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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Where to buy lumber? Mill, store, etc? Please post

    Hey everyone,
    So I build pretty much all of my own equipment. Bottoms, tops, boxes, frames, feeders, just about everything. I get my lumber here locally from Sutherlands, for $5.89 per 1"x12"x6'. That is the board I use most, if not all around. However, in the past, I have heard folks saying that they buy it much cheaper from the mill, be that rough cut or otherwise. Does anyone know of a place I can get similar deals? Near me or delivered? Just trying to cut some more costs. Input would be appreciated. Thanks!
    Ben

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,260

    Default Re: Where to buy lumber? Mill, store, etc? Please post

    Are there any trees in Wyoming that the wind hasn't put a big bend in? If there are, there has to be small mills or people with a saw. Have you checked with Craigs list? All our sawmills were shut down because the guvmint wouldn't allow forest service harvest, to maximize our forest fires, but I can think of half a dozen good ole boy operations cutting on private property within a couple hours drive from here. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,703

    Default Re: Where to buy lumber? Mill, store, etc? Please post

    It really depends on how much lumber you are willing to buy at one time.

    If you can handle a truckload, there are many sources that will be happy to sell you whatever you want at a price that beats the lumber yard by a wide margin.

    At one time there was even a mill with ads in the Beesource For Sale forum. There is still one ad (not a mill though) offering lumber not all that far away from Ben:

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ghlight=lumber
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,038

    Default Re: Where to buy lumber? Mill, store, etc? Please post

    You might try to find a unit of 1X12 trim ends. This is cutoff waste from the mills that they sell cheap. At least that was how it was in 1980.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    lafargeville ny usa
    Posts
    943

    Default Re: Where to buy lumber? Mill, store, etc? Please post

    your best bet is probably a small local mill. keep in mind that rough cut will need to air dry under some kind of cover for roughly a year. sometimes larger mills will have short cut-offs left over real cheap.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Ka'u Hawaii
    Posts
    169

    Default Re: Where to buy lumber? Mill, store, etc? Please post

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    You might try to find a unit of 1X12 trim ends. This is cutoff waste from the mills that they sell cheap. At least that was how it was in 1980.
    We used to get these 'pine shorts' out of Washington for real cheap; however, I understand they all go into particle board these days, fwiw. Wish I was wrong about this.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,850

    Default Re: Where to buy lumber? Mill, store, etc? Please post

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    At least that was how it was in 1980.
    Still is in VT, or so Mike Palmer likes to remind us.

    I haven't been able to find any saw mills locally (within a 2 hour drive) that sell pine. And none that will consider carrying anything as big as a 1"x12". I was able to find a local guy that would sell me furniture grade white pine for $1.45 /bd ft. I kept trying to get him to give me some "lower" grade of wood (the bees don't care), but he said it wasn't something he was interested in sourcing.

    I've been using a pallet company about an hour and a half away from me for my lumber source. They'll sell me 1"x12" boards for 0.65 /bd ft. It's the best I can find, although about half of the boards are warped and/or cracked and/or knotted throughout. I usually use the best for brood boxes, and cut up the rest for use as tops, bottoms, mediums, ect.

    But I've yet to find better, and can't find anyone that will deliver. I've contemplated camping out at the lumber company to find out where they get their wood from, and see if I can contact them directly for a pallet size order (probably last me at least a few years). But based on conversations, I think they ship it in from WV or something like that . . .

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,937

    Default Re: Where to buy lumber? Mill, store, etc? Please post

    Try getting in with a few building contractors, both houses and commercial. Give them a little honey, have them save you their 1 X 12, 1 X 8, 1 X 6, 1 X 4, and Advantec. Advantec is used almost exclusively for sub floors. 1 X 12 is used as roof sheeting, trim, bird board, and others. One commercial building will yield a lot of usable lumber at no cost.

    Also watch for older buildings, schools, etc that are being remodeled or torn down. 1 X 12 is used for shelving in these buildings. Lots of time they will give it to you just to get it out of their way.

    Hope this helps.

    cchoganjr

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    S Hadley, Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    711

    Default Re: Where to buy lumber? Mill, store, etc? Please post

    Basic prices here in Massachusetts.

