nuhobby wrote:I would not call one of my strategies a 'bargain,' typically. But now and then at antique malls I will find a hunk of wood in something that's clearly not worth preserving as an antique. Such as an 'antique' which was obviously somebody's c. 1976 home-router-shop attempt at a walnut wall-shelf. For small-time projects, I've gotten some decent hardwood pieces with the satisfaction of a bit of recycling as well. I do have to be very careful on nail-removals. (Usually I do OK but I did dull one bandsaw blade on a mahogany slab which had some nails better hidden than I expected.)
Good idea Chris. Also we need to keep our eyes peeled for cabinet shops that are going out of business.
I stumbled on a shop that was selling out and he had some wood. We talked and worked out a deal. The deal was I could have all the wood that fit in my pickup bed even with the top rails for $100. I jumped on it. I ended up with my pickup nearly dragging home but with a bed loaded with Black Walnut. Most of the boards were 12/4 (that's right 3 inches thick) rough cut 8ft long and 6-8 inches wide. I still have some of it stored and that was 20 years ago. Sadly my truck then was a small Datsun (Nissan). If I would have had a full size truck I could have built a house out of walnut.
My last cabinet shop closure netted me some really nice Mahogeny for something around 50 cents a board foot and the guy thanked me for getting rid of the the wood for him.
Usually the major machines are already spoken for in most shop closures but often wood and supplies are the last to go and I have been hitting some really wonderful deals.
Another way to get lumber is Wood worker clubs. Many times members make trips to low cost lumber areas and buy a lot of lumber that they bring back and divide between the members. With 20 or so guys chipping in the rental truck and gas is easily paid for and we still end up with cheap lumber.
Also keep your eyes open for bowling alleys closing. The first 20 or so feet of each lane and the last 10 or so feet are usually maple. The wood is standing on edge and usually about 3 inches thick. Makes wonderful work bench tops and also cutting boards, counter tops and etc.