sandpaper, wood glue and Mountain Dew...
Now I go back and visit with my buddies at the hardwood store and buy their cut offs CHEAP.
Great advice! Thanks!
 
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