Where's the Wood?
A lot of people ask where they can find quality hardwoods nearby. While availability is different in every area, here are a few tips to find amazing wood at decent prices no matter where you live.
I've lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for my entire woodworking career, so my perspective is limited, but I have helped several customers narrow down great wood sources in their areas over the years so here goes.
I have three pieces of advice.
1. Before settling for the limited selection and high prices at Home Depot or Lowes try searching Google for a commercial hardwood retailer in your area. Try queries like "domestic & exotic lumber in [your city or a city nearby]", "commercial hardwood in [your city]", or "wholesale lumber products in [your city]". The types of businesses you'll find are often geared more toward professionals ordering high volumes, but they usually will accept smaller customers too. I have a few favorites in the DFW area if you happen to live here, depending on where I am at the moment I shop at Brazos Forest Products, Central Hardwoods, The Plywood Company, or Wood World. All of these places have great selections of wood and provide services to mill it to spec if needed.
2. Buy at WoodCraft, Rockler, or a similar hobbyist woodworking store. This option is less desirable because the prices are a little steep, but their variety and selection are usually pretty great.
3. If none of these options can be found in your area there is still hope—the internet is here to save you!
Bell Forest Products is a fantastic solution that ships hardwoods internationally so they've got you covered for sure, and the prices are reasonable! If you're more of a bargain shopper, I've had success on both Craigslist and eBay in the past too, but your mileage may vary.
I hope this info helps you find beautiful masses of lumber!
Thanks Shane and Bonnie.
I will check out those options.
Thank you! I live just south of Ft. Worth and appreciate the references. BTW, my first trip to The Plywood Company almost gave me a heart attack. I couldn’t believe all of the available selection. I will give your others a try. THANK YOU!
I live in south central Missouri and found an excellent hardwood store when looking for any possible places with kiln drying services offered in my area two or three years ago. Cardwell’s hardwoods in Jefferson City is the the name and location of it if anyone else in Missouri is looking for a hardwood store. It’s roughly an hour and a half away from me but more than worth the drive. A very good buddy of mine worked there before his heart attack and took me in there one day after I found out he had previously worked there and it’s a candy store for woodworkers. The selection and quality of domestic and exotic hardwoods they sell is awesome to say the least. They offer milling services as well and also have an excellent selection of sheet gooss, finishes, machinery, blades, bits etc. I paid $5.60 a bd ft for select grade dimensional walnut lumber the first time I went in and couldn’t believe it was that cheap.