Kreg Owners' Community

Hi All,

Just got a new Kreg Jig.  I am curious as to where you get your plywoods and hardwoods for many of these projects?

Thanks.

Chris

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I have learned that the big box stores (Lowes/HomeDepot) really dont have a good selection of decent wood.

I have now started going to an actual lumberyard

http://www.ganahllumber.com/

Thanks Guys

It looks like I have some shopping to do.

Russ,

To start, check your local community lumber yards, home centers, Rockler, Owl Lumber, and the like.

Determine the product you desire to build, then select the desired material(s).

It pays, in the long run, to shop/buy at your local suppliers.

Good luck and have fun with your wood working tasks.

Plywood from home centers.

Hardwoods---some from home centers and some from a local dealer, that stocks hardwoods.

Rockler and Owl Lumber---they're the closest to my place.

Criss, I started many years ago and purchased lumber from many sources.  From my own experience I found it best to seek out a reputable hardwood lumber dealer in your area and find a good sales represenative and build a trust between yourself and him or her.  Often you will find excellent advise from them and in order to build you as a customer will often tip you on upcoming wood stock sales and very seldom will you get a bad quality of lumber.  The reason is that not only do they want to keep you as a customer but they purchase their stock from the same outlets and if they receive bad material or a unusual high price from a lumber broker they will shy away from them in order to protect them selves from competition with lower selling outlets.

Another source is obtaining the services of area independant tree sawing companies that harvest downed trees and trees the are harvested by private citizens.  If you are really desiring some hard work and investment in a saw mill of your own such as the small bandsaw or chain saw mills is a great opportunity to obtain some excellent wood.  I have done this when I was younger and new in the woodworking game but soon gave it up as you can purchase rough sawn lumber very reasonable from local small saw mills. 

There is also the recycled lumber of which you find some very reasonable and many times free for the hauling.

If you are needing large quanities of wood, my preference is the hardwood dealer of which you trust and expecially if you are lucky to have a dealer that also specializes in all types of hardwood as well as soft woods.

The next best source for a large quanity would be to obtain the services of a lumber broker but when you do this you need to know lumber grades and quality as they often have an excess amount of lumber that they are trying to unload and sometimes if you are not careful you can get a licking in the pocketbook.

I shy away from the big box stores because the quality of material you get there and the price is definately stacked against you.  For an example go to one of them who sells some hardwood and look as the price for a piece of oak lumber and then go to the hardwood lumber dealer and check the price difference.  The big box stores seldom price their lumber at a board foot but instead sell it for so much for a lentgh like a 4" x 6 foot'

The last large cabinet job I did was for a large home and it required 800 bf of red oak.  I bought the oak from the my lumber dealer and the difference between the dealer and the best broker I could find at the time was over $400.00.  This was for sanded to 13/16" thich stock, straight lined on one side and most lengths  were 10 ft long.

This brings up another area for conversation and that is lumber thickness.  This becomes important as you have no room for sanding in a 3/4" piece of stock.  3/4" thick is about the only thickness you can get at most big box stores.  You will need to check the thickness on each piece of lumber from big box stores as well as it is not all the same.  In the 800 bd ft of red oak I bought I found all to be the very same thickenss and also color. 

Color is important in building any project unless you don't care if it looks like a stripped zebra.  You can't get this at a big box store either because it is picked through and normally the lumber racks look like a disaster area. The sales personel seldom know the difference between pine and douglas fir so unless you know what you are looking for it seldom that a sales person on the floor will know either.  So you are on your own there.

The reason I look for the 13/16" thickness lumber is for quality and room to work the surface either by thickness planer or by sand paper.  if you begin using some 3/4" thick lumber and say you need to build a cabinet door.  It is usually too thin by the time you work all defects out of the material your door will be so thin that if it is closed  by any means other than a gentle hand it will bounce off the face frame like it was rubber and give you the sound of a "bong" like a tight skin on a snare drum.  If you try to build a raised panel door out of 3/4 inch material by the time you get the 1/4" panel grove and the door profile cut your rail and stile material is so thin around the area of the panel that it will in many cases, break out of the door.  This is becasue when the rail and stile meet the face frame it suddenly stops.  The raised panel is free floating in the door and continues to move at the closing speed until it stops where it meets the inside door stile rail's remaining material left after the groove is cut.  Normally you are looking at about 1/16 inch or less. The panel is the heavest part of the door due to its large mass when compared to the rail and stile material and has a lot of energy each time the door is opened and each time it is closed.

