Lumber: Online vs. Local


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  1. 1. Where are you getting your lumber?

    • Online
    • Local

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I'm trying to decide on where I should get my lumber from. On one hand, the Bell Forest kits are quite nice and handy, and from what I've heard do a pretty good job of getting you good lumber. On the other hand, the local lumber is (I assume) already at least part way acclimated to the climate here. I haven't priced it out yet, but I'm guessing that price-wise the local lumber may be a bit cheaper.

So which are you gong to do?

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I buy all of my lumber locally. The wood is already acclimated to the climate as you stated, but primarily it is the price. This is my first Guild Build, so I was not sure how much wood I needed or how much I was going to Screw-Up, so I am going with Red Oak. The estimated board foot needed totals about 15 bf, so I purchsed 30 bf. On Bell Forest the Red Oak kit is going for $124.75 (plus shipping). I purchased my 30 bf from a local small sawmill for $24.00, and he threw in another piece that he thought he probably could not sell, but maybe I could use. Anyway, the price is what draws me to buy locally.

Jeff F.

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I went local and picked up my wood today. That said, I'm bastardizing the design quite a bit, so what I picked up were two sheets each of 1/2" & 3/4" Baltic Birch plywood.

Assuming I was going the published design route, I would probably go Bell Forrest. Their kits are fantastic and given how expensive lumber is locally, I suspect my guild discount would make Bell Forrest very close, if not outright cheaper.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bell Lumber kits include very good wood, and because the wood is milled to specs., there is little milling required or that can be done. The latter is what I have a problem with. Sometimes the wood needs further milling, but in doing so I've found myself left with stock that is now undersized. Now one can make adjustments for this, but I'd rather have a kit whose dimensions allow for further milling. Just MHO.

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I either buy from Jensen Hardwoods in Walla Walla, WA or, if I actually would want exotics, Cross Cut Lumber in Portland, OR. I usually stop in at Cross Cut when I'm in town, just to buy something.

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I generally recommend that if you can get the stuff locally, do so. There is nothing wrong with Bell's material, as they have some of the best mail order wood I've ever seen. The problem, as some mentioned above, is the risk you are taking by shipping the stuff in, pre-milled, from another location in the US. So hands down, go local if you have the means. The Bell Kits are really intended for folks who don't have access to the wood or the tools to do the milling. Although Bell will gladly fill ANY order. :)

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