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Thread: Internet Wood Sources

  1. #1

    Lightbulb Internet Wood Sources

    After paying $190 at Lowes for 20 BF of S3S Red Oak for the Cradle I made for my first project, I realized I needed a better source for lumber if I was going to be able to continue my hobby. I don't yet have a planer or jointer yet, so rough cut lumber is not yet a possibility. However, if someone could show me how much I could save , I might could convince SWMBO that a planer and jointer would SAVE money! But for now, I'd like to poll the members of SMC that have purchased surfaced lumber over the internet to find a site where they were happy with the lumber they received. I liked being able to pick the best lumber at Lowes--I went through every single board they had to find the best 20 BF for the cradle-- but at double the price I'm sure a few defects would not matter. Recently, I got the 20 BF Red Oak HobbyPak from internetlumber.com for less than half the price ($87 and free shipping!) It was FAS quality, which means 83% must be usable lumber. I was a bit irritated to say the least when the lumber arrived. It came in 4 boards each 13/16" x 8 1/4" x 7'. Board 1 had a 2" round dead knot hole all the way through about 18" from end A and a 1/2" dead knot hole about 3 feet from end B. Board 2 was split down the center of one end to the edge 18" down. Board 3 had a 1" dead knot about 12" from one end. Board 4 was mostly ok except for a couple of live knots still intact. I calculated that if I cut out all the defects I would be left with about 16.5 BF which miraculously comes out 1 percent higher than the minimum requires 83% usable. Only, some of the boards would end up being short. It's still better than Lowe's thoughm because for $190 I could buy 2 Hobby Paks and just toss the defects ad still have more Oak. Sorry to rant, but I would like to know if anyone has had any positive results from ordering lumber from the net, and which sites are the best.

    Or if anyone knows of a good lumber source in North Alabama (Huntsville) and surrounding areas - (from Nashville, TN to Birmingham, AL area).
    Stephen

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Mt. Pleasant, MI
    Posts
    2,899
    Just a calc for the other half.

    At the high price I pay for rough select red oak you would have saved $132 and change with rough sawn.

    Two or three medium projects would pay for a Ridgid lunchbox planer or one of several other models.

    Can help with any other suppliers for lumber except to see if anyone in the area there can help you out. You would be welcome to use mine occasionally as the need fit but I think Michigan is a tad bit of a drive for you.

    Joe
    JC Custom WoodWorks

    For best results, try not to do anything stupid.

    "So this is how liberty dies...with thunderous applause." - Padmé Amidala "Star Wars III: The Revenge of the Sith"

  3. #3
    Try here....
    http://woodfinder.com/
    Glenn Clabo
    Michigan

  4. #4
    Thanks! Is a Jointer required for surfacing rough lumber or just a planer? I have a router, which is supposed to be able to edge joint, but I have trouble perfecting it. Which internet source would you recommend in the mean time? I have a problem with over researching anything I buy especially tools. It could take a while for me to pick a planer.
    Stephen

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    428
    I have heard Steve Wall lumber is very good. I know there are some hardwood lumber suppliers in Birmingham, but cannot think of names right now...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Archer, Fl
    Posts
    14
    Not sure is this is 100% accurate or not, but when buying rough lumber, I've been told that a drum sander is a good idea. I made a solid cherry entertainment center for a client, and bought all my lumber at a local sawmill. Most everything was OK for the moldings on the face, but the drawer front were still cupped after twenty trips through the planer.
    Shane
    "Do, or do not. There is no try." Yoda

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    428
    Quote Originally Posted by Shane Newlin
    Not sure is this is 100% accurate or not, but when buying rough lumber, I've been told that a drum sander is a good idea. I made a solid cherry entertainment center for a client, and bought all my lumber at a local sawmill. Most everything was OK for the moldings on the face, but the drawer front were still cupped after twenty trips through the planer.
    If you mill your lumber properly you will not need a drum sander. You must remove any cupping on a jointer before using your planer

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Willow Spring, NC
    Posts
    735
    A planer can not easily fix a cupped board. It will only make both sides of the board parallel.

    It can sometimes be done if you orient the board with the center of the cup facing up and put some kind of filler under the gap, like hot melt glue, or thin strips of scrap wood, etc. The filler prevents the rollers from pressing the board flat as it passes through the cutters. The cutters will remove stock only from the high points. After a few passes you will have the top surface flat(er). Then just flip the board over and run it through normally. I have made this work a few times if the cupping wasn't bad and the board originally had enough thickness.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Kanasas City, MO
    Posts
    1,787

    Buying Lumber

    One thing to bear in mind when ordering lumber for a project is to account for things such as defects. If you want perfectly clear sticks, be prepared to pay for them when & if you can find them.
    I usually buy at least 10% more than I need, this will help account for defects and "operator error & or brain cramps". Nobody likes having to make a trip for one little board, or having to order some more lumber & sit and wait (especially if you are the reason for the trip & not a defect in a board!). Having extra pieces is nice for examining staining, dying & finishing options too.
    I am hesitant about buying lumber sight unseen, so I mainly deal with a couple sellers I trust.
    Sorry to hear about your dissapointment with your internet purchase, I too have been slightly let down in this same way. Some of these defects can be turned into character or uniqueness..... but not all. Depends on the defect and the project. LOML is all goo goo about a drawer face I made that has a HUGE knot smack dab in the middle... then again the maple is nice n curly all around the knot

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Clanton, Alabama
    Posts
    276
    Stephen:
    I sent you a PM.
    Ron
    Ron In Clanton, Alabama

    Shoot amongst us boy, one of us has got to have some relief!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Willow Spring, NC
    Posts
    735
    I have been able to pick up quite a few well priced pieces on ebay. Most of the regular ebay sellers will let you combine multiple auction wins into one shipment, which will usually save a few dollars.

    You do have to be kind of careful though. Always take the full price, including shipping costs, to figure out your cost/BF.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    264

    I bought some 8/4 Purpleheart that was very nice online.

    Purchased from internetlumber.com and was very happy with both the quality and price. I bought the lumber on special, was the lumber of the month and if memory serves me it was less than $5/bf. I haven't used it yet but is beautiful, I would recommend calling in your order rather than using the online tool. This will guarantee you will get boards with dimensions you specify.

    Get the jointer and planer, it opens the doors to so much more in this hobby.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Seattle area , Duvall
    Posts
    2,103
    Theres a really cool article in finewoodworking "basic power tools", it just came out, it shows you how to build a sled to joint faces with.It works off of wood wedges , kind of the same idea you have.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Engel
    A planer can not easily fix a cupped board. It will only make both sides of the board parallel.

    It can sometimes be done if you orient the board with the center of the cup facing up and put some kind of filler under the gap, like hot melt glue, or thin strips of scrap wood, etc. The filler prevents the rollers from pressing the board flat as it passes through the cutters. The cutters will remove stock only from the high points. After a few passes you will have the top surface flat(er). Then just flip the board over and run it through normally. I have made this work a few times if the cupping wasn't bad and the board originally had enough thickness.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Willow Spring, NC
    Posts
    735
    If I had to choose between getting a planer or getting a jointer, the planer would absolutely be my first choice. To me it can be a much more versatile tool.

  15. #15
    Hey Ron didnt the place that used to be in Thorsby on 31 move to Saginaw at exit 231 .. Bought from them before but cant recall the name .. Then there is the place at exit 247 in south Birmingham as well ..

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