Popular Woodworking 2003-08 № 135, страница 52

Popular Woodworking 2003-08 № 135, страница 52

the drive, so don't discount the stores that are out of town. If you're still not having luck finding basic hardwoods such as red oak and poplar, call a local cabinetshop and nicely ask where you can find hardwoods locally.

And don't forget to look for lumber mills if you live near hardwood forests. Some of these mills sell direct to the public, and the prices can be pretty good.

Wood by Mail

It might seem nuts to buy lumber through the mail, especially when you consider that you're buying it sight-unseen and have to pay for shipping. But many of the big mail-order lumber suppliers actually are quite competitive in price, and the wood is of a high quality.


In 1992, Donald Boudreau and his wife, Carol, sold everything they owned, bought a teak 49' sailboat, named it Domicile and began fulfilling their dream of sailing around the world.

While in Rio Dolce, Guatemala, Boudreau wanted to make a cutting board that also would cover the top of his stove.A local gave him some wood to use for the project. Later, Boudreau realized it was goncalo alves (tigerwood). It was Bourdreau's first experience with exotic wood. He soon began collecting exotic wood wherever they docked.

Six years and many islands later, the couple was in New Zealand with an expensive wood collection and grandchildren waiting for their return back home. So they sold the boat and shipped the wood to South Florida where they planned to make their new home near Ft. Lauderdale.

Once in Florida, Boudreau put his exotic wood collection aside and spent three years building every piece of furniture for their new home. With the home furnished, Boudreau began building award-winning boxes using the exotic wood he purchased on his trip and has since been collecting.

Donald Boudreau and his wife sailed this sailboat around the world, collecting tropical hardwoods in Central America, South America and the South Pacific.

At any given time his shop is filled with 50 to 60 different species of wood totaling several hundred board feet. While he has found several Florida dealers who import Latin American wood, Boudreau says he also buys 4/4 hardwood flooring, shops on the Internet and, when necessary, hops on a plane to make a purchase.

—Kara Gebhart


Three years ago in Moscow, Ohio, Steve Koller and his father, Eugene, were loading a pickup truck with odds and ends from a pallet company - wood they would use to heat their homes. Steve began noticing the dark color of some of the pallet wood. So he took a piece of it to his shop and cut it in half. At that moment Steve realized he and his father had just brought home an entire truckload of walnut.While there were some small pieces, others ranged in size from 18" to 24" long, 6" wide and 3" thick.

The next week, Steve and his father went to the pallet company for some more firewood, only to discover they had brought home a pickup truck full of cherry. But their luck soon ended.According to Steve, since then, the pallets have been the norm: oak and poplar.

— KG

Editor Steve Shanesy recently visited Steve Wall Lumber Co. (walllumber.com or 800-6334062) in North Carolina and was impressed by what he saw in the racks. Wall offers special 20-board-foot bundles of lumber in 3' to 5' lengths that ship via UPS. Here are some recent prices for 4/4 S2S lumber: mahogany for $5 a board foot, cherry for $5.50, soft maple for $3.95. And those prices include all shipping costs.

Woodcraft (woodcraft.com or 800-225-1153) sells domestic and exotic woods by the board or in bundles. Paxton (paxtonwood.com or 800-325-9800) sells wood by the bundle, and so do many other large lumberyards. Woodfinder (woodfinder.com) lists many other mail-order companies, too.

Join the Club

Of course there are ways to make the search easier. Perhaps the best

way is to join your local woodworking club or guild.

Almost every club seems to have a resident wood scrounger who is more than happy to point you to places that are off the beaten path. Some clubs even organize purchases of lumber for their members - buying in volume drives down the price. And if you're looking for a small quantity of a particular species, it's likely that one club member will have a few

How much lumber did you need? Commercial lumberyards and mills are an excellent source of consistent, graded lumber with few surprises.

50 Popular Woodworking August 2003

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