Youngbloods is the best source within the metro area. They have the widest selection in species and thicknesses. If you join the Minnesota Woodworkers Guild (google will bring it up) for $30 a year, you get the wholesale price at Youngbloods. The Guild sends you a memebership card to flash. Oak is about $2.89 for example and hard maple around $3.10. They stock red oak rough sawn but also something they call "skipped planed" to about 15/16ths, and it's really about 95% clean surfaced at the $2.89 price. I usually get that when I need red oak.
They also sell S4S in most species, but at higher prices. The best part about them is that you can sort thru lumber to pick the stuff you want - but please restack it neatly for everyone's benefit. And any kind of plywood you's ever want, but not as cheap as Menards or Home Depot, although it IS of better quality.
Forest Products Supply is a millwork house that also retails lumber, but they're more expensive than Youngbloods. Since they are a working shop they generate a LOT of cutoffs and they have a big area of shorts up to 36" or so, that they sell for half price or even lower at times - as low as $1 - 1.50 per bf. It includes exotics as well. All that stuff is planed.
And since they're a working shop they don't have a retail sales "staff." Don't be hesitant to just go into the shop and look around, pick what you want, then go into the office area and tell whoever is in there you got some stuff you want to buy. Very informal.
Besides that, there's some smaller outfits on the edges of the metro area - basically small sawmill operations - but they don't seem to have much better prices. Epecially with $3 a gallon gas nowadays.
Further out - like 30-40 miles there are portable mill type places out in the hinterlands that may have lower prices, but then the cost/time of travel comes up again. And for some reason, Minnesota doesn't often have the "dirt cheap" bargains I see on Woodweb or Craigslist in other states.
I've been around here for 6-7 years, so if you've got any other questions I'd be glad to help.
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