So in short this is my experience gained over the years.  To sum it up where you buy your material depends on the quality of your finished project.  It depends on the design of the project for example is it being used for casework or doors.  Money in all cases do not buy quality.  What buys quanity is based on your knowledge.  Shop around and you will be amazed at what is out there and what your dollar can buy.   

 

Jay,

Wow.  Insight and helpful discussion like what you've just provided are one of the biggest reasons that I've been so impressed with this 'Kreg owners community' site.  That response obviously took some time to write out, and I enjoyed reading it.  Thanks.

Dan


 
Jay Boutwell said:

Criss, I started many years ago .....

...and you will be amazed at what is out there and what your dollar can buy.   

 

For people who don't have good lumber dealers nearby (yes, it's sad but true). There are some online/mail order lumber dealers that can present a good option.

I'm lucky to have sources close to home, but I've also ordered from Woodworker's Source in the past. They have everything from domestics to exotics, and they offer "packs" in various board foot quantities that are priced with shipping included. Yes, you'll pay more than buying local (and I definitely support buying local), but I've found that they select lumber carefully and pack it well so that you receive it in good condition--and they ship via UPS so you don't have to hassle with truck fees, but you can still get lengths up to 8 foot. 

There are other good dealers who offer similar services. I'm just relaying my personal experience with this one.

KregRep

Thanks to all the new replies.  Jay -- thank you for taking the time to provide such a detailed and insightful response.  It was greatly appreciated.


Thank you Dan, your are most welcome.  It was writing of my experience that I have gained over the years.  I just want to do my part in passing on my knowledge to other members.  Just think with the number of members of this community if each member would each write about their knowledge and experience, the volumn of information on woodworking  would be much greater than the largest library. 
Daniel Sinclair said:

Jay,

Wow.  Insight and helpful discussion like what you've just provided are one of the biggest reasons that I've been so impressed with this 'Kreg owners community' site.  That response obviously took some time to write out, and I enjoyed reading it.  Thanks.

Dan


 
Jay Boutwell said:

Criss, I started many years ago .....

...and you will be amazed at what is out there and what your dollar can buy.   

 

Kreg Rep you are very correct about the on line /mail order sources.  You have made a good point that  I neglected to include.   I also have used one such on line dealers in my area and received excellent service.  I would like to say that this dealer is one of the best that I have found for mail order.  I have made the drive which is about 4 hours south of me in Klamath Falls, Oregon.  The business is known as "Cook's Woods"  https://www.cookwoods.com/lumber-site/
 I also use their catalogue to help customers choose lumber as they have every exotic wood from all parts of the world as well as local American wood.   I would reccommend this site for all to at least look at and see the differences is wood.  They offer mail orders to all parts of the country and have a sale about every week where they will promote a certain type of wood at a sale price.   It is a very good resource for just looking at lumber.  I will go there when I need a exotic or special wood for something like a enlay.  They also cater to the woodturner. 
KregRep said:

For people who don't have good lumber dealers nearby (yes, it's sad but true). There are some online/mail order lumber dealers that can present a good option.

I'm lucky to have sources close to home, but I've also ordered from Woodworker's Source in the past. They have everything from domestics to exotics, and they offer "packs" in various board foot quantities that are priced with shipping included. Yes, you'll pay more than buying local (and I definitely support buying local), but I've found that they select lumber carefully and pack it well so that you receive it in good condition--and they ship via UPS so you don't have to hassle with truck fees, but you can still get lengths up to 8 foot. 

There are other good dealers who offer similar services. I'm just relaying my personal experience with this one.

KregRep

Well I go throw the dumpser for my 3/4" 1/2" 1/4" plywood and one other cabinet shop I buy there srap oak for a $ 1.00 bf.

Hi Chris, I have found some really nice peices of maple at my local lowes stores, but I used a this web site to find a local jewel near me, www.woodfinder.com. Maybe there is some place near you too

 

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