A little over a month ago I had the opportunity to visit a regional hardwood distributor. Their facility is huge, by my standards, and operations cover custom milling, kiln drying locally harvested hardwoods and national and international distribution. While I was there I purchased both 6"-8" wide 4/4 Cherry and 6"-8" 4/4 Walnut for future projects. I was amazed at the pricing, which was $2.00/BF for the Cherry (6' Shorts) and $4.00/BF on the Walnut (5' Shorts). The only disappointment was the fact they had limited supplies of thicker stock (8/4+) at that facility, but could provide any sizes within a week of ordering. I am very excited to know a reliable and affordable source of material is within a 45 minute drive of the house.
My visit to the distributor prompted a deeper look into local sources for domestic hardwood. Large scale distributors aren't around every corner, but local saw mills are prevalent in West Virginia and Southwestern Virginia. So I started looking and determined there are several mom and pop type operations, several of operations which supply the distributor I visited and a couple of large scale operations.
Friday, I had the opportunity to visit a local mid-sized saw mill to learn about their services and what materials they have available. I was also interested in purchasing some Hard Maple and Soft Maple, if the price was right. The first thing I learned from my visit is I need to call ahead to see what they're cutting. They schedule their cutting operations around "Supply and Demand", so they may cut Maple for two straight weeks and then not cut it again for 3 or 4. The second thing I learned is they ship the materials as fast as they come off the saw, so timing a purchase is imperative. They had just stopped cutting Maple the first of last week and were cutting Red Oak while I was onsite, so they didn't have (or did they?) any Maple available. After a pleasant conversation with the Yard Manager he offered to check one place they may have stashed a few scraps of maple from earlier in the week. Low and behold he comes walking back across the yard with two large Hard Maple "CANTS". They measured 44" and 48" in length, 6" in width and 14/4 "3.5") in thickness for a total of 13.4BF. I offered to pay for them, but he said they were on the house, so I loaded them up headed to the house.
|Who Doesn't Love A Freebie?|
Any help or general comments would be appreciated. I have provided the picture below for your viewing pleasure and hopefully review and comment. Thanks in advance for the assistance!!!
|Right End As View On Work Bench Showing Pith And Heartwood|
|Left End As View On Work Bench Showing Pith And Heartwood|
|Close Up Of End Grain Showing Sapwood, Heartwood And Pith|
|Bottom Of Longest Board|
NOTE SINCE THESE PHOTOS I'VE MOVED THE LONGER BOARD TO
THE BOTTOM AND INCREASED THE LENGTH OF THE STICKERS
Until my next post,