Did you know that there is free (or extremely low cost) lumber out there to take care of many of your woodworking projects? Anyone who enjoys woodworking realizes that buying good quality lumber can be very expensive. This includes both softwoods and hardwoods. However, there are a variety of places where you can obtain free or cheap lumber for your woodworking projects.
Getting cheap or even free lumber for woodworking may seem difficult, but it definitely can be achieved. One of the best places to get good quality free lumber is at a local lumberyard. Many lumberyards have specific bundles of lumber that have been sitting in the yard for a long time. These piles of lumber can sometimes become weathered or insect infested. When this occurs the owner of the lumberyard is often anxious to get some type of return for his product.
You will be amazed at how cheap you will be able to buy these piles of lumber that are considered inferior. However, most woodworkers who have quality woodworking equipment have the ability to plane or reshape any piece of lumber to its original condition. Even lumber that has an insect infestation can be salvaged by simply sealing the lumber. If you are able to get the lumber in wintertime the bugs are usually frozen, so they won’t hurt the product anymore if you just cut it away.
There may be times when a customer returns a bundle of lumber because of issues of too many knots, rotten spots, or splits. If you carefully examined this returned lumber, you may find that only the surface area has these imperfections. Or you may like knots (I know I do). This will be one way that you can develop a good supply of quality softwoods and hardwoods.
The owner of the lumberyard may then provide you with future golden opportunities to purchase other bundles of lumber for a song. If he realizes that you are going to be a steady customer, he will be more likely to keep any future bundles of returned or defect lumber only for you to purchase.
Another way to receive bundles of free lumber is to advertise that you would like to have it free. Many homeowners may have different resources of unwanted lumber sitting around their yard. They may be desperate to get rid of it. An old fence, a shed, a barn…
If you advertise for free lumber you could receive some phone calls and other fabulous opportunities to obtain free wood – with a little elbow grease.
You can also take advantage of any bug infestation that may occur throughout various parts of the country. Recently, a pine beetle infested large sections of forest in Western Canada and the United States. This pine beetle would leave a purplish tint in the wood. Many manufacturers felt that this was a negative trait and avoided purchasing this type of infected wood.
There were however a few clever woodworkers who realized the uniqueness of this purplish-tinted pine. They manufactured furniture that became extremely popular because of its purplish-tinted uniqueness. Soon there was a huge demand for this product throughout Canada and the United States. This is a good example for any woodworker who has creative insight.
There are many other places that a person can acquire large quantities of free wood. All that is required for the craftsman is to think outside of the box when it comes to ways of obtaining quality lumber that is inexpensive or free.