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Where do you all find your wood to build things with?  When I tried the usuals, Home Depot and Lowes, I found I would be spending 250 bucks just to make a bookshelf!!!

Any ideas where to find cheaper lumber?

thanks!

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Dale Burke said:
Hey Jason,
It looks like everyone has run the gammut of sources and such for your question. When it comes to resourcing wood (especially pallet wood) I find it handy to run a metal detactor over it to check foir hidden fasteners. A friend of mine is an avid rock hound and I tried his high end detector with great results. That got me thinking. I wondered if a low-end unit would be as effective. Turns out, if you are careful where you set up to do the test (no underlying metal or hidden metalic stuff) even a cheap bottom of the barrel metal detector will find anything that will do significant damage to your saws, knives, etc.Check your local pawn shops if you poke around you can find a detector for less than $50. Hope this helps.
Great idea. I wish I had read this suggestion a week ago. Saw a metal detector at a weekend garage sale for $20. I'll go back and see if the fellow sold it. Thanks.

Bill Williams said:
Dale Burke said:
Hey Jason,
It looks like everyone has run the gammut of sources and such for your question. When it comes to resourcing wood (especially pallet wood) I find it handy to run a metal detactor over it to check foir hidden fasteners. A friend of mine is an avid rock hound and I tried his high end detector with great results. That got me thinking. I wondered if a low-end unit would be as effective. Turns out, if you are careful where you set up to do the test (no underlying metal or hidden metalic stuff) even a cheap bottom of the barrel metal detector will find anything that will do significant damage to your saws, knives, etc.Check your local pawn shops if you poke around you can find a detector for less than $50. Hope this helps.
I once worked at a window factory. We made regular house windows and sliding patio doors. The glass came in crates bounded by 2x6's or 2x8's. One of the other employees broke down the crates and straightened the nails. One day he invited us over to see the room he had added to his house. All made from the glass crates including the nails and the styrofoam packing was used for insulating the walls as well. So don't forget the glass companies as a source for useable wood.
Jason,
Good Luck in your wood search.....Lots of good ideas from the members....I'd look for sawmills, pallet mills, tie mills etc in your area, many of which are listed in yellow pages of the phone book...Roughsawn hardwood is usually very inexpensive when compared to the finished product you find in the big boxes or wood specialty shops. If you purchase from a sawmill, Ive found they dont like to fool with small orders, so plan on spending at least $100 or more... But you will get a lot of wood for the money...Get green if you have a place to stack and sticker for air drying or the slightly more expensive kiln dried stuff..You live anywhere near NW La. or East Texas, shoot me an email and I can give you several places that I use.
See if you have a local lumbermill. They usually have some deals on S4. Most of this is 1X3 and such. The shorter pieces, less than 5 feet usually carry a major discount
Try local mills, also Craigs List in your area. Sometimes you can find local small mills that specialize in cabinet grade wood. Home Depot and the like are way too expensive. These places are not very good quality wood.

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