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aknotsdeath

Hardwood in Western WA

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So I have been reading and looking at ways people get wood for free. More specific hardwoods. Living in the Olympia, WA area it's not as prevalent here as it is on the East Coast. What are ways people find it here? I'm talking mostly scraps and anything free. I can't really afford anything else and I have no issue putting in the work to clean something up. It's all learning to me anyway. One huge thing is travel time. I need to stay with in 20ish minutes. Mostly looking online and driving to pick it up. Due to disabilities travel further than that is not possible unless a very good reason happened. I have the family mini van for transport. Any input would be very much appreciated.

 

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Have you called the Evergreen College woodshop? They produce plenty of off-cuts. There's also a few cabinet shops along the Olympia/Lacey border that might be willing to help. Other than that Craigslist seems like an option. You'll mostly find flooring, very little dimensional stuff, but anything can be made to work with enough time. I made a whole set of candle holders out of some maple flooring off-cuts I picked up.

The places like Craigslist and such I can't move fast enough. The cabinet makers and college is a great idea. Thank you :)

 

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Another craigslist option which could yield better results is finding old furniture with solid-wood components that people are giving away. I don't know if they move any slower than other free stuff, but I remember watching Jay Bates early videos where he talked about harvesting wood from stuff like headboards that people were throwing or giving away.

I'd also add flooring installers to your list of calls. I'd hope you could find a few willing to help out and give you their offcuts.

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Another craigslist option which could yield better results is finding old furniture with solid-wood components that people are giving away. I don't know if they move any slower than other free stuff, but I remember watching Jay Bates early videos where he talked about harvesting wood from stuff like headboards that people were throwing or giving away.

I'd also add flooring installers to your list of calls. I'd hope you could find a few willing to help out and give you their offcuts.

I already emailed the person in charge at the college. I will make a list here soon of the cabinet makers.

 

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If Craigslist moves to fast, you could also try Freecycle. A lot less activity, but it moves slower.

Like these posts:

https://groups.freecycle.org/group/Olympia_WA_Freecycle/posts/59630086/real oak wood headboard%2Fbookcase style full size

https://groups.freecycle.org/group/Olympia_WA_Freecycle/posts/59330304/Wood gun cabinet

 

It's not free, but there is also a Habitat for Humanity Re-Store over in West Seattle that every once in a while had really good prices. Might even be worth checking the dumpster. I was a starving college student when I moved to Olympia, and you can find some surprisingly good stuff in the dumpster.

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If Craigslist moves to fast, you could also try Freecycle. A lot less activity, but it moves slower.

Like these posts:

https://groups.freecycle.org/group/Olympia_WA_Freecycle/posts/59630086/real oak wood headboard%2Fbookcase style full size

https://groups.freecycle.org/group/Olympia_WA_Freecycle/posts/59330304/Wood gun cabinet

 

It's not free, but there is also a Habitat for Humanity Re-Store over in West Seattle that every once in a while had really good prices. Might even be worth checking the dumpster. I was a starving college student when I moved to Olympia, and you can find some surprisingly good stuff in the dumpster.

The dumpster diving is more physical than I can do now. Ahh the good old days ;) essentially I am 35 with a body that feels 80. And not the good in shape 80 either.

 

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1 minute ago, aknotsdeath said:

The dumpster diving is more physical than I can do now. Ahh the good old days ;) essentially I am 35 with a body that feels 80. And not the good in shape 80 either.

Sorry, got caught up throwing out ideas.

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Sorry, got caught up throwing out ideas.

No need to be sorry. It's life. Besides I have a wife I might be able to send out for things if worth the drive so as far as I'm concerned the only bad idea is the one not wrote down. :)

 

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Door makers is another. Maybe not much hardwood but still scraps to practice on. At least not much hardwood where I went.

 

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Pictures of what I got to follow when I can make it out of bed. Shouldn't of tried moving that much hahaha

 

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5f9aa11d0ed9b8ad1d57e2dbd4aba5f1.jpg

 

And at least another pallet trip as well. Better than nothing! Now if only I could find a few sheets of ply haha

 

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Whatcha plan on making? 

This is for learning. Once I clear out the garage that is. Practice different joints and cuts. And probably boxes, storage shelves for the bathroom and one of the pallets have solid blocks so I'm thinking pallet mallets. Plus random knicknack items of setting up a shop.

 

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Coop's question is still relevant.  It helps me to focus on the skills for an actual project.

I've acquired scraps, ends, etc. from

- the free barrel at a local hardwood supplier  (even big box stores will have cutoffs that you may be able to grab.)

- the burn pile at a local small milling operation (I sometimes bring over a bottle of wine, and I actually also buy stuff from him.)

- the burn pile from building my house

- extra wood from trim for my house (i.e. the builders and cabinet makers use some hardwood such as knotty alder.)

I have a few but am not yet a fan of pallets.  Beware of nails, etc in scrap wood.  (it's a common practice to nail or staple something to the wood.)

 

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Coop's question is still relevant.  It helps me to focus on the skills for an actual project.

I've acquired scraps, ends, etc. from

- the free barrel at a local hardwood supplier  (even big box stores will have cutoffs that you may be able to grab.)

- the burn pile at a local small milling operation (I sometimes bring over a bottle of wine, and I actually also buy stuff from him.)

- the burn pile from building my house

- extra wood from trim for my house (i.e. the builders and cabinet makers use some hardwood such as knotty alder.)

I have a few but am not yet a fan of pallets.  Beware of nails, etc in scrap wood.  (it's a common practice to nail or staple something to the wood.)

