Woodworking Tips Cards – Finding Cheap Wood

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This woodworking tips card is about finding cheap wood. As a new woodworker, you are going to need a lot of wood. Finding the wood on a deal can make a big difference, and will help you spend your money wisely. Here is how to find cheap wood.

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Finding Cheap Wood

woodworking tips cards finding cheap woodOne of the best places to start when trying to find cheap wood is your local hardwood store, in the scrap bin. If your store mills wood for customers, then it will surely have a scrap bin. This is a source of revenue for the store, and a source of cheap wood for you.

Most of the pieces you will find in the scrap bin are going to be on the smaller side. Every now and then you will find something a little bigger, but most of it will be small.

If you are making smaller projects, or using the wood for inlays and adding color, this is a gold mine. Pen makers should be driving to their local hardwood store right now because it beats the heck out of buying pen blanks.

The scrap bin is not your only source of cheap wood. You can do something else that will help you get the biggest bang for your buck, and it doesn’t involve you leaving the hardwood store. This little trick has allowed me to make some of my best projects with less expensive wood…

Choose the Right Species

The only reason one piece of wood costs more than another is rarity. The actual properties of the wood mean nothing in the hardwood store. If one piece of wood is rare, it will be more expensive than the more common equivalent.

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Knowing this, you can make better decisions in the store and come out with the same look or even better for less money. For example, there are several woods that all look kind of like Mahogany. Legit Mahogany is expensive, but African Mahogany or Sapele are darn close and most people can’t tell the difference.

Picking out a piece based on the look rather than the species is what makes the difference in the final price. You can also look for woods that are priced lower than they should based on their looks. Bubinga, Padauk, and Goncalo Alves are three great examples. All of these look way better than their price tags.

Look For Cutoffs and Save

Some places have smaller pieces from mill work that end up on a shelf with a different price tag. These are sometimes more economical than buying a board by the foot, because you can buy less in many cases.

Most hardwood stores either want you to buy the whole board, or buy a larger amount than you actually need. Finding a store that has smaller boards in stock will let you buy closer to the amount that you actually need.

To clarify, these need to be drop from milling, not purpose bought boards. The surfaced boards that are bought from other mills are higher in price than buying rough wood by the board foot. Check the math versus the board foot price to make sure you are not getting taken advantage of.

If you have any questions about Woodworking Tips Cards – Finding Cheap Wood please leave a comment and I will be glad to answer them. Happy building.

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  • More than 20 Years Woodworking Experience
  • 7 Woodworking Books Available on Amazon
  • Over 1 Million Words Published About Woodworking
  • Bachelor of Arts Degree from Arizona State University
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