I am looking to build more intricate projects for indoor furniture. I have been making outdoor furniture using reclaimed wood from fences and pallets. Now my wife is looking to have our store bought furniture replaced by my work. My problem is, I really do not know where to get a variety of different types of wood. I live in the San Antonio, TX area, and all I know of to get lumber is Lowe's. Not much of a selection there and the price is little much for the type of cuts they have. Any suggestions of where to seek these types of material?
Have you ever tried searching for specialty lumber online? On the Internet, your options are limitless and many times you can easily locate unusual woods with beautiful grain patterns. Most online vendors make sure you know exactly what you're getting; they'll have photos, exact measurements, etc.
The only potential downfall with buying online is that shipping costs can quickly add up. If you decide to buy online, be sure to look for deals. Many online wood vendors will have "bundle" deals with free shipping - this would be perfect when buying in large quantities for upcoming projects.
You can also try online auction sites like eBay, where you can bid on a product. Many times, you can score a great deal with some patience. Many online vendors use eBay to sell bundles of wood, veneer, or an especially figured, one-of-a-kind piece.
For a local option, check out sites like www.Craigslist.org. You can often find the right wood in your own neighborhood or city. For a highly-figured piece, try www.woodfinder.com. For a wide selection of veneer, try www.certainlywood.com.
Hopefully this information helps you get comfortable with the world of online lumber. Good luck!
You also have a Woodcraft Store in San Antonio: http://www.woodcraft.com/stores/store.aspx?id=319. They'll have a good selection of hardwoods. I also saw a listing for a place called Alamo Hardwoods: www.alamohardwoods.com but I'm not sure if they are a retail or wholesale location. Check your yellow pages. There may be other choices, as well. I believe there's a woodworker's guild in San Antonio, as well. Members could help steer you.
When you start buying hardwoods from a dealer, it will be different from buying lumber from a home center. home centers sell everything "S4S" or "surfaced four sides" meaning it has been planed and ripped to standardized sizes. Most hardwood dealers sell in random widths and lengths.
Thanks for the insight on this, I have already looked at the Woodcraft website. I plan on making a trip there this weekend. I appreciate the advice again.
Rey, Like the Kreg Rep said I have used woodffinder.com to find a couple of really good places to buy all sorts of lumber to rough lumber to s4 exotic stuff.
Have you look for any sawmills? I live in Cleveland Ohio and discovered an urban sawmill a few years ago. I haven't been woodworking lately but I will when it warms up and I will head to the sawmill for some oak. He mainly has trees that were cut down locally and he will surface plane it to the thickness I need.