 

Downside is there are a lot of things I want to build. We just bought a house plus I just love making things. And the pallets I will not use a majority of the wood until I can purchase a metal detector. I will still break them down and salvage what I can and keep a hold of it till that time. Plus some of the scraps will get sacrificed just to practice joint making and glueing. Little projects to keep me busy until I can afford to buy wood. I'm retired so this is all just to do something and use my hands.

 

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OP, what milling tools do you have (available)? Do you have a table saw?

Yep I have a table saw and a compounding miter. No plywood to make any jigs however so will have to wait for that part. But I can take all the nails out. I won't cut up the pallets anyway until I get a cheap handheld metal detector. I can't risk a blade on a nail I miss.

 

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Yep I have a table saw and a compounding miter. No plywood to make any jigs however so will have to wait for that part. But I can take all the nails out. I won't cut up the pallets anyway until I get a cheap handheld metal detector. I can't risk a blade on a nail I miss.

 

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But I can use a lot of the non pallet stuff in the mean time. One of the pallets has giant blocks of wood. Not sure on the type but the blocks will make a good mallet. Or at least my first attempts at one.

 

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But no jointer or planer? 

And if you had a wood wishlist, what would it be, wood type and thickness?  And then, what would be the first piece you would make? Sorry for the thousand questions :wacko:

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A strong magnet is quite handy for finding nails. I keep a ball/sphere magnet on my tool belt at work every day. K&J Magnetics has them , 1/2" dia is a good size.

If you can find a place that sells imported hardwood lumber you might be able to get those blocks with the groove that are made of something other than pine. They use those under bundles of hardwood lumber for shipping. I have gotten mahogany ( Khaya ) and several other exotics that I haven't bothered to even try to identify.

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But no jointer or planer? 

And if you had a wood wishlist, what would it be, wood type and thickness?  And then, what would be the first piece you would make? Sorry for the thousand questions :wacko:

No joiner or planer. And as for wood wishlist there are a few like purple heart and a red one I can't remember the name of but have it wrote down but that's just to make stuff for the wife. And actually the first thing I am probably going to make is a holder for all my weed so I stop dropping it. I have a complicated setup. I do a lot medically to help with the pain. Only reason I function now. And I got plenty of wood for that. However a few house projects I would love clear cedar for all the cat stuff. I need to make well frankly everything in the shop as well so stools and such are on the list. Some fun things I want to make would be maybe Beam.pro logo. I am a streamer on that site. It's like YouTube and Twitch but imho better. So I want to make something special for them. I have a missed birthday and valitines I need to make up as well since finances didn't allow me to get anything for the wife. She understands but I don't like it. The purple heart and the red wood would be a cutting board and I would probably also make a star jewelry box for her out if the same wood. I have already been streaming random garage clean ups and table saw assembly. We just moved so it's all a cluster right now. Sorry about the long reply. I could go into more specifics if I wasn't on my phone hahaha. I do have a cheap harbor freight hand planer that I will be fiddling with. And chisels. A few power hand tools as well. I tend to like power because it's less physical depending. But the smell and feel of the wood when doing it by hand doesn't compare and of course the control.

 

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A strong magnet is quite handy for finding nails. I keep a ball/sphere magnet on my tool belt at work every day. K&J Magnetics has them , 1/2" dia is a good size.

If you can find a place that sells imported hardwood lumber you might be able to get those blocks with the groove that are made of something other than pine. They use those under bundles of hardwood lumber for shipping. I have gotten mahogany ( Khaya ) and several other exotics that I haven't bothered to even try to identify.

There is a place near by I will have to ask. But things get picked through quick here. Surprisingly the door people I got all the wood from didn't seemed to ever get asked. They seemed surprised.

 

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There is a place near by I will have to ask. But things get picked through quick here. Surprisingly the door people I got all the wood from didn't seemed to ever get asked. They seemed surprised.

 

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And I will have to see if my magnets are strong enough.

 

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Weed and wife, so you're looking for something in the 3/8" to 1/2" thickness? Wife comes first ;) Purple Heart, ain't gonna happen as I hate that stuff. But I do have some cherry and walnut. Give it some serious thought and let me know how thick you want it and pm me with your address and I'll see what I have laying around. 

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Weed and wife, so you're looking for something in the 3/8" to 1/2" thickness? Wife comes first [emoji6] Purple Heart, ain't gonna happen as I hate that stuff. But I do have some cherry and walnut. Give it some serious thought and let me know how thick you want it and pm me with your address and I'll see what I have laying around. 

May I ask why you hate purple heart? Looks or don't like working with it? She likes red And purple so that's why I chose those two. No other reason. And I will sit down and figure out sizes and such. Thank you very much :) will be a while. I have a lot of stuff I want to do before I start on anything. I don't want to ruin anything nice learning the basics. I might also have a line on some maple. We will see Wednesday.

 

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IMO, w/ limited experience,  Purple Heart is over rated. Splintery and hard to work with and does not hold that purple color, in most instances. You can't go wrong with the basic three, C, W, and M. Let me know bud. 

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IMO, w/ limited experience,  Purple Heart is over rated. Splintery and hard to work with and does not hold that purple color, in most instances. You can't go wrong with the basic three, C, W, and M. Let me know bud. 

And good to know about the purple heart. I will steer clear. At least until I think I'm ready. Working with only really pine and cedar so far my hardwood knowledge is limited.

 

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And good to know about the purple heart. I will steer clear. At least until I think I'm ready. Working with only really pine and cedar so far my hardwood knowledge is limited.

 

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And the weed holder is not for the actual weed but the glass and enail I use to vape it. But I got plenty of wood for that from the door guys.

 

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