    4/4 #1 pine KD $1.75 per BF planed both sides
    5/4 #1 pine KD $0.96 per BF Planed one side
    5/4 #1 pine AD $0.81 per BF not planed.
    Pearl City Apiary Michael and Loucil Bach

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    781

    Default Re: Where to buy lumber? Mill, store, etc? Please post

    I did the Craigs list thing for a guy selling fir. Told him I was looking for something cheap. He told me if I would take green he would sell me mostly clear hemlock for $0.40 a BF but I had to take all 1400 BF. I went and looked at it and told him if he delivered it the deal was done. His truck broke down pulling it out of the Sandy river valley and I had to go get it from the side of the road!
    It has been stickered for several years now and that takes up a lot of space. It is a nice wood to work and dried nice without checking. I do dread pulling the stack apart for the boards wide enough almost as bad as standing in front of that screaming planer.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Prescott Valley, AZ
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Where to buy lumber? Mill, store, etc? Please post

    Look up the Forestry Forum.
    It's a forum for small portable mill type sawyers, and you can locate someone close to you with a mill.
    Most guys have stock to sell, or are willing to get you what you need at a fair price.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,744

    Default Re: Where to buy lumber? Mill, store, etc? Please post

    I second the old homes and building scavenging. Most of the older homes used 1x exclusively for roof decking and wall sheating.
    The wood is really dry (sometimes real hard) really straight, and made from old growth pine.
    Best wood you can find around here for repurposing.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Williamsburg, va
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Where to buy lumber? Mill, store, etc? Please post

    84 Lumber has excellent prices here in Hampton Roads. Also, Home Depot will beat local prices by 10% if you bring them the ad or a quote. I buy from both - it depends how far I want to drive and am comfortable carrying in my Chevy Impala... I always do the price matching a HD, their lumber is very expensive for beekeeping otherwise. And, I do pick up a lot for free from the scrap piles of homes under construction.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,268

    Default Re: Where to buy lumber? Mill, store, etc? Please post

    I do the craigslist scouring, and find what I need intermittently. Ben what volumes are you talking about? How much do you estimate you will need, and do you have enough cash on hand now, or perhaps at almond payout to get it in one go? If you are going to the almonds, is there an opportunity to find a supplier on the way that will make it worth your while? Some of those nics Cali beeks might have contacts for you.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Larimer County, CO, USA
    Posts
    202

    Default Re: Where to buy lumber? Mill, store, etc? Please post

    Ben: Try Elkhorn Lumber in Red Feather Lakes. Not to far away from Cheyenne.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Campbell, Wyoming USA
    Posts
    438

    Default Re: Where to buy lumber? Mill, store, etc? Please post

    I pay $0.42 a BF for rough cut 1"x10"x16' pine that's green. As dry as it is here on the plains in the winter every wood worker I've talked to is pretty confident I'll be able to use it for my purposes within a couple of months as long as it's stacked right with a fan on it. You have to buy by the unit though and a unit is ~ $750. It took some hunting to find that though. Next closest competitor was $0.51 a BF. I'm not sure how far you're willing to drive to get it, and a unit weighs a little over 5k lb's so fuel might become a factor.
    We the willing have done so much with so little for so long we can now do anything with nothing

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    oneonta al.
    Posts
    848

    Default Re: Where to buy lumber? Mill, store, etc? Please post

    I know it won't help some of you (shipping),But for the one's around Alabama,I've got a sawmill & plans is I'll be up & running it this spring.I plan on retiring this coming June.Also sitting up a Kiln, & planner.
    Even thinking about building Bee boxes to sell if the demand is there,If not I will still have lumber to sell.Mark,,,,,,

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,268

    Default Re: Where to buy lumber? Mill, store, etc? Please post

    Mark, I would think there would be a niche for a saw mill operator who cut lumber in bee box sizes - 9 5/8, and 6 5/8. We are all used to having to buy 1x12's for 9 5/8, and 1x8's for 6 5/8. Imagine the appeal of knowing the nominal size was taken care of and all that remained was to cut your boards to length.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,740

    Default Re: Where to buy lumber? Mill, store, etc? Please post

    The sawmill I use will provide boards any width I want. But if you need a specific width it must be dried. Still cheaper than the lumber store, but not much. I've had pretty good luck using the off-cuts for various other gadgets.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -H.S. Thompson

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,178

    Default Re: Where to buy lumber? Mill, store, etc? Please post

    Quote Originally Posted by Moon View Post
    I pay $0.42 a BF for rough cut 1"x10"x16' pine that's green. You have to buy by the unit though and a unit is ~ $750.
    Since I just got through spending $750 with Mann lake for 75 boxes the price is not much of an issue. Based upon 1X12 dimensions the above would be enough wood to make 300 boxes assuming no waste which is not going to happen. given you are pricing 1X10 the fudge factor sort of cancels out waste. So 4 times the equipment for the same price. give or take.
    quality of the lumber can put big swing in how much give and how much take is going on.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

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